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Chris Wallace defiantly says Fox News decision desk is ‘not wavering’ on Arizona call despite  ‘heartburn’ for Republicans

Fox News host Chris Wallace said that the network’s controversial early call on the presidential election in Arizona was unwavering despite social media outrage and anger from the Trump campaign.

Wallace made the comments on Thursday to Dana Perino on her Fox News show as ballots were still being counted in some states.

“At this point, the president is still trailing,” said Wallace.

“Fox News has already called Arizona, it’s caused a lot of heartburn in the Republican party, but I did check in with our decision desk earlier today and they’re not wavering. They say that our call on Arizona is right, which puts him at 264 [electoral votes].

“And if Biden wins at this point, with 264, any of the three states I’ve talked about, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia, he goes over the top.”

Fox News appeared to call Arizona, a key swing state in the election, early on election night for Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger, despite numerous other news outlets declining to make a call.

Wallace went on to address accusations of voter fraud by the president and many of his supporters.

“Is there any hard evidence of fraud? There doesn’t seem to be so far,” said Wallace.

“There seem to be some allegations, but not hard evidence,” he added. “And there is nothing that rises to the level that it could be enough fraud to switch votes when you’re talking about thousands and thousands of vote difference between the two candidates.”

Earlier Thursday Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director, accused the director of the Fox News decision desk of being biased against Republicans and demanded that the channel rescind their call.

Notably, many independent and Dem-leaning pollsters, including FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, have also criticized Fox’s decision to call Arizona and have maintained that the race remains too close to call.

Wallace also said that the polling industry was “broken” by the margin between their predictions for the election and the actual results. Wallace said Democrats expected a “blue wave” but instead got a “blue ripple.”

Here’s the video of the comments from Wallace:

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Analysis: Why Fox News was wrong and President Trump still has a legitimate chance to take Arizona

Immediately after Fox News — and then later the Associated Press — called Arizona for Biden in the very early stages of Election Day reporting, the Trump campaign and many supporters of President Trump cried foul and insisted their candidate still had a path to victory in the Sun Belt state.

On Thursday, while roughly 600,000 votes still remained to be counted, a defiant Trump campaign doubled down and told reporters they were still predicting victory in the state by a margin of 30,000 votes.

At first, their insistence seemed desperate since the remaining ballots to be counted in the state were early voter ballots, which pretty much everywhere else in the country were going to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at a 2:1 ratio.

But then the results started coming in Thursday and sure enough, Trump appeared to be cutting into Biden’s lead by taking close to 60% of the votes. After Wednesday’s reporting, Biden’s lead was cut in Arizona to 67,906.

The reason for this is that, though they are in fact early voters, the group of voters yet to be counted in Arizona could be called “late early voters,” and they tend to skew Republican by a pretty significant margin. These late early voters are voters who dropped off their mail-in ballots only a day or two before Election Day.

Tom Bonier, the CEO of Target Smart uploaded a data graph that shows how votes broke down in Arizona by the dates they were filed. The closer it gets to Election Day, the more the party registration skews towards Republican.

That data squares with what Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters Wednesday: “Based on the math that we have been seeing as these late-arriving ballots are counted, anywhere from two-thirds to 70 percent of these votes are coming to the president, that math adds up to a margin of around 30,000 in the president’s favor.”

For what it’s worth, MSNBC actually did a great job explaining this, as well:

This is why most news outlets predicting the race have yet to project a Biden win in the state and why President Trump still has a legitimate chance to win it.

Should the president carry Arizona and maintain his lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia, that would get him the 270 electoral college votes need to secure a second term.

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Defiant Trump campaign insists they can still take Arizona and Nevada to win re-election

After election odds swung heavily in Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s favor overnight as Wisconsin and Michigan shifted blue, the Trump campaign insisted Wednesday morning they are still on pace to win re-election by notching surprise wins in Arizona and Nevada.

What are the details?

President Trump is in a “very, very, very good position” to win re-election, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters early Wednesday on a campaign call, according to the New York Post.

“We are confident in our pathway. We are confident in our math. We said all along we are viewing some of these races as math equations,” he added. “If we count all legal ballots, the president wins.”

Politico White House reporter Gabby Orr relayed some of the campaign’s touted statistics that show Trump narrowly pulling ahead in Arizona and Nevada and maintaining Pennsylvania.

What else?

The campaign’s insistence was somewhat of a surprise since Arizona was called for Biden by Fox News on Tuesday night and then later Wednesday morning by the Associated Press. As for Nevada, Trump currently trails Biden narrowly, and it is presumed that the remaining absentee votes left to be counted will favor the former vice president.

Nevertheless, the campaign said their math is forecasting late-breaking wins in both states. Such a feat would be a major boost to Trump’s re-election odds.

“[In Arizona], we know that a final batch of mail-in ballots is being counted. We know that these ballots are counted sequentially, meaning that late-arriving votes or ballots cast closest to Election Day are the ones being counted now. We know and expect that about a half-million votes are left to be counted,” Stepien said. “And based on the math that we have been seeing as these late-arriving ballots are counted, anywhere from two-thirds to 70 percent of these votes are coming to the president, that math adds up to a margin of around 30,000 in the president’s favor.”

The Arizona Republic agreed with the Trump campaign’s claims Wednesday, estimating that about 600,000 ballots were left to be counted in the state. Just as well, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver noted in Arizona, “mail ballots that arrived late in the process are considerably more [Republican] by party registration than the ones that arrived earlier.”

According to Bloomberg, the Trump campaign plans to dispatch a team to Arizona to monitor the state’s vote count after unverified reports have surfaced claiming ballots filled in with Sharpie pens in pro-Trump counties may have not been counted.

Anything else?

Stepien predicted that in Nevada, like Arizona, “late-breaking mail helps us” and “we believe that once all legal ballots are counted in Nevada, the president wins Nevada, we believe by a margin of 5,500 votes.”

Mail ballots received on Election Day or after are the bulk of what remains to be counted in Nevada. It remain to be seen if that vote will break for Trump or Biden.

Either way, we won’t know until Thursday.

If Trump were to somehow win Arizona and Nevada and hang on in Pennsylvania and Georgia, he would be in line to win the election. If Georgia goes for Biden in that scenario, there would be — you guessed it — an electoral tie.

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