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‘Oh God’: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow clearly shocked by Trump’s AZ gains

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was stunned and shocked last night after network analyst Steve Kornacki presented data suggesting President Trump could still overtake Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the state of Arizona. The fight for that battleground state is statistically not over.

Early on in the 2020 presidential election, Fox News and the Associated Press both called Arizona in Biden’s favor. Since then, some retractions have been issued and according to ballot counts the state is still in play. Fox News elections analyst Arnon Mishkin adamantly defended his decision early during the network’s overnight coverage. But on Wednesday night, elections expert Nate Silver stated that the projection “should be retracted now.” However, he did say the state still favored Biden.

“I don’t know, I guess I’d say that Biden will win Arizona if you forced me to pick, but I sure as heck don’t think the state should have been called by anyone, and I think the calls that were previously made should be retracted now,” Silver wrote.

The AP put out a statement defending their projection as well. They believe the remaining votes in Maricopa County were not enough for President Donald Trump to overcome his deficit. The numbers, however, are moving in Trump’s favor. The Trump campaign team strongly believes he could take Arizona.

“Our system is updating it as I speak, so I am going to write these numbers,” Kornacki stated during his segment with Maddow. He was standing in front of a screen with the latest vote totals in Arizona. As he was speaking, the totals showed Biden’s lead declining from 52.3 percent of the vote to 51.8 percent, while Trump’s share grew from 46.3 percent to 46.8 percent. Maddow had trouble believing what she was seeing considering it was widely believed that Arizona had been already called for Biden.

“There it is,” Kornacki noted. “OK, what you just saw was the vote total in Maricopa County, Arizona, [it] just updated. To explain what’s going on here, Maricopa County is about two-thirds of Arizona in terms of population, so this is the motherlode when you’re talking about votes in Arizona.”

He went on: “We have, basically, the third batch of votes, the third and final batch of votes they’re starting to … report out. We call these the late early votes. They were, you know, mailed ballots, absentee ballots that came in sort of after this past weekend or were brought in on Election Day. And the suspense has been would this be a Trump-favorable group, or would it be a Biden-favorable group? So we just got those new numbers.”

Kornacki pointed out that Trump had won 43,966 of the newly tabulated votes as compared to 30,322 votes for Biden. “Donald Trump is getting around 59 percent of these votes,” Kornacki said.

Maddow was shocked and in a subdued voice indicated her dismay, “Oh, God,” she said. “That’s crazy.”

“Yeah,” Kornacki responded. “Remember the three buckets here. The first bucket was the early [vote] — Biden won it by 10. The second bucket was the same-day. Trump won it by 26. The third bucket, you’re looking at the start of that.”

Maricopa County, the largest county in the state, issued the counts for another 62,002 votes this morning, with Trump winning 57.9% of the batch to Biden’s 40.5%. That means Trump narrowed Biden’s lead by more than 10,000 votes.

The new data put the total numbers for Arizona at 912,585 for Biden (51%), and 838,071 for Trump (47%).

Another batch of ballots from Maricopa County is expected today and multiple media outlets — including CNN and the New York Times — determined the race was still too close to call for either candidate at least until those counts are in.

Trump senior advisor Steve Cortes explains the situation and how not only is Maricopa County coming in with enough votes for Trump, but rural counties that lean heavily for Trump are also among those left to come in.

An estimated crowd of more than 200 Trump supporters marched in downtown Phoenix last night outside both the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and the Arizona Capitol Building.

Demonstrators chanted, “four more years,” and “count the votes.” They were also heard yelling, “stop the steal,” and “shame on Fox.”

These new votes were reported just after 9 p.m. last night. They represent nearly 75,000 out of more than 400,000 still left to be counted in Maricopa County. Trump was trailing Biden in the state by about 79,000 votes at that point and as of this morning, his position has improved even further. The president would probably need to carry a little more than 60 percent of the outstanding votes in Maricopa County in order to prevail in the state. But it is a definite possibility.

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