Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump appears to have successfully convinced his supporters that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump appears to have successfully convinced his supporters that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election. (Photo: Stephen Velasco/Flickr/cc)

'Slippery Slope to Dictatorship': Majority of GOP Would Back Trump Postponing 2020 Elections

President's repeated lies about mythical "voter fraud" is apparently having impact

Julia Conley

Identifying it as part of the "slippery slope to dictatorship," critics are pointing to a new poll as evidence that Trump's base would likely support him even if he were to propose postponing the 2020 elections.

Sixty-eight percent of voters polled by two researchers believed the president's repeated claims that widespread "voter fraud" cost him the popular vote in the 2016 election, and 52 percent said they would support postponing the 2020 election in order to make sure only "legal" citizens cast ballots. Fifty-six percent answered that they would support the measure if Trump and Congress approved of it.

"At a minimum, [the survey results] show that a substantial number of Republicans are amenable to violations of democratic norms that are more flagrant than what is typically propose."—Ariel Malka and Yphtach Lelkes, Washington Post

While the researchers who conducted the study, Ariel Malka of Yeshiva University and Yphtach Lelkes of University of Pennsylvania, noted in the Washington Post that respondents were answering a hypothetical question and their opinions could change if a delayed election were actually proposed, they stressed the disturbing nature of the survey's results:

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). And although the ensuing chaos could turn more Republicans against this kind of proposal, it is also conceivable that a high-stakes and polarized debate would do the exact opposite. Postponing the 2020 presidential election is not something that Trump or anyone in his administration has even hinted at, but for many in his constituency floating such an idea may not be a step too far.

The poll shocked many, with journalists and Trump critics noting that while Trump's supporters may be in the minority, their unwavering support of a president who has repeatedly challenged democratic norms is alarming—and the opinions expressed in the survey stoke fears that the Trump administration has set the U.S. down the path to authoritarianism.

Others noted that the Republican leadership's failure to effectively challenge Trump in the first six months of his term begs the question of whether it would push back against the president and his base, should a delayed election be suggested.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'This Is Big': House Passes Amendment to Cut US Complicity in Saudi Bombing of Yemen

The vote, said Rep. Ro Khanna, "sent a clear message to the Saudis: end the bombing in Yemen and lift the blockade."

Andrea Germanos ·


Praised for 'Braving the Smears,' Tlaib Votes Against $1 Billion in Military Aid to Israel

One rights group thanked Tlaib "for speaking truth to power" while being attacked "for simply insisting that Palestinians are human beings who deserve safety, security, and freedom from Israeli apartheid."

Brett Wilkins ·


'A Choice Point for Humanity': Women Demand Visionary Shift at UN Climate Talks

"This is the time to unite together to build the healthy and just future we know is possible for each other and the Earth."

Julia Conley ·


'Hold Strong': Coalition Urges House to Reject Bipartisan Bill Until Reconciliation Package Passed

The bipartisan infrastructure bill "doesn't contain the climate solutions and care, education, and economic investments we need," more than 90 progressive groups wrote in a letter.

Kenny Stancil ·


New Legal Campaign Aims to Protect People and Nature From Polluters' 'Irreparable Damage'

"States must listen to communities' demands to recognize the human right to a healthy environment and better regulate businesses with respect to the impacts of their operations."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo