Good Monday morning.
A funeral for the late Queen Elizabeth II is underway in London, and Gov. Charlie Baker is in New York to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative 2022 meeting. He's back later today.
We're now seven weeks out from Election Day, and most people in Massachusetts will wake up on Nov. 9 confident in who will be the next governor of the commonwealth. That, apparently, does not include Republican nominee Geoff Diehl.
The Trump-backed candidate is making waves after his spokeswoman told the New York Times "no comment" when asked if Diehl would agree to the outcome of the November election for a story published Sunday.
The response put Diehl in the company of six GOP nominees for governor and U.S. Senate in states from Arizona to Ohio who declined to automatically accept the outcome of this year's elections, building on the mistrust of the election system that Trump began to sow in 2020 when he claimed the election was stolen from him.
“The choice in this election could not be more clear. Geoff Diehl is endorsed by Donald Trump and has fully embraced the Trump playbook of lies and division. He repeats Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged and is already laying the groundwork to cast doubt on the results of our election because he knows that voters will reject his efforts to bring Trumpism to Massachusetts,” Healey campaign manager Jason Burrell said in response to the Times's reporting.
Diehl initially tried to steer clear of the voter fraud claims put forward by Trump, but has since leaned into the idea as he has looked to solidify support within the conservative Republican base. In an August interview on the Jeff Kuhner Report on WRKO, he said, "It definitely was an election that was stolen from Trump, and it was rigged in a way that should never happen again."
After that interview, the Democratic Governors Association packaged an audio clip of the interview and posted it to YouTube to disseminate with a statement criticizing Diehl for his position.
YouTube last Tuesday notified the DGA that it was removing the audio clip from its platform because it violated the company's policies related to the spreading of election misinformation and claims that the 2020 election was rigged or stolen, according to an email shared with MASSterList.
“MAGA Republican Geoff Diehl is so fringe that his comments in a radio interview violate policies from YouTube designed to prevent the spread of dangerous misinformation that undermines American elections. This once again reaffirms that Diehl is a fringe conspiracy theorist and too dangerous for Massachusetts," said DGA deputy communications director Sam Newton.
While Diehl's adherence to the Trump line on the 2020 election might endear him to a certain set of Republican voters, it could ultimately hurt among the independents who were central to Gov. Charlie Baker's two wins in 2014 and 2018 and who Diehl will need to defeat Attorney General Maura Healey.
A Suffolk University poll released last week showed that nearly 67 percent of voters surveyed hold an unfavorable view of Trump, including 58 percent of undecided voters.
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