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McConnell Calls For 'Finishing The Counting' Despite Trump Claims

Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Nov. 4, 2020.

Mitch McConnell on Wednesday refused to condemn President Donald Trump’s call for officials to stop counting ballots in the General Election, but said the federal government shouldn’t interfere with how states run their elections.

Trump said early Wednesday morning that his campaign would go to the U.S. Supreme Court to ask for “all voting to stop” despite the ongoing counting of absentee ballots cast while polls were open across the nation.

During a press conference at Louisville’s Omni hotel the day after McConnell easily secured his seventh term in the U.S. Senate, McConnell said, “claiming you win the election is different than finishing the counting.”

“What we’re going to see here in the next few days, both in these Senate races and in the presidential race, is that each state will get to a final outcome,” McConnell said.

Though election results in key swing states still remain uncertain the day after Election Day, McConnell cruised to victory over Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, winning by about 20 percentage points.

It’s still unclear if McConnell will retain his position as the Senate majority leader, which depends on Republicans keeping control of the Senate. A handful of key Senate elections are still awaiting final results.

McConnell said the presidential election, where former Vice President Joe Biden is leading in the popular vote, showed the “beauty” of the Electoral College.

“Imagine if you did not have the Electoral College and you had a close election in the popular vote count. When would the litigation ever stop? What the Electoral College guarantees is you have finality in 50 separate places,” McConnell said. “You get to a final outcome."

McConnell said that Trump turned the race into a “cliffhanger, against everybody’s expectations,” by holding multiple rallies in the final days and weeks of the election.

Republicans also netted at least 12 seats in Kentucky’s House of Representatives, and two seats in the state Senate, adding on to their supermajorities in each chamber.

McConnell credited the Republican surge in Kentucky to opposition to former President Barack Obama and Trump’s popularity.

But McConnell said he was “disturbed” by Republicans’ loss of support in suburbs nationwide, and among women.

“I think we need to win back the suburbs. We need to do better with college-educated voters than we’ve been doing lately. And we need to do better with women,” McConnell said.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. Email Ryland at rbarton@lpm.org.