Right-leaning polling outfit Rasmussen invoked Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in a Sunday night tweet thread about the possibility that Vice President Mike Pence could toss out electoral votes from at least six swing states, handing the presidency back to Donald Trump for a second term.
“Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything. – Stalin,” began the first tweet of the thread. “Come January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence will be presented with the sealed certificates containing the ballots of the presidential electors.”
The thread went on, “At that moment, the presidency will be in his hands. And there is nothing stopping Pence, under the (plenary and unappealable) authority vested in him as President of the Senate, from declining to open and count the certificates from the six disputed states. If they are (as more than 70% of Republicans believe) certificates from non-electors appointed via voter fraud, why should he open & count them? If the votes of all 7 contested states are registered as zero, President Trump will have 232 votes, Joe Biden will have 222.”
The seven swing states in question all went to President-elect Joe Biden. Trump and his allies have been baselessly claiming since November that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. The president has yet to concede, though dozens of lawsuits from his legal team have been smacked down in various courts across the country.
Rasmussen’s surprising quote didn’t escape the notice of Twitter observers who lambasted the suggestion that Pence toss out electoral votes.
“Trump’s favorite pollster goes tankie,” declared The Nation’s Jeet Heer. Some pointed to it as proof of the polling outfit’s illegitimacy, while others used the moment to blast out a quick “Rasputin Reports” joke.
Rasmussen did not immediately return a request for comment.