Trump could conceivably win the Republican primary but lose to President Joe Biden again in the general election. Would he then finally concede to Biden and give up his quest to return to the White House?
We know Donald Trump is a sore loser and has refused to accept his loss to Biden in 2020, even though he did promise an orderly transition of power in January of 2021 without ever mentioning Joe Biden by name. America is known for its peaceful transition of power after presidential elections, but the insurrection on January 6, 2021, showed the world that even in the United States there can be a violent struggle after voting ends.
Could Donald Trump Be Banned From Running?
Democrats want to use the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to ban Trump from running again should he be indicted and successfully prosecuted for his actions to start or his lack of action to stop the January 6 riots. House Democrats even introduced legislation to prevent Trump from running for President. Trump could be criminally charged at the same time he is running for the presidency.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment says office holders who have taken an oath to support the Constitution and who have engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” should not “hold any office, civil or military, under the United States.” This was of course written for the prevention of another civil war and not for riots, but it still shows that many people in the country believe that Trump should not be allowed to run for president again.
Trump is ignoring these threats and claiming they are another example of a “witch hunt” against him. Republicans are divided. Some think this is more of the same “Trump derangement syndrome” exhibited by Democrats who will stop at nothing to get even with the president and kill his political career. Other Republicans see that it is time to move on from Trump and elect someone who has no legal baggage to contend with.
Majority Says Trump Should Not Run Again
Fifty-three percent of registered voters said he definitely should not run, while 12% said he probably should not. A critical finding of the poll was that 35% of Republicans said he should not run for president. Of all voters, only 40% had favorable views for Trump overall.
These results are not a good sign for the former president, but there is plenty of time for Trump to turn the numbers around. Joe Biden’s approval rating is usually in the forties as well. But the nation is becoming wary of Trump and is not likely ready for such a divisive figure to return to the White House. Many people outright hate Trump, and others dislike him, which places his disapproval numbers in the high fifties.
Biden, on the other hand, is not so thoroughly disliked outside of the Republican base. He is seen as less divisive and does not have the legal problems that Trump has.
Would Trump Concede?
So, let’s say that Trump wins the Republican nomination over his strongest hypothetical challenger – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. That would lead to the rematch against Biden. Should Trump lose again, would he peacefully concede?
One way to ensure this is to have an electoral reform body such as the Issue One nonprofit force Trump to agree to a promise that he would concede after the election should he lose the electoral college.
During the presidential debates and even during the debates for the GOP nomination, Trump is likely to get this question: “Will you concede if you lose?” This is a critical query for the former president. If he says no, he will likely lose support from independents. If he says yes, he may be forced to give up an option for legal challenges to the outcome.
No More Sore Losers
People are tired of sore losers, especially at the presidential level. They do not want a repeat of January 6 and are suspicious of election deniers. This was evident during the 2022 elections, in which people who supported Trump’s version of election fraud and wrongdoing lost their own bids.
Trump will have to answer the question on whether he will concede if he loses and show the country that he would be a candidate who exhibits good sportsmanship, a quality that few associate with the former president.
More: Is Donald Trump Going Crazy?
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.