House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he has warned President Donald Trump that his repeated attacks on voting by mail could backfire and hurt both his reelection efforts and Republicans in other races.
“We could lose based on that,” McCarthy told Axios, saying the result could be that Democrats vote by mail while Republicans don’t ― and because of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump supporters might not vote in person, either.
“I tried to show him ... You know who is most afraid of COVID? Seniors,” he said. “And if they’re not going to go vote, period, we’re screwed.”
That, he added, would not only hurt Trump’s reelection chances but could also cost Republicans seats in down-ballot races.
Trump has repeatedly attacked voting by mail, claiming without evidence that mail-in ballots lead to fraud — despite the fact that he and his family and colleagues have routinely voted by mail themselves.
Surveys have shown that Trump’s attacks have hit home with his base: According to a Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape poll last month, 48% of Biden supporters plan to vote by mail, versus 23% of Trump voters.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.