Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of clay Magazine or TPS.
Well, we have all expected this moment: for the election to be over and for the results to be contested until Inauguration Day. Many on the Democratic side, including projected President-elect Joe Biden, call for an end to contesting the election results, while those in the Republican camp believe that investigating the results is the only way to promote a free and fair election. So what will these legal battles lead to?
First, what are the chances that Trump actually flips the election with these investigations? To break it down, Trump and his legal team will need to prove not only that there is corruption in the election, but that it is substantial enough in the key states to flip the votes over to the Republicans’ side. These include Georgia, Wisconsin There are a few things to clear up. First, Trump doesn’t need all 6 states to flip in order to win the presidency. As a general rule, Trump would need between 3 or 4 of these states’ electoral votes to win, which again, though a daunting task, is significantly easier than winning every one of the contested states. Second, these investigations are not recounts. Many in the media, including ABC and NBC News, have dismissed the potential effects of any investigation since recounts have never resulted in a large swing of votes. However, these investigations are meant to uncover or review large-scale discrepancies that may have occurred in the election. This includes concerns such as hundreds of thousands of consecutive votes being counted for Joe Biden in Michigan and Wisconsin or “tens of thousands of unlawfully counted votes” in Georgia. Again, these must be verified, but if they are, it could swing the election in Trump’s favor. Although it is slim, the chance is still there for a Republican victory.
Second, what could happen regardless of the result of the election? Most notably, there could be a restoration of the American people’s trust in the election system. Over the past 6 elections, the losing side has become more and more skeptical of the integrity of the election, with an exception being in the 2004 Presidential race. Since then, the Morning Consult reveals that the divide between the losing and winning parties has skyrocketed, especially concerning the freedom of the election.
This chart uncovers the trend that has been sweeping the nation around election time: the losing party thinks the other cheated. Whether the reason is a controversial flip of Florida, claims that dead people voted, or that Russia interfered in the election, the losing side believes the winner pulled the rug out from the American people. With definitive evidence that Trump’s claims are true or false, the American people can look past this election with a newfound trust in the electoral process. However, this may be more difficult than Trump flipping the election, since previous investigations, most recently the Mueller Report, have done little to convince the losing party to believe in the election results. With this in mind, let’s try to break this vicious cycle through these words of advice.
To Republicans: The election results were straight-up disappointing. Many truly believed Trump was going to win, contrary to most polls, but after a surprising comeback, the Biden campaign pulled it off. However, take the investigations at face value. If the investigations work, then they work, but just because they might not work doesn’t mean Biden stole the election. Even if he did, there are still plenty of other reasons to believe this election cycle was a success. Maintaining a Senate majority and unprecedented success in the House of Representatives are both huge Republican wins, even if the White House isn’t secured. Don’t become too focused on the presidency and become the second coming of the Democrats that tormented politics for the last 4 years with their Russian collusion beliefs. Believe the investigations and their results, but don’t go to the next extreme.
To Democrats: Congratulations, Biden probably won the Presidential election. Probably. If he doesn’t because of these investigations, know that nothing about was rigged. In fact, several of Trump’s lawsuits have already been rejected, showing the easy path to victory the Biden administration has and the fact that Trump isn’t getting a free pass from the judicial system.. If Biden is inaugurated on January 20, be responsible with the country. It’s safe to say that many Trump voters prioritize policy over party, meaning that simply making good decisions could begin stitching together the canyon of difference between the parties. Look to understand the loser’s perspective when looking at policy, even if you believe Trump supporters didn’t do the same for Democrats. The best way to restore the soul of the nation is not a Democratic administration, rather an active effort by both parties to find common ground and understanding will accomplish that far more than any partisan action.