Politics

Joe Biden projected to win Arizona, the first Democrat to do so since 1996

Key Points
  • NBC News projected Joe Biden will win Arizona, giving him 290 Electoral College votes and making him the first Democrat to carry the state since 1996, when Bill Clinton was reelected.
  • Known for such GOP stalwarts as the late Sens. Barry Goldwater and John McCain, the state had otherwise been largely Republican since the 1950s.
  • Trump won the state by slightly more than 3 percentage points in 2016.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at a carpenters union in Phoenix, Arizona, October 8, 2020.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President-elect Joe Biden is projected to win Arizona's 11 Electoral College votes, giving him 20 more than needed for victory in last week's election, NBC News reported late Thursday.

The last time Arizona voted Democratic in a presidential election was 1996, when Bill Clinton was reelected.

Biden's projected victory gives him 290 Electoral College votes to President Donald Trump's 217, according to NBC's current tally.

On Saturday, NBC projected Biden would win the U.S. presidential election, after calling Pennsylvania for the former vice president. The state pushed him over the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidential race.

Trump has refused to concede the election.

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Trump refuses to concede, even though he knows there's no path to victory

Polling averages had indicated that Biden was a slight favorite to win Arizona. Trump won the state by slightly more than 3 percentage points in 2016.

As Friday morning, Biden was leading with 1,668,684 votes to Trump's 1,657,250, a margin of 49.4% to 49.1%.

Arizona, which produced such GOP stalwarts as the late Sens. Barry Goldwater and John McCain, had been largely Republican since the 1950s. However, Democrat Mark Kelly defeated Republican Sen. Martha McSally in last week's election, and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was elected to the Senate in 2018.

Biden's projected win in Arizona leaves North Carolina and Georgia as the only states NBC has not yet called in the presidential contest, as the races are currently rated "too close to call."

— CNBC's Marty Steinberg contributed to this report.