CNN  — 

Joe Biden has won the 2020 election. Which means that Donald Trump has lost it.

Of course, the current President is refusing to concede to that reality, because, um, lawsuits – or something. Which is just fine with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

“If Republicans don’t challenge and change the US election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again,” Graham said Sunday on Fox News. “President Trump should not concede. We’re down to less – 10,000 votes in Georgia. He’s going to win North Carolina. We have gone from 93,000 votes to less than 20,000 votes in Arizona, where more – more votes to be counted.”

Which, well, huh.

Let’s just humor Graham for a minute here, shall we?

So right now, CNN has 279 electoral votes for Biden and 214 for Trump. That total does NOT include the three states that Graham mentioned in his defense of the “don’t concede” strategy currently being employed by Trump. CNN has not called any of that trio of states, believing the margin separating the two candidates – coupled with the votes still outstanding – is simply too close.

For the sake of argument, give all three of those states to Trump – even though the trend lines in Georgia (as well as where the outstanding votes come from) seem to favor Biden. That’s 42 electoral votes for Trump, bringing him to 256. And keeping Biden at 279, which, again, is nine more electoral votes than the former vice president needs to be the 46th president.

To follow Graham’s argument, then: Trump shouldn’t concede because the margins are close in three states that a) Haven’t been called and b) wouldn’t change the election outcome even if the President swept all three?


Graham’s argument is actually even more flawed than that, however. Because he’s not just suggesting Trump shouldn’t concede because of the electoral math (which he gets wrong) but also that if the current president does concede and “Republicans don’t challenge and change the US election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again.”

Which is a take!

The underlying notion in Graham’s Republicans-will-never-win-again theory is that Democrats are somehow cheating in this election and unless they are called on it, will only grow more brazen in future national contests.

The problem with that argument is that aside from Trump’s tweets and a number of debunked conspiracy theories – ballots being burned! Republican election watchers kicked out! – there’s zero evidence that any sort of widespread voter fraud that Graham implies actually, you know, happened.

“We’ve not had any sort of credible incidents raised to our level yet and so we’ll continue to make sure that the opportunity to make sure every legal ballot is counted is there, but you know at this point, we’ve not seen any sort of credible examples,” Georgia Republican Lt. Gov. Jeff Duncan told CNN on Monday morning.

That inconvenient fact means that Graham is wrong on both of his main points. Which won’t matter to the President and his most loyal supporters, who care little for facts and a lot for loyalty.

But it should matter to the rest of us.