Donald Trump will forever be remembered as the man who shot himself in the foot while it was in his mouth. He has been his own worst enemy (as well as being the worst enemy of democracy, decency, and plain simple humanity). But one does have to give him credit for this much: he certainly helped Joe Biden win the election.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Trump’s frequent and unsubstantiated accusations that mail-in voting is ripe for fraud likely contributed to 24,500 people who voted by absentee ballot in the state’s Republican primary not voting in the Nov. 3 election — possibly accounting for President-elect Joe Biden’s 13,000-vote advantage in the state.
For months now, Trump has mounted a sustained — and totally bogus — campaign against mail-in ballots (except in places like Florida, where his base is older and more likely to use them). Over and over, GOP officials who actually understand how elections work tried to talk Trump out of this screed, but he figured he could sew enough doubt over mail-in ballots, which are used more by Democrats, to cut their numbers down, giving the advantage to the Republicans, who vote more often in person.
Well, it seems the people who listened to him were — surprise! — mostly his own voters.
The state is conducting an automatic recount of the general election results because Joe Biden won by a slim margin of about 15,000 votes, according to the Associated Press. However, around 24,000 GOP voters who cast absentee ballots in the Republican primaries did not vote in the general election, according to Raffensperger.
“Either they did not vote absentee because they were told by the president, ‘Don’t vote absentee, it’s not secure’ — but then they did not come out and vote in-person,” Raffensperger said. Trump “would have won by 10,000 votes. He actually depressed, suppressed his own voting base.”
Asshole, meet petard.