We held a presidential election during the Civil War, for fark’s sake. Even if there were massive voter fraud going on, which there almost certainly is not, there’s no emergency short of a nuclear attack or an asteroid strike that’s so dire that it justifies suspending democracy . Suspend it once and it’s apt to never be un-suspended. This is basic, basic historical literacy.
I wonder if generations past would have answered a question like this the same way or if we really are suffering some sort of civic collapse. (We nominated Hillary Clinton and Trump last year, so…) If nothing else, I’d like to believe that Americans 60 years ago would have recognized it and responded accordingly if a pollster tried to bait them with an obvious “Reichstag fire” analog. Good lord, what an embarrassment.
If Donald Trump were to say that the 2020 presidential election should be postponed until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens can vote, would you support or oppose postponing the election?…
Nearly half of Republicans (47 percent) believe that Trump won the popular vote, which is similar to this finding. Larger fractions believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted (68 percent) and that voter fraud happens somewhat or very often (73 percent). Again, this is similar to previous polls.
Moreover, 52 percent said that they would support postponing the 2020 election, and 56 percent said they would do so if both Trump and Republicans in Congress were behind this.
It’s a disgrace, but it may be a bipartisan disgrace. Remember this poll result from last summer?
A strong majority of Democrats would cancel the 2016 presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump if it meant President Obama could serve another term, a new poll found.
Data provided to The Hill by the conservative polling outlet WPA Research found that 67 percent of Democrats would take a third term for Obama over a potential Clinton administration.
Only 28 percent said they’re ready to move on from the Obama White House, while 6 percent are undecided.
It’s be nice to have the precise question from that WPA Research poll in order to compare it to today’s Trump/voter fraud result. It might not be an apples-to-apples comparison. The Trump question specifically imagines the president himself recommending that the election be suspended, extending his own term in office. The WPA question leaves the cause more ambiguous. It feels like they’re asking something more anodyne along the lines of “Would you rather have a third Obama term than a first Clinton or Trump term?” than proposing a stark situation in which the White House tries to grab power by canceling Election Day. But I don’t know: Cutthroat partisanship tends to run both ways. Maybe 52 percent of Democrats would have jumped at the thought of Obama crowning himself king.
The WaPo study notes correctly that the numbers on a question like this are obtained in a political vacuum, insulated from the predictable political and economic reaction that would follow if Trump tried something like this. Markets would tumble, most Americans would explode in rage, Paul Ryan would issue a statement of vague “concern.” All of that would dent Republican support for the idea. It may be, in fact, that the result is mostly just a measure of how lazily knee-jerk Americans tend to be in answering poll questions along partisan lines. Ask them a question about Trump, no matter how outlandish, and they’ll ignore the specifics and treat it as a simple gauge of whether they support the president. “Would you back Trump if he suspended the elec—” “Yeah, sure, whatever. I’m a Republican.” Either that’s what’s happening here or a considerable number of Republicans have decided that the rules only matter when they and their party stand to benefit from them. Or, I guess, we really might have taken an authoritarian turn this dark.