NPR

The Tradition Of A Candidate Concession Is Far More Than Mere Courtesy

The concession has become an unofficial touch point in the process of American elections, especially when one party gives up the presidency, signaling a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power.

For weeks, the world wondered whether President Trump would win a second term. Now that election officials and observers have declared his opponent "President-elect Joe Biden," the world wonders whether Trump will concede.

So far, the president has not. Instead, he has said that he won the election "if you count the legal votes" and that he will pursue numerous challenges to the vote-counting process in court. Earlier in the fall, he had said he would agree to a peaceful transfer of power unless the election was "rigged."

It seems increasingly inevitable that Trump will need to either give a concession speech or explain why he is refusing to do so. There is no legal requirement for it, and a refusal would not lengthen his lease on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or extend his powers beyond noon on Jan. 20.

But concessions have become all-but-official touch points in the process of American

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