Key Takeaways:

  • There is widespread agreement that Arizona should not yet be called, as the state is very much in play
  • ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Decision Desk HQ, Reuters and The New York Times have all declined to call the race
  • Arizona officials have called on Fox News and the Associated Press to retract their projection
  • Governor Doug Ducy said that it was “far too early to call the election in Arizona”
  • Multiple members of Arizona’s Congressional delegation have said the state is still up for grabs
  • Independent analysts, experts, and reporters all say projecting Arizona for Biden was a mistake
  • Five Thirty Eight’s Nate Silver said calling Arizona early was a “mistake
  • The New York Times’ Nate Cohn explained that the paper has not yet called Arizona because the data shows the President could win
  • Data analytics firm Data Orbital said “it is still too early” to call Arizona, stating that Fox News’ call was “extremely premature
  • MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki has said Trump may take the lead in Arizona after all the votes are counted
  • Even CNN analysts and correspondents have acknowledged that President Trump can win

THERE IS WIDESPREAD AGREEMENT – ARIZONA SHOULD NOT BE CALLED YET

ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Decision Desk HQ, Reuters, And The New York Times Have All Not Called Arizona. (Eric Athas, Seth Carlson, John Keefe, Claire Cain Miller, Alicia Parlapiano, And Margot Sanger-Katz, “Tracking Which News Outlets Have Called The Presidential Race In Each State,” The New York Times’ The Upshot, 11/4/20)

Arizona Officials Have Called On Fox News And The Associated Press To Retract Their Projection

Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ): It Was “Far Too Early To Call The Election In Arizona” And All Votes Should Be Counted “Before Making Declarations.” “Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said late Tuesday that it was still ‘too early’ to call the presidential race in the state, even as Democrat Joe Biden appeared to have a lead over President Trump in the traditionally red battleground. ‘It’s far too early to call the election in Arizona. Election Day votes are not fully reported, and we haven’t even started to count early ballots dropped off at the polls,’ Ducey tweeted around midnight. ‘In AZ, we protected Election Day’ he said. ‘Let’s count the votes — all the votes — before making declarations.’” (Justine Coleman, “Arizona Governor Says Too Early To Call Trump, Biden Race,” The Hill, 10/4/20)

  • Ducey: “Let’s Count The Votes, And Let The People Decide Rather Than Making Declarations.” “Not so fast. The race has narrowed in #AZ considerably. 130,000 votes separate the candidates, with hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be counted, from all over the state. I’ll say it again: Let’s count the votes, and let the people decide rather than making declarations.” (Governor Doug Ducey, Twitter, 11/4/20)

Attorney General Mark Brnovich: “If You Look At The Numbers, It Appears To Me… That President Trump Will Win Arizona.” ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK BRNOVICH: “There are about 500 or 600,000, up to 600,000 outstanding ballots. If you look at the way the numbers are right now, President Trump is winning these leftover ballots, these remaining ballots at about 60 percent. So if you look at the numbers, I’m no math wiz, but if you look at the numbers, it appears to me at least, that President Trump will actually win Arizona by a razor thin margin assuming those numbers stay consistent.” (CBSN, 11/4/20)

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Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ): It’s “Past Time To Retract The Arizona Call.” “It’s past time to retract the Arizona call. Should NEVER have been made in the first place.” (Andy Biggs, Twitter, 11/4/20)

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ): “I’m Appalled … It Was Way Too Early.” “MUST WATCH on @newsmax : I’m appalled Arizona was called for Joe Biden. It was way too early. AZ has a lot of early mail-in ballots, & hundreds of thousands of votes haven’t been counted! Things are looking good for President  @realdonaldtrump , & he has a good shot at winning AZ!” (Debbie Lesko, Twitter, 11/5/20)

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ): “Arizona Is Still In Play.” “Heads up:  Arizona is still in play.  About 20% of the vote to be counted mainly from rural—heavily Trump-areas.  Trump is down 10,000 votes and closing.  #2020Elections” (Paul Gosar, Twitter, 11/4/20)

The Arizona Republican Party Called On Fox News To “Retract Its Early And Rash Call That Biden Has Won AZ.” (Arizona Republican Party, Twitter, 11/4/20)

  • Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward: The Early Call Was “Inappropriate.” “No wonder @FoxNews hasn’t retracted their inappropriate call on #Arizona! What is the @AP ’s excuse?” (Dr. Kelli Ward, Twitter, 11/5/20)

Independent Analysts And Experts Say The Early Projection Was A “Mistake” And “Extremely Premature”

Five Thirty Eight’s Nate Silver: Calling Arizona Early Was A “Mistake.” “For the time being, if you made the mistake (IMO) of calling AZ in the first place, you don’t want being part of what gets Biden over the top to 270. So that leaves out calling based on NV. GA+NV is plausible but GA looks so close as to maybe be recount-bound.” (Nate Silver, Twitter, 11/4/20)

  • Silver: Arizona-Focused Data Experts Say Calling Arizona Was “Too Aggressive.” “AZ is the only one of the four that’s been *called* by anyone, including the AP, which is usually pretty cautious, but some AZ-focused data folks think that was too aggressive.” (Nate Silver, Twitter, 11/4/20)

Data Analytics Firm Data Orbital: “It Is Still Too Early” To Call Arizona. “Critical takeaway: it is still too early to call #AZ for VP Biden. #Election2020 #ElectionTwitter” (Data Orbital, Twitter, 11/5/20)

  • Data Orbital: Fox News’ Arizona Call Was “Extremely Premature.” “@FoxNews calling #AZ for VP Biden is extremely premature. Around 900,000 ballots outstanding and they will heavily favor Republicans.” (Data Orbital, Twitter, 11/3/20)

The New York Times’ Nate Cohn Said The Paper Has Not Called Arizona For Biden Because Data Shows “President Trump Could Fare Well” And Win. “The main reason we have not yet accepted the call in Arizona? We do not believe there’s solid enough data on the votes that remain to be counted after Election Day. The data we do have suggests that President Trump could fare well. Mr. Biden was and is still favored in our view. But on Tuesday night and afterward, there was no way to preclude, based on hard evidence, the possibility that Mr. Trump could win. That’s what a race call means to us.” (Nate Cohn, “Why Has The Times Not Called Arizona?” The New York Times, 11/5/20)

  • Cohn: “So Far, Mr. Trump Has Indeed Won Late Mail Ballots In Arizona.” “The voters who returned their ballots in the last few days before the election appeared to be registered Republicans over Democrats by around a 20-point margin. This data was publicly available before the election. There is no data, at least available to us, on the party registration of voters who turned in their mail ballots on Election Day. So far, Mr. Trump has indeed won late mail ballots in Arizona. In results released Wednesday night, he won the votes by 23 points (though this included some late Election Day vote). As a result, he has closed the gap to 2.4 points in the state — or about 69,000 votes, with maybe 400,000 votes left to be counted. If 400,000 votes remain, Mr. Trump would need to win the remaining vote by around 17 points. His edge in the results released Wednesday night certainly keeps that possibility alive, and so we are still not able to project a winner.” (Nate Cohn, “Why Has The Times Not Called Arizona?” The New York Times, 11/5/20)

CNN’s Phil Mattingly: “Nobody Over Here Has Called [Arizona] Yet. Donald Trump Is Still Very Much Has A Pathway Here.” CNN’s PHIL MATTINGLY: “We’ll wait and see, we don’t know the entire composition but that’s why we are watching, that’s why this is narrowed. And that’s why nobody over here has called this state yet. Donald Trump is still very much has a pathway here.” (CNN, Election Special, 11/3/20)

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CNN Analyst Harry Enton: If President Trump Continues To Win The Remaining Ballots At His Current Pace, “He Would Be On The Track” In Arizona. CNN’S HARRY ENTON: “I believe he won that batch by about 18 percentage points. So that should — that puts him there, in that batch. If that continued, which we obviously don’t know if it would, but if it continued in that pace, he would be on the track.” CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO: “So, if the President continues to perform the way he is right now, with each batch, he would meet and beat Biden’s lead.” CNN’S PHIL MATTINGLY: “At least meet. At least meet.” (CNN, Live Event/Special, 11/5/20)

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MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki: The Remaining Votes In Arizona Can Deliver The State To Trump. MSNBC’s STEVE KORNACKI: “What this is, we’re going to call this the late early vote. And what I’m — I can’t really read my writing on there. The late early vote, these are the ballots, the mail-in ballots that arrived after the last week, like the Monday before the election that arrived like right before election day or that people drove into their polling places on election day. And I think you were talking about this, Rachel, with your guest earlier. There’s a little bit of suspense. There’s a little bit of philosophical debate among the election nerds. It’s playing out right now because we know the early was going to be Democratic, and it was, we know the same day was going to be Republican, and it was. And then the question is, what is this going to be? What’s this late early going to be? Look at how many ballots there are there. Now, one argument is, you know, it tends – it’s early vote. We keep talking about the Democratic vote as being the early vote. Hey, won’t this be Democratic vote? It could be. We’ll find out in an hour. The argument against that is, the dynamic we’ve seen in this election is that the Democratic early vote was so excited, so enthusiastic, so eager to get out there that it was cast weeks ahead of time. It wasn’t cast on the last day. It wasn`t driven into the polls in the last day. That’s the behavior, go into the election place on – that’s Republican voting behavior this year going and doing it on Election Day. So, those are the arguments you’re hearing people make. The Trump campaign is making that last argument I just made. No, those are Republican votes that are about to come in. There’s 420,000 Republican votes about to come in. Trump’s going to win them by 26 points. Again, if he wins them by 26 points, he catches Joe Biden in Maricopa County, he catches him statewide. That’s the question. What Trump has to do if he wants to catch Biden in Maricopa, if he wants to catch them in Arizona, he’s got to win the late early bucket by the same score that he won the same day vote. He’s got to be over 60 percent; he’s got to win it by about 26. Anything less than that, probably not going to be enough to catch Biden. So that’s the suspense we’re building towards in Arizona.” (MSNBC, Election Special, 11/4/20)

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Politico Managing Editor Blake Hounshell: It Is “Totally Plausible” That President Trump Wins Arizona. “Am I wrong or is it totally plausible that Trump takes Arizona? If he wins the outstanding 515,000 ballots by the same rate as the batch that just posted, he could do it.” (Blake Hounshell, Twitter, 11/4/20)

The Arizona Republic: The Latest Batch Of Votes Shows President Trump Could Still Win Arizona. “As Maricopa County released the results from 140,000 more ballots on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, President Donald Trump received almost the exact share he would need to charge back to win Arizona’s 11 electoral votes and potentially reelection.” (Rob O’Dell, Caitlin McGlade And Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, “In Latest Batch, Trump Gets Share Of Votes He Would Need To Reclaim Arizona. But Next Rounds Of Ballots Present New Challenges,” Arizona Republic, 11/4/20)

  • Pollster Paul Bentz: President Trump “Could Do It.” “Paul Bentz, a Republican pollster with the consulting firm HighGround, said Trump needs to win 57.6% of the 470,000 votes that The Arizona Republic estimates remain to be counted. ‘That’s almost exactly what he got in the first batch,’ Bentz said. ‘He could do it.’” (Rob O’Dell, Caitlin McGlade And Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, “In Latest Batch, Trump Gets Share Of Votes He Would Need To Reclaim Arizona. But Next Rounds Of Ballots Present New Challenges,” Arizona Republic, 11/4/20)
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