When will media announce election results?

Does anyone know any info concerning when the major media outlets intend to announce elction results tomorrow? Do they intend to announce eastern time zone states before the west coast polls close. Man, I’ll go crazy if I have to wait until 10 p.m. to hear any results!

They announce them state by state generally and then for the country. They do this when enough of the vote has been counted and gone to one candidate that they feel confident that he will win. In 2000 they called things too early so in 2004 they were very conservative and waited a long time to make a final call. I am not sure how long they will decide to wait before calling the election this time. If it is a blowout then they will call much earlier than if it is close.

They normally announce even before the votes are in if the exit polls reveal a clear victor in the state. If so, they call the state as soon as voting ends.

If the exit polls don’t have a clear winner then they wait until enough of the important tell-tale precincts are counted.

Most states will be reported as soon as the polls close. Of course, it’s the interesting ones that will be held up waiting for the real results.

The big question will be whether they call the election if Obama is projected to have the needed 270 electoral votes before the Pacific states close at 11:00 eastern. That’s not a likely occurrence, but conceivable if he gets the 360 or so total that some projections indicate. That would put him over without the far west. If so, the networks will be in a bind.

It looks like there are 87 electoral votes in the states where polls close after 11:00 PM EST. Those will almost certainly be split 77-10.

So Obama would need to get at least 347 total for the race to be officially called before 11 PM.

As I recall, they have followed different practices in different years, tho the recent trend has been to not announce a state before polls close in that state.

But with so many swing states in the east and midwest, I can imagine things looking mighty differently should all or most of OH, PA, VA, FLA, IN, MO all go one way or the other.

Can anyone on the west coast tell me how common it is for folks to check east coast results before deciding whether or not to vote?

Very few would be the number of people who wait to see what the east coast does before they cast their vote. With lines expected to be very long, I’ll guess left coasters will already be in line before results come through.

The only way we’ll know before Midnight is if Obama outperforms what is already expected in NC, VA, OH, PA, FL, IN - if he begins to blow those states out of the water they could announce before CA closes. I doubt it though.

Dinsdale - I’ll not be drinking election night either… :frowning: I’ll have to watch the results with open eyes and intravenous blood pressure meds. :smiley:

For your convenience, here’s a list of poll closing times arranged chronologically. Note that several states will span multiple time zones; after the 2000 Florida debacle, the networks are going to be damn sure not to call any states before all the polls are closed.[sup]1[/sup] Based on this list, here’s the earliest you can expect (preliminary) results to be reported from the “interesting” states:[ul][li]7 PM EST: Indiana, Georgia, Virginia[/li][li]7:30 PM EST: Ohio[/li][li]8 PM EST: Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Missouri[/li][li]8:30 PM EST: North Carolina[/li][li]9 PM EST: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Mexico, Colorado, South Dakota, Arizona[/li][li]10 PM EST: Montana, Iowa, Nevada[/li][li]11 PM EST: North Dakota[/ul][/li]Of course, given that these states are “interesting”, you shouldn’t expect them to be called until somewhat after these times. I definitely wouldn’t expect a final election call before 9 PM Eastern, and probably not until 10 PM.

[sup]1[/sup] Florida was called for Gore in 2000 before polls had closed in the parts of the Florida Panhandle that observe Central Standard Time.

I live in California and I can’t find any source that proves it but anecdotally it seems to be true when democrats have a substantial lead. I know a lot of people who don’t bother voting in presidential elections because they think it’s a foregone conclusion that the state will go democratic.

If Obama is carrying Florida and Pennsylvania when the polls close there, then the election is over. Even though there will be several swing states that McCain could possibly win it won’t be enough. If McCain wins Florida or Florida is too close to call then it could be a nailbiter, but Obama is comfortably ahead in both those states.

We’re very unlikely to see a repeat of 2000 or 2004 where the outcome depends on a razor-thin margin of victory in one or two states. There are probably going to be several states with a razor-thin margin of victory but those states won’t have enough electoral votes to change the results of the election.

Even though the polls close at, say 7:30 in Ohio, voting can continue for some hours after that, because if you are in line at your polling place before the polls close, you can vote. It may be not as long as it was in 2004, but it still could be an hour or two.

Personally, I’d ammend that to replace Florida with Virginia. There isn’t really any possible road to a Mccain victory if Obama captures both Pennsylvania and Virginia. Ohio, Florida, etc. would all just be icing on the cake at that point.

Obama needs one southern state to win, if he gets Virginia it’s over, whether anyone calls it or not. That is unless McCain can get Pennslyvania somehow, which would require Obama to get two southern states.

In the previous two election the NE is Democratic and the South is Republican so it came down to going all the way across west.

Particularly with the push for early and mail-in voting. Mail ballots are expected to be 40% of the CA total. A large chunk of California has voted already. And OR is entirely by mail.

[quote=“MikeS, post:7, topic:470867”]

[li]8:30 PM EST: North Carolina[/li][/QUOTE]

I would definitely not use that site to determine when I was planning to get to vote.

Bolding mine.

Yeah, upon further examination it’s more a list of the latest possible times polls can remain open in a given state by law. The caveats & clauses for the poll closing times are listed if you click on each state’s name.

The NY Times just put out an article on this subject:

Source: Reuters Wire.

Expect it to happen. The media will do it out of self-interest, ad revenue and bragging rights.

At the same time, Nate Silver said on Olbermann tonight that exit polls are meaningless. He did say if Obama picks up Florida, Virginia or Pennsylvania, it’s all over.

From 538:

The media may not call it, but an Obama victory could be obvious before most of the West Coast has left work (I’ll be voting in the morning, in any case-- and there’s a Big Deal ballot measure out there this year-- I wouldn’t worry about Californians not voting).

Interestingly, Obama can lose ALL of McCain’s must-win states and still win. The states 538 lists at 100% projected for Obama equal 239 electoral votes. PA & NH are at 99% Obama, which would be 264. Virginia, the next strongest Obama state in EST, is 95% Obama. Virginia goes for Obama and McCain is done. (Any state >5 will do it, of course, I just bet Virginia will be called first)

ETA: Tom Brokaw was on the Daily Show a week or so back and mentioned calling the 1984 election for Reagan at 8:15 EST because he already had his 270.

What is it with ‘calling’ results anyway? I understand that you need to make an estimate one way or another to figure out the electoral college, which in turn shows how far behind/ahead a candidate is, but all that calling / uncalling bit the last couple of times just made U.S. news outlets look stupid.

People want to know who won. Look at this thread, which is about the millionth thread of this electoral season asking when the results will be in. They want to know as soon as it’s possible to know.

The networks would be idiots not to call states as soon as the results are meaningful.