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North Carolina

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The biggest long-term threat of Trumpism is the end of democracy. That might sound like hyperbole, but it isn’t. All we have to do is look at the last several years in North Carolina, where Pat McCrory and the extremists in the Republican legislature have gone to incredible lengths to ensure they remain in power. That has included such out of control gerrymandering that the courts just threw out their districts and ordered new elections to be held next year. It has included excluding as many black people from voting as possible. It has even included talk of courtpacking since the Democrats took control over the court this year. Even with that, just enough North Carolina voters rejected McCrory that he narrowly lost his reelection bid. And yet, McCrory is refusing to give up power, lying about widespread voter fraud and seeking every possible way to remain in control. It’s so obvious and blatant that even North Carolina Republicans haven’t been willing to go this far. But it is still absolutely outrageous.

Mr. McCrory has refused to concede, and despite having no path to victory, he has been engaged in an all-out assault on the integrity of the election system. His fight appears likely to serve as rationale for a renewed effort in the legislature to make North Carolina’s voting laws and regulations even more onerous.

The McCrory campaign has alleged that his defeat resulted from “massive voter fraud,” an irresponsible claim for which there is no evidence. It challenged the eligibility of 43 voters, contending they were felons. A review of public records by Democracy North Carolina, a voting rights group, established that nearly half of those voters were not, in fact, ineligible.

“It’s scandalous that they would malign innocent people to poison the larger public’s trust in the election system,” Bob Hall, the executive director of Democracy North Carolina, said in an interview. It’s dishonorable for Mr. McCrory to promote voting fraud myths and add fuel to voter suppression efforts as he’s going out the door.

But dishonorable is how McCrory rolls. It’s how the Republican Party rolls. It’s how Donald Trump rolls. And it’s how they are all going to roll if they lose in 2020, despite the massive voter suppression about to happen in many states, if not nationally. Expect Trump to strongly resist giving up the Oval Office, even if he loses by a reasonably significant margin.

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