False Claims About Biden Losing ‘President-Elect’ Status Go Viral
Political news site RealClearPolitics has not called the race in Pennsylvania and maintains that it’s too close.
Social media posts claiming that RealClearPolitics withdrew President-elect Joe Biden's win in Pennsylvania in the 2020 US presidential elections have gone viral. The claim goes on to say that by losing the state, Biden has effectively lost the President-elect status.
However, we found that the claims were misleading as RealClearPolitics, an independent political website, has not called the race in Pennsylvania and maintains that it’s too close to call.
Former New York City Mayor and President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani tweeted that, “#FakeNews won’t cover law suit which will invalidate 3,00,000 or more crooked democrat votes votes in Philly. Real Clear Politics just took PA away from Biden and made it a toss up.[sic]”
Similar claims were also made by Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer and an ex-advisor of Trump, Pam Bondi. Spicer later corrected himself and Bondi has deleted her tweet.
The claim was also tweeted in India by a Supreme Court lawyer, Prashant Patel Umrao, who has a verified Twitter account.
Bondi’s tweet became the subject of a video posted by a conservative news outlet called The Next News Network. In the video which has now more than 17 lakh views, host Gary Franchi can be seen making the same claim and asking his viewers to share the video. The video was shared numerous times on Facebook and Twitter.
Another conservative media outlet, NewsMax TV, also made the same claim on a live show which was then shared massively on Facebook.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
When we looked into Giuliani’s claims, we came across a response by Tom Bevan, the President of RealClearPolitics. He termed Giuliani’s tweet as false and said that they have never called Pennsylvania.
We checked for archives of the results page that is still live on RealClearPolitics’ website and found that they had not declared Pennsylvania for Biden on 7 November when most of the US media houses had called the race for Biden.
An archive from 9 November also showed Pennsylvania as grey and not blue.
RealClearPolitics’ Washington Bureau Chief, Carl M Cannon in an interview to Reuters told that they had not made any change on Pennsylvania.
Various American news outlets like CNN, NBC and the Associated Press called the race for Biden on 7 November after declaring Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania. AP explained the decision in a blog and said that it made its call when Biden held a 34,243-vote lead in the state, “after it determined that the remaining ballots left to be counted would not allow Trump to catch up.”
The Trump campaign has filed several lawsuits in different states, including Pennsylvania, alleging voter fraud.
Therefore, since RealClearPolitics never declared a winner in Pennsylvania, the claim that they rescinded their call is false.
We, at The Quint’s WebQoof, have done several other fact-checks around the 2020 US presidential elections that can be found here.
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