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Fox News political editor: Trump 'either trying to provoke a reaction or trying sow doubt' with election delay idea

Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt said President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE "is either trying to provoke a reaction or trying to sow doubt about the outcome" of the 2020 presidential election by raising the idea of delaying it. 

He added that Trump may have been prompted to do so as a "flagrant expression of his current weakness" against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenWoman accused of trying to sell Pelosi laptop to Russians arrested Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Trump moves to lift coronavirus travel restrictions on Europe, Brazil MORE.

“On one hand you don’t take it neither seriously nor literally," Stirewalt said during an appearance on "America's Newsroom" of Trump's tweet suggesting the election could be delayed. "It’s just flummery. He’s either trying to provoke a reaction or trying sow doubt about the outcome.”

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"The idea for an incumbent to suggest that we would delay an election now while he is in power is totally out of character with all of his predecessors and it is a sort of fragrant and flagrant expression of his current weakness. A person who is in a strong position would never, never suggest anything like that," Stirewalt said. "So Trump may be making a tactical error here by further telegraphing his weak position in the polls and his weak position for reelection."

Trump tweeted that there was more likely to be fraud in this year's election if there is more mail-in voting. There's no evidence that mail-in voting is any more likely to be fraudulent than in-person voting.

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history," Trump tweeted to his more than 85 million followers. "It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"

Several top Republicans dismissed the idea on Thursday, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse GOP lawmaker: Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Democrats seize on GOP donor fallout MORE (R-Calif.) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFlorida Republicans close ranks with Trump after Capitol siege Confirmation hearing for Biden's DNI pick postponed McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE (R-Fla.).

"Never in the history of federal elections have we ever not held an election, and we should go forward with our election," McCarthy said Thursday.

“We’re going to have an election. It’s going to [be] legitimate, it’s going to be credible,” Rubio argued. “It’s not going to change. We’re going to have an election in November and people should have confidence in it.”

Trump currently trails Biden in the RealClearPolitics index of polls by 8.3 points nationally.