Only 25 Congressional Republicans recognize Biden’s presidential win, new survey says

President Donald Trump speaks before he signs the coronavirus stimulus relief package in the Oval Office at the White House, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., listen. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy listen.

Only 25 Congressional Republicans - including 11 out of 52 GOP Senators and 14 out of 197 GOP House members -  have recognized President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the November election, according to an expansive Washington Post survey.

Despite Biden's clear 306-232 Electoral College victory and the president-elect's transition efforts in full swing, President Donald Trump has continued to litigate the election through the courts and on Twitter, with his campaign failing to prove that there were any cases of mass voter fraud.

"A team of 25 Post reporters contacted aides for every Republican by email and phone asking three basic questions - who won the presidential contest, do you support or oppose Trump's continuing efforts to claim victory and if Biden wins a majority in the electoral college, will you accept him as the legitimately elected president - and also researched public statements made by the GOP lawmakers in recent weeks to determine their stance on Biden's win," The Post said.

While conducting the survey, nearly 90% of Republicans in Congress, or 222 members, wouldn't acknowledge who won the election, while two US Representatives said that Trump was the winner.

The survey results solidify Trump's enduring grip on the party, with members loathe to risk incurring the wrath of the president and his allies, especially as he teases a 2024 presidential run.

While a few Republicans, including Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah and Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Denver Riggleman of Virginia, have publicly acknowledged Biden's win, many party members, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, have simply chosen to give small hints or dance around the reality of the incoming Democratic administration.

In early November, Collins referred to Biden as the president-elect and said that he "loves this country," while Romney called for Americans to "get behind the new president." Upton, a GOP moderate, said that he was "committing to work with President-elect Biden and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle," with Riggleman calling Biden "a steady hand" whose incoming political appointees can "ensure this country stays on a relatively stable path."

In a recent interview with Forbes, Riggleman was sharply critical of the Republican Party's refusal to accept Biden's win, calling it a "massive grift" and "completely unethical."

On Dec. 1, McConnell, who previously supported Trump's efforts to litigate the presidential election, appeared to acknowledge Biden's win for the first time while giving updates on coronavirus-related stimulus negotiations.

"I think we all know that after the first of the year, there's likely to be a discussion about some additional package of some size next year, depending upon what the new administration wants to pursue," McConnell said.

However, McConnell then avoided answering additional questions about Trump's debunked narratives of widespread voter fraud and working with Biden.

"The future will take care of itself," he said.

According to the Post, McConnell's office "pointed to his recent comments about the election and declined to participate in the survey."

On Dec. 3, McCarthy wouldn't discuss potential executive actions taken by Biden and implied that the president-elect might not be the one who is inaugurated in January 2021.

"Let's wait until [we see] who's sworn in and we can discuss that," he said.

Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama and Paul Gosar of Arizona, staunch Trump allies, insist that Trump won the election, despite the votes showing otherwise.

Gosar told 12News KPNX, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, that he would not accept Biden as the legitimate winner of the presidential election.

"No, never," he said. "Too much evidence of fraud."

While most Republicans on Capitol Hill have not publicly expressed similar sentiments in public, many members may be waiting for the Electoral College, where presidential electors will officially cast their votes for each state's presidential winner on Dec. 14, to make public statements about the election.

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