Donald Trump will accept results of presidential election "if I win"

Trump's a fan of democracy when he stands to benefit from it

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published October 20, 2016 6:37PM (EDT)

After a controversial debate performance on Wednesday night in which Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to say he would accept the election results if he lost, he told a rally on Thursday that he would only accept the outcome “if I win.”

Trump said in a speech before 1,500 people at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Delaware, Ohio, “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election – if I win.”

An alternate version of these remarks that was sent to the press in advance said, “When the results come in on election night, I will accept — without delay or hesitation — the concession speech of Hillary Rodham Clinton."

The speech repeated many of the claims that have become staples of Trump’s rhetoric that assert he will be a victim of fraud. These included citing suspicious voter registrations and claiming 1.8 million dead people are still on the rolls. “A candidate like crooked Hillary Clinton, who will lie,” Trump proclaimed, “is a candidate who is truly capable of anything, including voter fraud.”

Although the Trump campaign has cited sources that don’t even support his conclusion, the assertions about vote rigging have managed to whip up members of his own party. A recent poll found that 73 percent of Republicans believe that the election could be stolen from their presidential nominee.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012, was a guest on Fox Business in 2019, repeatedly warned of Trump's impending refusal to concede during the 2020 election, spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2021, was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022 and appeared on NPR in 2023. His diverse interests are reflected in his interviews including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), director Jason Reitman ("The Front Runner"), inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, World War II historian Joshua Levine (consultant to "Dunkirk"), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), seismologist John Vidale, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Donald Trump Donald Trump Results Election Results Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton If I Win