Former Vice President Joe Biden is projected to win Arizona in the contest against President Donald Trump, according to media analysis of unofficial election results.
As of early Wednesday morning, Biden held a 3.5 percentage point lead over Trump in Arizona. If the lead holds, it will be the first time since 1996 that Grand Canyon State voters elected a Democratic candidate for president and only the second time since 1948.
The Associated Press called the race for Biden at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Hours earlier, Fox News had also projected Biden would win Arizona.
Trump campaign strategists and state Republican leaders pushed back against the media projections that place Biden as a victor, saying with hundreds of thousands of ballots still left to count, there’s a chance the majority of Arizona voters will give Trump four more years.
Gov. Doug Ducey, who stumped for Trump, sent a Tweet to put the brakes on assertions that a “blue wave” had gripped power away from Arizona Republicans.
Not so fast. The race has narrowed in #AZ considerably. 130,000 votes separate the candidates, with hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be counted, from all over the state. I’ll say it again: Let’s count the votes, and let the people decide rather than making declarations. https://t.co/1WYhjChrtm
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) November 4, 2020
State GOP Chair Kelli Ward also pushed back against the projections of Biden beating Trump in Arizona.
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) November 4, 2020
Trump campaigned hard in Arizona, visiting the state seven times this year and holding indoor and outdoor gatherings that drew hundreds of supporters. He mostly ran on a message of economic prosperity and touted to his base that he followed through with promises to “put America first.” Biden visited the state once and held small one-on-one meetings and small gatherings. He said he’ll have a plan to take the coronavirus pandemic, which is still infecting and killing people in the U.S., and restore the “soul” of the country.
The Republican president’s reelection team encouraged voters to wait to vote in person, while Biden and the Democratic Party encouraged voters to cast their ballots by mail or at early voting centers.
In 2016, Trump won Arizona by three points, which amounted to about 91,000 votes.