After they had been sworn by Trump and his people for months that the November 3rd election would not be right if their president was defeated, it is hardly surprising that they will not give up.
But despite these deniers of reality and despite repeated scandalous attempts to overturn the election result with political pressure and legal means, the process is only developing in one direction. And at the end of this process, Biden, who won over seven million more votes than Trump nationwide and also the majority in the Electoral College, will be sworn in as the new president on January 20th.
The 78-year-old Democrat will take another major hurdle this Monday when the 538 electoral college electors from their respective states and the Washington DC metropolitan area to vote for the future president.
Does Trump still have legal opportunities to challenge the election result?
Last Tuesday, Safe Harbor Day, the deadline expired within which the results could be challenged in the individual states. In virtually all states, the judges have let Trump’s attempts to do this rebound without result. The only legal battle his attorneys won was about a formality and the decision did not affect the election result. Even before the Supreme Court, the Republicans failed to hold back Biden’s election.
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Can there still be surprises on Monday?
Not all electors are bound by the election result, so Biden has 306 electoral votes and Trump has 232. 270 are required for an election. In 14 states, voters are theoretically free to make their decisions. However, since they were originally nominated or elected by a specific party (each state can determine the procedure itself), there are rarely any surprises here.
The party of the candidate who got the majority of the “Popular Bote” in the respective state may nominate its electorate, who then usually vote as expected. In individual cases, “Faithless Electors” have violated it, for example in 2016 when two electorates refused to vote Trump (and five Hillary Clinton).
Since 1796 this has only happened 180 times, and such deviant behavior has never changed the outcome of a presidential election. And Biden won 36 more voters than were necessary for his election. So it is very unrealistic that Trump will be elected this Monday.
Electoral College votes will then be counted, certified and sent in sealed envelopes to Washington, where they must arrive by December 23rd and will be read and counted on January 6th at a joint session of the House and Senate. The meeting will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, who will then officially proclaim the winner.
What else could happen there?
Here, too, there are mainly theoretical possibilities. Republicans could appeal against results from individual states during the session. Pence will ask for such objections, in normal times it’s more of a symbolic process.
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But nothing is normal under Trump, so it is quite conceivable that one or the other conservative parliamentarian will use this means to further fuel their base. Alabama MP Mo Brooks has already announced this.
In order for this objection to become a hearing for the two chambers of congress, he would need the support of a senator. Nothing is known about this yet. And even if someone should still be found, the result can only be changed if both chambers agree. In the House of Representatives, however, the Democrats have a majority.
Will Trump peacefully evacuate the White House?
Ultimately, he will have no choice but to move out on January 20th, the day of Biden’s election. But until then he will still use every chance to cause unrest and stir up his followers. This should not be underestimated with a view to the upcoming elections.
The first is due on January 5, when two runoff elections in Georgia will not only decide on the two Senate seats of this state, but also on who will have a majority in the Senate in the future.
Trump has described himself as a bad loser and in all likelihood will skip Biden’s “inauguration” on January 20th. The newly elected president will be able to live with it.