President Donald Trump’s preoccupation with deterring mail-in voting could harm his own reelection chances, as well as those of Republicans running for Congress, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Axios on Sunday.
"We could lose based on that," the California Republican said, adding that it would be detrimental for the GOP to have its backers sit home, afraid of contracting the coronavirus, while Democrats vote en masse by mail-in ballots.
McCarthy was particularly concerned about deterring senior citizens from voting by mail, telling Axios that he said to Trump, "you know who is most afraid of COVID? Seniors. And if they're not going to go vote, period, we're screwed."
Sources close to the president's reelection campaign told Axios that a major reason Trump continuously brings into question the legitimacy of mail-in voting is that he sees it as good cover if he loses to Joe Biden in November.
However, McCarthy encouraged Republicans to vote by any means necessary as he campaigned for GOP candidates in Oregon and Utah last week, emphasizing that Republican Mike Garcia's surprise victory in May's special election for California's 25th District was aided by mail-in voting.
"It was a seat everyone thought was unwinnable, but we won it," McCarthy told donors at a winery in Oregon, stressing that the victory was made possible, ironically, by Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s late mandate that all ballots be cast by mail to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, avoiding the difficulties of same-day voter registration.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.