Donald Trump’s all-out war on mail voting is backfiring in battleground states.
New private polling shared first with POLITICO showed that Republicans have become overwhelmingly concerned about mail balloting, which Trump has claimed without evidence, will lead to widespread voter fraud. A potentially decisive slice of Trump’s battleground-state base — 15 percent of Trump voters in Florida, 12 percent in Pennsylvania and 10 percent in Michigan — said that getting a ballot in the mail would make them less likely to vote in November.
Trump won each of those states by a thin margin in 2016, and less than 1 percent of Joe Biden voters said getting a ballot mailed to them would make them less likely to vote. Overall, 53 percent of voters in Florida and about half in Michigan and Pennsylvania expressed health concerns about casting their ballots in person and prefer voting by mail in November.
The poll is part of a late flurry of research trying to gauge swing-state voter attitudes as the coronavirus accelerates the trend of more and more voters casting their ballots by mail. While there are concerns that the U.S. Postal Service may not be able to handle the crush of ballots, some Republicans fear that Trump’s regular fulminations against mail voting will depress GOP turnout in the fall. He has repeated baseless claims of widespread fraud associated with mail voting, and late last week the president floated the idea of delaying the election because of it, which he does not have the constitutional authority to do.