President Trump’s rhetoric casting doubt on the integrity of mail-in voting ignited debates about whether the federal government should be allowed to intervene in states’ policy decisions regarding how elections are conducted. This study examines public opinion on rhetorical threats by the Trump Administration to block the expansion of states’ vote-by-mail policies and potentially delay the November 2020 election. In an online survey experiment, respondents were randomly assigned to receive information regarding the traditional role of states in administering U.S. federal elections and more or less salient partisan cues. Even though the information treatment was successful in informing respondents about intergovernmental control and reducing partisan gaps in knowledge, it had only a modest impact on attitudes. Preferences about which level of government should be in charge are malleable, subject to partisan and context-specific considerations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science