Trump campaign to request recount in Wisconsin
President Trump’s campaign said Wednesday it would request a recount in the state of Wisconsin, where Democratic nominee Joe Biden has a razor-thin lead but multiple outlets have projected the former vice president to win.
“There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement.
Biden was up by a little more than 20,000 votes in Wisconsin Wednesday morning, with nearly all local jurisdictions having completed the unofficial count of the votes. No networks had called the state for Biden at the time of the Trump campaign’s announcement. The Associated Press and CNN declared Biden the winner in Wisconsin later Wednesday afternoon.
Wisconsin offers 10 electoral votes, which could prove crucial to either candidate. Trump won the state by less than 1 percentage point in 2016 and Biden has pushed to return the state to the blue category this year.
There are not automatic recounts in Wisconsin, but a candidate who is within 1 percent of the winner can request one.
Biden’s campaign expressed confidence earlier Wednesday that the former vice president would ultimately be declared the winner in the Badger State, as well as Michigan and Pennsylvania by a wider margin than Trump won those same states in 2016.
“We are going to win Wisconsin, recount or no recount,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said on a Zoom call with reporters when asked about a potential recount in Wisconsin.
Asked to respond to the news during a Washington Post virtual event Wednesday afternoon, Biden campaign attorney Bob Bauer said he is “highly optimistic” that Biden has won the state of Wisconsin and indeed the presidential race.
“I think Biden is going to win Wisconsin, I think he has won Wisconsin and I think we’re at 270 electoral votes and above, and he will be the president-elect,” Bauer said.
Trump carried Wisconsin by less than 23,000 votes in the 2016 election. A recount was conducted in the state that year, with no change to the result.
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) expressed doubts on Wednesday about a potential recount changing the outcome if the winner has a lead of 20,000 votes.
“After recount in 2011 race for WI Supreme Court, there was a swing of 300 votes. After recount in 2016 Presidential race in WI, @realDonaldTrump numbers went up by 131. As I said, 20,000 is a high hurdle,” Walker tweeted.
Wisconsin was among several states that were too close to call in the presidential race heading into Wednesday, with both campaigns offering dueling perspectives on their potential path to victory. Biden appears the slight favorite to win the presidency.
Trump campaign officials signaled on a call with reporters earlier Wednesday that they would mount legal challenges in states in order to challenge some votes.
Updated: 2:29 p.m.
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