President Donald Trump’s campaign slammed Fox News’s election decision desk Thursday after it called Arizona for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Fox News called Arizona for Biden late Tuesday evening with 73% of votes counted. As such, Arizona became the first flipped state from Trump’s 2016 wins for Fox News, The New York Times reported. (RELATED: ‘Way Too Soon’ — Trump Campaign Rages Over Fox’s Arizona Call, Urges Other Outlets Not To Call The State For Biden)
As the count in Arizona continues, Biden’s lead has narrowed. Trump’s campaign manager Jason Miller assured members of the media Thursday that the president “is on pace to win” the state, Forbes reported. Trump’s campaign issued a press release Thursday criticizing the network’s decision desk director Arnon Mishkin and demanding Fox News retract its call.
“Why would Mishkin put his finger on the scale for Joe Biden before so many votes are counted?” the Trump campaign wrote. “Mishkin is a registered Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, worked as a Democrat political consultant, and has a long record of donating to Democrats, including the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign.”
The Trump campaign noted that others have voiced concerns with Fox News’s decision.
Nate Silver, the founder and editor in chief of “FiveThirtyEight,” pointed out that if someone “forced” him to pick, he would likely “say that Biden will win Arizona.” Silver then wrote that he “sure as heck” doesn’t “think the state should have been called by anyone.”
“I think the calls that were previously made should be retracted now,” Silver added.
538’s Nate Silver on Arizona: “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.”
cc @AP @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/eTOSoQqqIZ
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) November 5, 2020
The Associated Press also called Arizona for Biden early Wednesday morning, when the former vice president held a more substantial lead, Forbes noted. Other major outlets have been reluctant to announce a clear winner as ballots continue to be counted.
“As the votes are counted, President Trump continues to cut into Joe Biden’s lead in Arizona. Five major election decision organization have refused to follow Mishkin’s lead and call the race in Arizona,” the Trump campaign wrote.
Fox News’s decision desk “has been bulletproof on calls for nearly 20” years, journalist Megyn Kelly tweeted on Wednesday. “The call changes only if massive probs in AZ reporting (highly unlikely).”
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.