So those are the four scenarios. In only one did a candidate win a clear victory and the opposing candidate refuse to accept the result. And the loser who refused to accept the result was Biden — not Trump. That is precisely the opposite of the Trump-won’t-accept-results speculation that has dominated the media in recent weeks. Even though Trump clearly won the presidency in that scenario, “the game play ended in a constitutional crisis, with threats of secession, and the potential for either a decline into authoritarianism or a radically revamped set of democratic rules that ensure the popular will prevails.”

The report gave some reasons why Democrats would be willing to defy the constitutional structure of American presidential elections to put Biden in the White House. The scenario game-playing “revealed that for many Democrats and key Democratic constituencies, this election represents an existential crisis, the last chance to stop a rapid and potentially irreversible U.S. decline into authoritarianism and unbridled nativism,” the report says. “Some participants in the exercises observed that if former Vice President Biden wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College, there will be political pressure from the Democratic Party’s rank and file and from independent grassroots organizations to prevent a second Trump term.” Prevent a second Trump term, that is, even in the face of a clear and legitimate Trump victory.

When one side believes the stakes are so high as to be existential — a last chance to stop authoritarianism and unbridled nativism — then virtually any means are justified to prevent the other side from winning.