How the Worst Fears for Democracy Were Averted in 2022

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Instead, the Dozers fell in behind Katie Hobbs, the Democratic candidate for governor, appearing with her at campaign events and in digital videos denouncing her election-denying Republican opponent, Kari Lake.

For her part, Ms. Lake, at a rally days before the election, told any “McCain Republicans” present to “get the hell out.”

Democrats welcomed crossover voters with open arms. After all, they’d been looking for them.

In Pennsylvania’s governor’s race, Mr. Shapiro commissioned focus groups of Trump voters to glean insights into how to peel them away from Mr. Mastriano.

About a third of Mr. Trump’s voters did not buy into Mr. Mastriano’s claims about the 2020 election, and Mr. Shapiro’s team found that voters with such misgivings were also receptive to appeals on other issues.

“Those voters had real sensitivity to not only Mastriano’s history and position on democracy issues, but also his positions on abortion, marriage equality, and climate change,” the Shapiro campaign wrote in a postelection memo.

The campaign’s strategy reflected an awareness that election denialism could be an indicator of other weaknesses as much as a weakness itself.

“This extreme conversation about voter fraud, it attracts an extreme flavor of people,” said Kristopher Dahir, a councilman and pastor in Sparks, Nev., who ran as a Republican for secretary of state this year. After losing the primary to Jim Marchant, a prominent figure in the election denier movement, Mr. Dahir endorsed Mr. Marchant’s Democratic opponent, Cisco Aguilar, who won in November.

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