Trump’s losing streak sets up lasting loyalty test for GOP: The Note

Wednesday marks a starting point for a broader debate over the future of the GOP

The TAKE with Rick Klein

It’s clear how part of the story will end. President-elect Joe Biden will prevail over President Donald Trump, again and perhaps for the final time, and just maybe with the Senate slipping from his party as well.

But the final public act of the post-election spectacle -- set to play out in the House and Senate over an undetermined number of hours, starting Wednesday afternoon, even as counting in Georgia continues – will mark just a starting point for the broader debate over the future of the Republican Party.

Control of the Senate is still undecided as of Wednesday morning, with the Rev. Raphael Warnock having defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler and the other race showing a lead for Jon Ossoff over former Sen. David Perdue. What’s evident already, though, is that Republicans are on the verge of losing full control of Washington in Trump’s wake -- puncturing the myth of Trump’s electoral strength in a red state that’s now decidedly purple.

Now, GOP lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence in particular are being presented with a rather pure test of loyalty to the president and his version of reality, with the knowledge that his falsehoods have taken root in their party.

Objections are expected to the electoral slates in at least three states: Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. That will trigger “debates” that will change no minds and only divide Republicans, while showcasing the voices of the most loyal of Trumpists.

It will, though, solidify GOP choices. Speeches and stances could bring primary challenges and early 2024 battle lines.

It will also matter for history. The Republican Party has followed Trump this far -- and some final decisions could linger with elected leaders the longest.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

After Trump and many Republicans repeatedly raised doubts and questioned votes from largely black communities, it seems Democrats have landed some poetic justice in the end.

Early Wednesday morning, ABC News and other outlets projected that Warnock will in fact win his Senate bid and defeat Loeffler in one of the two Georgia Senate runoffs. The victory -- should it hold -- would make him the first Black U.S. senator from the state.

Georgia has one of the largest and fastest growing Black populations in the nation and Democrats have long wondered if they could flip the state blue by getting more eligible Black voters to the polls. It is perhaps fitting that the man who currently preaches from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s pulpit would be the one to make history in this way.

The TIP with Kendall Karson

If both Democrats pull off twin victories -- a likely outcome after notching one victory and as the outstanding vote comes from Democratic-leaning areas -- Biden will have far more room to maneuver on policy and appointments for at least the next two years.

But before landing at a final conclusion to the last races of the 2020 cycle, both parties are eyeing the late returns in at least 18 counties, with the majority coming from those covering Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs.

In Fulton County, which encompasses most of Atlanta, about 4,000 votes are still to be counted. In DeKalb, another Democratic bastion, roughly 19,000 advance votes have yet to be tallied. And thousands remain in suburban Gwinnett County and Chatham County, which covers Savannah in the east.

Democrats will continue to anxiously await the final results in the other Senate race. But, with razor-thin margins in the race between Ossoff and Perdue, a formal victory might have to wait at least another day -- and potentially after a recount.


ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast. Newly elected Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., will join ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl to discuss Congress’ certification of the Electoral College votes on Wednesday.


  • President Donald Trump will deliver remarks at a Save America Rally on the White House Ellipse at 10:50 a.m.
  • Members of Congress will meet in a joint session to formally ratify the Electoral College vote at 1 p.m. Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the session.
  • President-elect Joe Biden will receive the President’s Daily Brief. After, he will be briefed by members of his economic team and then he will then deliver brief remarks in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will virtually join Biden to be briefed by his economy team and then she will receive the President’s Daily Brief.
  • The Republican National Committee begins its winter meetings in Amelia Island, Florida.