Former RNC chair Michael Steele blasted Republicans on Saturday for following Donald Trump off a cliff on access to mail-in voting.
During a discussion with Steele on MSNBC, Joy Reid pointed out that a higher number of Republicans have historically voted absentee than Democrats, especially in Florida.
Now, when Democrats float the idea of expanding access to mail-in voting to all voters in the middle of a deadly pandemic, Republicans are freaking out.
“Why the opposition to letting everybody vote the way Republicans vote?” the MSNBC host asked.
“Because Trump is against it,” Steele responded. “That’s just the thumbnail of it.”
The former RNC chair pointed out that studies have shown vote-by-mail increases voter turnout by as much as 10 percent, something that could be politically fatal for Trump and Republicans.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) April 11, 2020
The president has gotten out in front on the messaging of on this. And it has put Republicans in a very awkward position. Because you’re right, Joy, when you look at states around the country where you have significant Republican participation at the polls, you have Republican leadership in the election process, they have been supportive of this effort. Yes, in some states like Alabama, Mississippi, places like that, there is a slightly different take on this. But by and large, certainly in western states and here along the eastern seaboard, it is a very different attitude. But the president is trying to define this narrative around voting because he is threatened by what potentially could be an overwhelming outcome against him in November particularly given that, statistically, and it has been shown by some very smart institutes out there that vote by mail, absentee ballot, when that is allowed to happen, voter participation increases by 10%. So there is a lot at stake here in terms of voter turnout that is driving the messaging right now that is I think unfortunately boxing Republicans in a corner.
Mail-in voting is good for democracy but bad for Donald Trump
During one of his daily coronavirus pep rallies last week, Donald Trump called mail-in voting a “terrible thing.” He even suggested – without evidence – that people are throwing thousands of ballots in the trash.
But despite Trump’s lies, larger voter turnout is never a bad thing. It’s a sign that more people are engaged in the political process and letting their voices be heard. It means having government officials more representative of the people they’re supposed to be serving.
For Donald Trump, though, that isn’t such a good thing because he’s never been the president that a majority of this country wanted.
In the 2016 presidential election, a majority of the country voted for another candidate. Throughout his time in the White House, a majority of the country has disapproved of Trump’s job performance.
It’s no surprise then that Donald Trump and Republicans are trying to limit access to voting. They know that a president without majority support can only win when a minority of this country votes.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.