President Donald Trump's reelection campaign was furious when, on Election Night, right-wing Fox News called Arizona for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election—demanding a retraction. And according to Axios' Jonathan Swan, Trumpworld has also been furious over another possibility: Fox calling Pennsylvania for Biden.
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign was furious when, on Election Night, right-wing Fox News called Arizona for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election — demanding a retraction. And according to Axios' Jonathan Swan, Trumpworld has also been furious over another possibility: Fox calling Pennsylvania for Biden.
On Election Night, Trump still had a sizable lead in the Pennsylvania vote count. But by Friday morning, November 6, that lead had dwindled to less than 19,000 votes — and many pundits were predicting that as more votes were counted in heavily Democratic Philadelphia, Biden would move ahead of Trump in the Keystone State.
Swan reports, "Aides told Axios they're dreading the prospect of Fox calling Pennsylvania for Joe Biden, which could make the conservative network the first to give Biden 270 electoral votes. A Trump campaign official said the internal view was that it's essential to keep the race 'optically' alive, and that if Fox were to call it, it would severely harm their efforts to support President Trump's (false) claims that he'd already won."
Although Fox News in general has a right-wing slant, there is a separation between its hard news division and stridently pro-Trump opinion hosts like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson. And even though Hannity, Ingraham and Carlson were happy to promote the nonsense conspiracy theory that Biden and the Democratic Party were stealing the election through voter fraud, Fox's news division stuck by its reporting that Biden was the winner in Arizona.
Swan notes, "Fox hasn't budged. A graphic during news coverage last evening (November 5) by lead election anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum: 'FOX DECISION DESK STANDS BEHIND DECISION TO CALL ARIZONA FOR BIDEN.'"
The Associated Press also called Arizona for Biden on Election Night and stuck by its reporting. But votes were still being counted in Arizona on November 6, and many other outlets — from CNN to the Washington Post — still considered Arizona "too close to call."
A senior Trump Administration official, quoted anonymously, told Axios, "When Bush had this issue, they tapped arguably the pre-eminent statesman of his generation, James Baker, to spearhead their legal and PR efforts, to great effect…. We rolled out Rudy Giuliani, Corey Lewandowski and Pam Bondi. You can draw your own conclusions."