Rejection of the 2020 presidential election result "has increasingly become an unofficial litmus test for acceptance in the Republican Party," The Washington Post reports, with small-town examples.
Reporters Ashley Parker and Marianna Sotomayor note the division among Republicans in Congress, but report local and state officials "are facing censure and threats" as "local party organizations have fervently embraced the falsehood" of Donald Trump that he lost unfairly.
They begin their story with Debra Ell, Republican precinct delegate from Frankenmuth, Michigan, a town of 5,200 near Saginaw: “I think I speak for many people in that Trump has never actually been wrong, and so we’ve learned to trust when he says something, that he’s not just going to spew something out there that’s wrong and not verified,” so she's circulating a petition to remove the state Republican Party's executive director, who told Politico that “the election wasn’t stolen” and that “there is no one to blame but Trump.”
Grassroots embrace of what Democrats call "the Big Lie" was seen at Utah's Republican convention Saturday, where a resolution to censure Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, for voting to convict Trump on impeachment charges got 47 percent of the vote, losing 798-711.
"Several local Republicans have either stepped down or been forced out of their party positions for not supporting Trump’s baseless election claims or for criticizing the former president’s role in inciting the deadly Capitol riot," the Post reports. "In Iowa — after telling a local newspaper that Trump should be impeached for his 'atrocious conduct' in egging on the Jan. 6 attacks — Dave Millage was called a 'traitor' and forced to step down as chair of the Scott County Republican Party."