Donald Trump and several Republicans continue to deny that Joe Biden won the presidential election. The secretary of state has stated that a smooth transition will take place to put Trump in power again. The attorney general has allowed federal prosecutors to investigate election irregularities, despite there being no evidence.
However, the probability of Trump being successful in staging a coup is extremely low. This is because, firstly, in December the Electoral College will be electing the President and every State allocates electors based on the popular vote of the state.
Biden is leading by huge margins in several states and the only way Trump could win is if legislatures who favor the Republicans dismiss their state’s popular vote and appoint electors by their own will. This is only allowed if the states have not decided until the meeting of the Electoral College.
States have made their choice in favor of Biden, so this is not possible. A law professor from the University of California has described this as an ‘anti-democratic power grab’.
The top Republican in Pennsylvania stated that his party will strictly follow the law and will not interfere in deciding the results of the presidential election. However, later the Republicans in the legislature of the state decided they wanted to go ahead with an investigation into voter fraud.
Trump’s campaign continues to file several lawsuits to drag out the vote counting and to create doubts and uncertainty. This is because every state has a deadline of 8th December to finalize its election outcome. If Trump is successful in delaying this process until after the deadline, he has an opportunity to undermine the results.
This, however, may not be possible for him because no substantial claims have been made by the Trump campaign and courts will proceed to certify the votes.
Even in the worst-case scenario, many key battleground states have a Democratic governor who will not allow Republicans to dismiss the popular vote when Biden is winning by a huge margin.
If there is a disagreement in electors from a state, Congress is responsible for handling this situation. The law for this is undoubtedly very puzzling, however, many experts are of the view that the state governor’s choice should be favored.
If by 20th January, there has been no conclusive result, an acting president would be appointed who would be the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.