Most striking was the way the senators nodded toward the likelihood of Biden’s presidency. While Trump keeps insisting that he won the election, making baseless claims of voter fraud and mounting legal challenges, Republicans on the call privately cast those efforts as an understandable but potentially futile protest.

“What we’re going to have to do is make sure we get all the votes out from the general and get them back out,” Perdue said of core Republican voters. “That’s always a hard thing to do in a presidential year, particularly this year, given that President Trump, it looks like now, may not be able to hold out.”

Perdue added that “we don’t know that” yet — and said he fully supports Trump and his dispute of the results in several states. But, he said, “we’re assuming that we’re going to be standing out here alone. And that means that we have to get the vote out, no matter what the outcome of that adjudication is on the recount in two states and some lawsuits, and others. Kelly and I can’t wait for that.”