Jeff Yang is a contributor frequivalent to CNN Opinion, a featured writer for Quartz and other publications, and co-host of the They Call Us Bruce podcast. : A pop story from Asian America from the 90s to the present day. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers. Read more reviews on CNN. Now that polls have shown the attempted recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom has failed - - perhaps by a historical margin - - I would like to paraphrase a frequently mentioned quote from Return of the Jedi 's Admiral Ackbar and say: It was a trap! Jeff Yang The callback has never anchored in any concrete failure on the part of Newsom; even the most vocal leaders of the effort could never articulate a compelling reason why voters should withdraw it, or explain why anyone in the clown car crowded with alternative choices would rule better.But in organizing the recall campaign, the Republicans looked into the strategy you are probably ready to deploy in all future campaigns: strengthening the The Big Lie Story that any election won by a Democrat is fraudulent by definition. Despite his preemptive fraud claims in the weeks leading up to the election, Conservative radio host Larry Elder, the Republican leading the race , told his supporters to be gracious in defeat in the early hours of Wednesday morning, conceding that Newsom had successfully defended his position and saying he would not dispute the results. But in doing so, he added the ominous warning: We havemaybe lost the battle, but we'll win the war. Read more Elder has become the Republican favorite more or less by default - sorry, Caitlyn Jenner - despite relative obscurity and a chaotic personal life that made him an unlikely standard-bearer for the charge of impeaching the incumbent governor. His ex-fiancee publicly claimed that he had wielded a handgun at her while he was drugged on marijuana, prompting other Republican candidates to demand that he withdraw from the race. (Elder denied these claims saying that he never wielded a gun at anyone. ) Also, sOpinions were extreme, even for a conservative: his racial outlook led black activists to call him the black face of white supremacy , and he talked about wanting to set the minimum wage at zero (although paradoxically he also said that he has no intention of getting rid of the minimum wage ), abolish Medicare and use its power to ban the 'abortion, according to the tweets of a prominent anti-abortion activist Lila Rose , while promising to cancel state-level protection mandates on Covid-19 - all the positions most voters in deep blue California would find horrible. JUST LOOKED Newsom calls out Trump in speech after defeating recall effort Proofreading More videos ... WATCH Newsom calls out Trump in speech after beating the recall effort 02:14 But the conservative ecosystem thati supported Elder's race didn't seem to just be looking to win him, though the particularly obscure mechanics of California's recall policy briefly made him appear as if it was possible. The real goal of Elder's Republican supporters seemed to be for him to lose at least by a margin that would allow them to challenge the results in order to claim that the Democrats had once again engaged in magical manipulation of ballots, voting machines or the brains of the voters themselves, thus rendering the election null and void and already expanding widespread doubt and paranoia about the nature of our democracy. How do we know this? Because Elder told us. Recently Elder proclaimed on Fox News his belief that thes elections would be riddled with fraud, repeating a far-right talking point that emerged in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. The 2020 elections, in my opinion, were full of shenanigans. And my fear is that they are trying that in this election here. Trump himself continued with a concurring statement: Does anyone really believe that the recall election in California is not rigged ? he wrote in a declaration sent via its Save America PAC. Millions upon millions of mail-in ballots will make this another giant election scam, no different, but less blatant, than the 2020 presidential election scam! Elder's campaign went so far as to push a request for voters to report fraud through a portal on its campaign website. The statistical analyzes used to determinecter fraud in elections held in third world countries (such as Russia, Venezuela and Iran) have detected fraud in California resulting in the reinstatement of Gov. Gavin Newsom as governor, read the linked page titled Fight electoral fraud by California! The main analysis tool used was Benford's Law and can be easily reproduced. But this message was sent on Monday, the day before the election - that is, before the election. 'there are results to analyze. The incompetence of Elder's campaign team, and the overwhelming and indisputable result of the recall vote itself, with many more No votes than Yes , thwarted this latest attempt. Republicans to stasize the Big Lie. Maybe if thetiming of the election fraud allegations hadn't happened - or if the recall vote had been any closer - we would see a California repeat of the Republicans' nightmarish carnival pushing to audit the 2020 presidential election in one status table . As Governor Newsom 's top strategist, Sean Clegg said, CNN 's Dan Merica , We saw it in the November election. We saw it in the insurgency on January 6 ... They're trying to throw acid on our Constitution, on our electoral standards And that's a preview of the attractions to come. We will see the same thing in 2022 and the same thing in 2024. Republicans are no longer running against Democrats. They are running against democracy. Receive our free weekly newsletter SubscribeAre you on the news newsletter. Join us on Twitter and Facebook Certainly our democracy is not perfect, but the real problem The problems it is faced are not fraud, but phenomena such as denial of access to polls, racist gerrymandering and the overwhelming occult influence of black money. All of this is overshadowed by these persistent false allegations of manipulation, rigging and hacking, despite the fact that no fraud has been credibly found in any of the audits and recounts that have taken place in our modern times. TheBig Lie didn't reverse the 2020 election result, and it didn't work to get Newsom out of office. But he consistently rallies the conservative base and raises huge sums of money, encouraging Republicans to keep spreading it. We can only hope that it won't work next time either.