Washington (CNN)Voting experts and political strategists from across the political spectrum are increasingly alarmed about the potential for a disputed presidential election in November, one in which one candidate openly questions the legitimacy of the results or even refuses to concede.
Delayed results in November
Trump’s checkered past
- Presidential election, 2012: Trump backed Republican nominee Mitt Romney and spread false conspiracies on Election Day that machines were deleting Romney votes. After the race was called, Trump denounced the results as a “total sham” and tweeted, “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”
- Iowa caucuses, 2016: Trump said the caucuses were illegitimate after he finished behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. After the vote, Trump said, “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” and accused Cruz of committing “fraud.” Trump called for a new election, said Cruz’s results should be “nullified” and said “the State of Iowa should disqualify” Cruz.
- Presidential election, 2016: At the final debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump infamously refused to commit that he would accept the results. Instead, he said, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.” Even after Trump won, he falsely claimed there were millions of illegal votes in California and other states, creating a false narrative to explain why he lost the popular vote to Clinton.
- Florida Senate election, 2018: On election night, Florida Republican Rick Scott led Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by 38,000 votes, with many ballots still uncounted. Scott’s lead narrowed over the next two weeks as mail ballots were tallied. But Trump quickly claimed there was massive “fraud” and “corruption,” and accused Democrats of “stealing” the election by “finding” new votes. Trump declared that the election “should be called in favor of Rick Scott” and said Florida “must go with Election Night” results. After a statewide recount, Scott was up by about 10,000 votes, and Nelson conceded.
- Arizona Senate election, 2018: Republican Martha McSally was ahead on election night, but Democrat Kyrsten Sinema later took the lead. Once that happened, Trump decried “corruption” and tweeted, “call for a new election?” McSally later conceded.