Following his nomination as the Republican candidate for the November 3 presidential election, Donald Trump in his speech told Republicans to be on alert for what he claimed was a Democratic plan to rig the contest through increased use of mail-in voting, a measure Democrats say is needed to protect people from catching COVID-19 in crowded polling stations.
“They are trying to steal the election,” he told party delegates.
“The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election.”
Opponents say Trump’s increasingly extreme resistance to expanded mail-in voting, a method already used widely in the United States, is an attempt to suppress voter turnout, while setting up an excuse to challenge the result if he is defeated.
Trump hopes the convention, which concludes Thursday with his formal acceptance of the nomination, will shift voters’ attention from the coronavirus to what he says is the “super-V” shaped economic recovery.
As a veteran of reality TV, Trump is convinced that the more he gets on stage the better for changing the narrative in his favor.
So while incumbents usually keep away from their party conventions until the final night, Trump immediately took over the event in Charlotte, which had been drastically scaled back due to COVID-19 precautions.
He then flew to the North Carolina town of Mills River with his daughter Ivanka to give another speech, declaring “the great American comeback is underway.”
Trump is expected to make more live television appearances on each of the four days of the convention ahead of his acceptance speech at the White House. Trump’s use of the White House as a setting for the acceptance speech will be a dramatic show of political muscle, but it tramples over the custom of separating political campaigns from the office of president.
Beyond bread and butter issues, Trump’s abrasive style, his habit of insulting people in public, his demonization of journalists and almost total inability to talk to Democratic leaders has left the country divided and exhausted.
Biden is tapping into unhappiness with the president’s handling of the pandemic, unrest over racial inequality and fear of longterm economic damage from the coronavirus shutdown. Biden is ahead in poll surveys but Republicans insist that Trump can replicate his surprise 2016 win and hope the convention will put the wind in his sails.