According to a new poll published by The Washington Post, 52% of Republicans would support the postponement of the 2020 election if President Trump called for such a postponement. The poll also shows that 56% of Republicans would be fine with postponing the election if Congress supported Trump in that effort due to potential voter fraud.
This headline has, of course, launched a thousand thinkpieces from Leftist media sources who believe that Republicans are all fascists in hiding, ready to emerge and crown Trump monarch of a new United States Kingdom.
There are a few problems with this line of thinking.
First off, this was essentially a push poll: it primed respondents to answer “yes” to the question of postponement by first asking them about the popular vote results and the possibility of voter fraud. Only then were Americans asked about whether or not they supported a possible postponement.
Second, because this was a push poll, Republicans responded to the question they thought they were being asked rather than the question they were being asked. They were asked whether they would support a 2020 election postponement based on Trump’s assertion of voter fraud; they read beyond the question to the motive, and then answered whether they believe voter fraud exists and whether it is a serious problem.
Third, this result neatly parallels a poll from WPA Research in June 2016 that found that 67% of Democrats would take an unconstitutional Obama third term over a Hillary Clinton win. Another poll from the Economist/YouGov in November 2014 found that 39% of Democrats wished the Constitution could be changed to effectuate a third Obama term, including 64% of black respondents.
All of which suggests that (1) Americans can easily be manipulated by polling verbiage; (2) Americans are in favor of rules so long as those rules favor their side; (3) both of the prior two conclusions apply to both sides of the political aisle.
But that’s why rules exist. It’s why Constitutions exist. Of course we’re all politically self-interested, and that’s why the founders constructed a framework of gridlock and checks and balances – to prevent any one faction from changing the rules of the game to benefit their own side.
So don’t worry about incipient fascism. We’re not on the verge of the end of democracy, no matter how panicked Democrats are – particularly the same Democrats who were fine with postponing elections with Obama was president.