Officials say Georgia, Wisconsin recounts likely will not change Trump election defeat

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President Donald Trump’s attempts to cling to power appeared more tenuous than ever on Wednesday as election officials in Georgia said a soon-to-be-completed recount was not likely to change President-elect Joe Biden’s victory there.

Georgia is one of several states where Trump’s campaign is contesting election returns, so far without success. Election officials there said recount results due to be announced on Thursday were not likely to overturn Biden’s 14,000-vote victory in the state. They also said the recount would not provide evidence for Trump’s unsupported claims of widespread fraud.

“He’s been misinformed on that front,” Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system manager, told reporters.

Election officials in Wisconsin likewise said that a partial recount requested by the Trump campaign would not reverse the Republican incumbent’s loss in that state, which he won in 2016.

Trump himself has stayed out of the public eye while venting his anger on Twitter. His election-related lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Michigan have met with little courtroom success.

Trump’s refusal to concede the Nov. 3 election is blocking the smooth transition to a new administration and complicating Biden’s response to the coronavirus pandemic when he takes office on Jan. 20.

Opinion polls show Trump’s unfounded claims about the election having been “rigged” have a political benefit, with as many as half of Trump’s fellow Republicans believing them, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Arizona’s top election official, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, said she faced escalating threats of violence and blamed Trump for spreading misinformation to undermine trust in the results.

The president is holding out hope that a manual recount ordered by Georgia can erase Biden’s lead there. The state’s top election official said that was unlikely.

As of Wednesday morning, Biden’s lead over Trump had fallen to 12,781 ballots, down from 14,156 previously, according to Sterling, the state voting system manager. Sterling said he expected the recount to be completed by midnight EST on Wednesday (0500 GMT Thursday) and certified by the state on Friday.