by Debra Heine
American Greatness author Christopher Gage on Saturday asked why Fox News has not retracted it’s wrong call on the house.
It’s a good question so American Greatness emailed Fox News Corporation Monday morning to ask it. We didn’t receive a reply.
The Fox News Decision Desk made its wildly inaccurate projection early on Election Night, saying that Democrats would win at least five seats in the House. The bad call was devastating to Republican morale and set the false narrative that President Trump had no coattails.
As Gage noted, “this happened while Californians were still voting.”
Why does that matter? Because there are four districts in California that Democrats won from Republicans in 2018 and which Republicans were trying to retake. They are likely to win at least three of them.
Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram tweeted out the short-lived good news for Democrats at 9:16 p.m. ET on Nov. 3rd.
“The Fox News Decision Desk can now project that Dems will retain control of the House & expand their majority by at least 5 seats,” Pergram wrote. “This is a major boost for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has pledged to roll back much of Trump’s first-term agenda if he loses reelection.”
The Fox News Decision Desk can now project that Dems will retain control of the House..& expand their majority by at least 5 seats. This is a major boost for..House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has pledged to roll back much of Trump’s first-term agenda if he loses reelection
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 4, 2020
Fox News anchor Martha McCallum reported on Election night that according to some projections, Democrats could pick up as many as 15 seats.
They've had Mishkin on a hundred times to assure people they make these decisions super carefully, but the Fox News Decision Desk's first projection of the night was that Democrats would add at least 5 seats to their House majority which is absolutely not going to happen. https://t.co/IRyGCvJXZf pic.twitter.com/MLp6q8yKdE
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) November 5, 2020
We now know the GOP are projected to gain up to 13 seats, and are 21,000 votes shy of retaking the House, according to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
McCarthy giddoly shared this news on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo.
“We didn’t lose one incumbent,” the California Republican said. “We won every seat except one open. We won 28 out of 29 of the most competitive seats that Nate Silver laid out there. We are gaining and less that 21,000 votes away [from winning the House].”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2020
American Greatness emailed Fox News’ corporate communications vice president Irena Briganti Monday Morning to ask if the Fox News Decision Desk had rescinded its inaccurate projection, but did not receive a reply.
The Fox News Decision Desk’s controversial Election night call projecting that Democrat nominee Joe Biden won Arizona also spurred outrage among its conservative viewers, not to mention what some are calling a “catastrophic ratings collapse.”
Internal Fox News Numbers Reveal Catastrophic Viewership Collapse https://t.co/JZNx47dwA6
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) November 9, 2020
Fox finally called Florida for Trump at around 11:00 p.m. ET. Tuesday night, long after the president’s win appeared to be a statistical certainty. Trump won the state 51.2 percent to 47.9 percent.
Twenty minutes later, Fox provided a morale boost for Democrats who were disappointed in their candidate’s poor showing in Florida.
At 11:20 p.m. ET Tuesday night, with just 73 percent of the vote counted, the Fox News Decision Desk called the hotly contested Arizona race for Joe Biden
That controversial call set the devastating narrative that Trump’s path to victory had drastically narrowed, and robbed the GOP of any positive spin on Election Night that President Trump had an edge.
“If the fabulists at Fox News had applied their own wisdom to states in which Trump led by healthier margins than Biden had led Arizona, then the network would have announced President Trump the clear winner on election night,” Gage wrote.
After all, bookmakers practically did. Prior to Fox News’ erroneous calling of Arizona, bookmakers gave President Trump an 83 percent chance of reelection, considering his seemingly unassailable leads in the battleground states.
Following that call, President Trump slipped to 60 percent. Then to 50. You know the rest.
On Wednesday, none other than MSNBC’s poll guru Nate Silver called on both Fox and the AP to retract their Arizona calls because it was still a tight race.
Silver wrote, “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.”
MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki agreed, explaining to Rachel Maddow on Nov. 5 why NBC hadn’t called Arizona race yet.
Kornacki noted that votes coming in from Maricopa County were favoring Trump by 59% thus making the state very much in play for him.
With several hundred thousand ballots yet to be counted, he said this “establishes the possibility” for Trump to take the Arizona because “it looks like these are going to be more Trump voters than Biden voters and that’s why NBC didn’t call this”.
Arnon Mishkin, director of the Fox News Decision Desk, However, defended the call on Wednesday, saying the network was confident in its statistical model. “We’re four standard deviations from being wrong,” Mishkin said. “And, I’m sorry, we’re not wrong in this particular case.”
As of Monday afternoon, with about 50,ooo to 55,000 ballots left to count, Biden’s lead had shrunk to 15,432. The remaining ballots are expected to favor Trump, but regardless of who wins, the race is so close, there will probably be a mandatory recount.
It’s mind boggling to many conservatives that the Fox News Decision Desk felt comfortable making that call so early on Election night.
American Greatness contacted Fox News a second time for comment but did not receive a reply prior to publication.
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Debra Heine reports for American Greatness.
Photo “Fox News Newsroom” by Inside Cable News. CC BY 2.0.