Fox News Admits Wrong Call on Democrat House Seat Projections

By Tom Ozimek

Fox News’ Bret Baier on Wednesday acknowledged that the network’s Decision Desk incorrectly projected that Democrats would gain five seats in the House, but noted that the overall projection of Democrats holding their majority was sound.

“Democrats have clinched a majority in the House by reaching 218 seats,” Baier said.

“There are still a handful of races undecided. On election night, the Fox News Decision Desk correctly predicted soon after 9 Eastern that Democrats would retain control of the House. But they also estimated Democrats would add about five seats to their majority,” Baier said, adding: “That did not occur. Republicans have gained six seats with multiple races yet to be decided.”

“The Story” host Martha MacCallum read a similar statement on her show.

A Fox spokeswoman, asked for comment, pointed The Epoch Times to the segments and said the network wouldn’t comment further on the issue.

President Donald Trump retweeted a post by American Greatness political contributor Debra Heine, who wrote, “Fox News finally acknowledged eight days after the election that the Fox News Decision Desk incorrectly projected that Democrats would gain five seats in the House.”

Fox has faced criticism for its election coverage, including the incorrect House call and for being one of the first outlets to project that former Vice President Joe Biden had won in Arizona, where Trump trails the challenger by 11,635 votes with around 25,000 ballots still outstanding. The Trump campaign has also filed a lawsuit in Arizona, demanding a hand count of ballots it claims were incorrectly tabulated.

The Associated Press followed Fox, declaring the Arizona race for Biden several hours later, while CNN and NBC still have still not called the race in the state.

The Arizona Republican Party last week called on Fox News and Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh called on Fox News and AP to rescind their Arizona call for Biden. “Fox & AP made a hasty call in AZ, a state the President will still win,” Murtaugh wrote on Nov. 5.

Poll aggregator Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight also said AP and Fox News made their calls too early. “I don’t know, I guess I’d say that Biden will win Arizona if you forced me to pick, but I sure as heck don’t think the state should have been called by anyone, and I think the calls that were previously made should be retracted now,” Silver wrote last week.

Fox News fell to No. 3 in ratings on Nov. 7, and ended in second overall for the week of the election, according to Nielsen. Fox has led the ratings race for years and maintains an edge in year-to-date ratings.

Jack Phillips and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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