AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to challenge the Philadelphia election results of the US Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz—a move many see as a dry run for the 2024 election.

In recent weeks and months, former President Donald Trump has engaged in a number of in-person meetings and conference calls designed to perpetuate his 2020 election lies and lay the groundwork for new and equally nonsensical schemes to challenge the upcoming election results in 2022, according to a recent Rolling Stone report.

Trump’s upcoming attack plan seems to be hyper-focused on one race, and one place. That race is the Pennsylvania Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz, and the place Trump plans to launch that attack is Philadelphia.

Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016, but then lost it to Biden in 2020. Many election experts believe that Pennsylvania might be the state that picks the president in 2024, so Trump’s upcoming attack on the 2022 results is seen by most as a dress rehearsal for 2024.

However, one thing that is lost in this series of reports is that we know Trump is planning this attack, and we know he is planning it before any votes have been cast or counted, meaning the real goal here is not to fix a problem or correct an injustice—because even if there were one, it hasn’t happened yet—but instead to simply cast doubt on the process in order to delegitimize the entire system of American elections.

And Trump’s election lies are being picked up and used by fringe-right candidates across the country. MAGA candidates like Arizona’s Kari Lake and Blake Masters, running for the state’s open governor and senate seats, and New Hampshire senate candidate Don Bolduc have all refused to commit to accepting results on Election Day.

Election fraud claims, while proven false again and again, have become Republican orthodoxy, and GOP candidates repeat them on command, using the lies to limit ballot access in the name of “election security.” And some even use them to endorse the violence of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Just as Trump falsely declared victory in 2020 before the votes had properly been counted, he now plans to do so again in 2022 by launching a series of legal challenges the moment the polls close on Election Day. And of course, there will be a media campaign to go along with the pre-cooked election fraud claims.

And it will begin in Philadelphia.