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A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that voters strongly oppose Trump’s push to block funding for the United States Postal Service in order to hinder universal mail-in voting, which states have sought to expand for safety reasons during the pandemic.
According to the survey, which was conducted Aug. 14 and 15, 61 percent of voters disapprove of Trump’s USPS gambit, with a full 50 percent disapproving “strongly.” Less than half that many (28 percent) approve.
A majority of registered voters share Trump’s oft-stated concern that fraudulent ballots will be cast via mail, with 54 percent saying they are either very or somewhat worried about this issue. But far more voters worry that people will be prevented from voting (65 percent), that legitimate mail ballots will not be counted (75 percent) — and that one of the candidates will not accept the outcome of the election (64 percent).
There are signs that Trump has already hurt himself with persuadable voters by seeking to undermine mail-in voting and the legitimacy of the election. Not only do nearly a quarter of Republicans (23 percent) disapprove of the president’s effort to block USPS funding, but independents disapprove by a 2-1 margin (58 percent to 29 percent). Among non-leaning independents — that is, independents who don’t yet express even a slight preference for Joe Biden or Trump — that margin is larger (65 percent to 21 percent). And voters who say they are undecided or could still change their minds oppose Trump’s stance on the USPS by a staggering 51 percentage points (68 percent to 17 percent).
Non-leaning independents and undecideds tend not to express intensity of opinion on political issues. Yet the USPS is an exception, with 54 percent of the former and 39 percent of the latter saying that in this case, they “strongly” disapprove of what Trump is trying to do.
In fact, Trump is on the wrong side of every issue related to the election. Sixty-four percent of registered voters say the Postal Service should be provided with funding to ensure there are no delays in mail delivery during the election. Only 21 percent say it should not get such funding. A mere 15 percent of registered voters say it was appropriate for Trump to suggest delaying the 2020 election; 68 percent say the opposite. And 80 percent of registered voters think it is more important to wait for mail-in ballots to be counted so we are sure which candidate won, even if the process drags on for some time. Just 20 percent think it’s more important to determine the outcome of the election quickly, even if many mail-in ballots have not been counted — Trump’s preferred scenario.
Voters largely reject Trump’s view that the election will be “rigged” against him, with only 41 percent saying the president “legitimately fears that fraudulent postal-voting will cost him the election” and the rest (a full 59 percent) saying instead that Trump is “trying to delegitimize the outcome because he doesn’t think he will win a majority of votes.” Sixty-three percent of voters think Trump is more likely to try to “steal” the election than Biden. And even more Americans than two weeks ago — 57 percent, up from 52 percent — now believe that Trump will not “accept” the result if he loses a close race in November. Just 28 percent say the same about Biden.
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