With each day, Donald Trump is hit with more bad news regarding his chances of winning a second term in office. Whether it’s a poll showing him 14 points behind Joe Biden, the ever-increasing death toll from coronavirus, or a new uptick in the already enormous jobless rate, it becomes painfully clear to Trump and his campaign team that the 2020 election could well be a disaster for Republicans.
So, as Trump learned in 2016, the only way he can win is by cheating. The only question is what method to use.
As Michael Tomasky notes in a fascinating article for The Daily Beast, there are several ways we can expect Trump to try and rig or steal the election:
The 2016 Way
This would be a repeat of 2016. Trump would win narrowly in some key states and lose the popular vote but eke out a win in the Electoral College:
“Except this time, he’s likely to lose the popular vote by more than last time, perhaps far more.”
You probably recall Florida in 2000. Now imagine another scenario from Florida, 20 years later:
“Remember how in Bush v. Gore the five conservative justices in essence ruled against states’ rights, that supposedly time-honored conservative principle? That is, Florida wanted to recount the votes, but the court — in an unsigned decision that they insisted did not set precedent — overruled the state.
“Well, this time, they might do the exact opposite!”
In other words, if Trump is losing by a few thousand votes, the five conservative justices currently on the court might rule in favor of recounts until Trump is declared the winner in the Sunshine State.
A case is already before the Supreme Court that would allow electors to vote against the will of the people, and it could well change presidential elections as we know them.
If the high court allows it, this would let Republican states won by a Democratic presidential candidate appoint electors that would instead vote for the Republican.
The votes are counted and the Electoral College is tied, 269-269. And in that case, the House of Representatives would choose the next president. The House is controlled by the Democrats, so Biden would win, right? Not necessarily.
The 435 members of the House wouldn’t vote as individuals. They’d vote as state delegations, with each delegation getting one vote. And since the GOP has a 26-25 lead in state delegations (the District of Columbia is included as a state delegation in such a scenario), they’d likely put Trump in for a second term, Tomasky explains:
“Picture it. Trump has lost the popular vote by five million. Through rampant voter suppression and other dirty tricks … he manages to finagle an Electoral College tie. Then it goes to the House, where this nutso scheme they came up with in 1803 when state population differentials weren’t anywhere near what they are today is used to hand Trump re-election.”
All of this explains why a huge Democratic turnout is so important. A landslide is much harder to contest. But that depends on each of us making sure we vote no matter what. Then we can send this grifter and his enablers packing.