As Donald Trump falls behind in the polls, he looks to be lashing out at the legitimacy of the American electoral process. It is a reasonable question to ponder if Trump would indeed acknowledge Clinton if she does win the presidency. If Trump loses the election and decides not acknowledge the results it could cause unnecessary tension, or even potentially lead to violence.
Trump fueling doubts about the election process
On Twitter Trump has been fueling speculation that the election has and is being rigged against him. This kind of talk has increased as of late, and has his supporters increasingly doubting the democratic process used in America. Throughout his campaign he has consistently been critical of the media, and recently he has also stepped up his talk of voter fraud and problems with polling stations.
Other GOP members don’t agree
As we have seen in other cases this election, not everyone within the GOP is in agreement with Trump. This increasing doubt and concern that the election is rigged is not shared by many within the party. Even some of his supporters don’t agree with the notion that it is truly rigged against him in an illegal way.
During an interview on Don Imus' radio show on Monday, Trump supporter and Republican Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said that there were forces working against Trump, but could not go so far as to say that the election was indeed being legally rigged against him.
Is it legally rigged? No it's not. Whoever wins, wins. - Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)
In an interview with Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) by Chris Cuomo on CNN, similar sentiments were echoed. He did not completely discredit Trump for his thinking, agreeing that the media and other forces did certainly oppose Trump. But, he elaborated saying that he did not want to delegitimize the electoral process by going as far as Trump has in saying it is rigged.
Chris, I don't want to say anything on this program that delegitimizes the elections because I don't want the American people to lose faith in our process. If we do, this entire constitutional republic could come tumbling down. - Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
Jon Husted, who is also a Republican and Ohio's Secretary of State, took issue with Trump accusing the elections of being unfair in an interview on CNN. Husted is responsible for overseeing the election in Ohio, and went on to guarantee Trump supporters and Republicans that a fair election would be provided in his state. The accusations made by Trump have thus far been unsubstantiated, and Jon Husted made that clear in his remarks.
The idea of widespread voter fraud would require some systemic problem in our system, and so if there's a systemic problem, please identify it. Don't just make an allegation on Twitter. Tell me, tell the secretaries of state around the country what the problem is so that we can fix it. - Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State
The position of Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has also gone against Trump's concerns with voter fraud. In a statement released on Saturday Paul Ryan did not substantiate Trumps claims about a rigged election, and said he had faith in the system in place.
Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity. - AshLee Strong, Spokesperson for Paul Ryan
Could have far reaching consequences
The primary concern is that after the election this distrust in the electoral process will pervade if Trump does indeed lose. It seems unlikely in the event of a Trump loss that everything said by him in the time leading up to November 8th will just disappear. There are real concerns to be considered by both Republicans and Democrats if Trump does indeed refuse to acknowledge the results of the election in the event of his loss.