SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Donald Trump is the first presidential candidate in U.S. history to threaten not to accept the results of the presidential election if he loses. But political consultant Tony Cignoli told 22News that his threat won’t really mean much after Election Day.
Cignoli said the closest comparison was the tight race between Gore and Bush in 2000, but even that dispute ended with a smooth transition of power from Clinton to Bush. He said that right now, this rhetoric is rallying Trump’s supporters and helping them to validate their belief that the government can’t be trusted and our system is broken.
Cignoli said the internet is also playing a major role in this election year in spinning both candidates’ messages to voters. “There are a lot of places in the United States where there are groups of folks who are listening to this and utilizing it to create membership and, as I say, validate their own opinion of what’s happening in America right now.”
He added that Trump’s statement did work to instill fear in some voters. “The bad thing about this, there’s a lot of good folks out in America that are hearing this, and it’s scaring them a lot. I’m seeing this a lot in the southern states right now.”
But, Cignoli said, nothing can come of this on the presidential level. “What can Mr. Trump do? What Marines, what Navy, what Army does he command? None at all,” he explained. Even the winner of the presidential election won’t have control of any military or federal agencies until after they are sworn in on Inauguration Day in January.