US Presidential Election: what is the weirdest scenario you can imagine

That is what he Constitution literally says. It doesn’t say a term ends with the next election; it says the term lasts four years. Trump’s term concludes on January 20, 2021.

If no Presidential or Vice Presidential election has been held, then on January 20, 2021, according to the Presidential Succession Act, the Speaker of the House would become the President and would be President until January 20, 2025.

She’ll have to make her way past loyalist guards surrounding the Gilded (formerly White) House. That assumes she escapes alive from protective custody.

I’m sure Trumpists would lose their shit, but why would she have to go there if it’s surrounded by a mob?

Of course, we are assuming she was Speaker. The Congressional term begins a few weeks earlier, so it could be someone else.

The weirdest scenario I can imagine is that which has been put forth many times but semi-jokingly: Chump loses but insists it was rigged and refuses to leave the White House, necessitating his removal by force.

Okay; that two-death scenario isn’t, in your NSHO, impossible. So how about this: instead of Trump and Biden dying in their seventies, Ginsburg and Breyer plausibly die in their eighties — which could, in turn, spark the not-impossible scenario in which a lame-duck Trump swiftly puts up two Supreme Court nominees.

If no presidential election was held, then no congressional elections would have been held, so who would be Speaker of the (empty) House?

It probably wouldn’t be the Courts that step in; it would be the House. And Republicans would likely win.

Not necessarily.

A contested election would have the potential to get weird, and extremely destabilizing and dangerous rather quickly. The Constitution’s 20th Amendment says that the vice-president elect would be the next in line if there is no resolution. The Senate - Republican-controlled - would vote for Mike Pence. He would become president until the House, controlled by a Democratic party but for the purposes of this election it’s controlled by the Republicans because they have the majority of state delegations. A contested election favors Republicans.

Even under the ridiculous scenario that elections are suspended, legislatures could start appointing their own slate of electors per Bush v. Gore.


250,000 dead in the USA by the end of August. Trump will sign an EO to ‘suspend’ the election. If states don’t comply, he will declare martial law. What the military might make of this is a bit up in the air.

Oh, that’s not the weirdest scenario. That’s what I predict.

I don’t expect a blunt instrument like martial law; rather, I expect chaos. It’s the chaos, sowing doubts about the legitimacy of the outcome, that matters.

We are probably not going to maintain the current rate of loss. Most likely closer to half what you predict. Which is still a lot – we will all know someone who has been done in by it – but, what is the threshold for extreme measures?

To me, that’s actually the most likely scenario.

I donno. We are talking about ‘opening up’. People are protesting about staying home. No vaccine in sight.

I totally understand that businesses are dying and people are going broke. Looking at the numbers I suspect that the death rate in the US is gonna go up as business re-opens.

Unless… many of us already have/had it with out any real ill effects. We just don’t know.

From WHO “There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected from a second infection, the World Health Organization warned Saturday as the worldwide death toll topped 200,000.”

Jesus comes to take His people home the day before the election, the rest is left with unanimously elected Trump.

Not sure if it’s the most likely, but it’s probably his best bet to win. The interesting development to watch is not just how the current crisis affect Trump’s popularity but the entire Republican party’s popularity up and down the ballot. If previously safe senate races begin to look worrying, you might possibly see the GOP abandon Trump. I didn’t think this was possible, but the party as a whole seems committed to doubling down on stupid, which could have consequences.

I foresee a successful career in writing for you!

All the scenarios are weird.

  1. Vote by mail is ordered. The election is close, and the errors in the mail system swamp the vote difference and cause the losing party to have a fit, and the U.S. has another ‘crisis’. Also, there will be ample opportunity to claim shenanigans on both sides.

  2. People are ordered to the polls as usual, but it’s the lowest election turnout in history by a mile. The losing party cries foul, and we’re back into a ‘crisis’.

  3. Trump tries to postpone the election, and the other party has a fit. Crisis.

Am I leaving anything out? Exactly what scenario is there that won’t end in a contested election and further breakdown of the social order?

Because this next election is not going to be normal, and it WILL be close. Therefore, a contested election is all but certain.

Weird events that could happen include Biden dropping out before the convention for health reasons, and the Democrats parachute in what they think will be a ringer. Someone like Andrew Cuomo or Gavin Newsom, both of whom are experiencing career-high popularity. Trump probably won’t dump Pence, but if Trump had a heart attack before the convention, would the RNC pick Pence? We could see another wildcard Republican. The election could be between two people who aren’t even on the radar screen right now. Unlikely, but this is the Year of the Jackpot, so anything could happen.

historically, that would be a hell of a mile – 1792, when only male land-owners were allowed to vote, yet the turnout was 6.3%