Washington: President Trump gave his supporters political whiplash Tuesday when he flip-flopped on voting by mail.
After weeks of trashing absentee voting — and claiming there is a difference between that and mail-in voting– Trump praised Florida’s mail voting system as “Tried and True.”
“Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure,” Trump tweeted.
Trump went on to direct his supporters to “request a Ballot & Vote by Mail.”
The tweet may have come as a big surprise to Trump’s #MAGA base. He’s been railing against voting by mail as a Democratic plot to steal the 2020 presidential election. Some Republicans have even burnt their ballot requests to show solidarity with his claims, reports NY Daily News.
The president’s also been claiming that there is some difference between voting by absentee ballot and “vote by mail,” a ridiculous assertion that he apparently walks back in the tweet.
“Where’s my Excedrin?” University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato exclaimed on Twitter.
The reversal suggests Trump may be panicking over polls showing him trailing Democrat Joe Biden badly in the Sunshine State, which is a virtual must-win for his reelection bid.
There are also signs that the vaunted Republican vote-by-mail machine in Florida and elsewhere is being stalled by Trump’s rhetoric.
Democrats hold a large and growing lead in absentee ballot requests in Florida, besting the GOP by nearly 600,000 as of Tuesday. By comparison, virtually the same number of Florida Democrats and Republicans asked to vote absentee in 2018, when Republicans eked out razor-thin statewide wins.