The week before Election Day 2020, Democrats have a variety of worries and anxieties — from the possibility of President Donald Trump managing to win enough swing states to pull off a narrow Electoral College victory to Trump prematurely claiming victory before all the votes are counted to Republicans trying to steal the election via the courts and their army of attorneys. Liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent, in his October 26 column, lays out five possible scenarios in which Trump might agree to leave the White House quietly if Biden wins.
Sargent starts out his column by quoting Trump's former personal attorney
Michael Cohen, who recently warned, "There will never be a peaceful transition of power under Donald J. Trump."
"We already know Trump hopes to prematurely declare himself winner while invalidating millions of mail ballots, which could unleash a sustained post-election struggle," Sargent argues. "But if you squint, you can discern various scenarios in which Trump ends up going quietly — or relatively so. Presuming for now that Joe Biden wins, here are five such possibilities."
#1, Sargent writes, is "Biden wins by a landslide."
"To be sure, a landslide win is unlikely," Sargent writes. "Trump is still narrowly favored in Texas and Georgia. But as Harry Enten notes, Biden is closer to winning places like that than Trump is to winning Michigan and Wisconsin, which makes a landslide as plausible as a Trump victory. If so, there would be no possibility that post-election litigation in, say, Pennsylvania could rescue Trump. And large swaths of Trump's supporters might accept the inevitable, leaving no support base for holding out."
Sargent's second possibility is that "Biden wins Florida on Election Night."
"Because Florida's voting rules permit mail ballots to be counted well in advance of Election Day, an election night call here is likely," Sargent explains. "This means avoiding a scenario in which Trump declares himself winner even as enormous numbers of mail ballots remain outstanding in key states. Since Trump has no plausible path without Florida, it would probably mean a winner is called on Election Night."
#3 on Sargent's list is "Biden wins Arizona and runs strong enough in the Rust Belt." And #4 is "vote-by-mail goes well for Biden in Pennsylvania."
"Once Amy Coney Barrett is seated on the Supreme Court," Sargent notes, "Republicans will try again to overrule a lower ruling allowing for the counting of absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day.... Early voting has been so explosive in Pennsylvania — nearly 1.5 million people have already voted by mail there — that it's plausible late-arriving ballots might not be pivotal."
The fifth and final item on Sargent's list is "Fox News behaves responsibly."
"Fox News' decision desk is one area of the network that's reportedly immune to pressure from Trump and his propagandists," Sargent argues. "So, it's plausible that Fox News might call the election against Trump before he and his supporters are willing to surrender….. If Fox News' decision desk handles this responsibly, educating viewers about the realities of Trump's pending loss, it could badly cripple such efforts in the minds of his supporters."
Fox News' Rupert Murdoch has predicted a landslide win for Biden, much to the chagrin of many Trumpistas who feel betrayed.
Sargent concludes his column by hoping that "bedlam" doesn't occur on Election Day.
"None of this is meant to sound sanguine about avoiding serious bedlam," Sargent writes. "All kinds of terrible outcomes in the courts remain possible, as does serious violence. But there are ways this could end with a relative whimper — and a barrage of ALL CAPS tweets — as opposed to something far worse. And there's one way to make these scenarios more likely: vote in enormous enough numbers to make them happen."