Fox News appears to be acting as a major suppressant to early Republican voting:
Republicans who say they most trust Fox News are especially distrustful of voting by mail. Nearly three in four Republicans who most trust Fox News (73%), compared to only 44% of Republicans who trust any other news source, say they are not confident at all that voting by mail will be as secure as in-person voting.
They worked hard to do this:
Fox News, of course, has endlessly pushed the myth that vote-by-mail is susceptible to fraud. As Media Matters has documented, the network’s biggest right-wing stars have sought to elevate examples of fraud that fizzled, while also priming audiences to expect that mail balloting will be used to steal the election from Trump. Fox News has sought to undermine viewers’ confidence in the reliability of mail voting, and in some cases Trump has even taken his attacks on mail balloting right from Fox.
If the PRRI numbers are right, this is working beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. But is this actually good for Trump? Probably not.
Remember, Trump’s own allies came to realize that this might be working against them. Not long ago the Republican National Committee unleashed a wave of robocalls urging Trump supporters to vote by absentee ballot, assuring them that they absolutely could trust its veracity, a case they made by relying on an entirely fake distinction between absentee ballots and vote-by-mail.
Given that Republicans have a history of successfully utilizing vote-by-mail in states like Florida, it’s hard to imagine that this would have been necessary had Trump not spent months attacking it. Fox’s efforts surely aren’t helping in that regard.
Meanwhile, all this is backfiring against Trump in another way. Trump has made it blatantly clear that his attacks on mail voting as fraudulent are all about laying the groundwork to seek to invalidate as many mail ballots as possible.
As a result, Democrats have been requesting absentee ballots and voting early by mail in truly extraordinary numbers, rendering that scheme harder to pull off, and further reinforcing the Democratic advantage on this matter. Fox’s relentless promotion of Trump’s attacks may have further underscored the blatancy of Trump’s corrupt designs, stiffening Democratic resolve in response.
The Trump/Murdoch strategy is premised on a close election, emboldening hack Republican judges to throw out mail ballots and stop counts early. But by both failing to lock in votes and by mobilizing Democratic turnout, it’s making a close election less likely. If even 1% of Republican voters who would have voted by mail without Fox’s propaganda decide not to show up…he doesn’t have them to spare even assuming a polling error comparable to 2016 (which given the improved controls for education, the low numbers of undecideds, and Biden’s consistently over 50% vote share is less likely to begin with.) It also makes Republicans particularly vulnerable to bad weather or COVID spikes in key jurisdictions on Election Day (normally a bigger issue for Dems.)
Between this and one of the most inept ratfucks in history, Murdoch might finally pay back some of the horrors he’s inflicted on the world.