President Donald Trump is targeting two of Wisconsin’s biggest and bluest counties as he pursues a partial recount of the state that played a crucial role in vaulting him to the White House four years ago and denying him this year. With his 2016 win decided by less than 1 percentage point, he repeatedly denounced a recount pursued in Wisconsin and elsewhere as a “scam.” But this time, with the outcome reversed, his campaign has embraced a re-tallying of the votes in this key battleground state. Chief among his campaign’s complaints is the repeated and unsubstantiated claim of “irregularities” in the absentee voting process, though Trump operatives haven’t provided evidence and elections officials have said they haven’t heard about issues surrounding how the election was conducted. The Trump campaign’s decision to focus on Dane and Milwaukee counties is notable; the two play a crucial role in any Democrat’s statewide election bid given their populations and heavily blue nature.
Trump’s election power play: Persuade Republican legislators to do what U.S. voters did not | Michael Martina, Karen Freifeld and Jarrett Renshaw/Reuters
President Donald Trump’s strategy for retaining power despite losing the U.S. election is focused increasingly on persuading Republican legislators to intervene on his behalf in battleground states Democrat Joe Biden won, three people familiar with the effort said. … Trump’s lawyers are seeking to take the power of appointing electors away from the governors and secretaries of state and give it to friendly state lawmakers from his party, saying the U.S. Constitution gives legislatures the ultimate authority. A person familiar with the campaign’s legal strategy said it has become a “more targeted approach towards getting the legislators engaged.” As things stand, Biden has captured 306 electoral votes nationwide to Trump’s 232, well ahead of the 270 needed for victory. Were the combined 36 electoral votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania to go to Trump, he would trail by 270-268 electoral votes, meaning his campaign would still need to flip at least one more state to retain the White House. A senior Trump campaign official told Reuters its plan is to cast enough doubt on vote-counting in big, Democratic cities that Republican lawmakers will have little choice but to intercede. The campaign is betting that many of those lawmakers, who come from districts Trump won, will face a backlash from voters if they refuse to act. The campaign believes the longer they can drag this out, the more they will have an opportunity to persuade lawmakers to intervene, the official said.