Candidates' refusal to accept defeat in US elections, a challenge to democracy, civil order: pollster

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 05 2020 03:49 PM

Candidates' refusal to accept defeat in US elections, a challenge to democracy, civil order: pollster 1
People attend a "Count Every Vote" rally the day after the US election in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, US, November 4, 2020. Carlo Allegri, Reuters


MANILA - An American public opinion pollster on Thursday said democracy in the world's superpower is "seriously being challenged" with US President Donald Trump threatening to go to the Supreme Court to question his possible election loss even before the vote counting ended.

It is the first time since the 1850s and prior to the US Civil War that the legitimacy of an election is being questioned, with a candidate building a constituency "around challenging the legitimacy of democracy," said John Zogby, founder of Zogby Strategies.

"So, broadly speaking, our democracy is seriously being challenged," Zogby told selected journalists participating in the virtual reporting tour on the US Elections organized by the US Department of State’s Foreign Press Centers. 

"Democracy can’t work if someone who loses—and that could be either side—says I am not gonna lose," he said.

There’s also a threat to civil order, the pollster said.

"We already know that militias are gathering. We know that Black Lives Matter on the other side are gathering. A volatile situation like this does not need gasoline poured onto it," he said.

Zogby underscored that it is "very troubling" that either side would be driven by "intense" supporters who might refuse to accept the election results. 

"There’s a lot at stake here… With all respect to the Presidency of the United States, that was most unhelpful last night," Zogby said of Trump’s election night statement threatening to mount a legal challenge to "stop all votes."

There’s a glimmer of good news, though: "Lots and lots" of Americans voted and exercised their right with a voter turnout of at least 150 million, he noted.

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