Trump’s Fight Is Far From Over in Arizona

One of the more stunning early calls Tuesday night was Fox News calling Arizona for Joe Biden with just over 70 percent of the vote in. I am rarely stunned, but I was by this call, made shortly after Fox’s election desk had delayed calling Florida for several hours in defiance of the actual votes and statistical impossibility of Biden coming back in the state. 

Both of those decisions left many of Fox’s viewers scratching their heads, as it changed the narrative and trajectory of the night. The Arizona call resulted in nothing less than fury from the Trump campaign. 

There were many interesting calls made Tuesday night at crucial times, so what is the reality of what is taking place in Arizona today? There has been real confusion surrounding the state’s returns, caused in some part by Edison Research releasing incorrect numbers showing that 98 percent of the ballots in Arizona had been cast already with Biden leading by 300,000 votes. Edison’s numbers, of course, were incorrect: only 84 to 86 percent had voted at the time. 

Fact is, upwards of 600,000 votes, mostly early, in-person ballots, are still being counted in the Grand Canyon State today. That’s one of the reasons CNN and ABC News haven’t called the state for Biden. Yet Fox refuses to retract its Arizona call. 

While Trump does currently trail Biden by just over 90,000 votes, the numbers coming in on vote breakdown are, according to the Trump campaign, holding true to Election Day votes, which broke about 65 percent to 35 percent for the president. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said on a call Wednesday with reporters that “based on the math we’ve been seeing as these late ballots are counted, anywhere from two-thirds to 70 percent of these votes are coming to the president.”

If true, and if the campaign’s numbers are right, Trump would in fact overtake Biden in Arizona. Depending on the percentage of how the remaining votes break, whether it’s 58 percent or 60 percent or 65 percent, the Trump campaign might be able to squeeze out a vote margin of anywhere from 7,000 to 30,000 votes—perhaps as many as 50,000—shifting  Arizona’s 11 electoral votes into Trump’s column. 

If that were to happen—and while it is doable, it is not guaranteed—it would lead the Trump campaign to believe victory was actually achievable. If Trump were to win Georgia and North Carolina, both of which are likely, it would all come down to Pennsylvania. 

While Trump had a significant lead in the Keystone State on Wednesday, no one is under any illusion that he will hold on to that margin. Still, the Trump campaign feels confident, no matter the games being played in Pennsylvania by Democrats, that they can win that state by 40,000 votes. 

What would that mean? Regardless of what eventually happens with challenges in Wisconsin and Michigan, if Trump can flip Arizona and hold Pennsylvania, that would get him to 278 votes and another four years.

About Ned Ryun

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.

Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

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86 responses to “Trump’s Fight Is Far From Over in Arizona”

  1. Hi ,
    The way the democrat’s changed all the voting rules before the election makes you feel they are cheating. So if Pres. Trump doesn’t get 4 more years. All his supporters will feel the democrat’s cheated. They are always complaining Pres. Trump is so divisive but the truth is the left has been divisive all the time president Trump has been in office. They are tearing this country apart and they don’t care. They are evil.

    • I agree with you Janet, the Democrats are infamous for rigging elections. Just ask Bernie.
      I used to be a Democratic Committeeman in NY. The leaders would tell us straight up “you can do anythingyou want if you think it will help us win, just don’t get caught.”
      Enter Confucius. He instructed leaders to be honest, hardworking, chast, and pure and his kingdom would follow in his footsteps. If the leader was corrupt the nation would be corrupt and dangerous.
      I pity the thought of Quid Pro Joe Biden, a crook of emense proportions, with the “Big Guy” hooked into the CCP through deals with his crackhead son. If Biden the crook is allowed to advance, watch the country follow his example.

    • Completely agree, Janet..!! Premeditated Voter Fraud…AKA…Cheating…..is NOT winning and we demand a fair election process..!!
      God Bless America…!

    • Please post all the ways the democrats changed all the voting rules. Or how about just one.

    • I thought you guys were all about states rights and leaving critical decisions to the states? Why do common sense decisions like encouraging mail in voting during a pandemic and allowing extended time to count an expected huge number of mail in ballots, made at the state level, infuriate you so much? Could it be because you’ve allowed yourselves to be conned by a clown fool and conspiracy media? Desperate Donny’s going to take a long overdue fall. Lock him up!

    • What rules did Democrats change? In states like PA and GA the rules are written by Republican legislatures.

      • Billie – yes the Republican legislature wrote the rules and the Democrat machine didn’t want to play by them, so they got the PA Supreme Court to change them. Problem is, the Constitution doesn’t allow that. U.S. Supreme Court here we come!

  2. Fox News did not whiff its call. It set the stage, with the call of AZ, for the vote counting to stop because without AZ on the Trump side there was no possibility of calling the election on election night. The head of the Fox data desk was involved in the Transition Integrity Project.

    • wow there you have it — it was so obviously unnecessary for Fox to do that and so here it is — thanks for sharing this, Mimi

    • The vote counting to stop? I am sorry but this does not make any sense.

      • With no easy way for Trump to clinch without AZ that very evening, the states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania all publicly claimed they would stop vote counting at 10pm and resume the next day at 9 am. (That is unprecedented in a Presidential election.) They sent all poll watchers home. Then at hours between 4 and 6 am, ALL three states saw drops of amounts larger than 100,000 votes for Biden hit their tallies. With statistically improbable (and likely impossible) ratios for Trump lower than 1%.

      • They want transparency in counting the vote, if they are not going to give transparency , then stop the count until they get it.

    • No one has stopped counting votes. They will all be counted, in every state.

    • So, you’re saying that Fox deliberately called AZ wrong..?? That doesn’t make a bit of logical sense…!

  3. I just looked. The Senate race here in AZ between McSally and kelley had over 16.5 K more votes cast than the presidential race. Very Very odd

    • LMAOOOO!!! I think ya better check your math again, buddy…. I’m guessing you didn’t consider the possibility that many Arizonans didn’t VOTE for President, because they hate their choices. Which is why McCain Republicans here gave Trump a big middle finger on Tuesday. ✌️

      • McCain was an idiot despite being a heroic veteran. He singlehandedly screwed America by voting to not repeal Obamacare.

      • Right. Cut off your nose to spite your face. How mature. Great Patriots.

  4. Arnon Mishkin, is a democrat operative, his reasoning for “100%” certainty was speculation on votes that there was no observable evidence for. That is in person voting with mailed ballots.

    I doubt it was accidental. He knew putting this narrative out there would help the dem narrative if the election were close. It’s disgusting.

    Most also seem to have forgotten before polls on the west coast were even close to closing he claimed dems were keeping the house and GAINING seats.

    He needs to go. He’s awful. Shockingly the MSNBC stats guys were calling it real all night (no spin). Why Fox has so many dem hacks in their ranks that pull stunts like this is beyond me.

    • I listened to MSNBC on election night which I usually never do. I was amazed at how unbiased their coverage was. And I contrast that, as a usual Fox watcher, with Fox’s glowing introduction of Mishkin during their news coverage days before the election, where he acknowledged his Democrat bona fides and then said but he “absolutely checks his political preference at the door” when he comes into work.

      I would bet real money that James and Lochlin were involved in the Transition Integrity project and brought Mishkin in to effect their plans.

    • My guess is that even if Biden loses you will still be a loser

  5. It looks more and more like Fox has definitely gone to the “dark side”. If Tucker, Hannity, Laura , Pirro ,waters and Dobbs have any integrity at all, they should stage a mutiny.

    • Or go over to, say, One America News Network? I hit the mute button whenever Chris Wallace comes on, who’s a worn out partisan hack.

      • You know, this is called “confirmation bias” in modern psychology.

      • sadly, I agree with you. I knew his Dad. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    • 😂😂😂🤣🤣

      I’m at a loss for words. So..I’ll just laugh at you, and say this: Why don’t you just admit you don’t want real news? Why continue the charade? You want pretty, well-dressed women telling your itching ears what they wanna hear. Fact or not, that’s all that matters. No truth. Just utter BS that makes you feel good. The equivalent of a fat kid on a baseball team, getting his participation trophy.

      • I’m not at a loss for for words, and I’ll laugh at you, Christian, even harder than you laughed at Ned.

        Fox is the only network that TRULY gives you both sides of a story. Not every show is non-partisan, but they have shows catering to both sides: the FIVE, for instance, at least has a lone liberal to give minimal balance.

        You seem to endorse the networks that were the furthest off in their polling projections. How’s that working for you? You endorse the networks that spike stories THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO HEAR! You endorse networks that have fabricated all manner of hateful stories that have proven themselves false.

        The last laugh is definitely on YOU!

      • I am not sure which “side” you are addressing this to.

  6. “the games being played in Pennsylvania by Democrats”…

    You mean, like, counting the votes? Sneaky bastards!

    • Democrats played most of their games long before Election Day. They took advantage of COVID fear to change voting laws by executive order or by partisan court decisions – which resulted in enormous numbers of mail-in ballots, and extended the deadlines for receipt after election day in some places. It is called playing politics for maximum advantage, and that is something that Democrats are very good at. And they were able to do this for one reason – they swept the governorships of Midwestern battleground States and many elected state judges in the 2018 midterms. All this does is to prove how much midterm and off-year elections matter.

      • Not to mention, this proves how dirty the FBI and CIA were (not to mention DC Reps and Senators) for allowing the Mueller investigation when they already knew, via the House Intel Committee’s investigation concluding in March of 2017) how fraudulent the effort was to tie Trump with Russia and leave the farce to sway the 2018 midterms.

    • No. Mail ballots will now be accepted if they are received by 5 p.m. on the Friday after the election and were either postmarked by Nov. 3 or there is no evidence to suggest they were sent after Election Day. Previously, mail ballots had to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

      Any ballot, postmarked or not, will be counted. That’s illegal.

    • You left out a very important “operative” word when speaking about VOTING..!! And, that word is “LEGAL” votes…!! I rest my case..!!

  7. Fox has effectively sealed their fate. Conservative viewers were loyal to a fault but this transgression is unforgivable. You just peed in your sleeping bag Fox. Sleep tight!

    • No longer Foxes but more like JACKALS fouling their own dens…!! I am no longer a Loyal Fox Watcher because I have to MUTE too many people now..!! God Bless America..!!

  8. I have a more basic question about the decision desk process in the first place. What is its purpose? For me the purpose is for entertainment only because no matter if they are right or wrong, the fact that FOX or any network decision desk called something is of no value since their output is not official. In fact as the comments have illustrated, the calling of a particular race can actually hurt the election process. Common sense needs to prevail and an overhaul of the election coverage by the media outlets is needed,

    • This is not the FOX I’ve watched since its beginning. I still have favorites who have stayed true to their convictions and I’ll continue to watch them but I’ll get my unslanted news elsewhere.

      Election coverage and commentary were by and large pathetic.

    • The goal was to shape the public narrative (as other states were stolen) that Trump couldn’t win because Biden was too far ahead, so as to drum up public pressure for Trump to give it up and concede.

    • Harris…. did you missed the whole point of the “early projections call”….? That tactic is used by political operatives/political activists…!! Fox has gone more towards political activism/political operatives mode and it’s getting to be too much for me because I am wearing out my MUTE button now for more than half their talking heads..!! Geeze…!!

  9. I hope Fox’s ratings go in the toilet. So disappointed in them. I don’t trust that network for news, not now. Throw them in with MSM. Sad.

    • Yeah. I hate it when news media tells me stuff I don’t like to hear, even if it IS the truth, either.

      🙄🙄🙄

      • So, let me try to get this straight: You like to hear FAKE TRUE NEWS or is it TRUE FAKE NEWS..!! You’re confusing..!!

    • Amen…not my “source” for reliable reporting any longer either…!!

  10. The head of the desk is Arnon Mishkin, a lifelong Dem who gave $4000 to Obama and voted for Clinton (and it will probably turn out he also voted for Biden. His protector is Chris Stirewalt, a Dem hack from West Virginia, who always seems infuriated by the way his home state has changed politically. These two have held back calls for the GOP in 2014, 2016 and 2018. Time for both of them to go, if Fox wants to keep its audience.

    • LMAOOO!!!

      Y’all are just FILLED TO THE BRIM with excuses. It’s pathetic. You don’t like the actual news, therefore it’s “fake,” and mainstream media biased. You’re like children, bratty ones, who pout and complain when they don’t get what they want. Which of COURSE explains why you support Trump. So there’s that…

      • Arizona should not have been called. This is a well founded opinion based in math and statistics. It happens to be the same opinion as ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and almost all other “news organizations that partake in this practice. Kind of unusual to agree with the fake news outlets for a change. RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA

      • “Actual news”? Idiot! Are you suggesting calling a race based on backroom voodoo a few minutes after polls close that almost all other outlets said is too close to call and it’s still true 3 days later is “news” – you’re just another trolling hack job. Were Fox’s Dem backroom pollsters that were so wrong before & during election reporting “news? Hardly

      • The same can be said of you. You accept that the MSM is always right and criticize anyone who disputes that belief.

      • This election is going to inspire the country to insist that our voting process have iron clad integrity. SO even if Trump does end up cheated out of his second term (after being cheated out of his first one frankly) his efforts to eradicate the corrupt, deep state will not go in vain. Plus the rest of the election cycle (House, Senate, state legislative seats) all went or stayed Republican to an extent that is causing Dems real hurt now. So there’s that…..

      • What’s to like about FAKE NEWS..!!?? So, there’s THAT…!!!

      • Christian……Name one thing that Trump was wrong about…..THe Russia Hoax, The Impeachment, The Mueller hearings, I could go on but you get it…..We understand you hate Trump…….THat’s an accomplishment…Good for you, now go lick the boots of Biden the Corrupt….

      • They just can’t accept their deity could ACTUALLY lose. No matter how unpopular (never got over 50% approval) or ridiculous (“rounding the turn” on Covid) or indecent (25k lies) or chaotic (Historic levels of staff and cabinet turnover), they can’t imagine that a plurality of American people don’t see it their way. There HAS TO BE cheating! This is what a cult looks like. The black Nikes have been replaced by red hats.

  11. To go with the president’s East Room appearance early in the morning of Nov 4, here’s a hypothetical late-night phone call, not too far into the future, coming from Pennsylvania Avenue to that basement in Deleware that’s been in the news recently. “Hello Joe? It’s me, the president. I got an idea…you’re gonna love it. Let’s BOTH be president. Seriously, this place is huge, lotta bedrooms! I’ll do the Thursday-Sunday shift and you can take Monday-Wednesdays, when frankly there’s a lot more to do. You deal with Nancy and the Ukraine, I’ll handle Mitch and Putin. We’ll be amazing. And what’s really brilliant thinking on my part is that if you really do have dementia it’s no big deal….I’ll cover for you. We’ll replace Faucci with Kamela. The country will love it. I’ll remind my base that I spent eight years as a reliable democrat. This could work. Big time. Think it over. Ciao.”

  12. I would like to see rewards being offered to anyone coming forward with evidence of election fraud.

  13. I suppose I might better understand Mr. Ryun’s anger if some OTHER news organization – say, MSNBC – had made the call on Arizona; I would not have agreed with him, but I might better understand his take. That said, if a CLEARLY Trump-leaning news organization is making this type of call, it speaks volumes. Rather than squawk needlessly about it, I suggest Mr. Ryun accept the fact that, in this case. Fox News made the correct call.

    • Accept it based on what? Results that are too close to call 3 days later? Even if Trump loses it was a bad call & irresponsible and likely partisan give Stirewalt & co. Given your logic, was CNN & almost every other outlet wrong when they said too close to call? What about Fox reporting Dems would be + 5 in House? Yer comment is specious.

    • A statistician should be neutral. A presidential debate moderator should be neutral. I think most agree that Wallace was a shill for Biden in the debate. I don’t know anything about Mishkin, the decision desk head. But I am not surprise if he is another Wallace in the Fox network. Delaying calls for Repub wins and making premature AZ call for Biden without credible field data is a breach of his professional ethics, if there is such a thing.

    • How so, when AZ has YET to count 100s of 1000s of votes? Even Democrat pollster darling Nate Silver has come out TODAY and said that Fox should retract its call.

      • What you’re wondering about is how can AZ be called when votes still need to be counted. CNN and NYT are taking the same position as you: wait and see. But just because votes are still left for counting doesn’t mean STATISTICIANS can’t make a call. A statistic is not actual result, but different datasets can give us greater confidence in making a call.

        This is what Silver said, in full:

        “Nate Silver Nov. 4, 9:33 pm
        I don’t know, I guess I’d say that Biden will win Arizona if you forced me to pick, but I sure as heck don’t think the state should have been called by anyone, and I think the calls that were previously made should be retracted now.” (https://fivethirtyeight.com/live-blog/2020-election-results-coverage/)

        All Silver said was that it was a premature call. He didn’t give reasons. You also kept out of your comment the rest of his statement, that if pressed he would actually call AZ for Biden too. The only common denominator between Silver and Mishkin is live election results. Both, however, are statisticians and have different internal datasets they use for projections and probabilities. Silver didn’t give a fine grained analysis of his position, but I understand his hesitation to err on caution. Silver was most likely thinking the margin of error would be too high to make a call. This is a good decision from a statistician, but not the only possible one depending on the information used to arrive at alternatives.

        Mishkin defended his team’s position by arguing the call was made after an hour and half of considerations given: the significant spread between Biden and Trump, mail-in ballots favoring Biden over Trump, and districts where count is ongoing leaning Biden/democrat. He gave the spread of percentages too. (https://video.foxnews.com/v/6206947242001#sp=show-clips).

        AP defended their position too (https://apnews.com/article/ap-explains-arizona-joe-biden-bb16f91b04456b2513f40436248eb62d)

        My guess is FN Decision Desk ran several simulations with favorable and unfavorable results for both Biden and Trump, and their stats held in favor of Biden. Is is a risk to make a call so early? Yes! Is FN Decision Desk and Mishkin as its head staking their reputation on the call? Hell, yes! We can squabble with each other but at least we know FN’s rationale for making the call. At the end of the day, if they get it right, one man will be leaving the White House and another will be getting a contract extension. If they get it wrong Rupert can pinkslip the whole lot with no love spared for any.

      • With 90% of AZ votes counted, Biden leads by 36,000. Deal with that.

    • Fred, the lead of their decision desk is Arnon Mishkin, a registered Democrat. Fox has other subversives working in plain sight ala Chrissy Wallace. Their bias couldn’t be more blatant

  14. Some REWARD POSTERS for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Democratic election fraud would really produce good results in Detroit and Milwaukee.

  15. The Biden vote is the coalition of losers that are incapable of improving themselves so the goal is to tear down as much as possible what they can never achieve

  16. Conservatives will not forget what FOX News did election night. They called Arizona quickly when there was still a large percent of votes out. Then they hold back on Florida and Texas refusing to make the call for Trump even though he had big lead with small per cent of votes out. This served to flip the script for the Democrats early in the election night process. FOX excuses are crap. They claim they were certain on one and had to be absolutely certain before calling Florida and Texas. As usual, one standard for Repub. another for the Dems. FOX has got Democrats/ Trump haters on their Decision Desk and it showed big time. Conservatives will not forget!!

  17. How does a call from media actually change the election result?

  18. Get ready for Trump Network. And we all know which network’s ratings will be devastated. If Trump Network can hire Tucker Carlson – – game over.

  19. From your lips to God’s ear, but let’s be honest, Nothing about anybody calling the state affected the actual vote count by so much as an iota. It doesn’t matter if FOX made a bad call. It doesn’t matter what the , “Narrative and trajectory of the night,” were. Either more people voted for Trump, or they didn’t. I certainly hope that it turns out that Trump won the state, and Pennsylvania too, regardless of whatever fraud is being perpetrated, but it won’t surprise me to learn that the numbers you quoted from the campaign are mere fantasy.

  20. If the call made by Fox News turned out to be mistaken, it won’t be the first time a news network has made a call that turned out to be wrong. Remember the year 2000 when news networks used incorrect models of Florida to call the state for Al Gore. As it turned out the whole thing ended up in great controversy including the decision by SCOTUS not to allow a statewide recount.

  21. The Democrats would be a lot more believable if they didn’t have a LONG and repetitive history or blatant/rampant vote fraud! It is very difficult, even amusing, to accept their “outrage” of being accused of such, seriously.

  22. Fox News has harmed its reputation with it’s core customer base, with their questionable calling of AZ so quickly for Biden. For reasons that appear biased and personal, they have taken a big step toward the CNN model of crafting a false reality, and then reporting against that alternate reality. And it now taints everything they have to say about the election. All analysis of Trump’s chances are now predicated on the assumption that AZ is lost to him, even though he is still very much viable in that state. You know it is bad when CNN is actually better acknowleging Trump’s actual prospects than Fox News. And it is going to cost them viewership.

  23. If Chris Wallace’s debate moderating performance didn’t convince you that FOX is no longer Fair and Balanced, there election interfering in AZ prior to polls closed should convince you.

    Get ATT TV Now and stream so you can get OANN and NEWSMAX. Much more objective, honest and factual reporting. Less $$ too.

    Fox fired Trish Regan for her opening monologue which FOX approved!
    FOX hired Donna Brazile, debate question leaker…..
    What more do you need to see?

  24. This won’t age well. Trump will lose Arizona and Nevada. He will lose Pa and he may lose Georgia. He will lose the election by close to 5 points as was the actual prediction by pollsters. I understand you like Trump but the will of the people is not for him. It wasn’t 4 years ago either. Do you really think Trumps best buddy, Rupert Murdoch at Fox wouldn’t change this if it were possible?

  25. Remember how republican heads exploded when Fox called Ohio for Obama in 2012? They weren’t wrong about that either.

  26. Trump might indeed win PA but there is no chnce he will win it by 40k. And it is not true that all of the uncounted votes in Arizona are drop off in person votes. many are mail in votes which are overwhelmingly democrat. So far, Trump is wining in the low 50s of the late vote in arizona, which is not enough for him to catch up.

  27. I thought you guys were all about states rights and leaving critical decisions to the states? Why do common sense decisions like encouraging mail in voting during a pandemic and allowing extended time to count an expected huge number of mail in ballots, made at the state level, infuriate you so much? Could it be because you’ve allowed yourselves to be conned by a clown fool and conspiracy media? Desperate Donny’s going to take a long overdue fall. Lock him up!

  28. Not only this election is being challenged and under the benefit of doubt. It seems that the intensive better use of the internet and associated technologies just revealed the weakness of the whole system and unravelled the full corrupted society. It is a dead end in any outcome. Bye freedom.