The objections Republican lawmakers plan to raise on Wednesday won’t stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory.
But the entire episode may make a powerful argument for abandoning the institution that makes Republicans competitive in presidential elections in the first place — the Electoral College.
Likely to drag on for hours and draw wall-to-wall coverage, the objection by a group of Republican senators and House members to the Electoral College’s certification of the vote will cap an extraordinary, two-month-long effort by President Donald Trump and his allies to subvert the election’s outcome. But whereas those Republicans’ complaints previously focused public attention on baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, traditionalist Republicans fear that the endgame in Congress — unlike in the courts — will be to undermine the GOP-friendly institution of the Electoral College itself.
“I think this is something that will come back to haunt Republicans,” said Jon Gilmore, a Republican strategist in Arkansas and an adviser to the state’s governor, Asa Hutchinson. “It opens a Pandora’s box.”