The Republicans are all out of any other options. They are existentially desperate people who are apoplectic to keep their party alive and in power by any means necessary (see the Big Lie and January 6th as a prime example), but they have no real positive things whatsoever to offer the voters. So they must resort to these insulting, immoral and boundlessly dishonest tactics to make out their opponents to be far worse than their massively unsuited candidates demonstrably and undeniably are.
Their policies are sociopathic, selfish, and cruel and are understandably and rationally shunned by a majority of voters. Their ideas only ever really benefit the rich. They NEVER work towards anything that benefits average Americans, let alone the poor and the working class.
Just try to name one single solitary bill that was ever authored by Republicans in the last four decades or so that was solely aimed at helping working class Americans without benefiting the rich many times more. When they are excited about and champion some bill, they always make a big deal out of the pathetic little bones it will throw to us while totally downplaying and denying the whole grocery store the bill actually hands to the wealthy. Helping themselves and the rich is always their prime motivation in anything they do. Without fail.
The reason that Republicans hate democracy so much is that obviously, given the total lack of anything beneficial they have to offer voters in a fair and honest democratic election, if it was left to the voters Republicans would never be elected to any office at all. So knowing they haven't got a snowball's chance in Hell of ever getting elected on their policies, they resort to winning by slandering and demonizing their opponents, finding some loophole to exploit in the election laws, or just outright cheating. And their ever increasing desperation is driving their lies and bullshit propaganda to totally ludicrous and even violent proportions (again, see 1/6).
They are adamantly opposed to and actively work against anything approaching a level playing field, because in such a contest, they know they would always lose. And maybe even worse in their eyes, their hated enemies (minorities and average Americans) would win.
The truly sad thing, and the reason that I believe this country is ultimately doomed, is that so many Americans ravenously swallow their truckloads of horseshit as fast as Fox can shovel it down their gleefully gaping gullets. They vote against their own interests in the quixotic belief that they are saving themselves from a hellish yet imaginary fate far worse than anything the Republicans could ever do to them. "Sticking it to" the Democrats is worth any price they need to pay. They have so totally bought into the flaming, bullshit lies about Democrats and are so terrified of them that quite literally anything to them is a better option. As has been mentioned, this is a timeless tactic of authoritarians.
This also explains why Republicans will support and defend their often blatantly corrupt, criminal and immoral GOP politicians to the death. Because they have to.
They will never admit to any wrong doing by their leaders. Their leaders are considered infallible and blameless of any crime, regardless of any mountains of evidence to the contrary simply because they are not Democrats. That's how their logic is forced to work. They can never admit that their godlike GOP leaders could ever be capable of committing the same level of heinous immorality that they have lied about all Democrats being made entirely out of. That would level the playing field.
Since they are so willing to flat out lie about crimes the Democrats haven't committed, it's no big thing to them to lie about the wanton cavalcade of crimes that their own Republican leaders commit. Evidence, schmevidence. They don't care 'bout no stinking evidence!
I wonder what they will grasp at when they run out of the few straws they have left?