Your arms too short to box with
The networks may have a lot of time to fill on Nov. 4th:
Network news executives said they are preparing for an unusual Election Night challenge: How to be honest with the audience, and still keep them tuned in, if the race between John McCain and Barack Obama is effectively decided before most Americans have finished dinner.
After two elections in which the suspense went far into the evening (and, in the case of 2000, for 36 days afterward), the executives said they are contemplating how to manage their newscasts in the event of an Obama blowout — in which the Democrat’s victory would be obvious while polls are still open in most of the country.
“Our policy is that we won’t call individual states until all of the voting in those states is finished,” said Jeffrey Schneider, ABC News senior vice president. “If enough of those states add up to 270 electoral votes, then the outcome is obvious.”
The quandary is highlighted by Virginia, a state that has not voted Democratic for president since 1964 but where Obama is now leading in polls. There is no realistic McCain electoral college strategy that does not depend on winning the Old Dominion.
If it is clear on Nov. 4 that Obama has won in Virginia by the time polls there close at 7 p.m. — it will still be daylight west of the Mississippi — the obvious conclusion will be that Obama is headed to the White House.
History may be repeating itself, because it might look like this from Nov. 4, 2005:
…except, you know, John McCain is white.