Donald Trump has already found his scapegoat as he stares down what is looking to be a humiliating defeat by landslide on Nov. 8: a rigged election.
Despite the fact that not one single vote has been counted, Trump is already blaming rigged polling places and election fraud as the reason why Hillary Clinton could win — an excuse not based in fact nor reality given the way elections are run in the U.S.
Voter fraud is so rare that one 2014 study found just 31 votes out of more than a billion, with a "b," were credible incidents of fraud.
Similarly, in order for voting to be "rigged" — a claim already so wild and without merit that it is incredible it even needs to be debunked in the first place — that would mean that swing state elected officials were purposefully undermining polling places in order to destroy Trump's chances.
Most of the swing states — including Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona and Nevada — are led by Republican governors and statewide election officials. And that would mean Trump is suggesting Republican governors, a number of whom back Trump, are rigging the election against him.
Some Republicans have come out to debunk Trump's claims and reassure voters that the election is not "rigged."
But even elected U.S. senators such as Jeff Sessions — a former federal prosecutor who should understand election law better than 99% of the public — came out to suggest the election would be rigged.
And Trump supporters believe the lies being fed to them, with 49% of Trump voters saying they do not have confidence that votes will be counted accurately, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post survey.
By Trump continuing to push a meritless assertion to try and inoculate himself from defeat next month, he's undermining the very basis of American democracy — the promise of free and fair elections.
And it portends an ugly Nov. 9.