Maricopa County ballots from the 2020 general election being recounted...

Maricopa County ballots from the 2020 general election being recounted by contractors working for Florida-based Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May.  Credit: AP/Matt York

A lie, it’s been said, can travel halfway around the globe before the truth puts its shoes on. Then again, facts are stubborn things, as John Adams put it.

In a contest between the two, one should always place money on the facts — no? Think tortoise and hare.

But for much of today’s Republican Party, facts about the 2020 election are unmentionable. They interfere with Donald Trump’s Big Lie narrative and therefore can’t be acknowledged, much less analyzed, as they should be in excruciating detail.

Nowhere is this dynamic playing out more than in Arizona. Republicans had no business losing the Grand Canyon State in the presidential election — which they did — and alarm bells should be ringing in the depths of the Republican National Committee and in state party backrooms across the country, including New York’s.

With the exception of Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection, when independent Ross Perot peeled off 112,000 votes, Arizona hadn’t voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since Harry Truman in 1948. So you’d think the GOP would want to investigate why Trump lost the crimson state to Joe Biden in 2020. You’d think.

Instead, the party has pitted its efforts on an absurd "analysis" being performed by a hired-gun, one-man company called Cyber Ninjas, which has received $5.7 million from pro-Trump PACs and $150,000 in tax dollars from Arizona’s Republican-controlled Senate. The Cyber Ninjas report, supposed to be released around now, is nowhere to be found.

Fortunately for the GOP — should they wish to delve into it — a proper Arizona analysis has just been released by a group of election experts showing exactly how Trump lost that state. It’s edifying to say the least.

Lessons from Maricopa County: Slow Facts versus Fast Lies in the Battle Against Disinformation was compiled by Republican Benny White, an attorney who’s performed election and voter registration analyses for the Arizona GOP for years; Larry Moore, founder and retired CEO of Clear Ballot Group, which pioneered independent audits of primary voting system companies; and Tim Halvorsen, a retired chief technology officer of Clear Ballot.

Here’s what the trio discovered using publicly available data: Trump lost Arizona because 74,822 disaffected Republican-supportive voters in Maricopa (59,800) and Pima (15,022) counties decided not to vote for him. It wasn’t bamboo ballots flown in from Asia; nor was it a diabolical Venezuelan hack of voting machines. It was Trump himself. He lost because Republican-leaning voters dumped him.

The report is highly detailed: 48,577 (65%) of these normally Republican voters pulled the lever for Biden; 26,245 (35%) voted for third-party candidates, overvoted (2,009) or simply left the presidential ballot blank (4,363). The 48,577 who voted for Biden represent 4.6 times the statewide margin of Trump’s 10,457-vote loss, according to the report.

The report jives neatly with on-the-ground evidence I’ve seen in New York Republican campaigns of late. The loss of the State Senate, and other recent campaign defeats, weren’t just the result of more Democrats turning out, though that was a major factor; it also included abandonment of the party by a small but significant number of Republicans whom White, Moore and Halvorsen call the "Silent Minority."

Maybe it’s time to start talking with them.

 n OPINIONS EXPRESSED BY   William F. B. O’Reilly, a consultant to Republicans, are his own.


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