'Can Trump Still Win Election?' Searches Surge As Supporters Hope for Miracle

Google has seen a spike in searches asking if President Donald Trump can still win the 2020 presidential election. The searches come as the president's path back to the White House has been effectively closed off.

Searches for "Can Trump still win election?" and similar terms saw a significant rise beginning on December 13, according to Google Trends. There have been periodic spikes in the days since as many of the president's supporters publicly refuse to accept his defeat.

The Electoral College met and affirmed President-elect Joe Biden's victory on December 14, which may help to explain the rise in searches. Congress will meet to finalize the presidential votes on January 6.

At the time of writing, googling "Can Trump still win election?" returned news articles about potential Republican efforts to overturn the election and one of the top results was a New York Times article arguing that Trump cannot win the 2020 election at this stage.

The Trump campaign and other Republican litigants have filed more than 50 lawsuits challenging the results, but they have been overwhelmingly unsuccessful.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a Texas lawsuit that was billed as "the big one" by Trump and some of his supporters. The court, which has a 6 to 3 conservative majority, has also refused to hear other similar cases.

However, some of the president's staunchest allies have suggested that congressional Republicans could challenge the certification of results on January 6. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a longtime Trump ally, has said: "Nothing is off the table."

The procedure for challenging and potentially rejecting a state's slate of electors is complex and there hasn't been a successful effort of this kind since the highly controversial 1876 election.

The 1887 Electoral Count was passed to deal with issues arising from that election and its non-mandatory deadline for certification—safe harbor day—was met by 47 states, none of them swing states. The three remaining states had certified by the time the Electoral College met.

Since the House of Representatives and the Senate are controlled by Democrats and Republicans respectively, there is close to zero chance that both chambers will agree to reject a slate of electors based on a GOP objection. If the chambers disagree on certification, it will be unprecedented.

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs suggested on Tuesday that seven states had chosen dueling slates of electors and the presidency could end up being determined by a rare vote of House delegations.

"If the House and the Senate cannot agree on which electors to accept," Dobbs said, "an untested constitutional procedure could result in each state being given one vote which they could allocate to either Biden or Trump. And since the Republicans hold 26 of the 50 State houses, there would exist at least the mathematical possibility that President Trump could be named the constitutionally elected president."

However, alternative electors pledged to Trump from states that have certified Biden's win have no legal standing and experts have dismissed the idea that Congress would give them serious attention.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who publicly acknowledged Biden's victory this week, told his GOP caucus he didn't want any "stunts" during the certification process, according to a CNN report.

Speculation about how Trump could pull off a last-minute victory is likely to continue well past January 6 and until Biden takes the oath of office at noon on January 20.

 Supporters Gather Outside Trump National Golf Club
Supporters gather outside Trump National Golf Club as U.S. President Donald Trump departs following a round of golf on December 13, 2020 in Sterling, Virginia. Google has seen a spike in searches asking if Trump can still win the election. Al Drago/Getty Images