Biden projected to win Arizona, but GOP leaders contest predictions




A flag in support of Joe Biden hangs on a Phoenix home on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo by Jim Small | Arizona Mirror

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.

State GOP Chair Kelli Ward also pushed back against the projections of Biden beating Trump in Arizona.  

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. 

Chinga Trump banner
Banners outside a Phoenix polling site on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

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.

Laura Gómez
Reporter Laura Gómez Rodriguez covers state politics and immigration for the Arizona Mirror. She worked for The Arizona Republic and La Voz Arizona for four years, covering city government, economic development, immigration, politics and trade. In 2017, Laura traveled the length of the U.S.-Mexico border for “The Wall,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning project produced by The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network. She was named Best Investigative Reporter by Phoenix Magazine in its 2018 newspaper category and has been honored by the Arizona Press Club for Spanish-language news and feature reporting. She is a native of Bogotá, Colombia and lived in Puerto Rico and Boston before moving to Phoenix in 2014. Catch her researching travel deals, feasting on mariscos or playing soccer.