The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump campaign files for Wis. recount l Secretaries of state fume at Trump allegations l Biden angered over transition delay

The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump campaign files for Wis. recount l Secretaries of state fume at Trump allegations l Biden angered over transition delay
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Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:

PROGRAMMING NOTE: It’s been a pleasure for us to provide readers with the latest campaign news of the day during the 2020 cycle, but we’re winding things down with this final edition of The Hill’s Campaign Report.


As President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE continues his long-shot quest to overturn the results of the 2020 election, his campaign is filing for recounts in two Wisconsin counties and a second recount is possible in Georgia.  

The president’s campaign met the deadline for recounts in Milwaukee and Dane Counties, transferring $3 million for the targeted recount effort, which is significantly cheaper than the $8 million it would cost for a statewide recanvassing.

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge MORE leads in Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes and recounts seldom change the outcome enough to make up for that large of a deficit.

Meanwhile, down in Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is completing his own re-tally of the more than 5 million votes cast. That manual recount is taking place amid baseless allegations of systemic fraud from Trump, who has refused to concede.

Raffensperger, a self-described "conservative Republican," is being attacked by Republicans from Trump on down for insisting that systemic fraud did not alter the outcome in Georgia. Biden leads by about 13,000 votes there, becoming the first Democrat to win the state in nearly 30 years.

In an interview with The Hill’s Jonathan Easley on Wednesday, Raffensperger fumed over what he described as GOP lawmakers giving false hope and ginning up anger around misleading claims about fraud.


“There’s just people who are really angry and they’re being spun up,” Raffensperger said. “It’s really the spinners that should be ashamed for playing with people’s emotions. Politicians of both sides should never play with people’s emotions. It’s one thing to motivate people, I get that. But to spin people up and play with their emotions, it’s emotional abuse and they ought to grow up and start acting with integrity.”

The vote count in Georgia has drawn the attention of Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel Democracy is the MVP in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms MORE (R-S.C.), who called Raffensperger this week to push him to investigate absentee ballots from Democratic strongholds. Ethics experts are calling on Graham to be investigated for election meddling.

Raffensperger and his wife have received threatening texts and emails from the president’s supporters.

In Arizona, the site of another close contest that went in Biden’s favor, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) called on members of Congress to stop “perpetuating misinformation” as she faces threats of violence.

“There are those, including the president, members of Congress and their elected officials, who are perpetuating misinformation and are encouraging others to distrust the election results in a manner that violates the oath of office they took,” Hobbs said. “It is well past time that they stop. Their words and actions have consequences.”


Biden and his team are growing more and more frustrated with Trump delaying their transition efforts by his refusal to concede.

Trump's General Services Administration has refused to ascertain Biden as the winner, depriving Biden of access to government officials and information that he could be using to prepare to address the COVID-19 crisis when he comes into office.

On Wednesday, Biden suggested during a roundtable with health care workers that the delays could put his administration behind by weeks or months in putting together a distribution initiative.

"We've been unable to get access to the kinds of things we need to know about the depth of stockpiles, we know there’s not much at all," Biden said.

"We get to the point where we have a sense of when these vaccines come out, how they’ll be distributed, who will be first in line, what the plan is for 300 million Americans and beyond our border that will have to be taken care of," he continued. "And there’s a whole lot of things we just don’t have available to us, so unless it’s made available to us soon, we’ll be behind by weeks or months to put together the initiative relating to the biggest problem we have with two drug companies coming along and finding 95 percent effectiveness efficiency in the vaccines, which is enormous promise."


Down-ballot Republicans did far better than anyone expected, winning close races and picking up at least a half dozens seats in the House. That has GOP leaders talking about potentially taking the House in 2022, according to Juliegrace Brufke. There is no question who will lead the House this cycle — Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Houston will send residents checks of up to ,200 for pandemic relief MORE (D-Calif.) has been nominated for another term, although she says it will be her last.

The rural-urban divide is likely here to stay, according to The Hill’s Reid Wilson, who crunches the numbers to find that most of the crucial counties that swung toward Trump in 2016 stuck with him in 2020. 

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports that Democrats are venting their disappointment to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell: COVID-19 relief will be added to omnibus spending package Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden MORE (D-N.Y.) over once again falling short in their quest to win the upper chamber.


Does Matthew McConaughey have his eyes on the Texas governor’s mansion?

McConaughey, who lives in Austin, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday that it’s not outside the realm of possibility. 

"I don’t know. I mean, that wouldn’t be up to me. It would be up to the people more than it would me," he said.


"I would say this: Look, politics seems to be a broken business to me right now. And when politics redefines its purpose, I could be a hell of a lot more interested.”

McConaughey is Texas-born and bred. He’s been an advocate for Austin, the state’s capitol, to hold on to its unique culture and values as Texas experiences a wave of new people moving in to take advantage of the booming economy. That could be a potent message if the "True Detective" star one day decides to make the jump from movies to politics.

Thanks for reading, folks. See you next election cycle...