President Donald Trump’s campaign came out swinging at Fox News after the network announced the state of Arizona as a win for Joe Biden “too soon” after Tuesday’s election.
The Trump camp was joined by Arizona’s Republican governor in calling on the cable news channel to retract what many said was a hasty decision to tally up the state’s electors for the Democrats, the New York Post reported.
“Let’s count the votes”
President Trump was having a surprisingly strong night, defying media fabrications of a Biden landslide, until Fox News called Arizona for Biden around 11 p.m. ET, blunting the momentum of what looked for a moment like a repeat of Trump’s 2016 upset.
The Trump camp and the president’s Republican base balked at the call, saying it came far too soon, and called on Fox to retract it. Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said that Fox’s decision was reckless and evinced a double standard, as the network had dragged its feet in declaring Trump the victor in Florida.
“WAY too soon to be calling Arizona…way too soon,” he said in a tweet, according to the Post. “Can’t believe Fox was so anxious to pull the trigger here after taking so long to call Florida. Wow.”
Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, also joined the chorus of criticism.
“Election Day votes are not fully reported, and we haven’t even started to count early ballots dropped off at the polls,” he tweeted, according to the Post. “In [Arizona], we protected Election [D]ay. Let’s count the votes — all the votes — before making declarations.”
Trump campaign clinging to hope
Fox News defended the call, however, even as more than a million ballots were left uncounted.
“I’m sorry, the president is not going to be able to take over and win enough votes to eliminate the seven-point lead the former vice president has,” Fox News Decision Desk director Arnon Mishkin said in response to the criticism, according to the Post.
On Wednesday, the Trump campaign was left clinging to Arizona for hope after the president’s comfortable election night leads in Michigan and Wisconsin were wiped out overnight by mail-in ballots.
The way things stand, without Arizona, Trump will likely have to win at least two of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania to carry him over the top. News organizations called the first two for Biden on Wednesday, even as the Trump campaign contested those calls and mounted a full-scale legal battle across the electoral map.
The New York Post reports separately that the Trump team is remaining optimistic that the race is not over in Arizona, and they are confident Trump will eventually have the 270 electoral votes he needs to be re-elected president.