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Bannon urges GOP to drop argument on mail-in voting, which Democrats own, or face 'blue tsunami'

'We may not agree with it, but we're going to have to fight that on another day' - Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon
Ex-Trump political guru Steve Bannon
(Stefano Montesi, Getty Images)
Updated: July 11, 2020 - 7:52am

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Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon says he agrees with the Republican Party's principled concerns about the potential for fraud with mail-in balloting but argues the GOP needs to get on board with the concept – and fast – or risk losing the 2020 elections to Democrats who are capitalizing on the initiative.

“We have to get all over it,” Bannon said on the John Solomon Reports podcast Thursday. “I mean, we can have the argument about principle, which I think we have to have. I am not a fan. You know, I voted absentee. … You may not like it. We may not agree with it, but we're going to have to fight that on another day.” 

To be sure, as the coronavirus keeps voters away from public places like polling stations, Democrats have made mail-in balloting a major part of their 2020 agenda. 

In California, among the bluest states in the country, the Democrat-controlled legislature, for example, recently passed  a measure that will result in mail-in ballots being sent to every name on the state voter roll. And on Tuesday, liberal-leaning Delaware became the first state in the country to have a primary in which all registered voters could vote from home. 

Bannon argues that his concerns are beyond personal or speculative, pointing to the latest edition on the Cook Political Report, in which the publication by respected pollster Charlie Cook projects Republicans face massive losses in November.

“I would tell every Republican to read it because it's pretty brutal,” Bannon said. “They say this is not lining up as a blue wave. … A pretty even handed guy is saying a blue tsunami.”

Bannon points specifically to swing state Florida, which Trump narrowly won in 2016 to take the White House and will likely need again. He said he recalls the difference between the number of mail-in voter applications this year for Democrats, compared that for Republicans, is about 300,000. 

“I think it's a stark reality of how this pandemic year is going to play out,” Bannon said. “We have to come to grips with the reality. And unless we can stop it in the courts, somehow, people … should be full on this. We have to start getting people registered. And we particularly have to get them registered to mail and voting.”