President Donald Trump has cut down Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s lead to within 1%, though it is unclear if Trump will receive enough of the remaining ballots to overtake the former vice president.
The latest data from ballots came in Friday evening, overall narrowing the gap between Trump and Biden. More ballots are expected late Saturday morning. Currently, the two are separated by 29,861 votes with roughly 171,000 outstanding ballots in the state left to be counted.
ARIZONA – 11 electoral votes
Donald Trump: 48.8% – 1,574,206
Joe Biden: 49.7% – 1,604,067
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) November 7, 2020
Garrett Archer, a data journalist for ABC 15 Arizona, expressed doubt on Friday that Trump would be able to close the gap and overtake Biden. Losing Arizona would likely be a fatal blow to Trump’s slim chance of beating Biden and winning re-election. Archer said that Republicans in the state who chose not to vote for Trump, though voted down-ballot for other GOP candidates, may cause Trump’s demise and lose him the state’s 11 electoral votes.
“Just so we’re all clear. The Cindy McCains of Arizona are on the cusp of giving this state to Joe Biden,” Archer said, referencing the wife of the late Sen. John McCain, a noted Trump adversary within the GOP. “Reason: Democratic gains in Maricopa are minimal at best right now. The county school superintendent, a nothing race with no money, is 50/50 with the Republican just taking the lead. I’m open to having my mind changed, but this is what it looks like to me right now.”
Reason: Democratic gains in Maricopa are minimal at best right now. The county school superintendent, a nothing race with no money, is 50/50 with the Republican just taking the lead. I'm open to having my mind changed, but this is what it looks like to me right now.
— The AZ – abc15 – Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) November 7, 2020
The Phoenix-based data analytics and survey research firm Data Orbital has predicted Trump will win the state based on projections made before election day. The race continues to be tight though, and most major media outlets have avoided calling the state. Fox News and The Associated Press have called Arizona for Biden, though many politicians, pundits, and journalists have criticized the call and said it should be retracted.
“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,” FiveThirtyEight election forecaster Nate Silver wrote on his site’s election live-blog on Wednesday night.
Trump supporters in Arizona apparently agreed with Silver. A crowd of them were taped on camera on Wednesday night chanting “Fox News sucks!” allegedly over the network’s early call of the state for Biden.
Trump supporters in Arizona chant “Fox News sucks” because they called the state for Biden yesterday
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 5, 2020
The presidential race is still up in the air as the Trump team pursues various avenues of litigation through the courts in battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. It remains unclear if the Trump campaign and its GOP allies will be able to find evidence of enough instances of voter fraud, or win legal challenges and invalidate enough ballots to secure victory for the president.
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