No, Shut Up, We’re Not Postponing The Election

This morning, about thirty seconds after the horrific jobs and GDP numbers dropped, the president sent us all haring off after another incendiary tweet.


And just in case anyone failed to be distracted, he pinned it to the top of his profile. Subtle!

At the risk of engaging with an internet troll, no, shut up, we are not delaying the election. Congress fixed the date of elections on “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November,” and only congress can un-fix it. Moreover, unless the voters return them to office, the Constitution says Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s terms are up on January 20.


According to the Presidential Succession Act, if the president and vice president are unable to serve, then the Speaker of the House takes over. But without elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and every other member of the congress would be out of a job as well. In that case, the Senate President pro tempore, i.e. the most senior member of the majority party, would step in. Currently, that person is Iowan Chuck Grassley, who has been in office since corn was domesticated. (More or less.)

But of the 35 senators up this cycle, 23 are Republicans and 12 are Democrats. So if all them exited the scene at once, control of the chamber would shift to Democrats, making Vermont’s Patrick Leahy the President pro tempore, since he’s been in office since maple syrup was invented. And if Leahy became President pro tempore on January 7 when senate terms expire, that would put him squarely in the line of presidential succession on January 20 when the Constitution kicks Trump and Pence to the curb. Which is … probably not what President Lulz had in mind.

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Elizabeth Dye