GOP leaders: We'll abide by popular vote, won't give Michigan to Trump

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fairly difficult
Donald Trump's remote path to a second term is more narrow now that GOP lawmakers in Michigan say they won't appoint the state's 16 electors contrary to the popular vote. Trump's best chance of carrying Michigan is now a long-shot court fight to erase 146,000 votes.
LANSING — Leaders in Michigan's Republican-led Legislature have not yet called Joe Biden the president elect, but they're making clear that they will not change the electoral process to benefit President Donald Trump even as they probe alleged election "irregularities,"

"Michigan law does not include a provision for the Legislature to directly select electors or to award electors to anyone other than the person who received the most votes," said Amber McCann, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake.

The law is clear on that front: Michigan must award its 16 representatives to the Electoral College to the winner of the popular vote, and unofficial results show Joe Biden won the state by nearly 150,000 votes, a margin roughly 14 times larger than Trump's win here in 2016.

But the U.S. Constitution also appears to give Legislatures the exclusive authority to decide how to award electors, and GOP pundits like Mark Levin of Fox News have urged battleground state lawmakers to bypass the popular vote and decide the election for Trump, who has falsely claimed he won Michigan and sued to try and block certification of the results.

"REMINDER TO THE REPUBLICAN STATE LEGISLATURES, YOU HAVE THE FINAL SAY OVER CHOOSING ELECTORS," Levin wrote in a post that Twitter partially blocked because of disputed and potentially misleading content. "SO, GET READY TO DO YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY."

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany promoted Levin's theory on Twitter, calling it "INSANE" that the social media site would block it. Local activists and the Michigan Conservative Coalition have encouraged lawmakers to follow Levin's advice.

And on Wednesday, the president himself reportedly pressed his top advisers on whether Republican Legislatures could pick pro-Trump electors in a handful of key states to deliver him a second term.

Both Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, have already backed away from that possibility.

"Every single…
Jonathan Oosting
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