On Saturday, a growing number of Republicans in the Senate, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, announced plans to block formal certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory when Congress gathers to count electoral college votes on Wednesday. Politico reports that supporters of President Donald Trump plan to rally in Washington on the same day, opposing the certification of Biden’s win. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is expected to attend the rally.
Todd Gillman, Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, told Texas Standard that GOP supporters of Trump are likely thinking about the 2024 election as they rally around the president, who retains an outsized role in the party. But other Republicans have criticized the move to overturn the election.
Cruz, along with 10 other Republican senators, called on Saturday for an emergency audit of election results to be performed by an electoral commission. He cited the formation of such a commission in 1876 that was created to settle that year’s presidential election, Gillman says.
“Historians say it’s a terrible comparison; it’s absolutely misleading,” Gillman said.
In 1876, three states sent two sets of electors to Congress after the election, leading to confusion about which sets of electors’ votes should be counted. The 2020 election included no such disputed elector groups, and Trump has been unsuccessful in all of his attempts to cast doubt on vote totals in swing states he claims to have won, but which voted for Biden.
“All 50 states sent one certified set of electors,” Gillman said. “It’s very clear that Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by a wide margin in the electoral college.”
Gillman says many fellow Republicans have criticized Cruz’s efforts. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, an ardent Trump supporter, called the effort to oppose certification of Biden’s win “a political dodge,” Gillman said.
Texas Rep. Chip Roy, who does not support the effort to stop certification of electors, instead proposed on Sunday that 67 members of Congress from states Trump claims to have won but whose voters chose Biden, not be seated.
Gillman explained the theory behind what he called Roy’s brilliant political theater.
“If those six states belong to Trump instead of Biden, the 67 congressmen must also have been invalid,” he said.