President Donald Trump is once again refusing to say if he will accept the results of the 2020 election if he loses, and veteran journalist Ben Jacobs has talked with several experts to figure out what, if anything, Trump can do to stay in power despite losing.
Writing in Medium, Jacobs outlines several scenarios in which Trump loses the election and tries desperately to remain in the White House.
If the election is a blowout loss, Jacobs writes, there is likely very little Trump will be able to do short of organizing a coup with the help of the same career civil servants he has spent years attacking and disparaging.
Things can get trickier if Trump is only narrowly defeated, however -- particularly if the president only decisively loses after all absentee ballots are counted.
"This creates a potential scenario where, on election night, Trump is ahead in states that have the 270 or more electoral votes needed to claim victory, while Biden wins in the final tally days or weeks later, once all the votes are counted," he writes.
All the same, Jacobs rates the likelihood of this happening as rather slim.
"It requires a very specific set of circumstances where Trump loses, challenges the validity of the election, and then still has enough allies in state legislatures and Washington, D.C., to be able to formally overturn the Electoral College results -- to say nothing of the popular vote -- under color of law," he writes. "That said, the convoluted and arcane nature of the American electoral system still presents a number of choke points that create openings for a sore and resourceful loser to attempt to force a different result."