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Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his leadership team urged fellow Republicans on a conference call today not to participate in any efforts to object to certifying Joe Biden's presidential election win in the Jan. 6 joint session, two sources on the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is about politics as much as about doing the right thing. McConnell expressed concern about such a vote, because the GOP would have to vote it down — something that could damage incumbents up for re-election in 2022.

  • Sens. Roy Blunt and John Thune joined McConnell in making the case to colleagues today during a private caucus lunch.

What they're saying: McConnell said "there's zero sentiment" for an objection, according to sources.

  • “It would be great if there were no members that took up that issue,” Thune added.
  • The request comes a day after the Electoral College formalized Biden's win and hours after McConnell addressed Biden as "President-elect" in a speech on the Senate floor.

Go Deeper: Some House Republicans plan last ditch challenge to election results during Electoral College tally.

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats call on Schumer for speedy Trump impeachment trial

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats are in a dilemma of their own making, and now they want incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to wrap up President Trump's impeachment trial as fast as possible, two sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: The party wanted to hold the president accountable for helping incite last week's Capitol attack but the actual mechanism for doing so — a Senate trial — is a balky tool that will inhibit President-elect Joe Biden from launching his effort to heal the country and its economy.

It's still Trump's party

Data: Axios research, ProPublica. (Non-voting members excluded). Graphic: Michelle McGhee and Sara Wise/Axios

He lied about the election being fixed. He incited an attack that left five dead at the U.S Capitol. He got impeached. Twice. But polling indicates Republicans still have his back — and views — by vast majorities.

Why it matters: Anyone who thinks Trump is a politically dead man walking appears pointedly dead wrong.

GOP Sen. Lankford apologizes to Black Oklahomans for electoral challenge

Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) has apologized to Black Oklahomans for challenging Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, saying he did not realize his actions would be seen as "casting doubt on the validity of votes" in predominantly Black cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit.

The big picture: Lankford was part of a group of 11 senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who planned to object to the Electoral College certification unless Congress launched a commission to audit the election results. He later withdrew his objection after the pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.