Nate Silver, the founder and editor-in-chief of the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight, has stated that Associated Press and Fox News should withdraw their call from Arizona for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“I don’t know, I would probably say that Biden will win Arizona if you force me to vote, but I certainly don’t think the state should have been called by anyone, and I think the calls made earlier should be withdrawn now,” Silver wrote on his website blog.
His argumentation refers to the existence of an estimated 450,000 mail-in ballots, of which 23 percent are Democratic, 44 percent Republican and 33 percent independent or other parties, according to party registry.
Silver therefore says: “Trump would have to win these votes by 21 points to overtake Biden’s current lead of 93,000 votes”. He thinks it is possible that the votes could help Trump win the state.
He adds that he assumes that both Fox News and AP “put more work into investigating this matter than I…., but you never know and you’ll get the occasional wrong call.
“Overall, I’d say this is probably Biden,” he concluded, “but I don’t think the state should have been called yet.
Early Wednesday morning the Republican Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, wrote in a tweet: “It’s way too early to call the Arizona…. to call the election. We haven’t even started counting the early ballots that were cast in the polls…. Let us count the votes – all the votes – before we make statements.
Shortly after Fox News called Arizona for Biden, Jason Miller, senior advisor to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, wrote on Twitter: “WAY too early to call Arizona. We believe that over 2/3 of the outstanding voters will be for Trump on election day. I cannot believe that Fox was so anxious to pull the trigger here after it took so long to call Florida”.
Fox News stuck with its call to Arizona, and the station’s Director of Decision Division, Arnon Mishkin, stated live on air during election night that he did not believe that enough of the state’s remaining votes would be called in favor of the President to overtake Biden.
In its statement on its Arizona appeal, the AP wrote: “After analyzing the ballots cast nationwide, it concluded that there were not enough outstanding votes to allow Trump to catch up.
If Biden eventually wins Arizona, he will be the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1996 to do so.
Washington Newsday contacted the Biden campaign for comment.