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Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc greets supporters at a town hall event on Sept. 10, 2022, in Laconia, N.H.
Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc greets supporters at a town hall event on Sept. 10, 2022, in Laconia, N.H.Scott Eisen / Getty Images

Election denier claims to have seen the light about the Big Lie

There's been some GOP flip-flopping lately, but watching a notorious election denier abandon the Big Lie is unusually brazen, even by 2022 standards.


As the primary season wrapped up, voters have seen plenty of flip-flopping from Republican candidates recently, and there’s no shortage of examples of GOP candidates downplaying — and occasionally erasing — earlier far-right views.

But I’ll confess to being surprised by the sheer brazenness of the party’s newest U.S. Senate nominee. The New York Times reported:

Like a driver making a screeching U-turn, Don Bolduc, the Republican Senate nominee in New Hampshire, pivoted on Thursday from his primary race to the general election, saying he had “come to the conclusion” that the 2020 presidential election “was not stolen,” after he had spent more than a year claiming it was.

Bolduc, fresh off his primary victory this week, appeared on Fox News yesterday, claimed to have done some “research” in recent weeks, and concluded that the 2020 presidential election “was not stolen” after all.

The far-right candidate added, “Elections have consequences, and, unfortunately, President Biden is the legitimate president of this country.”

For those unfamiliar with Bolduc, this may not seem especially notable. After all, he simply acknowledged reality yesterday, which generally isn’t the sort of thing that would generate news accounts.

But this New Hampshire Republican has spent more than a year telling anyone who’d listen about his enthusiastic embrace of Donald Trump’s Big Lie. In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Bolduc not only insisted there was systemic fraud — there was not, in reality, systemic fraud — he bragged about his willingness to reject certifying the 2024 results if elected.

Soon after, New Hampshire’s Republican governor conceded that Bolduc was “not a serious candidate,” and GOP leaders at the state and national level took deliberate steps to try to derail his candidacy, concluding that Bolduc’s radicalism simply made him unelectable.

He said he didn’t care. As recently as last month, Bolduc participated in a televised debate and stuck to his ridiculous position that Trump won. “I’m not switching horses, baby,” the candidate said. “This is it.”

He soon after won the primary — and switched horses.

Look, I can’t read the guy’s mind. Maybe, as part of an amazing coincidence, Bolduc stumbled onto reality just days after winning a primary and realizing that the Big Lie would be an electoral loser in a northeastern state Biden won. Perhaps he spent more than a year peddling utterly bonkers conspiracy theories, only to change his mind at an incredibly convenient time.

Or maybe one of the GOP’s more notorious election-denying Senate candidates is simply hoping New Hampshire voters forget about everything he’s said since early last year.