Republicans Call out Media for Refusing to Call Florida for Trump

Republicans Call out Media for Refusing to Call Florida for Trump
President Donald Trump arrives for a Make America Great Again rally at Ocala International Airport in Ocala, Fla., on Oct. 16, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
Bill Pan

Republicans expressed frustration that major news outlets are refusing to call a Trump victory in Florida, despite the president having a commanding lead in the Sunshine State.

Trump maintained a strong position in Florida, where the bulk of its votes have been counted. As of 10:30 p.m. ET, Trump was leading in the must-win battleground by 3.5 percentage points, or over 381,000 votes.

The media's refusal to call Florida for Trump has upset several Republicans, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, who decried a bias against the president seeking reelection.

"President @realDonaldTrump is up in Florida by almost 400,000 votes with more than 90% of precincts reporting. Why haven’t networks called the race?" DeSantis, a longtime ally of Trump, wrote on Twitter. "It's a done deal and the refusal to recognize the obvious speaks volumes about the (lack of) objectivity of these outlets."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also took to Twitter to question why the media has remained quiet on an apparent Trump victory in his home state.

"Trump is up in #Florida by 3.5 points & 381000 votes with 91% reporting & only 50000 votes left to count. It’s over. So why won’t they call the race?" Rubio said. "To deny Trump an early swing state win until Arizona and Nevada close."

The two were joined by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who said that Trump won Florida.

"It’s time to call FLORIDA!" McEnany wrote. "FACT: President @realDonaldTrump will WIN Florida QUESTION: How long will it take for the media to acknowledge it?"

Meanwhile, Florida Democrats are reflecting on their campaign. Anna Eskamani, a progressive state representative, called for changes to the Florida Democratic Party.

"I'm saying it now. We need a whole new direction for the @FlaDems," Eskamani wrote. "We are losing too many incredible down ballot elected officials and candidates right now and it’s not ok. I know we have the potential to be better and do better."

Polls closed in Florida at 7 p.m. ET, providing 29 electoral votes for the winner. At the time of publication, Fox News has declared a Trump victory in Florida, while other networks, including The Associated Press, still haven't called the state for Trump.

Jason Miller, a senior adviser for the Trump campaign, told Fox News that the campaign has achieved significant success in forging ties with Florida's Cuban, Venezuelan, Colombian, and Puerto Rican communities.

“This is something the president had instructed us to do pretty early in the campaign,” Miller said. “What we're seeing with the Cuban-American community, Colombian-American community, Venezuelan-American community in south Florida is nothing short of spectacular,” he said. "There is so much energy."