With only slightly over a month before the November election, the vast majority of swing state and national polls signal that a Joe Biden victory over President Donald Trump is highly likely.
In reaction, the Trump campaign has pulled out all the stops to stifle access to mail-in voting in an election year expected to see an unprecedented amount of mail-in ballots.
While another Trump upset victory isn't out of the question, The Atlantic reports that Trump and his closest allies are considering a plan to secure the White House for the current President regardless of the people's will.
Republican sources tell @bartongellman the Trump campaign "is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority." https://t.co/m70OkHOFJU
— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) September 23, 2020
Citing "sources in the Republican party at the state and national levels," the report reads:
"[T]he Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority.
With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires."
A Trump campaign legal advisor elaborated:
"The state legislatures will say, 'All right, we've been given this constitutional power. We don't think the results of our own state are accurate, so here's our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state ... If you have this notion that ballots can come in for I don't know how many days—in some states a week, 10 days—then that onslaught of ballots just gets pushed back and pushed back and pushed back. So pick your poison. Is it worse to have electors named by legislators or to have votes received by Election Day?"
People were alarmed at the campaign's effort.
I don't know how you can look at Trump and the Republicans and not think that the worst-case unthinkable scenarios could happen here. https://t.co/RagidJ02pM
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) September 23, 2020
The Trump campaign is discussing plans to bypass election results in November.
Just let that sink in. https://t.co/5DtL9jufj8
— John Aravosis 🇺🇸🇬🇷🏳️🌈 (@aravosis) September 23, 2020
This is the plan. They don't want your vote to count. They are going to try and do an end run on your will. Trump is a fascist and the GOP are willing collaborators. They know they can't win with their ideas so they are willing to destroy our democracy to stay in power. https://t.co/WXLD72XGkY
— Fred Wellman (@FPWellman) September 23, 2020
“Bypass election results" is a very kind way of saying “stage a coup to seize power against the will of the people" https://t.co/5VxbEhBa1u
— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) September 23, 2020
Well, this is bone-chilling. Of course it would go to the Supreme Court where ... oh, wait ... https://t.co/v7ipJpeuTH
— Harry Godwyn (@harrygod) September 23, 2020
I don't even know how to process this. We're in a pandemic. It will take time to count the votes. So Republicans are openly pursuing a strategy to bypass voters and steal the election, all based on Trump's baseless fearmongering about mail-in voting.https://t.co/kcQZfevDdk
— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) September 23, 2020
Some said that if the effort to bypass the election succeeds, the United States as we knew it will be over.
In which case it's all over. And what will occur with then is too horrible to even contemplate. Never in American history has a generation been more tested to show up to defend our freedom. November 3, 2020 will be remembered one way or the other for as long as our republic lasts https://t.co/iMJUIROsPy
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) September 23, 2020
Folks, I don't want to be alarmist, but we honestly need to be making plans to (peacefully!) march on state legislatures if they try this sort of thing. Like, pick a few swing states near you and plan for how you will get there and who you will bring along if the time comes. https://t.co/f6RHdm0D5p
— Sasha Aickin (@xander76) September 23, 2020
They are now planning on trying to bypass election results? This is really, really bad if they were to be successful with this.
I cannot believe how bold they are getting. Something has to give, this summers riots may look tame in comparison to what's coming. https://t.co/iJnhF5OqyN
— A_Hawktopus (@A_Hawktopus) September 23, 2020
When asked by the Atlantic if the reported plans were true, the Trump campaign Deputy Press Secretary Thea McDonald did not deny them:
"It's outrageous that President Trump and his team are being villainized for upholding the rule of law and transparently fighting for a free and fair election. The mainstream media are giving the Democrats a free pass for their attempts to completely uproot the system and throw our election into chaos."
Republican party leaders in the swing state of Pennsylvania cited in the article said they've already floated loyal electors to the President's people.