14:39 GMT25 November 2020
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    Multiple major media outlets gave Arizona’s 11 electoral votes to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday, with the southwestern US state previously voting Republican in every election since 1996.

    Eagle-eyed election observers including Patrick LaForge of the New York Times have picked up an error in the data feed by Edison Research – the polling and social media research company enjoying the status of being the sole provider of US election exit polling data, which has erroneously reported that “98 per cent” of the state’s votes had been counted when the real figure was 86 per cent.

    The error reportedly led multiple news outlets which depend on Edison’s data including AP and Fox News to call the state for Biden. President Donald Trump won Arizona handily in 2016, taking 48.08 per cent to Hillary Clinton’s 44.58 per cent.

    This time around, Biden is said to be ahead of Trump by roughly 93,500 votes, or 2.5 percentage points, at the time of this writing.

    Edison Research has yet to comment on what may have caused the error.

    News of the apparent glitch quickly sparked anger on social media, with some Twitter users calling it just one more sign that reporting on the election has been “messy” at best since results began pouring in Tuesday night.

    “Oh. An *error*. Funny all of those errors only go one way. Huh,” one agitated user wrote. “Just another day in the media,” another added.

    Some users defended Edison, however, suggesting that counting votes and communicating results was “hard,” especially given time constraints and pressure.

    Arizona has voted for the Republican nominee for president in every election since 1996, when Bill Clinton won the state. Before that, the state voted for the Republican candidate in every election since 1952.

    Election pundits have called Trump’s apparent second place finish to Biden in Arizona a “major upset” for the President’s campaign strategy, making it less crucial for the Democratic candidate to secure victories in major battlegrounds in the north-east.

    Nationally, Biden maintains a 25 seat electoral vote lead over Trump, having secured 238 votes to Trump’s 213. The former vice president is also reported to be leading in Nevada, Wisconsin and Michigan, with Trump leading in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia.

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