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Why Trump Cries Electoral Fraud

Research suggests that US President Donald Trump’s claims of fraud in the 2020 election could be a psychological strategy, deftly executed by a master manipulator. If so, the president may be paving the way to persuading large numbers of Americans to reject the legitimacy of his defeat.

LONDON – US President Donald Trump, perhaps unsurprisingly, has alleged fraud in the November 3 presidential election, without offering what anyone would consider real evidence, other than the fact that votes for his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, keep turning up in states where Trump initially led in the count. The president has already announced that he intends to take the election to the US Supreme Court, despite the fact that at the time of his statement, millions of votes in numerous states were still to be counted.

Yet Trump’s fraud claims could be part of a psychological strategy, deftly executed by a master manipulator. If so, the president may be paving the way to persuading large numbers of Americans to reject the legitimacy of his defeat.

A unique scientific study conducted the day before and the morning of the 2016 US presidential election, probing attitude changes in 1,000 US voting-age adults, found that exposure to conspiratorial rhetoric about election interference produced a profound psychological effect. In particular, it led to significantly heightened negative emotions (anxiety and anger), and also undermined support for democratic institutions.

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