Republicans won't back Trump's call to delay the election

Republicans won't back Trump's call to delay the election
US President Donald Trump's calls to delay the election have not been echoed by his Republican allies in Congress.
Mr Trump suggested overnight that the November election be put off in a tweet he pinned to the top of his account.
Donald Trump has pushed for a postponement of November's election. (AP)
"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history," he wrote.
"It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"
But the president has found himself alone in Washington on the position, with Republican congressional leaders unwilling to support him.
"Never in the history of federal elections have we ever not held an election and we should go forward with our election," House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was resolute in keeping election day as is.
Mitch McConnell said the election date is set in stone. (AP)
"Never in the history of the country, through wars and depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we'll find a way to do that again this November 3," he said.
Even Mr Trump's most reliable supporters in Congress, like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, were dismissive of the idea.

Can Trump delay the election?

Even with unwavering Republican support, the president would be unable to change the date of the election.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, simply responded by quoting from the Constitution.
Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will not allow Donald Trump to delay the election. (AP)
"The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States," she wrote.
And with Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, they are near-certain to block Mr Trump's efforts.
Election Day in the United States has been held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November since 1845.
Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said the election date was up to Congress.
The coronavirus pandemic means many Americans will be reluctant to queue up to vote, necessitating a rise in absentee ballots. (AP)
"All he wants to do is divert from his abject failure in the coronavirus crisis," he said.
"The election will be in November, on November 3rd, and you will not change it. Stop diverting attention President Trump."
Mr Trump's tweet came as it was revealed US GDP fell at a 32.9 per cent annualised rate last quarter, by far the biggest drop since records began in 1947.
The drop was triple the previous record.
Absentee ballots take longer to be counted. (AP)

Why does Trump want to postpone the election?

Donald Trump has repeatedly railed against mail-in voting as a means of conducting election fraud.
This is in spite of the fact that he, his wife Melania, his daughter Ivanka, his vice president, his attorney-general, his press secretary, his campaign manager, his education secretary, his health and human services secretary, his commerce secretary, his son-in-law and many of his senior advisers have all voted by mail in recent years.
Donald Trump is trailing badly in the polls. (AP)
Mr Trump's tweet stated that absentee voting is good, though absentee voting and mail-in voting are two different names for the exact same thing.
Democratic voters are more likely to send in absentee ballots, which are usually counted later than those cast in person.
As a consequence, a surge in absentee ballots could mean the results will not be known on election night.
Washington, Oregon, Utah and Colorado hold every election entirely by mail.
There is little evidence of the possibility of widespread voter fraud in mail-in election.
At present Mr Trump is trailing his Democratic rival Joe Biden by double-digits in most polls.
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