What Happens if Donald Trump Loses the Election? - It is now increasingly likely that former President Donald Trump will become the Republican Party's nominee for the 2024 presidential race. As a result, people are starting to question what could happen if he loses the general election in November.
It may not be the end of the country, but it could certainly be the end of the GOP – at least as we know it.
A new CNN poll released on Monday signaled that three-quarters of Americans (74%) said they believe the former president would refuse to concede it he losses the election. That is a significant increase from those surveyed four years prior to the 2020 election.
Trump previously refused to accept the results of that election, and his supporters later assaulted the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, following months of rhetoric claiming the result was stolen or otherwise fraudulent. The former president has again planted the seeds for what could be a new crop of election denial – warning that Democrats are already seeking to rig the general election against him.
It was on Sunday that Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) warned that Trump could try to "overturn" the election again if he loses the 2024 race. The former president would likely have an even harder uphill battle however.
As The Washington Post reported, Trump will probably find it harder in 2024 to enlist fake electors – people to formally say he carried a state where his opponent was certified the winner.
There Won't Likely be Violence This Time
While some are predicting that Trump's loyal followers may resort to violence, history is unlikely to repeat itself. For one, Trump won't have the White House lawn from which to hold a rally. The D.C. National Guard will likely already be out on Election Night and possibly for the weeks that follow.
The sight of armed troops in the nation's capital will be a sad sight, but it might be necessary to dissuade any hotheads from causing trouble.
A majority of Americans have made it clear they'd like to see neither Trump nor Biden run again, so a Trump defeat could be a hard pill for his faithful to swallow, but it won't be the catalyst for a Second American Civil War.
But It Will Kill the Republican Party?
The bigger loss won't be a single man failing to return to the election, but it will kill the party of Lincoln and Reagan. Such a loss will result in the extremist fringe – what Biden calls the MAGA Republicans – feeling that their voice isn't heard and that the system is rigged (just like Trump says it is).
They will be the ones who believe their vote no longer matters. That could leave the GOP in the wilderness for a generation – something pundits wrongly suggested would happen after the Democratic Party's victory in the 2008 election. After that the Republicans came back stronger than ever, retaking control of the House and Senate.
Yet the GOP couldn't defeat President Barak Obama in 2012.
This time, the Republicans may not return because it is unlikely they will move on from Trump. In defeat, he'll remain just vocal enough that he will continue to tarnish the brand.
Possibly, a new right centralist party could emerge. It is also possible that a breakup of the GOP could draw some conservative-leaning Democrats. In a wild fantasy scenario we could see a three-party system of extreme liberals, moderates, and extreme conservatives (MAGA Republicans). That's unlikely to happen.
Instead, the Republicans should be ready for a few years in the wilderness – at least until a new breed of conservative emerges.
Author Experience and Expertise: Peter Suciu
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu. You can email the author: Editor@nationalinterest.org.
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore.