If the 2018 midterm elections, now just 15 days away on November 6, end up with the “blue wave” predicted by many experts, with Democrats gaining significant victories and recapturing control of either the House of Representatives or the United States Senate — or both — Donald Trump will not accept those election results. In fact, White House insiders are already discussing ways to attack the midterm elections as “illegitimate” and mount a series of court challenges that could block Democratic winners from taking office, according to one of the reporters who broke the Watergate scandal story 46 years ago, MediaIte reports.
“I talked to people in touch with the White House on Friday who believe that, if the congressional midterms are very close and the Democrats were to win by five or seven seats, that Trump is already talking about how to throw legal challenges into the courts, sow confusion, declare a victory actually, and say that the election’s been illegitimate,” former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, now a CNN commentator, said in an interview on the cable news network. “That is really under discussion in the White House.”
Bernstein was responding to a Saturday Twitter post in which Trump warned of widespread cheating in the upcoming election. Watch Bernstein’s CNN interview in the video below.
In his Twitter post, Trump declared, “All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!”
But according to multiple studies, including a study of elections from 2000 to 2014 by Loyola University Law School, the problem of illegal “voter fraud” is so small as to be nearly nonexistent. According to CNN, the study found a mere 31 instances of fraudulent votes in a study of more than one billion votes cast in those elections.
Bernstein also said that part of Trump’s motivation in issuing his dire warning of voter fraud prosecutions, he appears to be attempting to discourage Americans from voting. Low turnout in elections is generally believed to favor Republican candidates, as a study by Of Politics and Men noted.
According to statistical models by the political data site FiveThirtyEight.com, with just over two weeks before Election Day, Democrats are heavily favored to regain majority control of the House, with an 80 percent chance of gaining between 23 and 62 House seats.
The outlook is not nearly as rosy for Democrats in the Senate, where the FiveThirtyEight.com model shows only a 22 percent probability that Democrats will wrest control of that body from Republicans, who now hold a slim, 51-49 majority. In the 2016 presidential election, FiveThirtyEight.com gave Trump a 28.6 percent chance of defeating Hillary Clinton.