Biden approaches 80 million votes in historic victory; Trump targets vote certification in last-ditch bid; Analysis: For Trump, sowing post-election chaos is the goal
President-elect Joe Biden is approaching more than 80 million votes won in his campaign. Biden’s total continues to rise as Democratic strongholds like California and New York process their remaining ballots.
Biden is also on track to win the Electoral College with the same 306 votes that the defeated, one-term President Donald Trump described as a “landslide” victory in his own 2016 race.
Vote Certification: Trump’s scattershot effort to overturn Biden’s victory is shifting toward obscure election boards that certify the vote count. It’s part of an unprecedented effort by Trump and his allies to upend the electoral process, sow chaos and perpetuate unsubstantiated doubts about the election’s result, Zeke Miller, Christina A. Cassidy and Colleen Long report.
Analysis: Trump is trying to turn America’s free and fair election into a muddled mess of misinformation, specious legal claims and baseless attacks on the underpinnings of the nation’s democracy. The resulting chaos and confusion that has created isn’t the byproduct of Trump’s strategy following his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden. The chaos and confusion is the strategy.
Trump’s blizzard of attacks on the election are allowing him to sow discontent and doubt among his most loyal supporters, leaving many with the false impression that he is the victim of fraudulent voting. That won’t keep Trump in office — Biden will be sworn in on Jan. 20 — but it could both undermine the new president’s efforts to unify a fractured nation and fuel Trump in his next endeavor, AP Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace writes.
Republicans: Although a growing number of Republicans have quietly acknowledged that Biden won the election, few are publicly challenging Trump. The GOP’s public silence on the reality of Biden’s victory amounts to tacit approval of Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud. That has significant repercussions, delaying the transition during a deadly pandemic, sowing public doubt and endangering Biden’s ability to lead the portion of the country that may question his legitimacy, Jonathan Lemire and Lisa Mascaro report.
Georgia: Election officials expect to release a report today on a hand tally of the presidential race. They have repeatedly said they expect it to affirm Biden’s narrow lead over Trump.
Wisconsin: The state’s Elections Commission has agreed to issue an order today to recount ballots cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties as requested by Trump after hours of partisan squabbling. Trump paid the $3 million required for the recount.
Media: The Trump-friendly arch-conservative network Newsmax saw its viewership explode after the election, helped by fans of the president who were apparently miffed at Fox News Channel. Its viewers are fed a diet of conspiracy theories to salve the wounds of an election loss — a tactic that’s misleading at best and damaging to democracy at worst, Dave Bauder reports.