President Trump pointedly said Sunday that he wouldn’t necessarily accept a loss in the upcoming election as he continues to rail against the use of absentee ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Citing unfounded concerns about voting by mail, Trump asserted that he shouldn’t be under any obligation to say in advance that he will concede defeat if he loses.
“It depends,” he said. “I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election. I really do.”
Trump has long claimed that demands to expand access to absentee voting is part of a liberal plot to steal the election with ballot fraud. There is no evidence backing his claim, and absentee voting has traditionally been used more heavily by Republicans.
“I have to see,” Trump told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no. And I didn’t last time, either.”
Trump was referring to his claim in the run-up to the 2016 election that Democrats were plotting to rig the presidential vote.
He wound up shocking the political world, and even his own inner circle, by beating Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College to claim the presidency.
Trump’s shocking admission that he may contest the results of the Nov. 3 contest with Joe Biden is likely to send shivers down the spines of Democrats. Some fear Trump will seek to overturn the results, perhaps with a push to avoid counting many votes from Democratic strongholds that are not counted on Election Night.
Trump has fallen far behind Biden in polls, trailing by about 10% in most recent surveys. His popularity is falling fast as voters take stock of his botched management of coronavirus and the sharp economic downturn.
But Trump critics are scarred by the 2016 debacle, when they believed Clinton was a shoo-in, only to see Trump squeak to victory with unlikely wins in several Rust Belt battleground states.