Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmmm

More than half of Republicans would back extending Trump's first term due to fears of voter fraud, poll finds

So, Hillary Clinton got more than 2.8 million more votes than President Trump in the 2016 election (yes, California's votes count), and there is zero evidence of any significant amount of voter fraud, despite Trump's false claims about millions of illegal Clinton voters and the staunch numerical agnosticism of the voter-fraud commission he ordered into being. Still, a new survey from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Yeshiva University found that 47 percent of Republicans said they believe Trump won the popular vote, 68 percent believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted in 2016, and 73 percent said voter fraud happens somewhat or very often.

"This is similar to previous polls," the researchers, Ariel Malka and Yphtach Lelkes, write in The Washington Post. But they took this a step further, asking respondents: "If Donald Trump were to say that the 2020 presidential election should be postponed until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens can vote, would you support or oppose postponing the election?" Then they asked the same question with the addition that Trump and Republicans in Congress proposed postponing the election together. More than half of Republicans, 52 percent, supported postponing the vote, and 56 said the same thing if the GOP offered the proposal alongside Trump.

This was just a hypothetical question, Malka and Lelkes noted, but "we do not believe that these findings can be dismissed out of hand." They explain:

At a minimum, they show that a substantial number of Republicans are amenable to violations of democratic norms that are more flagrant than what is typically proposed (or studied). And although the ensuing chaos could turn more Republicans against this kind of proposal, it is also conceivable that a high-stakes and polarized debate would do the exact opposite. [The Washington Post]

Hopefully, this particular hypothetical will never be tested. Certainly, it reveals some anxiety about Trump's electoral chances, as well as Republican faith in the integrity of state-run elections. But if you are one of the majority of voters who picked someone else in the 2016 election and are alarmed at Trump's job performance, you might understand the devilish allure of saying yes to postponing an election. Malka and Lelkes surveyed 1,325 Americans, including 650 self-identified Republicans, from June 5-20. Their sample was weighted to match the general population. You can read more at The Washington Post.