Republicans cast doubt on whether Biden can win legitimately in 2024

“If he doesn’t win this time, he’s going to say the same thing,” DeSantis said in his interview. “It doesn’t matter what happens, he will say the same thing. That’s just how he rolls.”

It’s a demonstration of how the 2020 election results, and the Jan. 6 attack, continue to hang over this election cycle’s contest — even though DeSantis told NBC News on Thursday that it doesn’t come up on the trail.

“I’ve not had a single question in Iowa about Jan. 6. I mean, I’ve taken hundreds and hundreds of questions,” he said.

But Trump still faces legal jeopardy for, among other things, a case around whether he conspired to overturn the 2020 election results. And all the candidates have continued to get questions about whether they’d pardon the former president, should he be convicted. (DeSantis, Haley and Ramaswamy have all said they would.)

Voters, too, have followed the Republican candidates’ lead in already expressing skepticism about the legitimacy of the 2024 election results.

Barb Forney, 60, a Republican in Ames, Iowa, who is supporting Ramaswamy this year, told NBC News on Friday that it was “not conceivable” that Biden could have a legitimate win in November.

“It was rigged, if he wins. My honest belief is that I don’t think he can win,” said Connie Lendt, a 69-year-old DeSantis supporter in Woodward, Iowa.

Trump has publicly embraced his supporters who found themselves in legal trouble in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, promising to pardon them and championing their cause.

When asked what lessons they took away from the attack on the U.S. Capitol — which left five people dead and about 140 police officers injured — the candidates had very different answers.