Each day, the Trump reelection campaign looks at the national polls and their own internal polling and sees the same thing: The incumbent president way behind in with nearly every demographic group: Women, residents of the suburbs, college educated men, blue collar workers.
Those polls also tell top campaign officials that they need a historic turnout from voters who cast a ballot for Trump in 2016 but are wavering on whether or not they’ll support him again. So making voting as easy as possible would seem to be the logical way make sure people participate in a couple of months.
And yet, President Donald Trump repeatedly attacks the idea of voting by mail, claiming (falsely) that it leads to fraud and takes months to count the ballots if they’re cast via the U.S. mail.
But it turns out that Trump’s railing against the safest way to vote in a pandemic could wind up costing him a second term in office, CNN notes, with campaign officials admitting it could well backfire:
“‘It’s not smart,’ one senior administration official said of Trump’s comments, noting the likelihood that the pandemic will make voting in-person, at least in some areas, impossible. ‘When we are eventually forced to have mail-in ballots, it’s our people who won’t vote because they don’t trust the system.'”
Behind the scenes, the Trump team is desperately trying to counter the anti-mail balloting rhetoric the president continues to spew all over Twitter:
“Trump Victory boasts it has more than 1,500 paid staff members and a nearly 2-million-person volunteer corps as the central part of its aggressive campaign to both register voters and educate them on voting laws and ballot deadlines in their state. And the RNC’s $350-million voter data investment lets it know just where to unleash that machine, giving it insight into who exactly it needs to be targeting and with what information, even as the system continues to change daily. According to one RNC official, these voters receive constant reminders via phone calls, text messages and email about when they need to return their ballot.”
In key battleground states such as Pennsylvania, a small decrease in Republican votes could cost Trump the state and also be detrimental to GOP candidates up and down the ballot, which is why even the president’s campaign operatives are working to counter his opposition to mail voting, with Kelly Bellerby-Allen, a GOP candidate for state representative from Croydon remarking:
“I tell them, ‘Get that mail-in ballot.'”
But if even a small percentage of Republican voters don’t heed that advice and decide to stay home rather than venture out on Election Day, Trump’s lies about voting by mail could well come back to bite him right on the butt. How’s that for perfect irony?