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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell makes impassioned plea against Electoral College vote challenge
McConnell says overturning will of voters would put American democracy in a “death spiral”
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com
WASHINGTON (CFP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky took to the Senate floor Wednesday to make a somber and impassioned plea against overturning President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win, saying “nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale” needed to overturn the election.
Video of McConnell’s speech at end of story
“We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids,” McConnell said. “If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.”
“We’d never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years it would be a scramble for power at any cost.”
McConnell also decried the current level of contention in American politics, saying “we cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate reality, with nothing in common except our hostility toward each other and distrust for the few national institutions that we all still share.”
McConnell’s remarks came less than an hour before the Senate had to be evacuated after pro-Trump protestors breached the Capitol.
In words that proved prescient, McConnell said, “I will not pretend such a vote will be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing.”
McConnell said he supported President Donald Trump’s right to use the legal system to challenge the election results, “but over and over, courts rejected these claims, including all-star judges whom the president himself has nominated.”
His remarks came on the day after Democrats appear to have won two U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia, which will cost him his post as majority leader once both of those votes are confirmed.
McConnell, who was re-elected in November to a seventh term, called Wednesday’s vote “the most important vote I’ve ever cast” during his 36 years as a senator.
His remarks came during a debate triggered when Trump supporters in the House objected to certifying Arizona’s electoral votes and were joined by Texas Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
The session in both houses was suspended after protestors breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol building.
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Electoral College: Despite protests, Southern electors stick with Trump
Trump carried 165 of the region’s 180 votes; two ‘faithless’ electors in Texas vote for Kasich, Ron Paul
♦By Rich Shumate, Chicken Fried Politics.com editor
(CFP) — Members of the Electoral College have met at 14 Southern statehouses and, as expected, gave the overwhelming majority of the region’s electoral votes to President-elect Donald Trump, ignoring calls by anti-Trump protestors to stop his elevation to the nation’s highest office.
Trump carried 165 of the South’s 180 electoral votes in the December 19 vote. Hillary Clinton won the 13 electoral votes from Virginia, which was the only Southern state she carried.
The only place where Republican electors broke ranks was in Texas, where the defections of two Republican electors did not stop Trump from securing the 270 votes he needed to win the White House.
Chris Suprun, a Dallas paramedic who had previously announced he would not vote for Trump, cast his ballot for Ohio Governor John Kasich. Elector Bill Greene, who represented the 34th District, which takes in the Gulf Coast between Brownsville and Corpus Christi, voted for former Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.
Afterward, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted his support for a bill that would preclude so-called “faithless” electors by requiring them to vote for the candidate who carried the state on election day, in this case, Trump.
“This charade is over.,” Abbot said. “A bill is already filed to make these commitments binding. I look forward to signing it & ending this circus.
Twenty-nine states have laws binding electors to the popular vote winner in their states, including the Southern states of Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Currently in Texas, state law doesn’t bind electors, although the Texas GOP required them to take an oath pledging to vote for the popular vote winner.
The Electoral College vote is usually a formality to which scant public attention is paid. However, Trump’s surprise win on November 8, coupled with his loss to Clinton by more than 2.8 million votes in the popular vote, galvanized anti-Trump protests at state capitols around the country.
Small groups of protestors gathered in Tallahassee, Atlanta, Nashville, Raleigh, Austin, Oklahoma City and Montgomery.
In Austin, shouts from protestors were audible inside the State House chamber where electors met, according to local media reports.
In Little Rock, anti-Trump activists took many of the seats in the old Supreme Court chamber in the State Capitol, where the vote took place. According to local media reports, one protestor was removed, although the electors also chatted amiably with the demonstrators before the vote took place.
Second Texas GOP elector bolts from Donald Trump
Elector Chris Suprun says Trump is not qualified to be president
♦By Rich Shumate, Chicken Fried Politics.com editor
DALLAS (CFP) — A Texas Republican presidential elector has announced he won’t vote for Donald Trump, making his case in a New York Times op-ed in which he argues the president-elect “shows daily he is not qualified for the office.”
“The election of the next president is not yet a done deal,” said Chris Suprun, a paramedic from Dallas. “Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the county. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience.”
Suprun said that while he has “poured countless hours into serving the party of Lincoln and electing its candidates,” Trump is an divisive demagogue who lacks foreign policy experience and has overseas business interests that would conflict with his role as president.
“I owe no debt to a party,” he said. “I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.”
Suprun did not say who would get his vote when Texas’s 38 electors meet to cast their ballots in Austin on December 19. However, he called on electors to “unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.”
Under Texas law, electors are not bound to vote for the candidate who carried the state in the November 8 election. However, the Texas Republican Party required all electors to take an oath pledging to vote for the winner.
Suprun was selected as the elector representing the 30th U.S. House District, a majority-minority area that includes much of the city of Dallas and southern Dallas County. While Trump carried the state, Hillary Clinton won Suprun’s district.
Suprun is the second Texas elector to refuse to vote for Trump, following Art Sisneros, who resigned as an elector rather than cast a ballot for the president-elect, which he said “would bring dishonor to God.
Sisneros will be replaced by the remaining electors when they meet on December 19.
President: Trump rolls across the South, shuts out Clinton in Florida, North Carolina
Clinton takes just one Southern state, Virginia
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
(CFP) — Republican Donald Trump blazed through the South on his way to the White House, defeating Hillary Clinton in the battleground states of Florida and North Carolina.
Trump won 13 of 14 Southern states, with a combined 167 electoral votes, a better performance than Mitt Romney had in 2012, when he took 12.
Trump’s haul of Southern electoral votes made up 58 percent of his national total.
Clinton’s only Southern victory came in Virginia, where she defeated Trump by a margin of 50-46 percent, thanks to a late vote surge from the Washington, D.C. suburbs.
Trump defeated Clinton by a margin of 49-48 percent in Florida and 51-47 percent in North Carolina.
Across the rest of the South, Trump rolled up double-digit margins, including winning by a whopping 43 points in West Virginia. 36 points in Oklahoma and 30 points in Kentucky.
Trump outperformed Romney’s totals in every Southern state except Georgia and Texas. In Georgia, the GOP result was down 3 points; in Texas, 6 points.
Report: Internal GOP polls show Trump in trouble in Georgia
New York Times reports Trump in “dire risk” of losing the Peach State
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
ATLANTA (CFP) — Internal Republican polls show that Republican Donald Trump is in danger of losing to Democrat Hillary Clinton in Georgia, according to a report in The New York Times.
The Times attributed to its October 12 report to people briefed on the polls who spoke on condition of anonymity. The newspaper also reported that Clinton’s campaign has concluded that Georgia is winnable, although her camp has made no move so far to put resources into trying to capture the Peach State.
The Times did not give any specific polling numbers for the race or indicate whether that polling took place before or after video surfaced on October 7 in which Trump made braggadocious comments about being allowed to grab women’s genitals because of his celebrity.
The last public poll in Georgia, conducted by WSB-TV/Landmark on September 20-21, showed Trump at 47 percent and Clinton at 43 percent, which was within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage votes. That means that from a statistical perspective, the race was a tie.
A Republican presidential candidate has not taken Georgia in 24 years, since Clinton’s husband, Bill, carried the state back in 1992. Mitt Romney won it by 8 points in 2012.
In addition to Georgia, three other Southern states are also in play — Virginia, Florida and North Carolina. These four states are the largest in the South outside of Texas, with a combined 73 electoral votes, about a quarter of what is needed to capture the presidency.
The latest state polls show Clinton with a strong lead in Virginia, with races in Florida and North Carolina within the margin of error.
No Democrat has captured all four of these states since Harry Truman back in 1948.