following a poorperformance that culminated on Tuesday night with a Republicans are recognizing the dangers of relying on Election Day voting.
Former President Donald Trump has disparaged early voting and voting by mail, even when casting absentee ballots, and conditioned party voters to distrust those methods. in a social truth mail last week, he continued to launch ballots by mail, saying “you can never have a free and fair election with mail-in ballots, never, never, never. It won’t happen and it can’t happen!!!”
But after failing to gain control of the Senate, losing a seat in the process, and underperforming in House races across the country, Republican operatives and lawmakers are now calling on their party to take early voting seriously.
“If you wait until Election Day, you’re starting a race where you’re 30 yards behind,” House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday night when they arrived. Georgia election results. “Republicans back in the day, we had an advantage because we would vote early, we would vote by mail and we would save it.”
nrc chairconveyed a similar sentiment in another Fox News interview on Tuesday. “Our voters need to vote early,” she said. “I have said this over and over again. There were many in 2020 who said, ‘Don’t vote by mail, don’t vote early.’ And we have to stop that and understand that if the Democrats get tickets for a month, we can’t expect to do it all in one day.”
Missing from their assessments, however, was any mention of Trump’s role in disparaging such voting methods.
The gap between the two parties when it comes to support for early and mail-in voting has grown under Trump. gallup Polling research shows that between 2004 and 2017, Democrats, Independents, and Republicans steadily increased early voting as more states expanded opportunities to do so. But in 2020, they found a sharp decline in early voting intentions among Republicans.
Y research The Pew study finds that 62% of Republicans say voters should only be allowed to vote early or absentee with a documented excuse, compared with 42% who thought the same in 2018.
Meanwhile, Democrats have incorporated early and mail-in voting as a key part of their campaign strategy. In Georgia, Senator Raphael Warnock led early voters by roughly 16 percentage points and headed into Election Day with a 300,000-vote lead.
Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said Republicans need to “start embracing the tools” of early or mail-in voting. “Anyone who wants to just vote on Election Day … is setting themselves up for logistical problems,” he said, noting that after running a business for 37 years, “I never want to have to do anything in one day.”
“We need to do a better job as Republicans of telling our voters, go vote,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, a staunch Trump ally. “Don’t wait until the last day, don’t wait for possibly rain. Don’t wait for bad weather…we’ve sunk.”
Kabir Khanna contributed to this report.