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In the two years since a mob of former President Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the 2020 election certification, election deniers have run for office at all levels in the U.S., poll workers have been threatened, and Trump has once again announced his candidacy for president while still espousing baseless claims of fraud in the last presidential election. But the tenets of American democracy held firm in the 2022 midterm elections despite the Jan. 6 insurrection and elected officials continuing to spread lies about the results of the 2020 election.
Watch a conversation in the video player above.
Yascha Mounk, a professor with Johns Hopkins University and the author of “The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure,” said while he is concerned and wary about how the 2024 election will go, there is good news about how the 2022 elections went.
“Politicians who really denied, actively, the outcome of the presidential elections in 2020, who were running for secretary of state in places like Arizona and Pennsylvania lost, even as more moderate members of a Republican Party did relatively well,” he said in a conversation with the PBS NewsHour’s Laura Barrón-López on the two-year anniversary of the insurrection. “I think that shows that a lot of Americans have understood the threat posed by that election denialism. And that, I think, is a real change.”
More than 100 politicians who denied the outcome of the 2020 election did get elected in state and federal positions during the midterms. And Trump, who repeated and enforced the idea that President Joe Biden did not win legitimately in 2020, is back in the spotlight as he gears up to run for president in 2024. Mounk said that while election deniers did not sweep in the midterms, there is still cause for concern.
“The bad news is that we have now normalized certain forms of violence as part of our politics. We saw that throughout 2020 and the beginning of 2021,” he said. “And I can absolutely imagine some amount of civic violence if people are unhappy with the outcome of the 2024 election.”
Casey is a producer for NewsHour's digital video team.
Laura Barrón-López is the White House Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, where she covers the Biden administration for the nightly news broadcast. She is also a CNN political analyst.
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