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Donald Trump and Joe Biden have not yet taken to the stage for their first debates this year, but steam has already gathered behind both candidates. The US public is both optimistic and anxious ahead of the November 3, as Mr Biden maintains a concrete lead ahead of the incumbent. Polls have seemingly rattled Mr Trump, who has kicked up fears of a rigged postal vote, which critics have branded as a bid to delegitimise potential losses.
Will Donald Trump reject the election results?
Mr Biden has maintained an at times meteoric lead on President Trump, often tracking up to 10 points ahead of his Republican rival.
The incumbent has continued to insist on another win this year, but Twitter posts and interviews over the last few months have indicated a lapse in confidence.
Experts have consistently rejected his claims that postal votes pose a fraud risk, but others fear they indicate rhetoric designed to preempt and discredit a defeat.
Back in August, he declared: “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.”
The bulk of votes this year will likely come via post due to COVID-19.
Most Democrats have signalled their intention to vote by post, meaning the President has locked on to a partisan divide and will discredit opposing votes.
The majority of Mr Trump’s supporters have said they intend to vote in person, which is still allowed.
If Mr Trump says postal votes are untrustworthy now, they say, he may reject the results of an election based on them, especially if they indicate defeat.
Recent research indicates most Democrats fear this, as an Opinium poll conducted for The Guardian showed three in four Biden supporters believe he would reject a loss.
The reservations spread to the general public as well, with 47 percent of Americans fearful the President may trigger a constitutional crisis.
Even 30 percent of Trump voters indicated similar concerns.
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While it seems the President is poised to reject defeat, what would happen afterwards remains up to speculation.
A situation such as this is unprecedented in American politics, as previous electoral crises have ended in good faith.
The Constitution also assumes the passage of power in good faith and does not dictate it must happen peacefully.
Mr Trump has made no showing of good faith with his rivals thus far and continues to hit out against Hillary Clinton, his 2016 opposition.
Experts believe the President will exacerbate rather than solve any ensuing crisis, and continue to consider himself premier.
Ultimately, if neither candidate refuses to concede, neither gets the Presidency.
In this case, the role goes to the Leader of the House in Congress, currently Nancy Pelosi.
Pundits believe the only way Mr Trump would concede is via a crushing defeat, which Presidents rarely achieve.
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