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Will Donald Trump Concede The Election If He Loses? At This Point, We Still Don't Know


There's just four days left to go until Election Day, and the race for the White House seems to tighten with each new poll. According to The Washington Post, gone are Democrat Hillary Clinton's decisive leads in various national surveys and key battleground states; Republican Donald Trump is gaining ground on his rival in places like Maine's second congressional district, New Hampshire, and Utah, where third-party candidate Evan McMullin was considered to have a decent shot at winning the state just last week. No one knows exactly how the Electoral College will shake out next Tuesday, but one question has remained somewhat unanswered ever since last month's final presidential debate: Will Donald Trump concede the election if he loses? Though Trump campaign spokesperson Jason Miller said his boss would indeed acknowledge a Clinton win, his Oct. 19 comments to CNN's Jake Tapper came with a caveat of sorts:

Miller's interview, however, preceded Trump's own response to moderator Chris Wallace at that evening's debate, according to Vox. When Wallace asked him if he would "absolutely accept the result of this election," Trump replied:

Trump has repeatedly hinted at the possibility of the election being "rigged" against him, citing media bias, the FBI's "refusal" to levy charges in the Clinton email scandal (despite months of investigation and Clinton undergoing hours of questioning), and unproven allegations of voter fraud to bolster his claims. Despite his unprecedented comments at the presidential debate — during which Wallace cautioned Trump was close to defying a long-standing American principle supporting a peaceful transition of power following the outcome of a presidential election — Trump made light of his remarks at an Ohio campaign rally the following day, according to CNN:

Should Trump fail to win the presidency come Election Day, whether or not he concedes to his opponent is likely a moot point, says Rick Hasen, a University of California-Irvine professor who runs the Election Law Blog. Hasen told CNN it has no "independent legal effect" on the election results: "If he concedes or he doesn't concede, the vote totals will be what they will be." However, Hasen did forewarn of the other potential effects of Trump failing to admit defeat: