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in quarantine because he was exposed to someone with COVID-19. For mer President Bill Clinton and former S e c r e t a r y o f S t at e Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated four years ago, were among New York’s 29 electors for Biden and Harris. In New Hampshire, before the state’s four electors voted for Biden at the State House in Concord, 13-year-old Brayden Harrington led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. He had delivered a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention in August about the struggle with stuttering he shares with Biden. Fo l l ow i n g w e e k s of Republican legal challenges that were easily dismissed by judges, Tr ump and Republican allies tried to persuade the Supreme Court last week to set aside 62 electoral votes for Biden in four states, which might have thrown the outcome into doubt. The justices rejected the effort on Friday. The Electoral College was the product of c o m p r o m i s e d u r i n g the drafting of the Constitution between t h o s e w h o f avo r e d electing the president by popular vote and those who opposed giving the people the power to directly choose their leader.

 Each state gets a number of electors equal to its total number of seats in Congress: two senators plus however many member s the state has in the House of Re presentatives. Wa s h i n g t o n , D. C . , has three votes, under a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l amendment that was ratified in 1961. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states award all their Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state.

 The bargain struck by the nation’s founders has produced five elections in which the president did not win the popular vote. Trump was the most recent example in 2016.

Wisconsin — the six battleground states that Biden won and Trump contested — electors gave Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris their votes in low-key proceedings. Nevada’s electors met via Zoom because of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump’s efforts to undermine the election r e s u l t s a l s o l e d t o concerns about safety for the electors, virtually unheard of in previous years. I n M i c h i g a n , lawmakers from both parties reported receiving threats, and legislative offices were closed over threats of violence. Biden won the state by 154,000 votes, or 2.8 percentage points, over Trump. Georgia state police were out in force at the state Capitol in Atlanta b e f o r e D e m o c r a t i c elector s pledged to Biden met. There were no protesters seen. E v e n w i t h t h e E l e c t o r a l C o l l e ge ’s confirmation of Biden’s victory, some Republicans continued to refuse to acknowledge that reality. Yet their opposition to Biden had no practical effect on the electoral process, with the Democrat to be sworn in next month. Re publicans who would have been Trump electors met anyway in a handful of states Biden won. Pennsylvania Republicans said they cast a “procedural vote” for Trump and Pence in case courts that have re peatedly rejected challenges to Biden’s victory were to somehow still deter mine that Trump had won. In North Carolina, Utah and other states a c r o s s t h e c o u n t r y where Trump won, his electors turned out to duly cast their ballots for him. Electors in North Carolina had their temperatures checked before being allowed to enter the Capitol to vote. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes withdrew as a Trump elector and was

Electoral College Makes It Official: ...

are eager for Trump to firmly declare that fundraising for Perdue and Loeffler needs to be the priority for the party — something they note he hasn’t done yet as he raises money for himself. Re p u bl i c a n s s ay the help is needed. The Democratic candidates are poised to outspend the Republican contenders on the TV airwaves $131 million to $86 million, according to the media tracking firm AdImpact. Republicans are relying on outside groups to make up the difference, but donations straight to Loeffler and Perdue are more efficient, because of federal guidelines that make it more expensive for outside groups to run commercials than candidates. “Obviously you want to control the message as much as you possibly can, and with outside spending rates being as much as five-to-six times what the candidate [advertising] rate is, it becomes even more important,” s a i d G e o r g i a - b a s e d Republican strategist Chip Lake, who added that “outside group ad group spending for Perdue and Loeffler has been quite effective.” Trump advisers are deeply protective of the president’s coveted donor list, which is easily the biggest in Republican

 

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T he predicament has intensified broader concerns within the GOP that Trump will use his post-presidency to advance his own interests at the expense of the party.

 Trump h a s s p e n t t h e l a s t few weeks battering a pair of Republican governors who haven’t backed up his claims the presidency is being stolen from him, potentially imperiling their 2022 reelection prospects.

 H e h a s r e p e a t e d l y said Georgia's election system is rife with fraud, which could have the unintended consequence of chilling GOP turnout in the runoffs. And he has talked up a potential 2024 comeback bid, freezing the field of wouldbe future Republican presidential hopefuls. “The reality is Donald Trump does not care about the future of the Republican Party, so if he can raise money off of the Georgia runoffs but keep the money for his own purposes, he will do so,” said Doug Heye, a veteran GOP strategist.

 Trump’s approach has been in stark contrast with President-elect Joe Biden, who has raised $10 million for the runoffs through direct appeals to his grassroots donor network. Biden’s campaign last week sent out an email asking supporters to give $25

contributions, which would be split evenly between Georgia Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and the Democratic National Committee.

 When donors click on Trump’s emails and texts, they are directed to a site that urges donations of anything from $5 to $2,800.

 Lower down on the page, it notes that 75 percent of each donation goes to Trump’s political action committee, Save America, up to the first $5,000 given. Twentyfive percent then goes to the RNC, which paid for Trump's recent visit to the state.

 Donors who give even more money can have their cash directed into a Trump legal fund or other accounts benefiting the RNC. But regardless of the amount given, none goes directly to the Georgia Senate candidates. Georgia Republicans want more of Trump’s small-dollar fundraising to benefit David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

 After Biden’s campaign announced the $10 million haul, Georgia Republicans took note and began asking each other why their candidates weren’t getting the same treatment.

 An email from the president to his donor list, they argue, could go a long way. Some Republicans

President Donald Trump couldn’t make it any clearer: He needs his supporters to fork over cash for the all-important Georgia Senate runoff elections.

 “We MUST defend Georgia from the Dems!” he wrote in one recent text message.

 “I need YOU to secure a WIN in Georgia,” he said in another.

 “Help us WIN both Senate races in Georgia & STOP Socialist Dems,” he pleaded a few days later.

 There’s just one hitch: Trump’s new political machine is pocketing most of the dough — and the campaigns of the Georgia senators competing in the Jan. 5 races aren’t getting a cent.

 Trump’s aggressive fundraising blitz appears to be devoted to helping t h e p a r t y d e f e n d Georgia’s two Senate seats and, with them, the Senate majority.

 But the fine print shows that most of the proceeds are going toward Trump’s newly launched PAC, which he plans to use to fund his future political activities. Only a fraction is going to the Republican National Committee, which is investing $20 million into the runoffs. A stampede of political figures from both parties are emailing their donors with links to donate directly to the Georgia candidates, but the president is not among them.

 Trump’s fundraising ploy has rankled senior Republicans, who worry small-dollar donations are being redirected away from the runoffs.

 The National Republican Senatorial Committee has reached out to the White House and RNC to express its concern and to question the decision, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

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