Watch CBS News

Arizona 2020 election results: Biden projected winner

get the free app
  • link copied
Republicans: Biden should get intel briefings
Top GOP senators say Biden should receive classified briefings, as Trump stalls transition 03:24

CBS News projects President-elect Biden is the winner in Arizona, capturing the state's 11 electoral votes. 

President Trump stopped in Arizona seven times this year, with some of his in-person trips to the Grand Canyon state earlier this year billed as official presidential visits amid the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Biden made his debut visit to Arizona in early October. 

The state has been heavily Republican and last backed a Democrat for the White House nearly three decades ago. However, Mr. Trump won here with just a slim 3-point margin in 2016, smaller than the nearly 10-point lead posted by decades of Republican presidential candidates in the state.

CBS News projected that Mark Kelly will win the Senate seat in Arizona, defeating flipping it from red to blue.


CBS News projects Biden wins Arizona

CBS News has projected that President-elect Biden has won Arizona, securing him an additional 11 Electoral College votes. That brings Biden's projected total to 290, well over the 270 needed to win. 

By Victoria Albert

Biden leads by around 20,000 votes in Arizona with new results released

New results from Maricopa County show Biden's lead in Arizona narrowing to 20,573 votes. Although President Trump won the latest batch of votes from the county, he has not yet received enough votes to overtake Biden's lead.

After this latest drop, there are only 23,761 early ballots left to process and tabulate in Maricopa County, as well as 20,000 provisional ballots and 5,000 early ballots left to verify. 

The county says the next batch of results will be released in "smaller posts over the next few days."

By Grace Segers

Arizona's secretary of state: Don't "scream fraud" with no evidence

Arizona's secretary of state on Saturday pushed back at protesters who she said "scream fraud" with "no evidence." In a Twitter post early Saturday, Katie Hobbs emphasized that information about Arizona's election process has been made publicly for months.

"My office has been putting out information for months about how election processes work in the state & all we do to ensure security & fairness," she wrote. "If you haven't been paying attention, that's on you, but don't show up when you don't like the result & scream fraud w/no evidence"

Protesters, many armed, gathered outside the Maricopa County ballot processing center in Phoenix this week. They shouted that the election was being stolen, booed officials and blocked the exit. Police in riot gear were called in to walk employees to their cars.  

On Thursday, Hobbs told "CBS This Morning" that the state is "prepared" for a potential legal challenge from the Trump campaign.

By Stephen Smith

Protests continued for a third day in Maricopa County

Attributable to Sergeant Bryant Vanegas at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, no arrests or citations have been issued this week at the demonstrations outside the Maricopa County Elections Department

"So far the protests have been peaceful"Protests are continuing for a third day outside the ballot tabulation site in Maricopa County, with GOP leaders and right-wing conspiracy theorists among those to rally supporters outside the facility in Phoenix. CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas reported more protesters gathered and rallied at the facility today, with some driving to Maricopa from outside the state. 

The Maricopa County Sheriff's office said there have been no arrests or citations this week at the demonstrations. 

"So far the protests have been peaceful," said Sergeant Bryant Vanegas, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

By Alexander Tin

Biden leading Trump by just under 30,000 votes in Arizona

Updated results from Maricopa County show Biden leading Mr. Trump with just under 30,000 votes in Arizona.

Although Mr. Trump had greater support in the latest batch of ballots released by the county, it was not enough to overcome Biden's lead in the state. The former vice president now has a lead of 29,861 votes, or 0.9%.

According to county officials, there are 72,000 early ballots left to process and tabulate, 15,000 provisional ballots left to process and 5,000 early ballots left to verify.

By Grace Segers

CBS News projects Mark Kelly will win Senate race in Arizona

Democrat Mark Kelly has defeated incumbent Republican Senator Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race, CBS News projects. This is the second Republican-held seat that Democratic candidates have flipped this year, with Democrat John Hickenlooper also defeating GOP Senator Cory Gardner in Georgia.

Kelly is leading McSally by 3 percentage points with 91% of votes counted. Kelly, a former astronaut, is the husband of gun control activist Gabby Giffords, who was shot while serving as a congresswoman in 2011.

Democrats and Republicans are now deadlocked with 48 seats each in the Senate. The Senate race in North Carolina between incumbent GOP Senator Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham is still too close to call, and Alaska's Senate race has also not been called, though it leans Republican. The two Senate races in Georgia are both likely to advance to runoff elections, meaning that the final partisan balance of the Senate may not be known until January.

By Grace Segers

Biden's lead drops in Arizona, as more Maricopa County votes are tallied

Joe Biden's lead in Arizona over President Trump dropped to 46,257, after Maricopa County, the largest county in the state, released new vote counts Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET. 

At this point, with 90% of the vote now in, Biden has 1,528,319 votes, while Mr. Trump has 1,482,062 in the state, which has not backed a Democrat since it went for Bill Clinton in 1996.

The county still has about 204,000 early ballots to be processed, and there are also 15,949 provisional ballots left, with another 5,620 early ballots that must still be verified.

The Elections Department plans to give an update of unofficial results at 12 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET on Friday and again until it's finished counting.


Ballot counting continues in Arizona as Biden's lead over Trump tightens

Ballot counting continues in Arizona as Biden's lead over Trump tightens 07:02

CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas joined CBSN early Thursday with a report from Maricopa County, where ballots continue to be counted in the tightening race between President Trump and Joe Biden. Biden currently leads Mr. Trump in Arizona by around 68,000 votes. As votes were being tallied Wednesday night, protesters gathered outside, concerned that not all ballots were being counted. 

The next batch of Maricopa results is expected to come Thursday around 10 p.m. Early Thursday morning, the county said that about 275,000 ballots, plus provisional ballots remained to be tallied.


Arizona governor asks for patience in counting votes

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Wednesday called on Americans to "be patient" as the state continues to count its votes.

"Arizonans turned out in historic numbers for this election, and we owe it to them to count their votes. The results have shifted greatly hour by hour, and from last night until today," he said in a statement. "With hundreds of thousands of votes still outstanding, it's important that we be patient before declaring any races up or down the ballot. Arizonans have cast their votes, and we need to make sure all their voices are heard fairly and accurately."

As of 1:51 p.m. Wednesday, Biden was leading Mr. Trump 51% to 47.6% by 93,518 votes.


Arizona leans toward Biden

Arizona is now leaning toward Biden, CBS News estimates. With 76% of the vote in, Biden leads Mr. Trump 53.6% to 45% of the vote.


Biden outperforming Clinton in Arizona among seniors and young voters

As more and more states move off the board, Arizona looks as if it could prove decisive to the 2020 presidential election. In a state Hillary Clinton lost by 4 points in 2016, exit polls suggest Biden has a chance to win, based on an improved performance among key groups.

Voters aged 65 and older make up a larger portion of Arizona's electorate (31%) than the national electorate (20%) this year. In 2016, Clinton lost these seniors 44% to President Trump's 55%. It is significant, therefore, that in 2020, exit polls show Biden with a slight edge among these senior voters, 54% to 47%.

Mr. Trump is ahead among voters aged 45 to 64, but even among this group, his edge has narrowed, from 13-point lead in 2016 to a 6-point lead in 2020.

While voters aged 18-29 make up a smaller proportion of Arizona's electorate, Biden also appears to be outperforming Clinton's margins among this group. Clinton won young voters 53% to 35%. This year, Biden leads Mr. Trump 62% to 27%.

Voters aged 30 to 44 are slightly more favorable to Trump in 2020 than in 2016 — a 2-point deficit this year versus a 6-point deficit in 2016.

—By David R. Jones


CBS News estimates Arizona moves from toss-up to leans Biden


Election Day

A majority of Arizonans have for years voted by mail in the state, and this year is expected to be no different. Arizona also had weeks of in-person early voting and will close in-person voting at 9 p.m. ET on Election Day. 

For the first time, election officials in Arizona are able to count early ballots for the general election 14 days before Election Day. Combined with updated equipment in Maricopa County, the state's most populous, officials hope to mitigate or eliminate the delayed reporting of results that have plagued past contests in the state.

By Alexander Tin

State of the race

Make no mistake, the GOP still leads in the state among registered voters: 35% are Republicans, just ahead of Democrats (32%) and independents (32%). 

But months of polling in Arizona have appeared promising for Mr. Biden and Mark Kelly, the Democratic Senate candidate here, banking on many of the trends that have buoyed Democrats in suburbs across the country.

The frontlines for this fight are in Maricopa County, Arizona's most populous and home of the capital of Phoenix — which Democrats have taken to labeling America's largest battleground county; more than 6 in 10 of the state's registered voters live here. And the blueprint for the hopes of many Democrats lies in the 2018 win by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema here, who claimed victory even as Republicans scored wins statewide in the same election.

The Biden campaign and its allies have made much of their appeal among these so-called "crossover" voters in Arizona, including high-profile backers in former Senator Jeff Flake or Cindy McCain, widow of the late Senator John McCain. But this effort extends even to grassroots supporters, with one group led by a former GOP appointee crowdfunding unofficial "Arizona Republicans for Biden" billboards and yard signs around the state. 

Democrats and a wide array of allied groups have also focused their efforts on turning out Latinos in the state, which the Pew Research Center estimates makes up 24% of eligible voters in the state — behind only Texas (30%) among the battleground states. 

According to CBS News polling, 61% of Hispanic voters favor Biden, a split that has remained relatively steady over several months in the state. And observers have often credited boosted turnout among this pivotal demographic as key to Sinema's win in 2018.

But the Trump campaign also claims to have invested in an extensive effort to mobilize its supporters among the state's Latinos, with both sides touting everything from hiring bilingual organizers to pouring millions into Spanish-language advertising. 

Campaigns have also raced to turn out seniors in Arizona, since the Phoenix area has some of America's biggest retirement communities. In 2016, exit polls reported one in four Arizona voters were 65 and older — more than any other state rated as a toss-up this year. 

These older voters broke in the president's favor four years ago, backing Mr. Trump 55% to Hillary Clinton's 42% in exit polls at the time. But the latest CBS News polling found a narrower margin in October, with just 52% of older voters picking the president, compared to Mr. Biden's 46%, and none of these older voters said they might or probably could change their support.

By Alexander Tin

Senate race

Sen. Martha McSally (R); Senate candidate Mark Kelly (D) Caitlin O'Hara, Kimberly White / Getty Images

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey appointed Kyrsten Sinema's defeated GOP rival, Martha McSally, to fill the seat of the late Senator John McCain in 2018. But McSally appears to face long odds in prevailing in the November special election.

For months, the Republican has polled behind Democrat Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Because this is a special election, the victor would likely take office as soon as results are officially certified in order to serve out the remainder of McCain's term, through 2022.

McSally has sought to tie her prospects to President Trump, appearing at nearly every visit by the president to the state and remaining a vocal supporter even after a string of perceived slights from the president. 

McSally has been on the trail accusing Kelly of being little more than a vote for Joe Biden's platform and the "radical left," citing his work lobbying to strengthen gun control restrictions. 

By comparison, Kelly rarely talks about the group he helped start with his wife in the wake of her shooting to advocate for new gun laws. A string of aggressively moderate appeals have defined his final weeks, insisting he would be an "independent voice" for Arizonans. 

By Alexander Tin

The issues

Immigration and the border

From nationwide controversy over SB 1070, Arizona's controversial immigration law passed in 2010, to protests over the infamous Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, many of the state's Democratic leaders and activists today trace their roots to fights over immigration and border policy that have dominated politics in this state along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

But even as the issue has fueled progressive groups in the state looking to turn out Democratic voters, the topic remains divisive here, even among the left. Kelly, the Democratic senate candidate in Arizona, cites the issue as a key difference between his and Biden's platforms, saying he believes "immigration reform starts with strong border security."

Coronavirus and the economy

From testing delays to skyrocketing cases, Arizona's COVID-19 spike earlier this year was one of the worst in the country. The handling of the pandemic by the state's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, who was among the first in the country to push to reopen businesses and specifically exempted "constitutionally protected activities" -- like protests or campaign rallies -- from COVID-19 restrictions drew criticism from Democrats including Biden. 

Ducey has brushed off criticism, citing falling hospitalization rates at the beginning of the fall and economic forecasts that the state is on track to recover faster than the nation as a whole. President Trump has repeatedly praised Ducey's response to the pandemic, pointing to it as a model for other states.

More than 90% of voters for both Biden and for President Trump told CBS News Battleground Tracker in October said that the coronavirus outbreak was a "big factor" in their pick. 

Indian Country

Nearly 280 thousand Arizonans are Native American, some 4% of the state, more than double the national rate. Largest among them in Arizona is the Navajo Nation, from which an estimated 40,731 ballots were cast in 2016. 

Leaders from the Navajo Nation figured prominently at both parties' conventions and have been courted aggressively by both campaigns. The tribe has suffered an immense economic and human toll from the pandemic, at one point reaching more coronavirus cases per capita than any state in America.

By Alexander Tin
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.