Thursday, 12 November 2020

It’s Not Over: Here Is How Donald Trump Can Remain President Despite Losing Popular Vote & Electoral College

 


Contrary to popular perception, the 2020 United States Election is far from over. Even though Democratic candidate Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump, the results are yet to be certified due to the complicated nature of the US presidential election certification process. In fact, due to this uniquely American process, President Donald Trump can lose the popular vote, fail to get a majority in the electoral college, and still be legally sworn in as the president of the United States for a second term. Here is how.

While Joe Biden has already been announced as the winner, the formal winner of the election will only be certified in January 2021, when Congress convenes to count the electoral votes.

 In the past, this process had largely been a mere formality because the losing presidential candidate has always conceded defeat after the media announces the winner of the presidential election. However, President Donald Trump has refused to concede defeat and is challenging the election results alleging that there were fraud and election rigging.

Due to President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede defeat, it means, that according to the United States Constitution, the election is still not over. His campaign staff has indicated that they will be filing numerous lawsuits, challenging the counting of mail-in ballots.

In the event that the Trump campaign loses the court cases, they can demand that the states refuse to certify the results of the election. They can even send a rival set of electors to the Electoral College and to Congress which will result in an unprecedented crisis.

 

How Donald Trump Can Remain President Despite Losing
How Donald Trump Can Remain President Despite Losing

 

According to the US Constitution, in the event of a constitutional crisis over the elections, the matter will be decided by the House of Representatives who will then vote for the president. The last time this happened was in 1824 when John Quincy Adams was elected President by the House of Representatives.

However, the House of Representatives is not obligated to follow the wishes of the people as expressed by the popular vote or the electoral vote. In fact, the House of Representatives can totally disregard the election results and elect as President the losing candidate.

Even crazier, when the election goes to the House of Representatives, individual congresspeople do not get to vote. Instead, voting is done by states.  Since there are more red states than blue states, there is a possibility that the Republicans can just anoint their candidate to be president even if he loses the popular vote and the majority of the electoral college.

At the time of publishing, President Donald Trump has already lost the majority of the electoral college and he is more than 5 million votes behind on the popular vote, with results from 3 states still outstanding. Though it seems highly improbable, Donald Trump can still be inaugurated as President of the United States on January 20, 2021.

It will be folly to write off Donald Trump, as the past election has shown that though unconventional, he is a smooth operator who can get results.

To those who may be wondering why the US Constitution was written in a way that allows someone to lose an election and still be sworn in as president, here is why.

The Founding Fathers did not believe that the American people should directly choose the president and vice president. However, they did not want to give Congress the power of selection, either, and they came up with the convoluted process. The process has worked well up to now because the losing candidate has always conceded defeat. Clearly, the founding fathers never anticipated a candidate like President Donald Trump.

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