A spoiler alert for those mercifully hoping for an uneventful Tuesday: This could also be the race that never ends. And did I mention they are throwing bricks at the runners?
According to Axios, Donald Trump is planning to declare victory if it looks like he’s ahead on election night. That is the nightmare scenario I warned about in August. And it’s just one of the many ways this election could go sideways after the votes are all cast. The Trump campaign is reportedly telling top surrogates to keep November open for more rallies or campaign events after election day, as ballots are being counted. And they’re now making all online donations recurring weekly ones by default, which is quite the online gimmick to trigger just days before the contest those contributions are supposed to help win is ostensibly set to end.
So while nearly everyone is waiting to exhale, there’s a real possibility that we will end up in a sort of campaign season purgatory where it’s always winter but never Christmas. If no clear victor emerges, we won’t just enter into a contested election with well-heeled lawyers arguing on Crossfire and bespectacled bureaucrats counting chads. No, there will be rallies and protests and TV ads and speeches and riots—and not just the “Brooks Brothers” kind with khaki-wearing preppies, but the brick-throwing kind. Already, major cities are being boarded up, and not in preparation for a Biden victory like all the polls and talking heads are telling us will happen. This is to protect us from the same people who are tearing up Philadelphia and Portland, in the event that Trump wins, pretends he wins, or if it’s just not clear who won.