We Won This Election

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Important: I do not believe the 2020 election was rigged or stolen in any capacity. I chose the name "We Won This Election" based off Trump's infamous "frankly, we did win this election!" proclamation on election night.

On the night of the 2020 election, Donald Trump infamously declared himself the winner, telling his audience "frankly, we did with this election" despite millions of ballots still uncounted. Whereas he was ahead on Election Day, the mail-in vote heavily favored Joe Biden due to contrasting opinions on the COVID-19 pandemic between the parties. In the days following, Trump and his allies claimed that the election was being stolen, and on November 7, Joe Biden finally crossed the 270 threshold to be elected president. For months, Trump would insist that he won the election and refused to concede all the way up to January 6th, where his supporters attacked the capitol to try and reverse the results of the election. When this was met by widespread condemnation by both parties, Trump gave a partial concession, but since leaving the White House, maintains he was the true winner of the election.

While polling indicated a wide victory for Biden, the final result ended up being much closer, with Biden flipping five states from Republican to Democrat, three by a margin less than 1%. A universal two-point swing to Donald Trump flips the states of Georgia, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Pennsylvania enough to hand the election to him, a surprising result from a relatively small swing. This timeline will explore this question: what if Trump managed to pull up a second upset?

Point of Divergence

During the second (third planned) debate, Joe Biden is pressed by Trump on Hunter Biden's laptop, but rather than effectively dismiss the accusation, Biden makes an agitated gaffe, saying, "There's nothing there. There's nothing to see there." This brief incident is amplified by the Trump campaign, and becomes an example of the Streisand effect. Interest in the controversy spikes, and spinning by the Trump campaign and pro-Trump media reaches millions. While it doesn't change millions of minds, it changes enough to change the election, and three days after Election Day, Donald Trump is projected the winner of the 2020 election.

Timeline

2020

  • November 3 – Election Day. Trump starts with wide victories in most swing states. The night of the election, he declares himself the winner, despite votes still being counted.
  • November 4–6 – As the ballots are counted, Trump begins to accuse Biden of rigging the election, claiming that mail-in votes are stuffing the ballot.
  • November 7 – With 99% of the ballots counted, it is projected that there is not enough votes for Biden to take the lead in Pennsylvania, thus handing the state to Trump, and pushing him across the 270 threshold. Trump gives another victory speech. Biden gives a brief concession by video, thanking his supporters and urging them to not lose hope in the future, not mentioning Trump by name.
  • November 8 – Akin to 2016, spontaneous protests break out in many major cities against Trump's reelection.

2024