By M.D. Kittle
Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 5, 2020
MADISON — President Donald Trump’s campaign will seek a recount in Wisconsin, where Democrat Joe Biden appears to have squeaked out a win and the battleground Badger State’s precious 10 electoral votes.
The unofficial tally shows the former vice president with a 0.6 percent edge — or just over 20,000 votes — ahead of the Republican president.
“Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be,” said Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager on Wednesday, before the Associated Press and the major networks put Wisconsin in Biden’s column.
As Stepien noted, Trump is well within his rights to call for a recount. Under state election law, candidates who lose by 1 percentage point or less are entitled to a recount, although candidates who lose by more than a quarter point have to pick up the cost of the recount. Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s campaign paid $3.5 million for the statewide recount in 2016, the year Trump narrowly defeated Hillary Clinton and turned Wisconsin red for the first time since 1984.
The recount wouldn’t begin until December.
The Trump campaign has raised concerns about the presidential election polls, so egregiously wrong that they may have persuaded some Trump voters to stay home. A CNN poll just two days before the election had Biden up by 10 points in Wisconsin. The New York Times poll had Biden leading by 11 points. And the worst, an ABC News/Washington Post poll that showed Biden trouncing Trump by 17 percent.
Some critics called it polling and journalistic malfeasance, a follow-up failure to the 2016 presidential election when most pollsters erroneously had Clinton leading Trump by significant margins.
Stepien also noted reports of “irregularities” in several Wisconsin counties “which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results.”
As Biden moved closer to a narrow victory Wednesday evening, picking up Michigan in approaching the requisite 270 electoral votes, the Trump campaign stepped up its challenge of the vote count there and in vote-rich Pennsylvania.
Trump campaign manager Justin Clark charged Democrats with “scheming” to dilute Republican votes.
“Pennsylvania’s unhinged, radical left Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar has tried her hardest to bake in a backdoor to victory for Joe Biden with late, illegal ballots in collusion with the partisan state supreme court.” Clark said in a statement.
Trump was up in Pennsylvania, but just like in so many other battleground states, an avalanche of early and absentee votes cast for Biden kept piling up to close the huge lead Trump had in Election Day votes.