President Donald Trump is behind in the polls nationally and in most battleground states, but many of his supporters are sure only fraud can sink him.
The president himself has been stoking conspiracies about fraudulent ballots, and his supporters believe he would be justified in challenging a losing result and are already blaming Trump's opponents for any violence that might break out, reported the New York Times.
“I think the country is more volatile if he wins legitimately, that’s my bigger concern,” Rick Slowicki, a 52-year-old courier service owner from Philadelphia. “Republicans aren’t the ones known to be strong protesters. Before he even stepped into the presidency, the protests and the rioting had begun, and it’s just continued.”
Slowicki does not support Trump refusing to leave office if he loses, but many of his supporters don't see any way the president can legitimately lose.
“There’s going to be massive attempts at fraud,” said 73-year-old Sylvia Rhodes Blakey, Green Valley, Arizona. “There are so many illegals that have the names of dead people, and they’re voting on those ballots.”
Jim Thienel, a 73-year-old from Waterford, Michigan, said his experience as a poll watcher in Detroit convinced him that voter fraud would be rampant in the Nov. 3 election -- and he feared Democrats would become violent if their alleged efforts to cheat failed.
“I just spent three and a half hours in gun training today because I’m concerned,” Thienel said.
Voter after voter told the Times they believed the winner should be settled by the time TV networks sign off on Election Night, and they support Trump refusing to accept results that aren't known for days or even weeks.
“We have an Election Day,” said Sherry Livering, a 58-year-old homemaker from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. “I don’t want to wait two weeks, that’s ridiculous.”
Charles Thompson, a 73-year-old certified public accountant from Green Valley, agreed.
“For most of my life," he said, "by the time I went to bed, I knew who was going to be president."