PHOENIX — Bolstered by a decided advantage in early ballots, former Vice President Joe Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris took an early 8-point lead against President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Arizona Tuesday night.
About 90 minutes after the polls closed the FOX News Channel called Arizona for Biden.
Fox's call prompted a tweet from Governor Doug Ducey who said it's far too early to call an election in Arizona. Election Day votes are not fully reported, Ducey said. And he continued, we haven't even started to count early ballots dropped off at the polls.
It’s far too early to call the election in Arizona. Election Day votes are not fully reported, and we haven’t even started to count early ballots dropped off at the polls. In AZ, we protected Election Day. Let’s count the votes — all the votes — before making declarations.— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) November 4, 2020
In Arizona, the Governor concluded, "we protect election day. Let's count the votes - all the votes - before making the declarations."
If Biden's lead holds, it's a stunning defeat for the President, who visited the state seven times this year, including four times in the final two weeks of the campaign.
The margin of victory may tighten, but in the end, the President needs to win nearly 70% of the Election Day vote to win.
The FOX News Channel also called the Senate race. Former astronaut Mark Kelly's lead over Senator Martha McSally mirrored Biden's over Trump.
Kelly met with supporters Tuesday night, and while he didn't come out and say he won, he sure sounded like it.
"This mission does not end when the last vote is counted," Kelly said. "Now the work starts. And we desperately need Washington to work for Arizona."
Wednesday morning McSally campaign spokesperson Caroline Anderegg said, “Hundreds of thousands of votes have still not been counted. Every Arizonan deserves to have their voice heard and vote counted. We continue to monitor returns. The voters of Arizona decide this election, not media outlets.”
The dominance of the Democrats in early voting is having an effect on other races. In Congressional District 6, Republican incumbent David Schweikert is losing to Democratic challenger Hiral Tipirneni by 4 points, 52%-48%.
In the battle to win control of the state legislature, Christine Marsh (D) has a 5-point lead over incumbent State Senator Kate Brophy McGee (R) in Legislative District 28.
In Legislative District 17. incumbent J.D. Mesnard (R) finds himself in a nail biter with challenger Ajlan Kurdoglu (D). After being behind most of the night, Mesnard now has a slight lead.
In Legislative District 20, incumbent Paul Boyer (R) leads Ervin Douglas (D). If the numbers hold up, Republicans will retain control of the state senate.
On the House side, Democrat Judy Schweibert leads the two Republican incumbents Shawnna Bolick and Anthony Kern by 3 and 4 points respectively in Legislative District 20, a district that represents west Phoenix and Glendale.
In the northwest Valley, Democrat Kathy Knecht is trying to unseat incumbent Republican Kevin Payne for one of Legislative District 21's two seats. Right now, Payne holds a slim 47-vote lead. Republican Beverly Pingerelli is the top vote-getter.
The biggest potential gains for Democrats are in county government. Whitney Walker and Jevin Hodge hold leads over Bill Gates and Jack Sellars respectively. Democrat Julie Gunnigle leads Allister Adel for County Attorney.