Surprise! Election-Denying Senate Nominee’s Miraculous Reversal Was All An Act

Republican candidate for New Hampshire Senate, retired U.S. Army brigadier general Don Bolduc, speaks during a campaign rally. (Josh Reynolds for the Washington Post via Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Could it be that when Don Bolduc suddenly declared on Fox News earlier this month that he’d come to realize that the 2020 election wasn’t stolen, it was actually a ploy to pass himself off as a normal guy now that he has to win over normal people in the general election??

That’s certainly what it looks like after the New Hampshire Senate nominee and hardcore election denier’s recent appearance on a podcast hosted by QAnon influencer Mel K on Friday, eight days after his Fox interview.

As he was spewing bogus claims about voter fraud on the podcast, Bolduc bluntly admitted that he knew he needed to water down his 2020 election conspiracy theories to something less unhinged for general voters in the Granite State, when he faces off against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in November.

“The narrative that the election was stolen-it does not fly up here in New Hampshire for whatever reason,” Bolduc said.

“But what does fly is that there was significant fraud and it needs to be fixed,” he added.

Bolduc went on to rail against voting by mail and allowing out-of-state college students to vote.

Bolduc isn’t the only election-denying candidate who’s trying to downplay just how deep he’s sunk into ex-President Donald Trump’s Big Lie.

FiveThirtyEight obtained an audio recording of Erik Aadland, the GOP House nominee for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, privately telling conservative activists that he believed Joe Biden’s presidency is “illegitimate,” but he doesn’t openly say so on the campaign trail “because it’s not an issue that wins us this race.”

It’s all part of a growing Republican effort to appear less extreme heading into the general election. It spans policy platforms too — some far-right candidates running in November have even toned down or changed their previous positions on abortion rights as the party weathers fallout and voter angst over Roe’s overturning.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: