Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Public Is Not Buying Trump's "Rigged Election" Charges
The latest conspiracy theory from GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is that the election is "rigged", and could be stolen from him through vast election fraud. He is encouraging his supporters to vote and then go to other polling places to make sure fraudulent voters don't participate in the election.
Trump has absolutely no proof that the election is rigged, or that any voter fraud is being perpetrated (or will be perpetrated on election day). Voter fraud is not something that is normal in American electoral politics, and in the rare cases where it has been found, it is dealt with severely. The truth is that an American has a better chance of being hit by lightening than of uncovering any election fraud.
Personally, I think Trump's encouraging of his supporters to go to polling places (i.e., Democratic polling precincts) to prevent fraud is ridiculous, undemocratic, and could be dangerous. His campaign has the right to appoint official poll watchers, and here in Texas, those watchers must stay within the polling place and cannot approach any voters. But that's not what Trump is suggesting.
Trump wants people to go to polling places on their own, and intimidate voters (hopefully keeping them from voting through bullying or scare tactics). He doesn't seem to realize that what he's suggesting is against the law. It's a felony to question voters or confront them in any way within 1000 feet of a polling place. And if any of his "deplorable" try to do that at the polling place I am working, I will call the sheriff and have them removed or arrested.
I think Trump sees that he is losing this election, and being a thin-skinned narcissist, he can't stand it. He sees his only option is to intimidate voters, and if that doesn't work, then he has laid the groundwork to claim he didn't lose -- that the election was "stolen" from him. He can then use that as an excuse to start his own "news" network, and try to delegitimize the Clinton presidency (as he tried to do with his "birther" conspiracy against Obama).
Fortunately the voters are not buying into Trump's latest conspiracy theory. Most believe their votes will be accurately counted (66% to 30%) and that the election will not be stolen away from Trump (49% to 41%).
Trump is going to lose this election, and hopefully that will be by a large margin. But it won't be because the election is rigged or was stolen from him by voter fraud. It will be because he is a bad candidate who would make a terrible president -- and he is not a very nice person. He also doesn't have the temperament to be trusted with the power of the presidency, and is not knowledgeable enough to be our commander-in-chief. In short, he will lose because the American people don't want him to be their president.
The charts above and below reflect the results of a recent Politico / Morning Consult Poll -- done between October 13th and 15th of a random national sample of 1,999 registered voters, and has a margin of error of 2 points.