Election Day hours away. Deadline looming. Must. Find. Angle…Got it:

Yet there is, in the national conversation, surprisingly little talk about not accepting the winner if things don’t go your way. Sure, some Democrats joke about moving to Canada, but gauging the severity of responses on the day after is a gauzy exercise in tarot-card reading that even television’s loudest mouths rarely discuss.

Allow the AP to fill that perceived void.

While the spectrum of possible morning-after reactions runs from water-cooler grousing to partisan lawyering to violence, the depth of sentiment this year - more impassioned, many say, than even the last two elections - could make for a bumpy ride, particularly if the results are close.

How so?

Will blacks, craving a victory that could offset the albatross of American racism, accept a negative outcome? Will Christian conservatives who got so energized about Sarah Palin reject the system and grow isolated if she’s sent back northward? Will “real America” accept a victory by “Eastern elites,” or vice versa? How will Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supporters - and the Clintons themselves - emerge from it all?

And the question no one wants to articulate: Will anyone unhappy with the outcome resort to uglier methods of registering disapproval?

“Will anyone?” Anyone?


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.