Bush Says Vote Was ‘Fair,’ and Outcome ‘Clear’: Election Update
Attendees cheer during a primary-night rally with Joe Biden in Columbia, South Carolina on Feb. 29, 2020. (Photographer: Sam Wolfe/Bloomberg)

Bush Says Vote Was ‘Fair,’ and Outcome ‘Clear’: Election Update

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Former President George W. Bush has extended congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and said the 2020 election was “fundamentally fair.” Stacey Abrams isn’t worried about a likely recount in Georgia, where Biden’s small lead continues to build. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says don’t blame the Democrats’ progressive wing for losing House seats. President Donald Trump hasn’t conceded, and headed to the golf course again Sunday.

Other developments:

Former President Bush Congratulates Biden on Victory

Former President George W. Bush spoke with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to congratulate them and called for Americans to unite behind them.

“Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country,” Bush said in a statement on Sunday.

While Bush recognized Trump’s right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, he said the election “was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”

He called on Americans to come together “for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future.”

Bush won election by a razor-thin margin in the electoral college over then vice president Al Gore in the 2000 election that featured a contentious recount in Florida. He’s mostly stayed away from public comments on the 2020 campaign and from politics in general.

Abrams Confident About Likely Georgia Recount (12:34 p.m.)

A top Georgia official said Friday a recount would be needed in the Peach State, but former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who’s been credited with powering Democrats’ get-out-the-vote effort there, predicted the outcome wouldn’t change.

“Recounts in Georgia essentially mean a re-scan of what’s been done very painstakingly over the last five days,” Abrams said on CNN. “And we know that, whether it’s tomorrow or next week, the result will be the same, that Joe Biden has won the state of Georgia.”

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said Friday the state would hold a recount given the very tight race. “With a margin that small, there will be a recount,” he said. Since he spoke, Biden’s advantage has widened from a few thousand votes to more than 10,000. -- Ros Krasny

Ocasio-Cortez Sees Deep Divisions in House Democrats (11:15 a.m.)

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said House Democrats must unify rather than blame progressive members for a slimmer majority in the next Congress.

“There are, at least in the House caucus, very deep divisions,” Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Pointing fingers and telling each other what to do, it deepens the division in the party.”

Speaking for the progressive wing, she said “We have assets to offer the party that the party has not yet fully leaned into or exploited.”

Ocasio-Cortez breezed to re-election in her New York City district, though she and other high-profile members of the party’s left wing have been criticized for possibly damaging Democrats’ appeal to moderate voters.

Ocasio-Cortez said she’ll focus now on helping Democrats in the two Georgia Senate runoff races in January. She also said Biden doesn’t see her as an enemy within the party, which is “one of the reasons why he won election.” -- Yueqi Yang

Biden’s Lead in Georgia Tops 10,000 Votes (10:07 a.m.)

There’s likely to be no call in the Georgia presidential race before a potential recount, but Biden’s lead has continued to widen since he crept ahead of Trump early Friday.

With 99% of ballots counted in the state, Biden is up by 10,195 votes, about a 0.2-point margin. The wider the lead, the less likely a recount will change the outcome.

Pennsylvania was the clincher for Biden on Saturday. His lead there has grown somewhat since the race was called, to more than 41,000 votes as of early Sunday, or 0.61 percentage points. Most of the remaining votes are in Democrat-leaning Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In 2016 Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the state by 44,292 votes or 0.72 points.

Nationwide, the popular-vote margin for the Democrat stands at more than 4.1 million votes. -- Ros Krasny

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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