By deciding to announce the defeat of the outgoing president in Arizona, the American channel has outstripped all its competitors and exasperated the Republican camp.
It is an understatement to say that the decision made people talk. On Tuesday, November 3 at 11:30 p.m. PT, the Fox News decision desk said Joe Biden had won Arizona and its eleven voters, somewhat to everyone's surprise.
For the Democrats, it is certainly not Texas, but it is a nice prize of war. Since the 1952 election, only Bill Clinton, during his second campaign in 1996, had succeeded in wresting this southwestern state for the party.
Three hours after Fox News, the American news agency Associated Press (AP) also awarded Arizona to Joe Biden. Since then, these are still the only two decisions desks in this case.
Call GA, NC, and TX, you HACKS!— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) November 4, 2020
Very quickly, Donald Trump's supporters expressed their anger over this decision. As the New York Times reports, “Jason Miller, the chief strategy officer of the Trump campaign, claimed on Twitter that a million votes had yet to count and accused the channel 'of trying to invalidate their votes. votes ”. Journalist John Roberts said the Trump campaign team was “livid”. ”
Trump asked the channel to retract
It must be said that with this announcement, Arizona became the first state won by Trump in 2016, to pass under the Democratic flag. And it came just as supporters of the outgoing president, quite pessimistic about his chances of re-election, began to regain hope, reports The New York Times. "This mirage vanished with the Fox News announcement," succinctly sums up the New York daily.
Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump himself did not really appreciate it. Vanity Fair reporter Gabriel Sherman said, “Donald Trump called Fox owner Rupert Murdoch to yell at him about this choice and to request a retraction from Fox News. Murdoch refused, ”assures the author of a book noted on the channel and its former president, specifying that Trump and Murdoch have not been quite on the same wavelength for a few months.
To explain its choice, Fox News decided to send the head of the decision desk, Arnon Mishkin, to the air. “I'm sorry, we are not wrong,” he concluded.
Fox News Decision Desk Director Arnon Mishkin doubled down on calling Arizona for Biden.— Stephanie K. Baer (@skbaer) November 4, 2020
"I'm sorry, the president is not going to be able to take over and win enough votes to eliminate that seven-point lead that the former vice president has."
Here are his full comments on why pic.twitter.com/0KJAdY8v5S
This decision to award Arizona to Joe Biden takes on even greater significance twenty-four hours later. Because, after the announcements of several decision desks declaring that Biden had won Michigan and Wisconsin on Wednesday, Fox News finds itself able to be the first media to announce a defeat of Donald Trump if its decision desk were to declare that Joe Biden won Nevada.
In 2004, the channel refused to be the first to announce the re-election of George Bush. It remains to be seen whether sixteen years later, she would also deprive herself of being the first to publicly announce that one of her most recurring guests will have to leave the White House.