13 Oct 2016

What happens if Trump loses?

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:16 pm on 13 October 2016

Polling indicates Donald Trump is likely to lose the US presidential election, but what happens then?

Journalist Chris Arnade says Trump would most likely claim the result was rigged, leading to tens of millions of his supporters losing faith in the electoral system and blaming immigrants and minorities for 'stealing the election'.

Donald Trump greets supporters outside of Trump Towers in Manhattan October 8, 2016 in New York City.

Donald Trump greets supporters in New York City after the video of him making lewd comments emerged. Photo: AFP

If Trump loses the election, Arnade predicts an America in which the losing voters would have "zero respect for and immense anger towards society".

About 20 percent of the electorate support Trump and delegitimising the result would consolidate that support, he says.

“One of the conventions is people accept the outcome of elections and move on, they call up the winner and concede and move on.

“And when you look at everything he’s done, he’s broken all the conventional standards.”

Arnade says whenever Mr Trump is down he blames the polls and says the system is rigged.

“He was one of the first and most vocal voices delegitimising President Obama, saying Obama was not born in the US so couldn’t be president. This is delegitimising the nation by saying the election is rigged.”

Mr Trump is also becoming increasingly vocal about voter fraud and he blames minorities in the US for this, Arnade says.

“He talks about minorities voting twice or three times or four times. He talks about Philadelphia, a heavily black city in Pennsylvania, as being rampant with fraud.”

And he’s firing at his own party, saying the Republican leadership is going to stand by while this rigged election happens.

“So he’s preparing himself, basically, just to burn it all down.”