Tag Archives: presidential election

FACT CHECK: Wisconsin votes miscounted, not disqualified

A widely shared story that claimed 5,000 Wisconsin votes for Republican President-elect Donald Trump were disqualified is false.

The votes in question were originally miscounted, but not disqualified.

The story posted by realtimepolitics.com last month was headlined: “Ahead Of Wisconsin Recount, 5,000 Donald Trump Votes Already DISQUALIFIED!!!”

It received more than 58,000 shares, comments and reactions on Facebook after being posted on the page called Proud Liberals.

The 5,000-vote claim originates from a discrepancy between unofficial and official vote totals cited by another website, palmerreport.com.

Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney tells The Associated Press that “addition errors” on election night are the reason for the difference.

Both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton added to their vote totals when Wisconsin recounted ballots. Trump maintained a statewide lead of about 22,000 votes.

Recount doesn’t change outcome in Wisconsin

Presidential election recount efforts came to an end on Dec. 12 in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with both states certifying Republican Donald Trump as the winner.

Trump’s victory in Wisconsin was reaffirmed following a statewide vote recount that showed him defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton by nearly 23,000 votes.

Meanwhile, a federal judge rejected of a Green Party-backed request for a presidential recount in Pennsylvania that complained the state’s reliance on aging electronic voting machines made it vulnerable to hacking.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein successfully requested and paid for the Wisconsin recount while her attempts for similar statewide recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan were blocked by the courts.

Stein got only about 1 percent of the vote in each of the three states, which Trump narrowly won over Clinton.

Stein argued that voting machines in all three states were susceptible to hacking. All three states were crucial to Trump’s victory, having last voted for a Republican for president in the 1980s.

The numbers barely budged in Wisconsin after nearly 3 million votes were recounted. Trump picked up 131 votes and won by 22,748 votes. The final results changed just 0.06 percent.

Stein said she was disappointed not all Wisconsin counties did hand recounts, although most did. She said the goal of the recount was never to change the outcome but to validate the vote and restore confidence in the system.

“The recount in Wisconsin raised a number of important election integrity issues that bear further assessment and serious action to ensure we have integrity and confidence in our electoral system,” she said, without naming what they were.

Wisconsin Elections Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen said before certifying the recount results there was no evidence of a hack.

In Pennsylvania, state officials certified the results of the election in the hours following the decision by U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond.

Trump beat Clinton in the state by about 44,000 votes out of 6 million cast, or less than 1 percent, according to the final tally after weeks of counting provisional and overseas ballots. Green Party voters had petitioned some counties to do partial recounts, affecting few votes, county officials said.

Diamond said there were at least six grounds that required him to reject the Green Party’s lawsuit, which had been opposed by Trump, the Pennsylvania Republican Party and the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office.

Suspicion of a hacked Pennsylvania election “borders on the irrational” while granting the Green Party’s recount bid could “ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts” given Tuesday’s federal deadline to certify the vote for the Electoral College, wrote Diamond, an appointee of Republican former President George W. Bush.

“Most importantly, there is no credible evidence that any ‘hack’ occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania’s voting system was not in any way compromised,” Diamond wrote.

He said the lawsuit suffered from a lack of standing, potentially the lack of federal jurisdiction and an “unexplained, highly prejudicial” wait before filing last week’s lawsuit, four weeks after the Nov. 8 election.

The decision was the Green Party’s latest roadblock in Pennsylvania after hitting numerous walls in county and state courts. Green Party-backed lawyers argue it was possible that computer hackers changed the election outcome and that Pennsylvania’s heavy use of paperless machines makes it a prime target. Stein also contended Pennsylvania has erected unconstitutional barriers to voters seeking a recount.

A lawyer for the Green Party members said they were disappointed and unable to immediately say whether they would appeal.

“But one thing is clear,” said the lawyer, Ilann Maazel. “The Pennsylvania election system is not fair to voters and voters don’t know if their votes counted, and that’s a very large problem.”

A federal judge halted Michigan’s recount last week after three days. Trump won Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes out of nearly 4.8 million votes cast

The timeline for Wisconsin’s recount of the presidential vote

The Wisconsin Elections Commission unanimously approved the timeline and procedures for responding to recount petitions from the Jill Stein for President Campaign and from Rocky Roque De La Fuente.

At its meeting Monday morning, the commission approved the following timeline:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 29:  Stein and/or De La Fuente campaign submits payment to WEC.  Once full payment is received by either campaign, the WEC will issue a recount order to all presidential candidates.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 30:  WEC staff will hold a teleconference for all county clerks and canvass members to go over the recount rules and processes.  The teleconference is tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. and will be held via webinar.  Invitation instructions will be sent out next week to all county clerks.  A 24-hour public meeting notice is required for the recount and therefore each county should post their notice by this date.
  • Thursday, Dec. 1:  Recount begins in all Wisconsin counties.  A 24-hour public meeting notice is required.
  • Monday, Dec. 12:  County canvass boards need to be completed by 8 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, December 13:  WEC staff will prepare the official recount canvass certification by 3 p.m.


The commission also took action on the Stein campaign’s request that the recount be conducted entirely by hand instead of by equipment, unanimously passing the following motion: “The commission directs staff to decline the Stein campaign request to order counties to tally all ballots by hand and to permit each county to determine whether ballots will be counted by hand or using tabulating equipment, consistent with existing state law.”

In order for there to be a statewide hand-count, the Stein campaign would need to obtain a court order, according to the state.

Finally, the commission directed staff to notify municipal clerks who have been selected to conduct an audit of their electronic voting equipment to delay completion of that audit until after completion of the recount.

UW-Madison to review impact of voter ID law in the state

A comprehensive UW-Madison study is underway to determine if Wisconsin’s new voter ID law played a role in the lowest statewide turnout for a presidential election in more than two decades.

The study will review the impact of the state’s voter ID law, considered by some as among the most restrictive in the nation.

The review will focus on Dane and Milwaukee counties, which have the highest percentage of minority and low-income voters in Wisconsin, according to a news release announcing the analysis.

About 66 percent of voting age people in Wisconsin cast ballots on Nov. 8. That turnout was down nearly four percentage points compared to 2012 and was three points behind the predictions from state election officials.

Most counties in Wisconsin saw a decline in turnout, but the drop was particularly dramatic in Milwaukee County, where nearly 50,000 fewer votes were cast this year compared to 2012.

Preliminary exit polling showed that turnout fell off most among young voters and African-Americans.

In Dane County, turnout was up slightly in real numbers, but down roughly 2 percent from four years ago among registered voters.

“Overall there were few problems on election day,” Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki said in a press statement.  “However, there were reports of voters who showed up to the polls with the wrong form of photo ID, while others simply did not go to the polls because they feared they did not have proper ID.  This study will move us from anecdotes to facts.”

Michael Moore issues post-election to-do list

Yesterday, filmmaker and activist Michael Moore posted on Facebook a “morning after” to-do list for Democrats following Donald Trump’s presidential victory. The post has since gone viral.

Moore had long predicted that Trump would win and railed against the pollsters and mainstream media for ignoring the prospect. The text of his post reads:

  1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.
  2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn’t let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must “heal the divide” and “come together.” They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.
  3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn’t wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that’s about to begin.
  4. Everyone must stop saying they are “stunned” and “shocked”. What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all “You’re fired!” Trump’s victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.
  5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: “HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!” The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don’t. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he’s president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we’ll continue to have presidents we didn’t elect and didn’t want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there’s climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don’t want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the “liberal” position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

Let’s try to get this all done by noon today (Wednesday).
— Michael Moore


Wondering what boosted Trump in Wisconsin? A look at the exit polls

Donald Trump prevailed in Wisconsin on Nov. 8 by rolling up overwhelming support from white men and political independents, while making inroads among groups that were vital for Hillary Clinton.

Here’s a look at preliminary results from exit polling conducted in Wisconsin for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.



Trump took about six in 10 votes among white men, while battling Clinton to a draw among white women.

Women overall favored Clinton, but more than four in 10 went with Trump.

About nine in 10 women and six in 10 Hispanics supported Clinton.



Clinton won among voters ages 18-44 while Trump carried the 45-and-older group, which made up about 60 percent of the overall electorate.

Voters in the youngest subgroup — ages 18-24 — were evenly divided.

Clinton was strongest among ages 30-39, while Trump did best among ages 50-64.



More than half of Wisconsin voters rated the economy as the top issue facing the nation, while smaller groups picked terrorism, foreign policy or immigration.

Trump did well among the six in 10 voters who described the economy as poor or “not good.”

He also carried a majority of the four in 10 who predicted things would go downhill for the next generation.



Nearly two-thirds of voters — and about one-quarter of his own supporters — said Trump was unqualified.

Most also said he lacked the needed temperament.

Clinton scored better in both areas.

But voters gave both candidates negative ratings and said they were dishonest.



Education levels produced another stark contrast.

A majority of voters had no college degree and nearly six in 10 of them favored Trump.

Clinton won among college graduates, but they made up a smaller share of the total.

Voters in most income groups were about evenly divided.

But Trump prevailed among the one-third of voters in the $50,000-$100,000 bracket.



Roughly the same number of voters described themselves as Republicans or Democrats and about nine in 10 of those supported their nominee.

But Trump won easily among the three in 10 independents.

Moderates and liberals backed Clinton, while Trump carried more than eight in 10 conservatives.



Trump won comfortably among the nearly three in 10 voters who attend religious services weekly or more often, while Clinton did well with the one-quarter who never attend.

About three-quarters of white evangelicals favored Trump.

Married men favored Trump by nearly two-to-one, while married women and unmarried men were about evenly divided.

Unmarried women favored Clinton.



About four in 10 Wisconsin voters said whites generally are favored in the United States, while one-quarter said minorities are favored and one-third said no group gets special treatment.

Nearly six in 10 said immigrants help the U.S., while about one-third said they hurt.

About seven in 10 said immigrants working illegally in the U.S. should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, while one-quarter said they should be deported.



Nearly half of the state’s voters said the 2010 health care law known as “Obamacare” had gone too far, while three in 10 said it hadn’t gone far enough.

About half said trade with other nations takes away American jobs, while about one-third said it creates jobs and about one in 10 said it makes no difference.



About four in 10 Wisconsin voters said the most important quality for the next president was to bring about needed change, instead of having experience or good judgment.

More than eight in 10 of them backed Trump.



A slight majority voiced approval of Barack Obama’s job performance, but more than half said the next president should pursue more conservative policies.

Nearly three-quarters of voters gave the federal government a negative rating. They overwhelmingly backed Trump.


The survey of 3,047 Wisconsin voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 50 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 358 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 28 through Nov. 6. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

Trump again raises possibility of not accepting election outcome

The long and contentious race for the White House between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump hurtled toward its conclusion on Tuesday as millions of Americans cast ballots, with only hours left to vote.

Clinton led Trump, 44 percent to 39 percent, in the last Reuters/Ipsos national tracking poll before Election Day. A Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation poll gave her a 90 percent chance of defeating Trump and becoming the first U.S. woman president.

In yet another twist to the race, Trump on Tuesday again raised the possibility of not accepting the election’s outcome, saying he had seen reports of voting irregularities. He gave few details and Reuters could not immediately verify the existence of such problems.

The campaign focused on the character of the candidates: Clinton, 69, a former U.S. secretary of state, and Trump, 70, a New York businessman. They often accused each other of being fundamentally unfit to lead the United States as it faces challenges such as an arduous economic recovery, Islamist militants and the rise of China.

Financial markets, betting exchanges and online trading platforms largely predicted a Clinton win, although Trump’s team says he can pull off an upset victory like the June “Brexit” vote to pull Britain out of the European Union.

Trump’s candidacy embodied an attack on America’s political establishment. Clinton represented safeguarding the political order.

A Clinton presidency would likely provide continuity from fellow Democrat Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House, although if Republicans retain control of at least one chamber in Congress more years of political gridlock in Washington could ensue.

A win for Trump could shake some of the basic building blocks of American foreign policy, such as the NATO alliance and free trade, and reverse some of Obama’s domestic achievements such as his 2010 health care law.

Voting ends in some states at 7 p.m. Eastern Time, with the first meaningful results due about an hour later. Television networks called the winner of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections at 11 p.m. or shortly after.

Voting appeared to go smoothly despite allegations in recent weeks from Trump that the electoral system was rigged against him. He told Fox News on Tuesday he had seen reports of voting irregularities.

Asked if believed the election would not be over on Tuesday night, Trump said: “I’m not saying that. I have to look at what’s happening. There are reports that when people vote for Republicans, the entire ticket switches over to Democrats. You’ve seen that. It’s happening at various places.”

Local media in Pennsylvania reported that voters in several counties in the pivotal state had reported that touch-screen voting machines had not been recording their ballots correctly.

Republicans in Pennsylvania also complained that some of their authorized poll watchers were denied access to polling sites in Philadelphia, local media said.

The Pennsylvania secretary of state’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump also sued the registrar of voters in Nevada’s Clark County over a polling place in Las Vegas that remained open on Friday during an early-voting period to accommodate people, many of them Hispanic, who were lined up to cast ballots.

A Nevada judge on Tuesday rejected Trump’s request for records from the polling site. At a court hearing, a county attorney said election officials already preserve records.

Trump has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration and end trade deals he says are harming U.S. workers.

Trump seized the spotlight time and again during the campaign with provocative comments about Muslims and women, attacks against the Republican establishment and bellicose promises to build a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico to stem illegal immigration.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average index ended up 0.4 percent as investors bet on a win for Clinton, who Wall Street sees as more likely to ensure financial and political stability. Mexico’s peso hit a two-month high on Tuesday on the expectation of a loss for Trump, who has vowed to rip up a trade deal with Mexico.

Trump was expected to draw support heavily from white voters without college degrees.

Clinton was likely to draw support from college-educated voters and Hispanic and black voters.

Major bookmakers and online exchanges were confident Clinton would win. Online political stock market PredictIt put her chances on Tuesday of capturing the White House at 80 percent.

Trump advisers say the level of his support is not apparent in opinion polls and point out that the real estate developer has been closing the gap with Clinton in surveys in recent weeks.

An early indicator of who might prevail could come in North Carolina and Florida, two must-win states for Trump that were the subject of frantic last-minute efforts by both candidates.

Races in both those states were shifting from favoring Clinton to being too close to call, according to opinion polls.

Democrats also are seeking to break the Republican lock on control of the U.S. Congress.

A strong turnout of voters for Clinton could influence Republican control of the Senate, as voters choose 34 senators of the 100-member chamber on Tuesday. Democrats needed a net gain of five seats to win control. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are being contested. The House is expected to remain in Republican hands.

Trump reveled in the drama of the negative presidential campaign but the spotlight was not always kind to him. The release in October of a 2005 video in which he boasted about groping women damaged his campaign and left him on the defensive for critical weeks

GOP’s closing argument: ‘If Clinton wins, we’ll do nothing but hound her’

Republican lawmakers are trying to delegitimize a Hillary Clinton presidency before it’s clear there will be one. They’re threatening to block her Supreme Court nominees, investigate her endlessly, and even impeach her.

The effect that all this would have on the nation seems to be of no concern to Republican Party officials. Their focus is strictly on partisanship and revenge, not the greater good. Their rhetoric is all-the-more striking because newly elected presidents traditionally enjoy a honeymoon period with Congress and the public. For Clinton, the honeymoon is over even before it’s clear she’ll be elected.

It’s come to this: The best argument Republicans can make for Donald Trump is that if Clinton is elected, they’ll do nothing but persecute her — public business be damned!

Charging Clinton with “high crime or misdemeanor” is how Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin described the GOP’s agenda in a Clinton presidency to the Beloit Daily News. Forget creating jobs, addressing gun violence, the growing threat of global terrorism. The Republicans’ goal is is to take out Clinton — quite literally according to Trump, who’s virtually called for her assassination in a couple of stump speeches.

GOP Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, in Fox News interview, gleefully predicted that Clinton’s use of a private email server as Secretary of State would lead to her impeachment. He was all but salivating on camera at the prospect.

GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Richard Burr of North Carolina and John McCain of Arizona have suggested that they’ll oppose any and all Supreme Court nominations Clinton might make. It apparently hasn’t occurred to them that they’re threatening to shirk their constitutional duties. Shouldn’t that behavior be an impeachable offense? It’s certainly more destructive to our democracy than charges of mishandling email — charges that have been dismissed once already by the FBI.

“You’ve got some Republicans in Congress already suggesting they will impeach Hillary. She hasn’t even been elected yet!” an astonished President Obama told a crowd in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “How does our democracy function like that?”

Well, it goes like this. In the House, Republicans have already spent more than two years and $7 million investigating Clinton’s role while secretary of state in the attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012. Never mind that Clinton’s prosecutors are the same budget hawks who believe government overreach and wasteful spending are the deadliest of sins — and never mind that they belong to the party that, based on phony evidence, created the most perilous global crisis since the Civil War.

None of Clinton’s obsessed GOP opponents seem concerned about the inevitable and potentially far more serious investigations certain to be leveled at Donald Trump following the election. Trump’s potential “high crimes and misdemeanors” are also getting a publicity pass from the FBI, even though, unlike allegations against Clinton,  “many of Trump’s are fully documented in court cases and legal proceedings,” as The Atlantic pointed out.

Trump faces a civil trial for fraud and racketeering under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act over his disgraced “Trump University.” He faces child rape charges in this month. A dozen women have charged him with sexual assault.

Trump’s ascendancy to the White House could potentially open — or reopen — thousands of cases deriving from his shady business dealings: stiffing of contractors and investors, avoiding taxes, hiring illegal immigrants, skirting trade laws, misusing his so-called shell of a “charity,” and so on.

Clinton’s transgressions, if true, as pretty par for the course for someone who’s spent decades in public life and political office. Trump’s, on the other hand, are off the charts for anyone considering a run for even a minor political office.

Yet GOP lawmakers, who are likely to retain their majority in the House, show no sign that they see the glaring imbalance. Some pundits have suggested that their end goal is to get veep candidate Mike Pence in the White House, where he can culminate their efforts to take abortion rights away from American women, reignite pogroms against LGBT Americans and, most especially, ensure that the corporate lords of GOP campaign coffers can continue to advance their grip over society.

Sadly, the threats against Clinton by right-wing congressional leaders are nothing new. For eight years they’ve struggled to delegitimize President Barack Obama’s presidency and to block nearly every effort he’s introduced to help working Americans. If Clinton is elected, the nature of their work in Washington will not change one iota; it will merely be redirected from a black man to a woman. When they say that a Clinton presidency will be a continuation of the Obama administration, they know what they’re talking about, because they’re the very people who will ensure that it is.

Perhaps all this is why the GOP’s top congressional leaders, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, have passed up opportunities to dispute some of the outlandish anti-Clinton comments from their rank-and-file.  Instead, they’ve co-opted those crazy charges to help make their closing argument on why to vote for Trump, which is essentially this: “If Clinton wins, we’re going to waste the next four to eight years trying to find her guilty of something.”

Not only is that the most cynical, negative and irresponsible idea underpinning a campaign in American history, but, given Trump’s cartloads of legal baggage, it’s also among the most disingenuous.


Trump, Kaine campaign in Wisconsin during election’s waning days


Millions of dollars are pouring into Wisconsin for the final week of the election, as jittery Democrats try to push Russ Feingold over the finish line in the U.S. Senate race against Sen. Ron Johnson, one of the key races nationwide that could determine whether Republicans retain majority control.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine were also both headed to Wisconsin on Tuesday, as numerous surrogates including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Chelsea Clinton and former Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl make closing arguments and urge backers to vote now or on Election Day.

Johnson has long been seen as one of the most vulnerable GOP Senate incumbents this election cycle. Democrats are trying to retake control of the Senate, and must pick up four or five seats to do so, depending on whether they retain control of the White House.

Television spending in Wisconsin’s Senate race ratcheted up on Monday, with a super PAC backing Johnson releasing a six-figure statewide ad that appeared to concede a Clinton victory. The ad by the Let America Work PAC, featuring a steaming pile of cow manure, argued that Johnson needed to win to provide a check on Feingold and Clinton.

That ad comes after the Senate Majority PAC on Friday announced a surprise late $2 million ad buy in Wisconsin to help put Feingold over the top against Johnson. The Republican incumbent’s campaign has long argued the race is tightening, and nervous Democrats were refocusing on the race where Feingold had long been ahead to insure there isn’t a late surprise.

Clinton’s campaign also launched its first Wisconsin television ads of the campaign on Monday in Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay. Clinton’s Wisconsin campaign director Jake Hajdu said the ads, costing at least $100,000, were designed to help Feingold and other Democrats.

Feingold was expected to campaign with Kaine on Tuesday for at least one of his stops in Appleton and Madison.

Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, were scheduled to hold an evening rally this evening in Eau Claire. Polls have consistently shown them trailing Clinton in Wisconsin, allowing her to focus her time elsewhere. She has not campaigned in the state since the primary in April.

While Johnson has stood by his backing of Trump, he’s also kept his distance and not campaigned with him in the state.

Johnson will be getting some help from other Wisconsin Republicans — including Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker — when a GOP bus tour launches on Thursday.

Clinton’s absence from the state is noteworthy. If she does not make an appearance here before the election, it will be the first time since 1972 that one of the two major party candidates for president did not campaign in the state during the general election season, based on research by University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor Barry Burden.

Wisconsin hasn’t voted for a Republican for president since 1984 and polls this year have consistently shown her ahead. Also, since early voting started in late September, Democratic counties have come in stronger than GOP ones. Voters do not register by political party in Wisconsin, so it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from the numbers.



White supremacist for Trump gay baits independent Utah candidate

Evan McMullin, an independent candidate for president who’s running strong in Utah, is blasting Donald Trump over automated calls to voters from a white nationalist supporter condemning McMullin as a “closet homosexual” and “open-borders amnesty supporter.”

McMullin responded on Twitter, calling the smear campaign another “desperate attack” spreading “baseless lies” by Trump and his “racist supporters as he continues to lose ground in Utah.” He said the attack is consistent with Trump’s “bigoted, deceitful campaign and vision for America.”

White nationalist William Johnson said the call wills will continue to go out through Wednesday to 193,000 voters in Utah, where polls show McMullin is threatening to top Trump in a backlash from the mostly Mormon electorate.

Many Republican-leaning voters who are steeped in Utah’s culture of courtesy and fed up with Trump’s crudeness and antics have embraced McMullin. If McMullin prevailed, he would be the first non-GOP candidate to win the state since 1964.

In the 40-second call, Johnson introduces himself as a “farmer and white nationalist.” He says McMullin is OK with legalizing gay marriage and with the fact that he “has two mommies,” a reference to McMullin’s mother marrying a woman after divorcing his father. He also questions McMullin’s relationship status.

“Evan is 40 years old and is not married and doesn’t even have a girlfriend,” Johnson says. “I think he is a closet homosexual.”

McMullin, a Mormon, told the Salt Lake Tribune that he knows people wonder why he has not married, considering many in his religion marry in their early 20s. He said his 11-year career in the CIA made it difficult to date and that he hopes to marry and become a father soon.

On same-sex marriage, McMullin said he believes marriages between a man and a woman are best for society but he respects the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage.

Williams’ call is a “false and revolting” call that “smears Evan McMullin’s private life,” his campaign strategist Joel Searby said in a statement.

“Donald Trump has mainstreamed and normalized white nationalists, xenophobes, and bigots of all descriptions,” Searby said.

Trump has faced criticism in the past for retweeting posts from the accounts of white supremacists and failing to immediately denounce the support of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.

Johnson is among the many white supremacists who have credited Trump with invigorating their cause.