What happens in the United States if a presidential candidate drops out of the race?

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The admission of Donald Trump with coronavirus raises questions and challenges a month before the elections. Some keys.

Never has an American presidential candidate died or been forced to withdraw from the race so close to an election. But Donald Trump’s hospitalization for coronavirus a month before the election raised the question of what would happen if something like this were to happen.

Trump, hospitalized with covid-19, is 74 years old. His Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, who has reportedly tested negative for coronavirus, is 77 years old and the oldest Democratic candidate to contest the presidential race.

The campaign turned abruptly on Friday and opens a number of questions. Here are some potential scenarios in the event that any of the candidates drop out:

It is Congress that sets the date for the election, and this year’s has already been set for November 3. In this way, US law is respected, which decrees that elections are always held on the Tuesday following the first Monday of that month.

Both the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives would have to agree to postpone it.

“I don’t see it happening,” said Capri Cafaro, a former Democratic legislator in the Ohio Senate who teaches at American University. “It is unlikely that a Democratic majority would want to postpone the election,” she added.

Even during the Civil War between the North and the South, the 1864 election took place as planned and Abraham Lincoln was re-elected.

Both Trump’s Republican Party and Biden’s Democratic Party have rules on how to fill a possible gap in the presidential nomination.

In the case of Republicans, the 168 members of the Republican National Committee could vote to select a replacement. They could also agree hold your convention again of more than 2,500 delegates to select a new candidate, but time would probably not make it feasible.

A simple majority would be the only thing necessary to elect a new candidate in those scenarios.

In the case of the Democrats, a new presidential candidate would be selected by the nearly 450 members of the Democratic National Committee.

But this probably won’t happen. “The problem at this point is that we are so far advanced in the 2020 election that the ballots are already printed and even people have already voted,” Cafaro said.

“There really isn’t enough time to reprint ballots that say Mike Pence or Kamala Harris,” he added, referring to the Republican and Democratic vice presidential candidates.

More than 3.1 million Americans have already voted, by the early voting system, in person or by mail, according to a count by the University of Florida.

Additionally, the deadlines for obtaining ballots vary from state to state and in many cases have already passed.

Although a popular vote is held in the United States, the president is elected by an absolute majority of the 538 members of the Electoral College.


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