The FOX News factor

I missed the early call of five Dem pickups in the House on election night. Accordingly, I shortchanged my case against the wrongdoing by FOX News that night. The Federalist’s Christopher Gage takes it up in “Why Hasn’t Fox News Retracted Its Wrong Call on the House?” Gage makes a devastating case against the bona fides of FOX News in its call on the House races.

I focused on FOX’s Arizona call. This is a restatement and update.

With more than 800,000 votes to be counted in Arizona on election night, Biden led Trump by about 90,000 votes. As I noted yesterday, when FOX called Arizona for Biden, they brought the head of their so-called Decision Desk to explain. Arnon Mishkin asserted: “What I think we’ve heard from the White House is that … they need just to get 61 percent of the outstanding vote, and there are 870,000 outstanding votes, and they’ll be getting that. That’s not true.”

Mishkin added (my emphasis): “The reality is that they’re likely to only get about 44 percent of the outstanding votes that are there. We’re right now sitting on a race that is about Biden at 53 percent, Trump at 46 percent. I’m sorry, the president is not going to be able to take over and win enough votes to eliminate that 7-point lead that the former vice president has.”

According to RealClearPolitics and other sites, four percent of the vote remains outstanding. Mishkin to the contrary notwithstanding, the gap between Biden and Trump has narrowed to 19,000 votes.

Pollster Rich Baris of People’s Pundit Daily asserted that Trump would make up ground against Biden in the outstanding votes on election night. He vehemently disagreed with FOX’s call. I asked Rich for a comment yesterday. Responding late yesterday afternoon, he wrote: “Four days after Election Day, Arizona has shifted significantly to Donald Trump and is now a coin toss. Regardless of the outcome, the tightness and trend alone have proven FOX News made yet another irresponsible and inexplicable decision to call the state for Joe Biden. Most concerning, these blunders by the Fox News Decision Desk are becoming a trend of their own.”

Some explanation is called for. So far as I can tell, however, FOX News is resting on its right to remain silent and moving on to celebrate the coming regency period.

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