Trump’s litigation strategy is not created to lead to a difference in results unless Pennsylvania is the decisive Electoral College state and the vote count is so close that the result would depend upon those segregated ballots arriving during the three days after Election Day. Indeed, one could imagine just as easily Trump being behind in Pennsylvania and wanting to have those ballots counted (and they should be counted, regardless of who is ahead or behind).

If Trump loses, he may grumble and the country may move on, or he can try to keep yelling fraud baselessly. If he does, it will be up to responsible voices in society, including Republican leaders, to tell him to accept defeat even if he will not formally concede. This is what happened when Matt Bevin lost the Kentucky governor’s race, yelling fraud on the way out but unable to convince Republicans in the state Legislature to take the vote count away from the voters.

But the viral, false claims of an election being stolen by Democrats would be used by Trump and his supporters to undermine a Biden presidency and to further undermine voter confidence among the Trump base in the legitimacy of the election process, something I have been warning about in Election Meltdown and elsewhere for some time. It is dangerous stuff to play with in a democracy, which depends upon losers accepting the results of an election as legitimate and agreeing to fight another day.