Today so far
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- Pressure mounted for Donald Trump to accept the results of the presidential race. A number of world leaders have called president-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on his victory, and it’s unclear how the Trump campaign’s lawsuits will help the president erase Biden’s lead in states like Pennsylvania, where he trails by nearly 50,000 votes.
- Control of the Senate will officially come down to the two runoff races in Georgia, after the AP declared Republican incumbent Dan Sullivan to be the winner of Alaska’s Senate race. Democrats would have to win both Georgia runoffs to flip control of the Senate.
- Biden and Trump participated in ceremonies to commemorate Veterans Day. While the president-elect laid a wreath at the Korean war memorial in Philadelphia, the president paid his respects at Arlington national cemetery.
The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, celebrated her father’s victory in Alaska, after the AP called the race.
Of course, Donald Trump and his advisers have insisted the media does not have the ability to call races in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, where the president has lost.
So, in summary, if a media call goes against Trump, it is invalid. If the media calls a race for the president, then it is legitimate and worthy of celebration.
Senate control officially comes down to two Georgia runoffs, AP says
The AP has declared Republican incumbent Dan Sullivan to be the winner of Alaska’s Senate race, meaning control of the Senate will officially come down to the two runoff races in Georgia.
With Sullivan’s victory, Republicans now control 50 seats in the Senate, while Democrats hold 48 seats.
The final two seats will be determined in January, when Georgia holds two Senate runoff races. Republican Kelly Loeffler will face off against Democrat Raphael Warnock, and Democrat Jon Ossoff will attempt to unseat Republican David Perdue.
There are a couple factors working in Democrats’ favor: Joe Biden currently leads in Georgia by about 14,000 votes, and the runoff races are expected to attract a surge of energy and fundraising from Democrats across the country.
But overall, Republicans go into the runoffs with a considerable advantage. Although both races are headed to runoffs, Republicans attracted slightly more votes in the original Georgia Senate races, and election analysts widely expect the party to build upon its vote share in January.
Trump wins Alaska
The AP declared Donald Trump to be the winner of Alaska’s three electoral votes today, eight days after election day.
That brings Trump’s total electoral vote count to 217, in comparison to 290 for Joe Biden, who has already been declared the winner of the presidential race.
The news is unsurprising, given the state’s conservative lean, but it took more than a week to call the race because of the number of mail-in ballots left to be counted after election day.
The AP also declared Republican incumbent Dan Sullivan to be the winner of the state’s Senate race, ensuring that the two runoff races in Georgia will determine control of the chamber.
One of Trump’s top evangelical allies acknowledges Biden’s victory
Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, one of Donald Trump’s top evangelical allies, has acknowledged Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race.
“It appears that former Vice President Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20,” Jeffress wrote in an op-ed for Fox News.
The well-known pastor, who has frequently praised Trump, described Biden’s victory as a “bitter pill to swallow” for many Christians in the country, but he encouraged everyone to pray for the president-elect’s success.
“When Joe Biden becomes president, we should commend him for the things he does right. We should condemn the things he does wrong. And above all, we must pray fervently for our president,” Jeffress said.
“If President Biden succeeds, we all succeed. May God bless Joe Biden, and may God bless the United States of America.”
The op-ed will likely irritate Trump, who has continued to push baseless claims of election fraud in the days since Biden was declared the winner of the presidential race.
Donald Trump has returned to the White House, after participating in a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
The president did not stop to talk to reporters before stepping back into the residence.
Trump, who often stops to talk to journalists on his way into and out of the White House, has avoided them in recent days, as he spreads fact-free concerns about the integrity of the presidential election over Twitter.
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who has refused to acknowledge Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race, is starting a seven-country trip on Friday.
The leaders of all seven countries that Pompeo will visit — France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia — have congratulated Biden on his victory.
In contrast, Pompeo, a Trump loyalist, said yesterday, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
As a reminder, every major news outlet has declared Biden to be the winner of the presidential race, and he currently leads in the popular vote by 5 million votes.
Trump commemorates Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery
Donald Trump and Mike Pence just participated in a ceremony to commemorate Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery.
The president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which honors fallen American soldiers whose remains have not been identified.
This marks Trump’s first public appearance in days, as he has continued to cast baseless doubts upon Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race.
As Trump observed Veterans Day in Arlington, the president-elect participated in a ceremony at the Korean war memorial in Philadelphia.
While Biden wore a mask to his Veterans Day event, Trump and Pence did not.
Biden appears at Veterans Day event in Philadelphia
President-elect Joe Biden made an unexpected appearance at a Veterans Day event just now, alongside his wife, Dr Jill Biden.
The incoming president and first lady honored America’s fallen soldiers at the Korean war memorial in Philadelphia, laying a wreath at the site.
Biden’s appearance came shortly after he released a statement honoring Veterans Day, promising service members to be “a commander in chief who respects your sacrifice.”
“Today, we as a nation pause to honor the service, the valor, and the commitment of all those who have worn the uniform of the Armed Forces of the United States,” Biden said.
“This Veterans Day, I feel the full weight of the honor and the responsibility that has been entrusted to me by the American people as the next president, and I vow to honor our country’s sacred obligation.”
at 4.24pm GMT
Georgia secretary of state calls for hand recount of presidential race
Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, has called for a hand recount of the roughly 5 million ballots cast in the presidential race there.
At the state Capitol, Raffensperger announced he would make the official designation at 1 pm ET today to conduct a hand recount of the presidential results.
“With the margin being so close, it will require a full, by-hand recount in each county,” Raffensperger said. “This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once.”
The Republican official acknowledged the hand recount would be a “heavy lift” for counties, as the certification deadline is just nine days away.
“We will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification,” Raffensperger said. “We have all worked hard to bring fair and accurate counts to assure that the will of the voters is reflected in the final count.”
Raffensperger’s announcement comes as Donald Trump and his allies, including Georgia’s two Republican senators, have cast doubt upon the integrity of the state’s vote count.
Georgia election officials have repeatedly defended their vote count, emphasizing they have seen no evidence of widespread fraud in the state.
As of now, Joe Biden leads Trump in Georgia by about 14,000 votes, or 0.3% of the total vote.