Donald Trump hinted this Thursday, July 30 that the US presidential election next November could be postponed. Behind this unprecedented announcement hides a well thought-out electoral strategy, analyzes Françoise Coste, professor of American civilization at the University of Toulouse Jean-Jaurès.

what Donald Trump suggested this Thursday on Twitter, citing the risk of fraud linked to the establishment of postal voting in many states. The president then speaks of “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history“. But the Constitution of the United States does not allow the president to postpone the date of the elections and Donald Trump is aware of this. “Data-reactid =” 20 “> In the United States, the presidential election scheduled for the month of November could be postponed. what Donald Trump suggested this Thursday on Twitter, citing the risk of fraud linked to the establishment of postal voting in many states. The president then speaks of ” the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history “. But the Constitution of the United States does not allow the president to postpone the date of the elections and Donald Trump is aware of this.

Françoise Coste: It’s really historic, it has never happened before. Not only is it impossible to postpone the election, but having a president say it out loud is further proof that the United States is going through a serious political crisis, which is becoming a constitutional crisis. It is no longer just a battle between Democrats and Republicans; it is a crisis of institutions. If the election cannot take place or if it goes badly because people were prevented from voting by mail, and if the loser refuses the result, there is no mechanism in place to manage that.

With this threat, Donald Trump is preparing the minds of Democrats but also those of his Republican fans. If he were to lose in November, he was preparing them for a reaction on his part where he would not accept the results, he would not find them legitimate. He would consider that the election is too close or that there was fraud. Donald Trump would find excuses to say “I do not accept my defeat and therefore I do not leave the White House”. Which never happened either. It would be a coup, we can use the term “coup”. It is a fairly transparent strategy: in January and February, he was convinced, rightly or wrongly, that he would be easily re-elected. But since then there has been the pandemic and the economic crisis.

Postal voting has always existed in the United States. But this year, we will have to develop it because there are a lot of voters – sick people or the elderly – who will be afraid to go and vote because of the pandemic which, by November, will not will probably not have disappeared in the United States. If Donald Trump, and Republicans with him, oppose facilitating access to this postal vote, it is because they are convinced that the majority of voters who would ask to vote by mail will instead be Democratic voters: African-American voters, or Hispanics, who live in large cities heavily affected by the virus.

Donald Trump’s idea to get elected is therefore to ensure that there is the lowest possible voter turnout, knowing that abstention will benefit the Republican Party. This was the case in 2016: one of the main reasons Hillary Clinton lost was because there was a strong abstention from the Democratic base.