“Why Fox’s Call on Arizona, Which Was Right, Was Still Wrong”

Nate Cohn for NYT: [corrected link]

Was the Fox call the result of the most sophisticated and accurate modeling, or more like being “right” when calling heads in a coin flip? It appears to be the latter — a lucky and dangerous guess — based on a review of televised statements by the Fox News decision team and publicly available data about the network’s modeling.

The Fox team believed Mr. Biden would win Arizona by a comfortable margin at the time the call was made, based on erroneous assumptions and flawed polling. While it worked out for Fox in the end, similarly risky decisions could have easily led to a missed call, with potentially dire consequences for trust in American elections.

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