Jun 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

"Our poll in Arizona was beautiful," fired Fox News editor tells Jan. 6 panel

Chris Stirewalt, former Fox political editor, testifies Monday before the U.S. House of Representaives committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt on Thursday defended the network's decision to call Arizona for now-President Biden on election night 2020.

What it matters: Fox becoming the first political desk to make the call for the state angered then-President Trump and his supporters and was a pivotal moment that all but confirmed he would lose reelection.

What he's saying: "We knew it would be a consequential call ... because it was one of five states we were watching … Trump’s chances were very small and getting smaller," Stirewalt told House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot.

  • "We looked around the room, everybody says, 'Yeah.' And by the time we found out how much everybody was freaking out and losing their minds over this call, we were going to try and call the next state."

"Our poll in Arizona was beautiful, and it was giving just what we wanted it to do and it was cooking up just right," he added.

  • "It was really controversial to our competitors, who we beat so badly by making the correct call first. Our decision desk was the best in the business and I was very proud to be a part of it."

The intrigue: Fox News has been broadcasting today's hearing, including chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Liz Cheney's (R-Wyo.) opening statements.

  • That's in stark contrast to last Thursday, when the network aired two hours of commercial free commentary from talk show hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity during the committee's first hearing.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to note that it was the network — and not Stirewalt's decision aloneto call an election result.

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