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Question about election projections  

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Honestly, this is the first election results I've watched since 1996. Between work and living out of the country I missed the rest. One (well, actually, MANY questions).....

First, how can they call one state for a candidate when less than 1% of returns are calculated? Especially since New Mexico was called for Obama and the last time I looked McCain has 60% of the state but it is still given to Obama. I understand it is ONLY a prediction and it ain't over until the fat lady sings and votes are all counted, but it's still very confusing. I guess they count the major city votes first, then move on the other rest of the state? That could shake things up a lot.

Also, if they can calculate popular vote (since it is shown on the screen), why can't the go by that instead of the electorial college? I still don't understand that whole process. So, the public wants one person and the "college" decides we're too stupid to decide for ourselves so votes for us?

Also, are early ballots included in these figures? I know absentee ballots are only counted if they need a tie breaker, but what about the 4,000,000 people that voted before hand?

Know I know why I didn't move to Washington!
post #2 of 9
I'm actually surprised that they're doing the "calling" thing again. The last couple of elections, that has left them with egg on their faces when their "calls" came up short.
post #3 of 9
They just announced Obama has won.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
I'm actually surprised that they're doing the "calling" thing again. The last couple of elections, that has left them with egg on their faces when their "calls" came up short.
I'm praying for the "egg"...in fact, I have a craving for scrambled right now!
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, I guess I'll just have a side of pork now.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
I'm actually surprised that they're doing the "calling" thing again. The last couple of elections, that has left them with egg on their faces when their "calls" came up short.
yea, they had both gore and kerry already moving in.
post #7 of 9
Electoral college: it's in the US constitution. The popular vote literally doesn't matter. The original system was that "electors" (people) were chosen by the people, and the electors went to a smoke-filled back room and made their decisions. Now the "electors" are chosen by votes in states, with most states giving all of their electoral votes (number of senators + number representative) to the state winner, but Maine and Nebraska splitting the electoral votes.

Different groups "call" the election different ways. The major networks do (and have in the past) pay for people to go out and ask people leaving the polling location who they voted for (exit polling). The major networks then use this information, looking at early reporting precincts to make sure that the exit polling is matching the actual reported precinct results. I've been following CNN (using exit polling) NPR (also using exit polling) and Politico.com (I'm guessing they are using recent polls instead of exit polling, and they are being much, much more conservative (calling much more slowly)).

I believe that absentee ballots are counted in all states, even if the election is not close. I know that they are counted in California and Florida (states I've voted in) no matter the closeness of the race. Early votes are absolutely counted in all cases where they exist.

Cities actually usually lag rural areas.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Now, when I voted absentee in 2000, I was told that my vote would only be counted if it was a tie. Maybe its different for each state, but I remember absentee votes were crucial in Florida for that election and were calculated in after the fact.
post #9 of 9
The Florida division of elections Election Myths vs Facts webpage states that all eligible provisional and absentee ballots in Florida are voted, no matter how close the races are.

Provisional and in some cases absentee ballots are added to the voting counts a little bit later. Right now, there are no official vote counts available. But when local officials certify vote counts as final, all absentee ballots will be included (at least in California and Florida, where I have checked the policies).
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