Donald Trump is repeatedly saying that elections are rigged, even that Hillary Clinton should not be allowed to run. What is your view on this, is he crossing the line of the democratic process or you see it less dramatic? Read few comments.
Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of North Texas
Trump received a lot of push back when he made this claim. It certainly spawned a number of news stories about voter fraud and election day (early voting, at least) difficulties. In this way, his concerns (which are generally unfounded) are being vetted in the public. This is good. The only way this will affect the aftermath of the election is if there are very close contests in key states.
Robert Busby, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Liverpool Hope University
Trump is playing the anti-establishment card to try to give himself an outlet on this in case he loses. Having said throughout the election that he would ‘win big’ then there needs to be a fallback to explain the failure to deliver on his promise. The problems lie in him perhaps not conceding the election to Hillary when the results come in, should he lose, and then time being taken to have a Republican representative take action on his behalf. That would only foster discontent. Clinton can run if she is the chosen person by her party, so it is a party decision and not one for anyone outside of that realm to make demands in this area. For most of the campaign Trump has created free media to advance himself in the absence of the money that his opponents have, and this looks like a similar strategy – it keeps the media attention on him, is negative towards Hillary and can cast doubt on her credibility.
Steven Greene, Associate Professor of Political Science, North Carolina State University
He is absolutely crossing a key norm for any democratic society. This is “banana republic” stuff he is engaging in. What’s particularly frustrating is that the media is largely covering it under the typical, “oh well, Trump says crazy stuff approach.” But what he is doing is eroding very, very important democratic norms. Even he loses, he leaves lasting damage and that’s a very real shame.
David Redlawsk, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware
This rhetoric is very dangerous. In this country election outcomes traditionally depend not only on the actual vote, but on the basic agreement between contenders that losers will step back and offer their congratulations, retreating to fight again some other day. If Trump loses and persists in his “rigged” rhetoric after the fact, this will be very bad for American democracy, and unprecedented.