Rush Limbaugh pushes easily debunked viral lie about the amount of voters in Wisconsin

Either they’re stupid, or they think that you are

Rush Limbaugh

Citation Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh promoted a fever-swamp fantasy about Wisconsin’s presidential tallies in order to delegitimize the election result.

President Donald Trump was leading in the state on Tuesday night, but Democratic nominee Joe Biden pulled ahead and was projected to have won it on Wednesday thanks to mail-in ballots that heavily favored his campaign. Right-wing media figures have been feverishly concocting fraud claims in Wisconsin and other states where Biden leads or has picked up ground in hopes of helping Trump create chaos and lay the groundwork to throw out legally cast votes.

Limbaugh, who received the Medal of Freedom from Trump in February, responded to the news that Biden was ahead Wednesday afternoon by citing what he claimed was “direct evidence of voter fraud” in Wisconsin. According to the host, “Wisconsin now has more votes than people who are registered to vote."

Video file

Citation From the November 4, 2020, edition of Premier Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): Now I haven’t been able to confirm this. I happen to think this is probably true. Wisconsin now has more votes than people who are registered to vote. The total number of registered voters Wisconsin, 3,129,000, rounded off. The total number of votes cast in Wisconsin is 3,239,920. So 3.1 million registered voters; 3.23 million votes cast. Nah, no, no, no, no, no. How does that happen? I mean, that is direct evidence of voter fraud.

Trump people are totally aware of this. They are as up to speed on this as -- there’s nobody better to be running this than the Trump family and the team of people that they have put together. There is nobody better to be running this operation. There’s nothing that’s going to surprise them, there’s nothing that’s going to get sneaked past them. There’s no trick they haven’t seen that they aren’t prepared for.

Limbaugh appeared to be citing a falsehood that originated on Parler and circulated on TikTok and other social media platforms on Wednesday. It went viral after being shared by the Trumpist influencer and conspiracy theorist Michael Coudrey. 

“BREAKING: Wisconsin has more votes than people who are registered to vote,” Coudrey tweeted. He went on to claim that the state had recorded 3,239,920 votes but had only 3,129,000. 

“This is direct evidence of fraud,” he claimed.

It isn’t. As pointed out, the 3,129,000 figure was Wisconsin’s number of registered voters during the 2018 midterms. As of November 1, the state had 3,684,726 active registered voters, according to its elections commission. Contra the viral falsehood and Limbaugh, 3,684,726 is greater than both 3,129,000 and the total number of recorded votes as of posting, 3,297,137.

Coudrey’s post was later removed. But now one of the leading lights of the right-wing media has blasted its claims out to his millions of listeners.