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WSJ editorial board urges Trump to 'concede gracefully' if Biden wins

The Wall Street Journal editorial board on Friday issued a stern warning urging President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE to “concede gracefully” if Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE is named the ultimate winner of the presidential race, saying Trump's “legacy will be diminished greatly if his final act is a bitter refusal to accept a legitimate defeat.”

“If Mr. Biden has 270 Electoral College votes at the end of the counting and litigation, President Trump will have a decision to make. We hope in that event he would concede gracefully,” the editorial board wrote. “He has accomplished a great deal since descending on that Trump Tower escalator in 2015, including his historic first victory and a strong re-election performance when he was supposed to lose in a rout. We’d hate to see that legacy ruined by a refusal to accept the normal transfer of power.”

Biden has expanded his leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia while protecting his advantages in Nevada and Arizona, putting him in a strong position to win the presidential contest.

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Officials are scrambling in the key battleground states to continue counting outstanding mail-in ballots, but Biden expressed confidence that he would ultimately be declared the winner of the White House race, saying in a speech that the tallies tell a “clear and convincing story. We’re going to win this race.”

Trump, however, has reportedly not prepared a concession speech as he and his allies insist the race is not yet over. 

The Trump campaign, which has mounted several legal challenges in key battleground states, has said it would pursue recounts and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, especially in Pennsylvania, where 20 electoral votes hang in the balance.  

“But it’s also important to note that Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE, the GOP Senator from the Keystone State, says he has seen no evidence of fraud in his state’s counting,” the editorial board wrote. “We’ve also seen no concrete evidence. The delivery of a batch of votes all for Mr. Biden at one time can be explained by the practice of some jurisdictions to divide and report the votes of each candidate at different times.”

The Wall Street Journal board noted that election night was overall a success for the Republican Party, with the GOP favored to hang on to its Senate majority and gaining seats in the House. Trump’s policy initiatives and judicial appointments “will echo through the law for years,” the editorial board added.

“This is a considerable achievement, and it may look even better once Mr. Biden attempts to govern with an angry, impatient left. But Mr. Trump’s legacy will be diminished greatly if his final act is a bitter refusal to accept a legitimate defeat. Republican officials will turn away, and eventually so will the American public that wants to see the election resolved,” the editorial board wrote.

“Mr. Trump hates to lose, and no doubt he will fight to the end. But if defeat comes, he will serve himself and his country best by honoring America’s democratic traditions and leaving office with dignity,” the editorial board added.