For months now, President Donald Trump has been saying the 2020 election will be “rigged” and that absentee ballots cast via the U.S. Mail will provide the margin of victory for Democrats, who he claims (without a shred of proof) will use the coronavirus pandemic to guarantee they win by encouraging voters to vote by mail.
Trump’s paranoid delusions about mail-in voting have been amplified ad nauseam on Fox News, most notably by primetime hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.
Ironically, however, the president’s ranting and raving about voting absentee is actually keeping Republicans he desperately need to cast a ballot from doing so, according to Greg Sargent of The Washington Post, who explains:
“If President Trump does end up losing reelection, one big area that will be ripe for an autopsy is the role that Fox News played in making that happen.
“A mammoth new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute helps underscore another way this may prove to be the case. It finds that Republicans who place great trust in Fox News say in truly overwhelming percentages that they are ‘not at all’ confident that vote-by-mail will be secure against fraud.
“This is precisely an outcome that Republican strategists worried about. Last spring, when Trump was pushing false and unsubstantiated claims about fraud in vote-by-mail particularly hard, Republicans loudly voiced their fears this would put them at a disadvantage in key swing states.”
Oops! Guess he should have kept his big mouth shut, huh?
It turns out that voters who would probably cast their votes for Trump are also tend to be older and are more fearful about voting in person, meaning they may just sit out the 2020 election, which would be catastrophic for the president and Republicans in down ballot races:
“Republicans who say they most trust Fox News are especially distrustful of voting by mail. Nearly three in four Republicans who most trust Fox News (73%), compared to only 44% of Republicans who trust any other news source, say they are not confident at all that voting by mail will be as secure as in-person voting.”
The greatest irony of all in an already upside-down year is that Fox News, Sargent concludes, may play a major role in making Donald Trump a one-term president:
“If Fox News has also assisted in deepening the GOP disadvantage on vote-by-mail — and if Trump does end up losing in part as a result — it will constitute yet another way that Fox helped seal Trump’s fate.”
Or, as our parents and grandparents warned us long ago, Careful what you wish for; you just might get it.