More than half of Republicans would support postponing the 2020 presidential election if President Trump requested it to ensure there was no voter fraud, according to a poll published in the Washington Post on Thursday morning.
About as many people freaked the hell out about that, according to a casual eyeballing of the internet.
In the survey conducted by two academics, 52 percent of Republicans answered “yes” to the question, “If Donald Trump were to say that the 2020 presidential election should be postponed until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens can vote, would you support or oppose postponing the election?” Fifty-six percent said they would support it if both Trump and Republicans in Congress supported a postponement.
The survey’s authors urged caution: “Of course, our survey is only measuring reactions to a hypothetical situation,” they wrote. “Were Trump to seriously propose postponing the election, there would be a torrent of opposition, which would most likely include prominent Republicans.”
The survey’s authors then retracted their caution: “Nevertheless, we do not believe that these findings can be dismissed out of hand. At a minimum, they show that a substantial number of Republicans are amenable to violations of democratic norms that are more flagrant than what is typically proposed (or studied).”
As headlines about the poll spread across the internet Thursday, journalistic reaction was perhaps typified by National Review editor Jonah Goldberg, who tweeted a GIF of a guy jumping out a window.
But some advocated against defenestration, for the moment. In the Daily Beast, Matt Lewis contended that the poll was overhyped and that it skewed responses by providing multiple hypothetical scenarios about voter fraud.
But he pointed to some unreported results of the poll as “troublesome:” Nearly half of Republicans (47 percent) believe that Trump won the popular vote, while 68% believe millions of illegal immigrants voted, and 73% said that voter fraud happens somewhat or very often.