Donald Trump Is Still Contesting the Election amid Looming Concerns About Transition of Power, the MAGA Movement, and 2024


President Donald Trump gave his first indication that he knows Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election this weekend. As CNN reported, the president used the phrase “he won” in reference to Biden in a Sunday morning tweet laden with conspiracy theories about how or why the Democratic nominee beat Trump. But on Monday morning, the president was still making allegations of fraud and rigging.

Despite his continued insistence on the merits of his legal challenges (which have flopped extensively so far), Trump acknowledging Biden’s win for the first time does feel like a crack in a dam. As Reuters explained last week, recounts are unlikely to bring the president relief either, as they typically only correct a couple of hundred votes at most — not nearly enough to overcome the five- and six-figure margins in the states that carried Biden to 306 Electoral votes and victory.

So what’s next for Trump? Will he leave the White House peacefully? What happens to the MAGA movement? And could he really run in 2024? Let’s take a look.

Continued Contesting

Trump seems poised to continue to contest the 2020 election results. While Election Day has come and gone and it seems clear Biden has an insurmountable lead, the official process of certifying the results will play out over the coming weeks, presenting Trump with several key deadlines to potentially throw a fit about.

As Marketplace explained, the election results used to declare Biden victorious at this point aren’t officially certified by election authorities; they’re the projections of experts employed by the news media, as they have been for decades. While states set their own certification deadlines, the absolute latest they can report their results is December 8 — six days before the Electoral College votes, as explained in a Congressional Research Service report.

Then, the Electoral College votes on December 14 and must deliver its certified results by December 23. On January 6, Congress is scheduled to hold a joint session to count the Electoral votes and declare a winner.

Even if Trump’s legal challenges continue to wash out, there are concerns about other ways people could contest the election, like a “faithless” elector scenario. But that’s only a hypothetical and, according to the Brookings Institution, faithless electors have never changed the outcome of a presidential election.

Regardless, Trump’s continued refusal to concede makes it seem like he’s eager to maintain a perma-tantrum until January 20.

Transition of Power

January 20 is inauguration day, and it may look different than years past due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But if all projections hold as is, Biden will officially become president, hopefully after a peaceful transition of power.

Traditionally, the outgoing president has accompanied the incoming one through the day. There is a chance Trump could snub Biden’s ceremony, though that’s only happened three times in history and most recently in 1869, according to CNN.

Skipping the inauguration is one thing, but could Trump really refuse to leave the White House? His administration has been reportedly holding up key steps in the transition process, which some fear could be a sign he intends to block Biden from assuming the power of the presidency.

However, it seems unlikely that the security apparatus around the president would allow that to happen. Experts told the Atlantic this summer that the transition of power happens whether Trump likes it or not. The Biden campaign has signaled its understanding of this, saying in a viral November 6 statement, “The United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”





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