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Election Dissection

Which election nightmares are the most likely?

Disinformation on social media and a slew of actions President Trump may take to undermine the vote are the likeliest of the election's "nightmare scenarios," according to a new survey of political experts from Bright Line Watch.

The report summarized the thinking of 738 political science experts who were surveyed in the first half of October. The political scientists thought it was likely that the president will decry the "blue shift" as more Democratic ballots are counted after Election Day. They also think it's likely that Trump won't concede if defeated and that he'll encourage violence among his supporters. A scenario in which at least one state invalidates more than 5 percent of mail-in ballots is also deemed probable.


On the other side of the ledger, the experts thought it was very unlikely that a state will choose to ignore the popular vote and send rogue electors to the Electoral College. They also discounted the possibility that Russia or another foreign actor could hack into U.S. elections systems or mail in counterfeit ballots.

The report is available here. Bright Line Watch is a project tracking the erosion of U.S. democratic norms run by academics at Dartmouth, the University of Rochester and the University of Chicago.

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