A Fox News decision to call Arizona early has caused President Trump’s campaign to call them out, asking for a retraction, as Arizona is still in play.
They decided to call Biden the Grand Canyon State winner just after 11 p.m., with 73 percent of the precincts counted.
“WAY too soon to be calling Arizona … way too soon,” wrote Trump 2020 senior adviser Jason Miller, as they believe two-thirds of remaining votes will go to the president.
“Can’t believe Fox was so anxious to pull the trigger here after taking so long to call Florida. Wow,” said Miller, who noted that the station didn’t call the Sunshine State until it was 98 percent counted.
WAY too soon to be calling Arizona…way too soon. We believe over 2/3 of those outstanding Election Day voters are going to be for Trump. Can’t believe Fox was so anxious to pull the trigger here after taking so long to call Florida. Wow.
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) November 4, 2020
With more than 1 million votes still up for grabs in Arizona, Miller has accused Fox of attempting to “invalidate” them. “@FoxNews should retract their call immediately,” he wrote, calling Fox an “outlier” and telling other networks not to follow.
But Fox News decision desk director Arnon Mishkin defended the network’s decision and said Biden was in “very good standing” in Maricopa County, where the uncounted votes were coming from.
“I’m sorry, the president is not going to be able to take over and win enough votes to eliminate the seven-point lead the former vice president has,” Mishkin said shortly after 12.30 a.m., responding to pushback from the Trump campaign, reported The New York Post.
“We are four standard deviations from being wrong, and I’m sorry, we’re not wrong in this case,” he said. “We made the correct call, and that’s why we made the correct call when we made it.”
By midnight, no other network, including The Associated Press, had called it.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary, told Fox News, “I’m still not sure if that was a premature call. I think there’s some people that still think that might have been a little bit early,” Sanders told Fox News anchor Bret Baier.
The battleground state of Arizona carries 10 electoral votes, and the president had fought hard to win votes there, conducting two rallies last week.