Democratic operatives are worried that Green Party candidate Jill Stein's effort to recount votes in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Trump won narrow victories over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, could end up boosting President-elect Trump and distracting their party from a desperately needed rebuilding effort.
The Democrats hope to regain competitiveness in the Rust Belt after suffering surprise losses there fueled by the defection of white working class voters who supported Democratic candidates for decades. They worry that the possibility of elevating Trump's image through pointless recounts, and giving him in effect another win, is not a good first step.
"We should all want to know the final count of this election, which was closer than many people realize, and identify any voter suppression or irregularities that are subverting our democracy," Rodell Mollineau, a Democratic operative who previously advised Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, said Monday in an interview.
"However, by waiting two weeks, we have undermined our credibility with the public and will be seen as sore losers," Mollineau added. "And the last thing Democrats should be doing is giving the American people any reason to feel sympathy for Donald Trump."