Trump Whittles Biden’s Lead In Arizona To Less Than 30,000 Votes

trump-whittles-biden’s-lead-in-arizona-to-less-than-30,000-votes

Topline

 Former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in Arizona dropped significantly Friday, but President Trump doesn’t appear to be winning a large enough share of the outstanding ballots to give him a shot of coming out ahead even as his campaign maintains he can still win the state outright and blasts Fox News and the Associated Press for calling the race on Wednesday. 

Votes Continue To Be Counted As Presidential Race In Arizona Tightens

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County … [+] Elections Department office on November 5, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.


Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Key Facts

With a new batch of votes from Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, Biden’s lead in the state dropped from 43,779 to 29,861 Friday night.

Trump won 53% of the 70,000 new ballots, but it’s likely not enough to overtake Biden.

The state still has 171,000 uncounted ballots, most of which are in Maricopa County, and officials there hope to wrap up almost all counting by the end of the weekend, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told CNN on Friday.

CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS, which share vote count information through the National Election Pool, have held off on calling Arizona.

The early calls by Fox News and the AP infuriated the Trump campaign and even some of Fox News’ own opinion commentators, though Arnon Mishkin, who leads Fox News’ Decision Desk, has stayed firm in the decision.

Key Background

Though the president has falsely claimed the election is being stolen from him, his campaign has taken a different approach with Arizona and has called on elections officials there to continue counting votes because they think he can win outright. That hasn’t stopped pro-Trump protesters, some of whom are armed, from demonstrating in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department for two nights in a row.

Tangent

 A former strategist for John McCain said if Biden solidifies his lead, it’ll be the late Arizona senator’s “revenge.” McCain and Trump had an infamously thorny relationship, with the president continuing to criticize him after his death, and Biden was endorsed by McCain’s widow, Cindy.

What To Watch For

According to FiveThirtyEight, Trump needs 59% of the remaining 171,000 votes to take the lead, which is a higher share than he’s been getting in the state over the past two days.

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