In 2016, many people (liberal ones anyway) asked what would happen if Trump wouldn’t concede the election to Hillary Clinton. In 2019, the same people asked what would happen if Trump doesn’t concede the 2020 election if he loses. Again, a silly question, because the transfer of power isn’t dependent on the concession of the candidate, regardless of whether he or she is an incumbent.
After Louisiana postponed its primary on Friday, the big question of 2020 is whether the coronavirus outbreak might cause the 2020 election to be postponed. In fact, unhinged liberals on social media have been “predicting” this will happen for weeks.
Okay, Ms. Conspiracy over here…Am I the only one who fears due to Trump's ignorance and not doing the right thing about this virus…
That he will us this sickness as an excuse to postpone the election?
— Deborah…He is IMPEACHED FOREVER! Vote Blue 2020! (@ThreeDawgLadyDe) March 6, 2020
So — let’s talk about the election In November. Can states start getting up vote-by-mail programs for November? In case President #Trump tries to postpone the election? Real talk.
— Jamal Simmons (@JamalSimmons) March 12, 2020
— Adam Lockett (@AdamLockett34) March 13, 2020
How do Democrats and any Americans invested in democracy prevent Trump from using the #CoronaOutbreak to postpone the election?
— Liz Garbus (@lizgarbus) March 13, 2020
This and a U.S. primary today, I’d bet my life savings Trump will postpone the election. https://t.co/IXbncAiwJs
— Noah Love (@noahlove) March 13, 2020
It is not acceptable to postpone a presidential election. If you're a reporter, please get Republican members of Congress & the executive branch on record on that. There has to be a red line, even for Trump supporters. If this isn't it, I can't imagine what would be.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) March 13, 2020
This is exactly the argument Trump is going to make when he tries to postpone the election in November. https://t.co/yHdJimxrh3
— David Hogue, spelled H-O-G-G (@stareagle) March 13, 2020
I have a strong feeling Trump will try to postpone or cancel the 2020 election.
— Travis Allen 🇺🇸 (@TravisAllen02) March 12, 2020
Postponing a primary is a bad precedent. It can be used by Trump to "postpone" the 2020 General Election. Also, what happens if the virus is not under control by the Convention?
— Progress Fan #StayTheFuckHome (@ProgressFan4) March 13, 2020
Trump and Republicans will 100% attempt to postpone the election at this rate. https://t.co/BGA7f3mjh2
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) March 13, 2020
With so many ignorant liberals asking the question, let’s put this issue to rest: President Trump cannot postpone the election. The New York Times‘s Alex Burns explains why not: “The date of the general election is set by federal law and has been fixed since 1845. It would take a change in federal law to move that date. That would mean legislation enacted by Congress, signed by the president and subject to challenge in the courts.”
Does anyone really think that will happen? Yeah, right. “And even if all of that happened,” Burns continued, “there would not be much flexibility in choosing an alternate election date: The Constitution mandates that the new Congress must be sworn in on Jan. 3, and that the new president’s term must begin on Jan. 20. Those dates cannot be changed just by the passage of normal legislation.”
Ahh, but what about an executive order? Nope. An executive order can’t postpone or change the election. I know liberals are used to the idea that a president can do anything via executive order because Obama did, but in reality, it just doesn’t work that way.
As for procedures for voting, those are handled at the state level. Any changes to the election system, to make it easier to vote absentee or by mail, for example, are up to each state.
This is hardly the first time there have been questions about a president being able to postpone an election. Many on the left were even calling for Barack Obama to do just that after Hurricane Sandy, so much so that Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked if Obama could do that.
So, conspiracy theorists worried about Trump using the coronavirus to postpone the election can rest assured that if Barack Obama, who so grossly abused his executive power throughout his presidency couldn’t do it, neither can Trump.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis