Polling guru and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver believes the calls saying Democratic candidate Joe Biden won the state of Arizona should be “retracted.”
The FiveThirtyEight founder said he thinks the former vice president will win the state of Arizona but added that outlets that called it for him — Fox News and the Associated Press — did so prematurely.
“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,” he wrote in an election update Wednesday night.
Fox News was the first outlet to call the state for Biden, sending shock waves through the Trump campaign. While the campaign publicly rebuked the network with Jason Miller, a campaign adviser, demanding the network retract the decision, President Trump telephoned Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News.
In response, Fox News put Arnon Mishkin, director of Fox’s decision desk, on-air to explain why they called the state for Biden on Tuesday night.
“We made it after basically a half-hour of debating is it time yet because it’s been clear for a while that the former vice president is in the lead in Arizona and was most likely to win the state,” he explained. “It has been in the category that we call ‘knowable, but not callable’ for about an hour. We finally called it right now. Yes, there are some outstanding votes in Arizona. Most of them are coming from Maricopa [County], where Biden is currently in a very strong position.”
The Associated Press followed in the early hours of Wednesday morning and declared Biden the winner in Arizona, which would make it the first time the state has gone blue in a presidential election since Bill Clinton won it in 1996.
Both outlets have the same Electoral College map — Biden with 264 votes and Trump with 213. The remaining undecided states for the two outlets are Alaska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina. According to Fox News and the Associated Press, Biden would reach the necessary 270 Electoral College votes to win the election if he won any of the outstanding states other than Alaska, which is considered unlikely.
Other media outlets like CNN, NBC News, and CBS haven’t called Arizona for either candidate. Arizona and its 11 Electoral College votes are the only difference between the two factions of media outlets, meaning they have Biden at 253 electoral votes and Trump still at 213. Trump has a much easier path to 270 Electoral College votes if he’s able to pull off a victory in Arizona.
The president’s campaign has filed lawsuits in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan and has said it plans to seek a recount in Wisconsin. As of Thursday morning, several states, including Pennsylvania, are still counting votes from Tuesday’s election.