Trump threatens to 'delay the election' as polls show him losing

Trump falsely said voting by mail is 'fraudulent' and that the election should be postponed until people can 'properly' vote.

Donald Trump on Thursday mused about postponing the 2020 election, saying that mail-in voting — which numerous states are adopting thanks to the coronavirus pandemic — is "fraudulent" and must be secured before votes can be cast.

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???" Trump tweeted.

None of what Trump said is true.

Voting by mail is not rife with fraud, and the election results would not be inaccurate if the method is widely used in November.

However, Trump has been pushing this false narrative for months.

Of course, Trump does not have the unilateral power to postpone an election anyway. Congress would have to make that decision. And because Democrats control the House, the party could safeguard against any GOP attempts to delay the election to keep Trump in power longer.

Trump's tweet about postponing the election comes as his presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a strong lead in the polls.

Biden leads Trump by more than 8 points, according to FiveThirtyEight's polling average. Biden also leads in every key swing state, as well as some traditionally Republican states like Arizona.

Ultimately, harping on the false accusation that voting by mail is fraudulent could further hurt Trump's chances.

A number of critical states — such as Arizona and Florida — have a robust vote-by-mail infrastructure, with many voters in those states casting ballots by mail rather than in-person.

And if fewer Republicans vote by mail in those states, it could cause the GOP more problems when those voters are unable to cast ballots in person in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. Attribution to Emily Singer.