As the polls have turned against Donald Trump his objective has shifted from winning the election to not losing it. Trump desperately wants to be able to hold his head up at the end and say, “I would have won but for . . .”
That is why he is pointing to rigged polls, press bias, the backstabbing Republicans and everything else arrayed against him. It gives him an excuse. Trump must realize that he has already damaged his brand. If he goes out a clear loser, it may be damaged irreparably.
In the past, Trump had a three pronged strategy for challenging situations.
- Intimidate – Bully the other side. Disparage them, hold back money, threaten to sue.
- Litigate – Sue them with high profile lawyers, adding to the intimidation.
- Settle – When that does not work, quietly work out a settlement. It is usually a pretty good one for him because the intimidation and litigation have softened up the other side. This is where Trump really cuts his artful deals.
So far in the presidential race, we have seen the intimidation (of Hillary Clinton and his fellow Republicans), but it does not seem to be getting the desired results for him. If he remains true to form, next we will see him launch some lawsuits to challenge the election results.
If his court strategy doesn’t go well, he can turn to congress, and he might find some folks to settle with there. He might think that he can cut deals with individual senators (Ted Cruz) and congressmen to challenge the electoral college results from key states and then cut a deal with congress to win the presidency.
It is far fetched, but even if it does not work he can say they he would have won if the process had been ‘fair’. For Donald Trump, it is more important to not lose than to win.