Ends with a whimper not a bang
A disputed result in the US presidential ballot would bring turmoil to the electoral college.
Of many possible prospects for the morning of November 4, the day after the US presidential election, few look predictable — whatever your preference. Here are the exceptions.
First, a decisive Trump victory. With no room for dispute, challenger Joe Biden concedes defeat and the next steps are routine. Trump stays in the White House.
Alternatively, a Biden landslide. As the Senate confirmed in a statement in September, strong constitutional precedents favour a peaceful handover of power.
Any less clear-cut result looks more difficult. Given a close-run finish, institutional gridlock is likely to collide with burgeoning resentments in a spate of public protests. The outcome from this volatile scenario will be painfully slow. Armies of lawyers are standing by on both sides. A judicial verdict on a contested result could take weeks or months to materialise.
None of this is new, of course.
Two recent precedents, within living memory of voters and the political establishment on both sides, …