As President Donald Trump’s supporters gathered in D.C. on Wednesday morning for the Save America March, the mood was largely upbeat—except on one subject.
“The two Republican candidates were way ahead last night, and then in the middle of the night, more Democrat votes come in. So the same crap that went on in the presidential election,” said Frank from Pennsylvania, sounding deflated from behind his Keep America Great mask.
Democrat Raphael Warnock had been declared the winner in his Georgia Senate race against Republican Kelly Loeffler, and Democrat Jon Ossoff had pulled ahead of Republican David Perdue, with votes mostly left to be counted in Democratic-leaning areas. This was not the news rallygoers wanted.
“They should not even have had the election,” Frank told me. “Once you’ve gone through the evidence and seen what goes on with these machines they use, you can’t validate ’em. It should have been pushed back and done by hand.”
Jason from Washington state, who spoke both of his love for Trump and his belief that “we need to friggin’ say, ‘No more government,’ ” was glad the Senate election went ahead. “Warnock, and the other guy, had a spike of 100,000, 200,000 votes all at once, a big bounce up—they were way behind, just like the presidential election,” he said. “I’m hoping that they allowed them to do that, and that they have more evidence that they did the presidential election, and they can arrest them all. I knew they were going to do it.”
“If those machines can be hacked into, we should hack into them, and empty all the data that happened, find out all the added vote,” he added. “I believe Donald Trump won. I believe Warnock lost. I believe all the Republicans won. We’ve all got to demand that these voting machines be destroyed. They’re evil.”
Jeanie from Illinois also mentioned a conspiracy theory about Dominion voting machines and called the results in Georgia “terrible.” But she said her real concern was the presidential election. “I think it’s going to be overturned, and Trump is going to win,” she said. “I think it’s biblical. I think he’s destined to have a second term.”
As Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” blared in the background, David from South Carolina said that while he believed Democrats pushed for broadening access to absentee ballots to enable fraud, he was mostly worried about the future.* “I’m concerned, without any limits on the Democrats, them holding all three parts of government, they’re going to go for radical changes that are going to be very destructive for the country, and very divisive to the country,” he said. (Should Ossoff win, Democrats will control two branches of government.)
Frank agreed. “I’m disappointed,” he said, “because I want divided government. I don’t want anybody to be in total charge.”
Not everyone agreed that something suspicious was afoot in Georgia—or even in the presidential election. “I wouldn’t want to hurt the faith in our electoral process by going in all of that,” Abraham from Utah told me about fraud claims in the Georgia Senate race. “I think it was fair.”
Asked if he felt the same about the presidential election, he paused for several seconds. “Yeah, I do. I do. I absolutely do.”
“It will be all right. If we play our cards right, we will be able to regain the executive branch and the legislative branch,” Abraham said he wanted to tell fellow rallygoers.
Tom, from nearby Silver Spring, Maryland, agreed. On whether he believed the presidential election was stolen, he said, “I don’t. A lot of people do. I think this round, he’ll be out.”
But he wasn’t pleased. “I believe in the police. I don’t like the defunding of the police. I don’t like the racism I see on the Democratic side. I don’t like open borders. I am not a happy man today,” he said. Still, he thought left-wing jubilation was premature. “Two years, we’re coming back. Just wait. In four years, you just wait. Trumpism is here to stay. Whether it’s Trump or somebody else—the ideas of America First are going to stay.”
Correction, Jan. 6, 2021: This post originally misspelled Celine Dion’s last name.