Winning the election against President Donald Trump is one thing, but actually taking his place in the Oval Office may end up being yet another battle. On Saturday, Nov. 7, various outlets including the Associated Press, CNN, and The New York Times officially projected former Vice President Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election, blocking Trump from a second term in office. Historically, sitting presidents have a peaceful transfer of power to their replacements, but some of Trump's previous statements have citizens wondering if Trump will concede the 2020 election or refuse to give up his power.
Even though Biden was announced as the projected winner of the 2020 election on Saturday, Nov. 7, Trump has indicated that he may not recognize the results of the electoral vote. While campaigning in September, Trump avoided giving a straight answer to reporters asking if he would conduct a peaceful transfer of power should he lose to Biden, saying only, "We’ll see what happens." At a rally shortly afterwards, Trump indicated he would not participate in a friendly transition, saying, "They ask me, ‘If you lose, will there be a friendly transition?’ Well, when I won, did they give me a friendly transition? They spied on my campaign, they did all this stuff. That was not a friendly transition."
While it's traditional for the losing candidate to gracefully concede a presidential election, it has no impact, legally speaking, on the election results. A winning candidate remains a winner whether or not a losing candidate has conceded their loss.
Nevertheless, this issue has been a particularly worrying one for a lot of citizens, especially since Biden was announced as the projected winner of the election. During the Vice President debates in October, Vice President Mike Pence side-stepped a question about Trump's willingness to concede power in the event of a loss. On Friday, Nov. 6, the day before Biden was announced as the projected winner, CNN reported Trump still had not prepared a concession speech and that he reportedly "has no intention of conceding the election."
In numerous tweets and a public address in the days since Election Day, Trump has continuously asserted that he won the election or that the election was unfair, without providing any evident foundation for these claims. Given his statements and recent reports about his stance, it does not sound like Trump will willingly concede power to Biden peacefully, so we may be in for a tense couple of months leading up to Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.