The level of civil unrest we would see if Trump wins in 2020 in particularly galling fashion

And 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2004.

Yes, but Al Gore himself was not on the internet and TV every week complaining about being cheated out of the Presidency which is a scenario I could see happening if it was Trump.

Hell, thump has been bitching for the last two years that he was cheated out of the presidency AND HE WON!

Yes, agreed.

It’s certainly a possibility.

“Cheated” when one’s side loses by over 500 electoral votes??

1972: Even with Watergate, yes, Nixon was going to win. Massachusetts and DC knew better, but it took the rest of the country a couple of years to figure it out for themselves.

1984: The reference is likely to Reagan’s “October Surprise” deal with Iran to hold the hostages until after the election, in return for arms shipments.

Wouldn’t that have been 1980?

Not to hijack, but the 1968 Nixon election was illegitimate because Nixon worked behind LBJ’s back to torpedo peace negotiations with North Vietnam. And since the 1968 election was illegitimate, that also makes the 1972 election phony, since he would not have been the incumbent but for cheating.

Ditto for 1984. In 1980 Reagan sabotaged Carter’s hostage negotiations with Iran, convincing the mullahs that they’d get a better deal with him (which they did, as Reagan sold arms to Iran to arm the Contras). Thus in 1984 he would not have been the incumbent and that race was illegitimate.

Back to the subject at hand: we know that if Democrats eke out a narrow win in 2020, Republicans will be up in arms for the rest of our lives. They still haven’t gotten over Bork, for goodness sake. If a Republican win is as tainted as the OP proposes, then I fully expect the good people of America not to take it lying down.

On the topic of 2000: I think Gore’s grace and sportsmanship in that election was purely a one-time thing on part of the D’s. If a 2000-type election went down again in 2020 (Trump wins by the narrowest of margins, or even, any Republican from now on, winning by a hair,) I expect the Democrats to contest it forcefully with a capital F.

Yes. Okay, Mondale had no chance either.