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.
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.
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.
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.
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.