Karl Rove gives Trump the bitter truth: You 'certainly' lost
President Donald Trump is still refusing to concede to President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, and many of his sycophants have been joining him in making baseless claims that the election was stolen from him because of rampant voter fraud — never mind the fact that the New York Times contacted election officials in all 50 states and found no evidence of the type of widespread fraud that Trump is alleging. But veteran Republican strategist Karl Rove gives Trump and his supporters a dose of reality in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on November 11, stressing that Biden will become president whether Trump's allies like it or not.
Rove notes that although the 2020 election was not the across-the-board blue tsunami that some pundits were predicting, one major Democratic victory was undeniable: Biden won.
He tried to couch the point in a an argument about Democrats underperforming, but the message was clear.
"Pundits predicted a blue tsunami of historic proportions that would carry Democrats into the White House, flip the U.S. Senate, increase Speaker Nancy Pelosi's caucus by as many as 20 seats, and transform a basketful of red-state legislatures into blue ones just in time for redistricting in 2021," Rove explains. "Well, the White House changed hands, but none of the rest happened….. Still, enough voters wanted change."
Trump's campaign has filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states, but Rove argues that they are "unlikely" to make a difference and that Biden has an insurmountable lead in those places.
"Mr. Trump is now pursuing legal challenges in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada, and there will be an automatic recount in Georgia, given Mr. Biden's 0.29-point lead there," Rove notes. "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is correct that Mr. Trump is '100% within his rights' to go to court over concerns about fraud and transparency. But the president's efforts are unlikely to move a single state from Mr. Biden's column, and certainly, they're not enough to change the final outcome."
Delving into history, Rove adds, "There are only three statewide contests in the past half-century in which recounts changed the outcome: the 1974 New Hampshire Senate race, the 2004 Washington governor's contest and the 2008 Minnesota Senate election. The candidates in these races were separated, respectively, by 355, 261 and 215 votes after Election Day. These margins aren't much like today's. Mr. Biden led Wednesday in Wisconsin by 20,540 votes, Pennsylvania by 49,064, Michigan by 146,123, Arizona by 12,614, Nevada by 36,870 and Georgia by 14,108."
Rove, of course, played a key role in one of the most intense election disputes in U.S. history: Bush v. Gore. In 2000's presidential election, then-Vice President Al Gore questioned the election results in Florida. Gore never alleged widespread voter fraud like Trump is doing, but he wanted to make sure that then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush really won the Sunshine State. Ultimately, Gore conceded — much to Rove's delight — and Bush was sworn in as president of the United States in January 2001.
According to Rove, "Mr. Trump must prove systemic fraud, with illegal votes in the tens of thousands. There is no evidence of that so far. Unless some emerges quickly, the president's chances in court will decline precipitously when states start certifying results, as Georgia will on November 20, followed by Pennsylvania and Michigan on November 23, Arizona on November 30, and Wisconsin and Nevada on December 1. By seating one candidate's electors, these certifications will raise the legal bar to overturn state results and make it even more difficult for Mr. Trump to prevail before the Electoral College meets December 14."
Rove never mentions Bush v. Gore in his WSJ op-ed, but he wraps up the piece by, in essence, arguing that Trump needs to do what Gore did 20 years ago: concede.
"TV networks showed jubilant crowds in major cities celebrating Mr. Biden's victory; they didn't show the nearly equal number of people who mourned Mr. Trump's defeat," Rove observes. "U.S. politics remains polarized and venomous. Closing out this election will be a hard but necessary step toward restoring some unity and political equilibrium. Once his days in court are over, the president should do his part to unite the country by leading a peaceful transition and letting grievances go."
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