The Conservative Case That Donald Trump Lost the 2020 Election

As members of Congress gather today to finalize the results of the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump and his supporters are still insisting he won. Republican lawmakers in both chambers are preparing to object to the electoral tallies in key swing states, echoing the president’s claims of voter fraud. They won’t succeed. They don’t have the numbers. And they also don’t have the facts to support their claims. It’s worth pausing for a moment to understand what exactly they’re claiming and why they’re so wrong.

First of all, since it’s not uncommon for a political candidate to claim that an election was stolen from them, there obviously needs to be a high bar when it comes to proof. How could a candidate clear that bar? Well, first and foremost, they’d need to prove that any potential fraud could have cost them the election. So, if, let’s say, a governor of a state loses by 20,000 votes, but there’s strong evidence that there were 100 fraudulent votes, that shouldn’t be enough to overturn the election. That’s because voter disenfranchisement goes both ways. While the voters would be wronged if fraud changed the results of the election, changing the results of the election without enough fraud to change the results would also wrong the voters. 

That puts Trump in an extremely difficult position right off the bat because Biden captured 306 electoral votes, while Trump only received 232. That means Trump would have to prove there was enough fraud to change the results in at least three contested states to overcome Biden’s lead. Maybe more. For example, if Trump proved that fraud cost him Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada, he’d STILL come up short.

If Trump did have evidence that there was fraud in three or more states, how could he prove it? Trump or his lawyers making a claim certainly isn’t proof. Neither are opinion pieces in the conservative media, particularly when claims of fraud are being rewarded with attention and traffic while admitting Trump lost just produces mostly angry comments. With that in mind, how would Trump prove he was cheated? Well, he’d have to prove it in the courts—and Trump has certainly tried to do that. At least 57 lawsuits have been filed, some of them by Trump’s legal team and some by other lawyers. Guess what? Other than inconsequential, temporary victories, none of them has succeeded. Liberal-leaning courts, conservative-leaning courts—it makes no difference because claims of fraud have gotten nowhere. Sometimes that has been because of a lack of standing or some other issue, but the real problem is that all these fraud claims melt under scrutiny in a courtroom. For example, in Michigan, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker wrote:

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Comments (26)
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  • Great piece with excellent references to deep analysis of the election results. Facts not phony social media rumors!

  • Spot on analysis, Mr Hawkins.

  • Trump's effort to prevent Biden from becoming the 46th President might succeed ... if Biden becomes the 47th President.

  • Why is it that some people never believe the apparent truth the first time they are told? It was always this simple - the Tea Party Knew it, Trump knew it. Hell, we all new it. After all these years is anyone surprised that this is where we have arrived?

    "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
    And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

    Barack Obama
    April 2008

    “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

    Hillary Clinton
    September 2016

  • If the rap on Congress has been that it gave up too much of its power, today's events may be the wakeup call they need to reassert their appropriate Article 1 preeminence.

  • Collapse
    1. I would love, love, love a Dispatch Live, but I think the gang has more important things to do right now!

    2. I'm thinking it will be even better for marinating a bit.

  • This should be proof why we should no longer select candidates by primaries. Reasonable, experienced and qualified people should be selected to run. If the Republicans hadn't allowed this mobster to run, we wouldn't be in this situation.

  • I appreciate the effort, but just face it: It doesn't matter what any of us say; the people who believe that Trump won will always believe it, evidence, facts and logic be damned. And even those few who maybe, possibly could be convinced by the actual evidence, facts and logic, will just resort to the "but the mainstream media didn't cover the Hunter Biden laptop story" nonsense, never mind that Fox news covered it extensively, anyone could go to the NY Post and read the articles etc. etc. They just can't accept how many people are completely & utterly done with Trump and that he lost. Full stop. End of story. Let's move on.

    1. I know they don't realize how many more people hate Trump and see him for the idiot grifter that he is. His supporters don't realize that to Trump, they are just a bunch of chumps.

      1. How much small-dollar money has he raised off them since starting this “campaign”?

  • Now let's talk about so called conservative cop lovers who are trying to storm the capitol. And cursing at police and trying to hurt them.

    The real violence comes from the right.

    1. While I 100% condemn what the Trumpists did today in DC, claiming the "real violence comes from the right" is flat out false. We saw neighborhoods and businesses destroyed, people assaulted, and police precincts overrun during the summer for a sustained period of time, primarily at the hands of the Antifa and BLM movements.

    2. I know. What happened to siding with the police?

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