Why Donald Trump is not conceding US election defeat?
“I won the Election!” tweed Donald J Trump on 18th November after weeks of US election 2020 result announcement and after losing war. But why Donald Trump is not conceding US election defeat when the stats are totally against him. It has now been over two weeks since the US election day. The results declared that Democrat Joe Biden had captured enough electoral votes to be declared President-elect. This meant that President Trump would become just one of the four US Presidents to be defeated after serving a single term in the office in the last century.
Despite the results being announced President Trump has refused to accept defeat and officially concede his post to his rival. Today we take a look at why Donald Trump believes he still is meant to serve another term and what the near future holds for him.
Conceding an Election
After every election, it is customary for the incumbent president or the losing contender to officially accept defeat and yield to the new president-elect and assist in a smooth transition of power. Donald Trump, however, has claimed that the elections were rigged against him. Although it may come as a surprise Trump is well within his rights to not concede. If he has any serious doubts about the accuracy of the election results he is allowed to contest it. Trump has also demanded an audit and recount of votes in several states. The democrats too would have wanted a recount of votes if Trump had won a second time after winning by narrow margins the first time.
In fact, this is a much better stance to be taken than politicians simply claiming the elections being rigged, but doing nothing to verify their claims. This is however not the first time that a candidate has requested a recount of votes. The Bush vs. Al Gore election of 2000 disputed election was settled by a recount of votes in the state of Florida. What was even more interesting is that Bush won by a margin of 537 votes in order to gain the EV from the state.
(John McCain’s concession speech from the 2008 US election)
The country, however, may suffer from the consequences of the dispute. These could be the economic or the threat to national security that the country may face. Unfortunately, the US faces a greater threat today i.e. from the Coronavirus.
What are the Grounds for Trump not Conceding?
Trump, although defeated still, seems to be trying to hold a few aces up his sleeve. Let us take a look if these are good enough to power him into a second term.
As mentioned earlier Trump claimed that election fraud was committed in favor of Biden. Before we take a look at the allegation we need to understand the special provisions that were implemented for the 2020 elections. Voters who generally are supposed to vote in person in polling booths were allowed to mail their votes. This was done by making use of Postal Ballots. Different states have different laws on how the election is run. Some would count ballots received before election day, whereas others would count ballots as long as they were posted by election day. This has led to basically two types of lawsuits filed by Trump.
– Claims of Fraud
The first being the claim that ballots were counted irrespective of the date assigned depending on the state. The Ballots if received post respective deadlines are supposed to be left unopened. These were to be transferred to storage where they are to be destroyed. The Trump campaign claims that this was not the case.
Many ballots that were received post respective deadlines were counted too. This makes a significant difference as the majority of the republican voters are said to have voted in person at the polls. In contrast to the majority of Democratic voters preferring Mail-in Ballots due to the corona scare. In fact, trouble started brewing when the vote-counting process was stopped on election day when Trump was leading in several states. The next day Trump slowly began losing his lead in slow motion and the sheer volume of mailed ballots was concerning.
In addition to this states follow a Cure process where if they find any irregularities in the ballots like mistakes in address, occupation of a voter, etc. The voter is then allowed to correct them. The Trump campaign included irregularities in this process too.
– Barring Poll Watchers
The second lawsuit in many states pertains to Poll watchers barred from performing their duties. The Vote count in the US election allows officials from both sides to examine the process. This is done in order to ensure that there are no irregularities.
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The Trump campaign had alleged in multiple affidavits filed that republican poll watchers were barred from performing their duties. The Trump campaign demanded that the vote-counting be stopped until republican poll watchers are allowed to commence their duties.
Republican officials also claimed that if they were allowed to resume, they were placed too far away citing the virus, again barring them from witnessing the vote count. These restrictions went on to add to the lawsuit mentioned in the first point. Republicans claimed that as the poll watchers were not allowed, the election officials managed to manipulate the mail ballots.
What the courts had to say?
Both the litigations were put forward in multiple states like Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
The courts in Georgia dismissed the lawsuit that poll watchers weren’t allowed in Georgia. The claims in Michigan were dismissed too as the poll watcher in question could not specifically name the or identify the official or board that removed him. Nevada too had claims of poll watchers being barred. The poll watchers claimed that when he arrived he was first told that the counting was already over. He later was removed from the premises.
The officials, however, claimed that the Republican poll watcher was removed as he had tried to record the event. The Trump campaign had claimed that 682,479 ballots had been counted illegally in the Pennsylvania. The court is set to hold the hearing today.
Can these irregularities make a difference?
Every vote is important but if taken into account or excluded can the election shift? In states like Georgia and Pennsylvania, it is claimed that there simply are not enough possible illegal ballot votes that can be claimed by the Trump campaign inorder to actually sway the election.
Trump would need to overturn the result in at least 3 swing states to actually have a chance at beating Biden.
Recount of Votes
The vote recount process too requires a significant amount of funds from the party initiating it. Take Wisconsin for eg. Trump will have to pay up to $7.9 million for a recount to take place. This would differ from state to state.
Recounts in Georgia, however, have found irregularities as more than 2500 uncounted ballots were found. Two out of three were in favor of Trump. This still will not be enough to change the result as Biden lead by more than 14,000 votes in Georgia.
Why does Trump’s refusal to concede gain so much momentum?
In order to understand this, it is important to review his tenure as a president and his previous opponents. The 2016 election was a surprise when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s election was followed by the USA’s tolerant left using all means to get rid of him. These included his campaign being spied on, multiple lawsuits being filed against him, and even a motion to get him impeached was involved.
The worst of all was the media censorships and trials. These continued for 4 years. It soon became evident that the media in the US favored either liberals or conservative values.
Most of the news channels like CNN, NPR, MSNBC with liberal values were critical of Trump. Whereas conservative channels like Fox favored. This can be evidently seen in the media always trying to portray him as a racist despite him disavowing extreme right racist groups a number of times. This bias has been easily caught on by viewers.
The turning point came when liberal news channels and several social media sites provided extremely low coverage to the Hunter Biden Scam. The story had exposed the corrupt dealings Biden had with Russia.
Twitter went as far as to temporarily deactivate accounts of individuals who shared news of the scam exposing the Biden family. These edited narratives repeatedly pushed by media have polarised the Trump supporters further towards him.
In addition to this, the country was plagued by riots like the BLM (Black Lives Matter). These riots were intensified by the Antifa groups resulting in destruction and mass looting throughout the country. These events also added to the polarisation of groups towards Trump.
Other instances like pre-election polls predicted a blue wave. But that did not happen as Trump garnered over 73 million votes proving them wrong. All these attempts over the four years have been seen as ploys by the left doing anything and everything to get rid of Trump.
And when Trump finally goes out announcing that the elections being rigged, it simply falls into the narrative the Democrats have created for themselves over the years as just another play in their book to get rid of Trump.
What is Next for Trump?
After observing the possible outcomes it almost seems mathematically impossible for Donald Trump to overturn the elections. Even with a recount there simply do not seem to be enough votes to swing up to 3 states in his favor.
What is surprising however is that Trump has remained more or less unfazed by the results. He continues to carry on. He even signed an executive order on November 12th banning American companies from investing in Chinese entities with ties to the military.
This highlights the problems it could be viewed as Trump being an incumbent President working against the new administration who may take a different approach towards China.
(Trump went golfing as the Vote count got extended)
Many concerns have been raised on what happens if Trump does not accede? Even if Trump remains in the White House post-January 20, 2021 then simply will be an ex-president not permitted to exercise any powers which will be with Biden.
In addition, Trump will be admitted into the White House only if he is invited. For now, these concerns are simply another media hoopla.
It has been reported that Trump has been coming increasingly in terms with his defeat. A close aid has revealed that Trump expressed the possibility of him running a third time for his 2nd term in 2024. But there are doubts if the Republican donors would financially back him once again. In addition, there also have been rumors that Trump has planned to start a news network to compete with Fox News.
Either way by claiming that the elections were rigged Trump goes down as a Martyr for conservative values and manages to win regardless of what he does. The Trump following and Trump influence will remain intact if he comes back for a second term or if he moves into the News business.
In addition, a number of republicans would owe it to Trump for being elected thanks to his grip on Republican voters. In addition, Trump also gained a significant amount of Blacka and Hispanic votes in comparison to 2016. One of the very few Presidents able to do so.
The legal repercussions, however, will continue to haunt chase after Trump for years to come. A number of lawsuits were filed in a desperate attempt. These include sexual misconduct lawsuits, Tax, and bank fraud investigation, real-estate fraud investigation, etc.
President-elect Joe Biden has privately told advisers that he doesn’t want his presidency to be consumed by investigations of his predecessor.
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Aron, Bachelors in Commerce from Mangalore University, entered the world of Equity research to explore his interests in financial markets. Outside of work, you can catch him binging on a show, supporting RCB, and dreaming of visiting Kasol soon. He also believes that eating kid’s ice-cream is the best way to teach them taxes.