Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says a lawsuit filed by President Trump’s campaign to stop counting of ballots in the state is “simply wrong.” (Nov. 4)

AP Domestic

The claim: Real Clear Politics pulled its call of Pennsylvania for Joe Biden

Democrat Joe Biden may have been declared the projected victor of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday, after he secured the necessary 270 electoral votes, but that has not stopped lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign nor claims on social media from disputing Biden’s status as president-elect. 

“Just got word that they pulled Pennsylvania’s electoral votes from Biden today after the Supreme Court hearing on voting fraud!” wrote Facebook user Christa Elisha in a Nov. 9 post.

“Biden is no longer President Elect! Our prayers are working!!! Keep it up saints!” 

Elisha’s post includes screenshots that attribute to political news site Real Clear Politics a rescission of calling Pennsylvania for Biden. Among the images is a Nov. 9 tweet from former New York mayor and Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani, that claims the Trump campaign’s lawsuits “will invalidate 300,000 or more crooked democrat (sic) votes votes (sic) in Philly.” “Real Clear Politics just took PA away from Biden and made it a toss up,” Giuliani also claimed.

Since published, Elisha’s post has received considerable attention with over 1,900 reactions and roughly 700 shares. Similar posts claiming Real Clear Politics took “Pennsylvania out of the Biden column” are also widely circulating across Facebook. 

USA TODAY has reached out to Elisha for further comment.

Fact check: Trump ballots were not thrown out as claimed by fake poll worker

Real Clear Politics never called Pennsylvania for Biden

Tom Bevan, co-founder and president of Real Clear Politics, denied that his website ever called Pennsylvania for Biden.  

“This is false. We never called Pennsylvania, and nothing has changed,” he tweeted on Nov. 9.

In an interview with Reuters, Real Clear Politics’ Washington Bureau Chief Carl M. Cannon also echoed Bevan. “We made no change on Pennsylvania whatsoever,” he said.

Real Clear Politics has a dynamic page displaying a map of 2020 presidential election results. USA TODAY has noted Pennsylvania remains shaded in gray, or uncalled, since the page went live on Nov. 3 as can be seen here and here

The Pennsylvania Republican Party is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case about counting certain mail-in ballots. There have been no Supreme Court arguments on voter fraud relating to this year’s presidential contest.

Fact check: That spike in the Wisconsin vote tally was expected and legitimate, not fraud

Our ruling: False

We rate this claim FALSE because it is not supported by our research. Real Clear Politics never called Pennsylvania or switched it from Biden as many social media posts claim. This has been refuted by both the political news site’s co-founder and president Tom Bevan as well as its Washington bureau chief Carl M. Cannon.

Our fact-check sources:

  • USA TODAY, Nov. 9, “Nine legal experts say Trump’s lawsuit challenging election results in Pennsylvania is dead on arrival”
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 9, “Why Donald Trump isn’t Al Gore: How 2020 legal challenges to the election differ from 2000”
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 9, “Most Republican lawsuits challenging election results in battleground states haven’t gone far”
  • Rudy W. Giuliani, Nov. 9, Twitter thread
  • Tom Bevan, Nov. 9, Twitter thread 
  • Reuters, Nov. 10, “Fact check: News website RealClearPolitics did not withdraw Biden’s Pennsylvania win”
  • RealClearPolitics, “2020 Election: President”
  • WayBack Machine, Nov. 4, “Real Clear Politics – 2020 Election: President”  
  • WayBack Machine, Nov. 9, “Real Clear Politics – 2020 Election: President” 
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 7, “‘No evidence that any county is disobeying’ guidance to segregate ballots received after Election Day, Pennsylvania officials say”

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Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.


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