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What TPM Planned To Publish If Trump Had Won The Election

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January 20, 2021 11:30 a.m.

Editor’s note: Ahead of major news events, journalists will often “pre-write” articles so we’re ready to provide context when the news breaks. In the run-up to Election Day 2020, we prewrote several articles — for various outcomes related to the Senate, for a Biden victory (we published that one) and for the possibility that Trump would win.

We knew a second Trump term would be a turning point on the country’s path toward authoritarianism, and we wanted to reflect that. As it turns out, Trump didn’t win, but we still got a taste of that authoritarian turn over the last two months.

Below, you’ll find what we would have published had Trump won. And on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, Kate Riga spoke to one of the experts quoted in the prewrite about what we’ve seen over the last two months. 


The critical states fell one by one into the President’s column, and the nightmare scenario has come true.

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