By Nikhila Natarajan
The Associated Press decision to call Arizona’s 11 electoral votes for Joe Biden came after the news wire “concluded President Donald Trump could not catch up” based on the remaining ballots, AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee told IANS.
Buzbee emailed this response: “The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from Arizona as they come in. The AP declared Joe Biden the winner in Arizona at 2:50 a.m. EST Wednesday after an analysis of ballots cast statewide concluded President Donald Trump could not catch up based on the ballots left to be counted. We will follow the facts in all cases.”
When AP first called Arizona, it reported that Biden was 9 percentage points ahead. By Thursday, the newswire said the former vice president’s lead had shrunk to 4.2 percentage points.
The Trump campaign is raging over the Arizona call, because that makes it especially hard for Trump to claw back, given how the map looks two days out from election day.
The networks which did not call Arizona said they held back because more than 450,000 votes still had to be counted as of Thursday morning and it was too early to call the state.
Based on the AP calculation, Biden is at 264 while Trump trails with 214 electoral votes. The winning number is 270.
Fox News has also called Arizona for Biden. Based on the AP and Fox calculations, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are just six electoral votes away from victory. The Fox team continues to stand by its decision to put Arizona in Biden’s column.
Minus Arizona, four other states – Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada – have still to report results. Pennsylvania is likely to report final results late tonight. If Biden wins, it’s game over for Trump. If Trump wins Penn State’s 20 electoral votes, he’ll still need to get lucky in almost all of the other remaining states to strike 270.
The Biden and Harris team has already unveiled its “transition” website. Biden has urged “patience” and exuded optimism even as the vote count in key battlegrounds continues its slow march towards conclusion.
The US does not have a national election commission which announces the winner. Organisations with resources at scale on the ground coordinate with state officials to make sense of the numbers and report it out.