Republicans would back postponing election if Trump asked

Alexandru Nika  Shutterstock

Alexandru Nika Shutterstock

President Donald Trump's warnings against voter fraud stuck a chord with many Republicans, half of whom would support suspending the 2020 election until this problem is fixed.

Fifty-six percent support postponing the election if Trump and congressional Republicans called for it.

Respondents were initially asked voter fraud-related questions (including who won the popular vote in 2016 - since Trump claims he did - if illegal votes were found and thrown out) before moving to the topic of delaying the 2020 election.

Sixty-eight percent of the same group said they believe millions of illegal immigrants voted in 2016, and 73 percent said they believe voter fraud happens somewhat or very often.

The poll was conducted from June 5-20 from a sample of 1,325 Americans and focused on 650 respondents who "identify with or lean toward the Republican Party".

"Were Trump to seriously propose postponing the election, there would be a torrent of opposition, which would most likely include prominent Republicans", they wrote in the Post.

But still, Trump's blunt assertion that his 2016 election had to overcome a vast voter-fraud conspiracy that almost succeeded has brought a latent prejudice into the light in its most sinister dimensions. Those supporting postponement also "had less factual knowledge of politics" than the "oppose" respondents. And this is to say nothing of the various legal and constitutional complications that would immediately become clear.

While Trump won the electoral college by 306 to 232, he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by about 3 million votes.

Nevertheless, we do not believe that these findings can be dismissed out of hand.

Malka is an associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva University.

Though no one in the administration has proposed such a move, the results show that more than half of Republicans "are amenable to violations of democratic norms".

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