Alexander Panetta wrote for CBC News this week that “Donald Trump is now a history-making loser,” as the U.S. president continues refusing to accept the election results even after the Electoral College certified Joe Biden’s win.
Not in a century and a half, since the post-Civil War era, has a defeated presidential candidate continued to challenge the results past those electoral college meetings.
That’s where Trump now finds himself. He has persisted in peddling the idea he can still win even after losing Monday in the formal electoral votes.
He not only denied the electoral college reality in a flurry of defiant tweets. Trump’s campaign also convinced groups of Republicans to organize their own parallel meetings in various swing states and declare him the winner.
Trump’s next apparent move is to stage a challenge of the Electoral College votes when Congress undertakes its duty to certify the results on Jan. 6. Here, too, the president is destined to lose, Panetta wrote.
The congressional numbers simply aren’t there for him. For Trump to get the required simple majority in both houses of Congress to nullify certain states’ votes, he would need a string of unprecedented and, frankly, unfathomable developments.
For starters, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives would have to agree to it. It’s highly unlikely he would even get the tiny Republican Senate majority to go along, given that several Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have already recognized or even congratulated Biden on his win.
Both chambers would need to nullify the results in at least three states, strip Biden of at least 37 electoral votes to keep him under the 270 majority, and then to force what’s called a contingent election in which each state delegation in Congress gets a vote.
Alexander Keyssar, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and author of a book on the history of the electoral college, told Panetta: “Not gonna happen. It’s just not gonna happen.”
In the end, Trump will have lost at every turn on his seemingly endless quest to win the 2020 election.
Image credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead / Public Domain