Are the news networks waiting to announce which candidate won a state this year?

I believe this is the election that the mail-in ballot has surged in popularity. Because of this, we won’t know the winner of Michigan and many other states the night of the election.

Have networks agreed not to say “Trump/Biden has Michigan” until almost all the votes are counted?

I’m seeing a situation where the news announces Trump way ahead and he declares total victory. Once the votes come in and if Biden wins, he’ll be declaring it fraud.

What are the news networks doing about this?

Why would Fox do anything about it? They will announce early, people will tune in to them because they are people, Fox ratings go up and Trump is happy.

Can’t announce a winner until somebody gets 270 electoral votes right?

In recent years, they’ve been announcing some states at 7:01 on the basis of exit polls. I imagine they will continue to do that, and if that number hits 270 at 7:01, it’s a done deal.

Right. But those are usually deep blue states like Hawaii and California, or deep red states like Idaho and Wyoming. CNN, NBC, ABC, and such probably won’t be calling the swing states, or even deep pink (Missouri) or deep aqua (Virginia) states early in that manner this year.

Right. I’m assuming that the usual formulas networks use to designate a state “too close to call” or “insufficient data at this time” will include a rough count of the number of mail-in ballots received and not yet “counted” (i.e., reported by cities and counties to the state officials).

In a few states, another factor to consider (and I assume will be considered by the networks) is the number of blank absentee ballots mailed to people (weeks before Nov 3), but not yet received by officials through the mail. This one could be interesting, because it’s more of an unknown quantity (not everyone ends up voting after all — and some decide to vote in person after all), until the final deadline date (which is still being litigated in a couple of states).

They all say they are going to wait.

Thank you, this is really right on with what I was looking for.

Things may have changed, but in previous elections Fox and other major news outlets left projections to a room full of non-partisan math nerds who’s careers and reputations hinged on accuracy, not agenda.

This current thread doesn’t start on exactly the point you asked, but a lot of its replies are.

How did Fox behave when it came to the last election?

They called it at 2:40 am - half an hour after AP.

In 2012, Fox called for Obama quite early, sending the head of the RNC into a hissy fit. I have no reason to doubt their statistical bureau.

You mean Rove

As long as I live, I’ll never forget watching the Daily Show the next day when they showed Karl Rove screaming, pleading that they not call it because of outlying areas of Ohio(?) that had not fully reported.

The chaos at Fox was amazing.

I do believe Joe Biden is mostly heading towards victory, but the length of time counting votes may deprive us of this kind of amazing scene.

Yes, I know, but I was inquiring about the election after that one.
Thank you, Elmer_J.Fudd.

Trump Wants to Discredit the Election. This Nerd Could Stop Him.

Fox News, the president’s favored network, will face enormous pressure to call the election for Mr. Trump. The outcome rests on a little-known 65-year-old wonk who will declare the winner.

That’s where a prickly, bespectacled 65-year-old named Arnon Mishkin and his staff of data-crunching wonks will come to work on Election Day. And this Nov. 3, Mr. Mishkin may be the last bulwark against the most frightening prophecies of electoral insanity.

Mr. Mishkin runs Fox News’s “decision desk,” the team responsible for telling Fox viewers — also known as Donald Trump’s base — who won the election. The team and its sister polling unit are among the few endeavors at Fox that have proven immune to the president’s takeover of the network.