"Trump’s words are having an effect. Just 38 percent of Trump supporters believe their votes will be counted accurately, and only 49 percent of all registered voters are “very confident” their votes will be tabulated without error, according to a Pew Research survey last week.
The implications — short- and long-term — are serious. Interviews with more than a dozen senior GOP operatives suggest growing panic that Trump’s descent down this alt-right rabbit hole and, beyond that, his efforts to delegitimize the very institutions that undergird American democracy — the media and the electoral process itself — threaten not just their congressional majorities or the party’s survival but, potentially, the stability of the country’s political system.
“We’ve never had a presidential candidate who has questioned the legitimacy of an electoral outcome nationally,” said Dan Senor, who was a foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. “This does take us to a whole new world if the actual presidential candidate is questioning the legitimacy of this process, and the damage to our democracy could be substantial.”