The Trump Administration Has Continually Stated Its Intentions
At a White House press conference earlier this year, Trump was asked directly whether he would yield power if he lost.
“Well we’re going to have to see what happens,” he said. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster.”
“Get rid of the ballots and we’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation," he added. “The ballots are out of control.”
Vice President Mike Pence was also asked to clarify what he would do if Biden was declared the winner and Trump refused to accept a peaceful transfer of power.
"Well, Susan, first and foremost, I think we’re going to win this election..." he said to moderator Susan Page at his debate with Biden's running mate Kamala Harris.
What Could Trump Do If He Does Lose The Election?
While a winner is meant to be announced on November 4, there's a high likelihood that the race could be extended by weeks.
Professor Simon Jackman, CEO at The University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre, told SBS News the election likely won't be over until the winner is inaugurated in January.
"If we're talking about the end, and the end being that Congress has certified the result of the Electoral College… at that point, there's no more cards left to play," he said. "At that point, that's when the election is really, really over in a constitutional sense. But that's not until January."
Declaring An Early Win
According to reports, Trump had planned to "declare victory" of the presidency—even if that is not the case.
On November 1, Trump denied that he would prematurely declare victory, before adding: "I think it's a terrible thing when ballots can be collected after an election. I think it's a terrible thing when states are allowed to tabulate ballots for a long period of time after the election is over."
A Battle In Court
Presidents are allowed to contest the results in court, something many predict President Trump is already planning to do if he loses the election.
The last time that happened in a U.S. presidential election was when Democratic candidate Al Gore petitioned the Florida courts in 2000 to hold a recount after he claimed the results were too close. George W Bush's campaign got the Supreme Court to halt the recount, and Gore then accepted the outcome.
A Risk Of Violence On Election Night
This year has already seen bursts of political and racial violence across the United States, and many have warned that a Trump loss could provoke even more violence.
A recent YouGov poll found 56 per cent of voters said they anticipate “an increase in violence as a result of the election.”
There's no way of knowing for sure what is going to unfold post-election, although most agree that Trump will not allow a peaceful transfer of power.