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President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater on Nov. 10, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP) President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater on Nov. 10, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP)

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater on Nov. 10, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP)

Bill McCarthy
By Bill McCarthy November 11, 2020

No, Joe Biden’s leads haven’t disappeared in key battlegrounds

If Your Time is short

  • Major media organizations have projected Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. The media makes these calls every election year.

  • Biden’s leads have not “disappear(ed)” in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia or Pennsylvania. When the ballots were counted, Biden received more votes than Trump.

Supporters of President Donald Trump in Washington and the media continue to entertain his unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and his unprecedented refusal to concede the election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden. Some Facebook users are following suit.

One Facebook post shared thousands of times, from conservative radio host Ben Ferguson, wrongly claimed that Biden’s leads have evaporated in four key battleground states.

"Liberal media get it wrong again as Biden lead disappears in NV, AZ, GA, PA," reads the text over the Nov. 10 post, which includes an audio clip from Ferguson’s podcast. 

The post is inaccurate. It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

Ferguson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In reality, Biden has been projected as the winner of the election by major media outlets and decision desks, including the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News and Decision Desk HQ. 

Such calls were made because the data showed Biden received more votes than Trump and that Trump had run out of ways to win. The Associated Press, for example, says it only calls a race when it is "fully confident" the race has been won because the "trailing candidate no longer has a path to victory."

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The former vice president has been named the winner in Pennsylvania and Nevada by each of those 11 organizations. The Associated Press and Fox News have also called Arizona in his favor. And he is still leading in Georgia, where officials have announced a recount by hand.

Biden’s advantages in those four battleground states vary, according to Decision Desk HQ. He is ahead by more than 36,000 votes in Nevada; by more than 12,000 in Arizona; by more than 14,000 in Georgia; and by more than 49,000 votes in Pennsylvania.

But those leads have not disappeared, as the Facebook post claimed. Dave Wasserman, the House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, tweeted Nov. 10 that Biden’s leads in Georgia and Arizona — his two smallest margins to date — are "quite robust." 

Biden doesn’t need to win all four of those states to capture the presidency, either.

States have until Dec. 8 to finalize their results before members of the Electoral College cast their votes on Dec. 14 and Congress officially counts those votes on Jan. 6, 2021.

Media organizations agree that Biden remains on track to win, and there is no evidence of any widespread fraud that would tip the election in Trump’s favor, as experts, international observers and state officials from both parties have said. The Biden team has begun preparing for the White House, even as the Trump administration works to thwart the transition.

Trump accepted the media’s calls in 2016. A review of the Internet Archive shows he changed his Twitter biography to read "President-elect of the United States" on Nov. 9, one day after the 2016 election. He met with President Barack Obama in the White House on Nov. 10.

We rate this Facebook post False.

Our Sources

Facebook post, Nov. 10, 2020

Decision Desk HQ, "2020 General Elections," accessed Nov. 11, 2020

The New York Times, "Presidential Election Results: Biden Wins," accessed Nov. 11, 2020

The Washington Post, accessed Nov. 11, 2020

Reuters, "U.S. Election Results," accessed Nov. 11, 2020

CNN, "Presidential Results," accessed Nov. 11, 2020

ABC News, "Election 2020 Results and Live Updates," accessed Nov. 11, 2020

CBS News, "Presidential Results," accessed Nov. 11, 2020

NBC News, "U.S. Presidential Election Results 2020: Biden wins," accessed Nov. 11, 2020

Fox News, "Presidential Election Results," accessed Nov. 11, 2020

The Associated Press, "AP Explains: Election’s validity intact despite Trump claims," Nov. 11, 2020

The Associated Press, "How We Call Races," accessed Nov. 11, 2020

Dave Wasserman on Twitter, Nov. 10, 2020

The New York Times, "The Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud," Nov. 10, 2020

The Wall Street Journal, "No Evidence of Systematic Fraud in U.S. Elections, International Observer Mission Reports," Nov. 9, 2020

The New York Times, "Tracking Which News Outlets Have Called the Presidential Race in Each State," Nov. 7, 2020

The Associated Press, "EXPLAINING RACE CALLS: How AP called the race for Biden," Nov. 7, 2020

The Washington Post, "First CNN, then within minutes, most other news organizations called the race for Biden," Nov. 7, 2020

Donald J. Trump on Twitter, Nov. 9, 2016, accessed via Internet Archive Nov. 11, 2020

PolitiFact, "The media have called the presidential race for Joe Biden. Here's what's next," Nov. 7, 2020

PolitiFact, "Donald Trump’s Pants on Fire claim about illegal votes," Nov. 6, 2020

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More by Bill McCarthy

No, Joe Biden’s leads haven’t disappeared in key battlegrounds

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