New Coverage from MLive Highlights Just How Deep and Far Back Dixon’s Election Denialism Runs
Known conspiracy theorist Tudor Dixon has a long history of pushing baseless lies about the integrity of the 2020 election and new reporting from MLive shows just how extensive her effort to undermine the democratic process has been.
Dixon “has said repeatedly that the 2020 election was stolen” and agreed during numerous Republican primary debates “that widespread election fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Michigan.
For years, Dixon has stoked public distrust in the democratic process and spread lies about Michigan’s elections with absolutely no proof to back up her claims.
MLive: Behind Tudor Dixon’s Shifting Stance On Election Conspiracy Theories
By Simon Schuster
Republican gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon has oscillated between certainty and ignorance on an issue that still looms large in American politics: does she believe the 2020 was stolen from former president Donald Trump?
At two gubernatorial debates in May and June of this year, Dixon agreed with several of her primary opponents that widespread election fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Michigan.
In mid-May, when a debate moderator asked if former president Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election in Michigan, Dixon smiled broadly and said yes as the crowd cheered.
At a gubernatorial debate on June 30, then-candidate Ralph Rebandt asked his opponents outright for a show of hands.
“How many of you believe the election fraud was … widespread enough that Trump should’ve been elected but Biden got in?” he asked.
Three hands around her shot up. Dixon hesitated for a moment, looked to either side, and then briefly raised her own arm halfway.
Seven days later, in an interview with MLive after the July 6 debate in Grand Rapids, Dixon avoided a direct answer.
“I believe that there was enough fraud in the election that we have to be very concerned and we have to have the strong election laws that the legislature passed to make sure our elections are fair in the future,” she initially answered.
When pressed on whether there was evidence of enough fraud to change the result of the election, Dixon said it was impossible to know.
“I don’t think we can see enough of the evidence because we weren’t able to look back and some of that is destroyed now,” she said.
Dixon would rather now avoid discussion of the topic entirely. At a press conference Tuesday a writer from Gander Newsroom, an outlet with deep ties to liberal groups, she refused to answer, saying “I’ve already answered questions on the election.”
There’s a big incentive to stop speaking about the 2020 election, David Dulio, a professor of political science at Oakland University, said. Namely that the most important voters to win over aren’t interested. […]
The best situation for Dixon is to not have to talk about it at all, Dulio said.
“Where the base just assumes that assumes that she’s where she was, and maybe she is,” Dulio said. “But she doesn’t have to double down on them in October and November.”
Meanwhile think tanks and election advocacy groups tracking election denialism have placed Dixon firmly within that group. […]
Thania Sanchez, a senior vice president at States United Action, said Michigan has five election deniers running for statewide office, the most of any state.
“Whatever issue is most important to you—the economy, taxes, abortion, climate—it comes down to free and fair elections,” Sanchez said in a statement. “And those are at risk this November.”
Gustavo Portela, communications director and assistant chief of staff for the Michigan Republican Party, disagreed with the characterization.
“I think she believes in the election results,”Portela said. “And I think she ultimately believes that our elections need to be fair, and she expects them to be fair and look at the end of the day, the results are what the results are going to be.”
Dixon’s campaign spokesperson Sara Broadwater didn’t offer an answer one way or the other this week. She instead cited changes Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson made in 2020 to ballot signature verification standards, later rejected by a court, as something that “directly correlates to people’s lack of faith in the integrity of our process.”
Still, Broadwater said, “if they follow the letter of the law as is this time around, I believe we can all have a reasonable amount of faith in the process.”