Is that a threat or just wishful thinking?
Donald the Orange has a problem……voters are starting to doubt his chances for re-election…..
President Trump has trailed Joe Biden in the polls. First, it was only a 5- or 6-percentage-point gap, but since the middle of June, that margin has widened to anywhere from 8 to 9 points, according to FiveThirtyEight’s national polling average.
But until very recently, voters didn’t seem all that convinced that Biden could win. In poll after poll, comparatively more voters said they thought Trump would win reelection in November. Now, though, that view may be shifting.
For several months Trump has been setting up the debate that there will be something wrong with the November election……he has even floated the idea of postponing it.
President Trump on Thursday voiced the thought many of his political opponents don’t want to hear: He raised the idea of delaying November’s election. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” he tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The president, who is trailing in the polls, did not immediately elaborate on the idea. The Washington Post notes that the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to regulate the election date.
In April, Joe Biden said this: “Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held.” A Trump campaign spokesperson dismissed the idea at the time as “conspiracy theory ramblings.” Since the prediction, the coronavirus has only worsened in the US, with the death toll now surpassing 150,000. States are ramping up vote-by-mail efforts, but Trump alleges that would open the door to voter fraud.
Let’s look at the possibility of Trump postponing our election….he cannot do it on his own….we sill have a Constitution (as much as Trump might hate the idea)…….
- The Constitution: It gives Congress, not the president, the power to set the date. Officially, Election Day takes place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, a date that has been fixed since 1845, per the New York Times. What’s more, the Constitution stipulates that presidential terms end on Jan. 20. Barring a change to the Constitution, then, any voting delay could only be for a few weeks.
- What Trump said: “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???” He didn’t explicitly suggest he would push for the move. Later, he “pinned” the tweet, ensuring it would remain at the top of his feed.
- Digging deeper: The National Constitution Center has a lengthy post on the subject. “In general, a combination of state or congressional actions could delay elections but not postpone the selection of a president and vice president,” per the post. “The only hard deadline spelled out in the Constitution is the end of a president’s term and a vice president’s term on January 20 of the year following a general election.”
- Emergency? No, not even in an emergency such as a pandemic can a president circumvent Congress on Election Day, per a breakdown in the Washington Post. Trump could lobby Congress to make the change, but Democrats control the House, making this all but a non-starter.
- Criticism: It’s coming from Democrats and Republicans. “Please don’t even pretend to mess with this,” wrote Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for George W. Bush. “It’s a harmful idea.” GOP Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming stated flatly on Fox News, “We will not delay the [election].” At the conservative Hot Air site, Ed Morrissey sounds exasperated. “The best that could be said for this tweet is that Trump’s just spitballing, but even that’s an indictment of its own,” he writes. “No president should just be spitballing a suggestion like this, not in public and not even in private.” Besides, he adds, Trump keeps saying we should “reopen for business.”
- Fraud allegation: Trump continues to allege that mail-in ballots are prone to voter fraud, but the Hill reports there is “no evidence to support the idea.” An NPR fact-check also finds that Trump is spreading “unfounded claims.” Trump, for his part, tweeted a link to this news station’s investigation into problems with mail-in voting in Philadelphia, notes Breitbart News.
- Things change: In April, Trump ridiculed Joe Biden’s prediction that the president would try to postpone the election, notes Axios. “I never even thought of changing the date of the election,” Trump said at the time. “Why would I do that? November 3rd. It’s a good number. No, I look forward to that election.”
If his threat cannot be acted upon would Trump just in a pouting haze walk away from the election?
First things first: John F. Harris writes that this scenario is “not terribly” plausible. But in a piece at Politico Magazine, he lays out why it might make sense for President Trump to quit the 2020 race before November. Harris notes that in March 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson shocked the nation by announcing at the end of a televised address about Vietnam that he would not run for another term. Things were too dire for him to waste any time on partisan matters, LBJ explained. Harris, who notes that Trump’s current chances of defeating Joe Biden are not great anyway, sees a parallel in 2020 with the pandemic. He even has a sample address Trump could use.
“Fellow Americans, I know I am a disrupter, and everyone knows I thrive on conflict,” Trump could say. “I believe that disruption is what Republicans and the country needed when I ran for president in 2016, and that is what I delivered.” But the pandemic changed everything, and “I am going to devote the balance of my term to trying to get this country opened up safely, and allow someone without my sharp edges make the case for Republicans this fall.” So why would Trump do it? He seems headed for a loss, which could tarnish his image. Stepping out now would help keep him in the game, “preserving his role as disrupter at large in American politics over the next decade.” Read the full column.
Just a thought that that I wanted to share…..
Say what you like….there is NO doubt that this coming election will be different than the ones that preceded it….
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”