Poll: 1 in 4 Americans Want to Delay 2020 Presidential Election

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by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 20, 2020   

Support for postponement spreading in wake of COVID-19 threat

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A new Rasmussen survey is revealing that a quarter of Americans would back postponement of November's U.S. presidential election, should the COVID-19 scare continue into the fall.

Evan Halper

With states delaying primaries and public Masses now forbidden, the coronavirus is affecting the United States in unprecedented ways, and a growing number of voters support the idea of delaying the November ballot if this new normal persists.

Conservatives are more supportive of postponement than liberals, leading some to speculate liberals are more confident of Trump losing than conservatives of him winning if the coronavirus situation bleeds into the fall. 

On social media, leftists are voicing worry that President Trump will use the coronavirus to delay the election.

One, Isabella Rowling said in a tweet, "Be prepared for Trump to use the coronavirus as an excuse to *delay* the November presidential election. He will do anything to prevent his imminent defeat."

Other liberals are even calling for preemptive measures to keep Trump from delaying the presidential election.

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Linda Thorson called on Nancy Pelosi for assistance:

Tell our great Nancy Pelosi she must make Congress get assurance from Trump he will guarantee a free and fair presidential election BEFORE she agrees to all his funding for COVID-19. It is a chance not to be missed. If not, watch Trump delay the election for a year.

These concerns are unfounded, according to a Los Angeles Times article by staff writer Evan Halper, since the president does not wield such power.

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reached the same conclusion when it investigated the question ... in the aftermath of 9/11.

"Legal scholars are widely in agreement on this point, as are both Republican and Democratic election officials," says Halper. "The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reached the same conclusion when it investigated the question [as to whether a president can delay a presidential election] in the aftermath of 9/11."

An article in the New York Times further pointed out postponing primaries does not set precedent for the president to follow suit in a general election, stating, "when it comes to elections he [the president] is far more constrained than the governor of Louisiana [cited as an example]." 

Women and people under 40 are far more supportive of rescheduling the presidential election. In fact, support increases as the age of voters decreases.

Rasmussen Reports conducted the national telephone and online survey of 1,000 likely voters on March 17–18. 

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