Why keep asking "Will you accept results of next election?"

Why to commenators keep asking guests questions like, “Will you accept the results of the next election, no matter what happens?” Kristen Welker and George Stephanopoulos, seem to ask it often. Jake Tapper asked it in the recent debate. If the guests say they will accept the results of a fair election, the commentators seem to not accept that answer. It would not make sense for anyone to agree to accept or not accept the results before they see what happens.

What if one candidate gets 110% of the number of registered voters and the other gets 0%. That would be had for anyone to accept.

The answer to this was a given until 2016, and not really worth asking – pretty much any candidate would respond with “of course I’ll accept the results of the election.”

The one and only reason it gets asked now is because Trump has often prevaricated when asked to answer this sort of question.

He did so during the debate two weeks ago, and he did so in 2020.

Until 2016 presidential candidates accepted that the voting process was fair and would accept if announced results for each state meant they had less electoral college votes than their opponet then they would accept defeat.

There is now a presidential candidate who is so vain thart they believe it impossible they could lose an election, if the announced results say that they have lost the only possible reason is that the election process was corrupt.

Commentators ask this question to remind voters that this is the case.

No, it’s not just Trump. Remember 139 of 221 House Republicans and 8 of 51 Republican Senators also refused to accept the results of the 2020 election:

Sure, but I doubt any of them believed it. They were just sucking up to their leader.

But it’s worth highlighting that each of them has abandoned democracy in favour of a cult.

Mainstream hosts keep to the ancient rule that they can’t call prevaricating falsehood talkers what they are to their faces, lying liars. So they have to use workarounds. Asking a direct question which they will not answer signals to people not in the cult that these people are dangerously anti-American.

This. Again, the only reason that it’s even a question is specifically because Trump opened the door to using “if I lose, it’s only because the election was rigged” as a political strategy.

Simplest answer for a candidate would be, “I will accept, of course, if the election is clean and without fraud.” Which sounds good while leaving a truck-sized hole open as a qualifier.

I agree with Jegpeg that they might ask this, not to get an answer, but to remind voters of candidates not accepting previous results.

It could also be the commentators think they are being hard hitting journalists setting a trap, because anyone answering “Yes” is obviously a liar, and anyone answering “No” will be accused of not supporting democracy.

Answers other than Yes or No will often be misreported. Just look at the BBC story linked by kenobi_65 with headline “Trump evades debate question on whether he will accept election result”. In the second paragraph the text of the story admits that he answered the question. It leaves out that the first time the question was asked and supposedly evaded, it was a multi-part question. Trump answered the second part of the question (about political violence) first, and continued with “The answer is if the election is fair and free… and I want that more than anyone” (then he got sidetracked). When it was Biden’s turn to address the question, he totally evaded it without addressing either part of the compound question. When the question was repeated a second time by Dana Bash (not by Tapper as I stated in the OP), Trump addressed Biden’s response instead of the original question again. As described in the BBC story, Trump answered the question again when it was asked a third time.

Because it’s a weasel-ass answer that dangerously implies that the United States holds elections that are not fair.
I think that this is obvious as shit.

That seems to be the go to for most.

No-It signals that, because the questioner did not question the response, the questionee is telling the truth.

If you’re a politician who dodges the truth when it’s flung in your face, you’re anti-American.

If I believe that setting fire to people who chew gum is wrong, but I do it as part of a cult anyway, what does it matter what I believe?

I think the question is also a softer way of asking whether we will have a peaceful transfer of power. The peaceful transfer of power WAS talked about before 2020, in the context of how great it is that the US is a successful democracy, and how many countries don’t transfer power peacefully and therefore aren’t full democracies. But (IIRC) nobody talked about the possibility the US would not have a peaceful transfer before Trump.

So what do you think Trump and the MAGAts will do if they don’t win this time? And if DJT wins, wouldn’t Biden and the Dems have at least as much right to protest as the Republicans had four years ago? With AI available, I would think the opportunity to cheat is better than ever.

Why 2016? I thought Dems accepted that Trump won. It wasn’t until 2020 that not accepting election results became an issue.

You’re giving Trump too much credit. Let’s not forget he also complained that the 2016 election was rigged even though he won that one. But he wanted to claim he won by a bigger amount than the actual results.

Not Democrats, but Trump. In 2016, he was already saying things about “rigged elections,” fake voters, and refusing to say that he would accept the results of the general election if he lost.