Both campaigns confident as Trump narrows Biden’s lead in Arizona

Meanwhile, Biden has taken leads in Georgia and Pennsylvania, which would give him the presidency




Yellow “Vote Here” signs are stacked on large metal shelving units within a warehouse at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in downtown Phoenix on Sept. 25, 2020. (Photo by Brandon Quester | AZCIR)

Arizona Republicans and Trump campaign strategists were reassured by Thursday’s ballot counts, which they say positions President Donald Trump to edge ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, who has led the vote count tally since Tuesday night.

While Trump spent Thursday making false statements about election results and voter fraud, and urged officials to “stop the count,” vote counts in Arizona favored his bid for the state’s 11 electoral college votes

On Thursday morning, Biden was ahead of Trump in Arizona by about 68,000 votes. When the final vote tallies for the day were reported at 7 p.m., Trump narrowed the gap to about 46,000 votes.

Fox News and the Associated Press called the Arizona presidential contest for Biden several hours after preliminary results were released Tuesday.

Gov. Doug Ducey, a Trump ally who campaigned with the president in the final days before Election Day, said in a press release that media outlets and political pundits shouldn’t declare a winner in Arizona until the vote count is finished.

“We’ve seen dramatic changes to races up and down the ballot since Tuesday night, including for President,” Ducey said. “All of this underlines the importance of not jumping to conclusions in the state of Arizona until there is a final outcome in all counties.”

The Arizona Republican Party said on Twitter the president is “on pace” to win the Grand Canyon State, which he visited seven times to gather hundreds of supporters in indoor and outdoor rallies this year. 

But Democrats still have confidence that, while the margin will continue to narrow, Biden would come out on top. 

D.J. Quinlan, an advisor to the campaigns of several Democratic congressional candidates and former director of the Arizona Democratic Party, is projecting that ballots counted Friday will favor Biden — and dash the hopes of the Trump campaign, which must win roughly 57% of the outstanding ballots to take the lead in Arizona.

On Friday morning, Trump’s path to victory had narrowed significantly. Maricopa County reported nearly 62,000 votes, and Trump won only about 51% of them.

Geoff Burgan, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said Thursday night on Twitter, “Count the votes + keep the faith with @JoeBiden.”

Maricopa County is expected to update results at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday. 

Ultimately, it may not matter who wins Arizona’s 11 electoral college votes: In updated figures released early Friday morning, Biden has assumed slim leads in both Georgia and Pennsylvania. Biden has 253 electoral votes without any of the outstanding battlegrounds — Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania — and winning either Georgia’s 16 electoral votes or Pennsylvania’s 20 will give him more than the 270 needed to win the presidency.

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.