This time, however, the fight is not necessarily a rallying cry for conservatives. Longtime conservative postal reform researchers say Trump’s refusal to drop his fact-challenged claims of mail-in voter fraud is actually hurting their cause. And, they add, Trump may even be damaging his standing with voters who rely on the Postal Service, including rural Americans, veterans who get prescriptions by mail and Republicans who vote by mail.

“The president has been a wet hot mess on this issue,” said Kevin Kosar, the vice president of the right-leaning R Street Institute, who has written about postal reform. “It’s created a lot of needless confusion.”…

These efforts have obscured the more nuanced reasons USPS is in need of more money during a pandemic that has upended daily life, according to experts. During the last few months, more Americans have become reliant on mailed packages — which cost more to process — while sending less first-class paper mail, traditionally the bulk of USPS revenue. Back in May, agency officials predicted USPS would lose 50 percent of its first-class mail during the pandemic, prompting officials to ask Congress for a $25 billion cash infusion.

Thus, the idea that boosting USPS funding is part of some “terrible plot that he needs to stop,” as Kosar put it, is incorrect. “[T]he Postal Service would have no role in that plot per se. Because the Postal Service doesn’t get to choose if it carries ballots or not. Elections administrators have to choose that.”