Republican Nationwide Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel unequivocally endorsed mail-in balloting Tuesday, distancing herself from former President Donald Trump on a difficulty that’s fracturing the GOP within the wake of disappointing election outcomes this fall.
“What we do want is our voters have to vote early,” McDaniel, a longtime Trump ally, mentioned throughout a televised interview on Fox Information. “I’ve mentioned this time and again. There have been many in 2020 saying, ‘Don’t vote by mail, don’t vote early.’ And we now have to cease that.”
McDaniel’s feedback got here as a part of an prolonged dialogue on poll harvesting — the third-party assortment of accomplished absentee ballots. McDaniel mentioned the RNC has “perfected” the apply in states the place it is authorized earlier than making her broader level about making the most of early and mail-in voting.
“The dialogue was about Democrats having a month to financial institution votes whereas Republicans count on to get it carried out in sooner or later,” RNC spokesperson Nathan Model mentioned in a press release to NBC Information. “We weren’t speaking concerning the former president, who has inspired his base to vote early and has himself voted by mail.”
However Trump, who already has launched a 2024 presidential marketing campaign, is also essentially the most outstanding skeptic of voting by mail. He continues to boost false and unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, partly by way of vote-by-mail applications in battleground states. As not too long ago as final week on his Fact Social web site, he wrote, in all capital letters for emphasis: “YOU CAN NEVER HAVE FAIR & FREE ELECTIONS WITH MAIL-IN BALLOTS — NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.”
McDaniel’s feedback Tuesday got here as voting was set to finish in Georgia’s Senate runoff between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and GOP challenger Herschel Walker. Early voting there has shattered data, suggesting an edge for Warnock.
The GOP’s early voting deficiencies have come below higher scrutiny after losses in 2020 and 2022. What many believed can be a Republican wave this fall ended with Democrats shedding the Home however sustaining management of the Senate, whereas holding onto — or selecting up — governorships in key states.
“Let’s be clear the GOP did an distinctive job at focusing on, pushing and profitable vote by mail and early vote earlier than Trump, with out benefit, solid all vote by mail as suspect and never dependable,” Chris McNulty, a former RNC political director, tweeted Tuesday. “For those who’re in search of somebody guilty … it’s Trump greater than anybody.”
McDaniel is searching for a fourth time period as RNC chair. She faces a number of attainable opponents, together with Rep. Lee Zeldin, who misplaced a surprisingly shut race for governor in New York; MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a 2020 election conspiracy theorist with a right-wing following; and Harmeet Dhillon, an RNC member from California.
Trump, who handpicked McDaniel as RNC chair after the 2016 election, has not weighed in on the upcoming race. The RNC’s 168 members are anticipated to vote on the matter at their winter assembly subsequent month.