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Donald Trump’s Dallas-area supporters won’t accept his loss, say populist movement continues



PLANO, TX — Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters won’t accept that shortly after noon on Jan. 20 he’ll no longer be president.

They cling to the notion that he’ll somehow win legal challenges and serve another term in the White House, even as former Vice President Joe Biden is transitioning into power.

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“I haven’t given up. I can’t give up. I’m a Cuban immigrant,” said Martha Helton, a retired homemaker from Plano. “This is personal for me. When we left Cuba, we had somewhere to go. We don’t have anywhere to go now. We have to save our country, so that’s what this is all about.”

Helton and about 60 other people gathered at the northeast corner of Preston Road and Parker Road in Plano, rallying for Trump, one day after the day the Supreme Court refused to hear a case brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that sought to nullify election results in four swing states.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, and the subsequent Electoral College vote in favor of Biden, sealed the result, which for most of the country was never in doubt after the votes were counted.

But Trump has not conceded. He instead promotes unfounded allegations of massive election fraud, fueling supporters who still say he can win.

The lack of a concession from Trump, some analysts say, has kept the country divided at a time when unity is needed. What’s more, the refusal of Trump’s supporters to accept the election result could be problematic for Republicans who will need their energy and backing for the 2022 elections and beyond. If Trump’s legions give up on the electoral process, it could hurt Republican candidates.

“They are signaling that they are not ready to go away,” said Republican consultant Vinny Minchillo, who worked on the presidential campaigns of Republican Mitt Romney, now a senator from Utah. “They are going to have to be dealt with. Will they be with us, or will they sit out?

Republican consultant Matthew Langston agreed.

“Candidates are going to have to figure out how to communicate and appeal to voters who now have so much distrust for the electoral system,” Langston said. “They have to find a way to tap into that discontent, but no candidate wants to be on the campaign trail answering questions about cheating in the U.S. electoral system.”

Trump’s followers are already expressing dissatisfaction with Republicans who have now accepted that Biden is the president-elect.

“It is not going to go away,” Helton said. “We are not giving this up.”

She added: “I’m also disappointed in our Republicans that haven’t stood up. They’re thinking that this is something that’s going to pass. No, it isn’t. This passion is going to stay. All these people feel the same way, and there are 74 million of us.”