What could the Trump campaign's lawsuits mean for the election?

Posted at 4:09 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 21:15:15-05

President Trump is facing the potential of narrow losses in several battleground states, and part of his response is a series of lawsuits against some of those states.

The last time we saw something like this was in the year 2000 when the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore was so close in Florida, that campaign officials went to court to ask for recounts. The process took a little more than a month to come to a final decision. But experts say what’s happening now is different.

“I don’t see that it’s going to be a repeat of 2000 in three or four different states because the margins are nowhere as close as they were in 2000,” said Jeremy Adams, a political science teacher at BHS and CSUB.

In 2000, just 537 votes separated George W. Bush and Al Gore, such a thin margin, that it was believed that a recount could have decided the election. This time around that’s not the case. As President Trump remains behind in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona as of Friday afternoon, Political Science teacher Jeremy Adams says that might be too many states to challenge.

“It’s not just going to come down to Pennsylvania. If it did, I think it’s more likely we’d see this extreme focus on one lawsuit that would bottle its way up through the federal system,” said Adams.

President Trump tweeting today “Where are the missing military ballots in Georgia? What happened to them?” and “Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the president. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!” and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying “Far from over. Republicans will not back down from this battle.”

The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Nevada on Thursday, alleging that ineligible votes were cast in the Las Vegas area. Suits were also filed in Michigan and Georgia, but a judge dismissed them. Another point of focus for the president is Pennsylvania.

“What I think trump is going to argue is that for example, Pennsylvania shouldn’t be allowing votes to be counted that came in after election day even though Pennsylvania law says that you can do it for three days,” Allen Bolar, political science professor, Bakersfield College.

The Trump campaign filed a motion in the U.S Supreme Court to change that law, but it was rejected. As of 2 p.m. Friday, Biden had a small, but growing lead in Pennsylvania. And most of the ballots being counted were from Democratic-leaning counties.

“I don’t think that's going to make a difference in Pennsylvania. But if there is a constitutional question, Austin, that’s where I’d guess they’d anchor it in,” said Adams.

No doubt many eyes are on Pennsylvania tonight because if that state gets called for Biden, that would make him the president-elect.