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CNN math

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CNN, as most everybody knows, is standing firm on not calling Ohio for Bush this morning. But if you look at their elector count, they are calling two states that other organizations have yet to call.

CNN is basically alone in calling Wisconsin for Kerry and Nevada for Bush. Looking close at the numbers, it’s hard to understand the logic.

In Ohio, which CNN says is “too close to call”, Bush has a lead of 136,000 votes, with 100% of precincts reporting.

In Wisconsin, which CNN is basically alone in calling for Kerry, Kerry has a lead of 13,293 votes, with 99% of precincts reporting.

In Nevada, which CNN is also basically alone in calling for Bush, Bush has a lead of 20,505 votes, with 99% of precincts reporting.

All of the states in question have provisional ballots to count, Ohio is the only one with 100% of precincts reporting and the leading candidate in Ohio has a margin of 100,000 votes more than in Wisconsin or Nevada.

How is it that CNN – which says it’s not calling Ohio out of an abundance of caution – is willing to call these other two races before everybody else when they are closer than the race that Fox and NBC have already called?

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About Capn Ken

  • Ken Blackwell said it best – ‘We can’t predict what the outcome is going to be. But we can promise you an accurate count’. Someone on CNN said, this election must not be decided by the networks. Methinks he’s right – we’ll have to wait and see. Although psephologists and the mass media have been shown up for the smoke and mirrors act they put up

    My blog – http://selfaudit.blogspot.com

  • But the question remains:

    How is it that CNN, which is promising to be very conservative in calling races, ends up being the first to call two very close races that other networks are not calling, but is not ready to call a race that’s not as close, and that two other networks have called already?

    Seeing Soledad O’Brien in Columbus this morning, I’m thinking they’re trying to work up the ratings and create a Florida 2000 type situation.

  • I’m thinking they’re trying to work up the ratings and create a Florida 2000 type situation.

    So, this entry is really an effort to promote Right Wing paranoia?

    The lawsuits have already been filed in Ohio. And, 90 percent of its provisional ballots were ruled legitimate in 2000. Blackwell, a Republican, is being realistic.

  • Ah, Mac Diva … always good to hear a logical, calm voice.

    I’m not making any claims about the validity of calling Ohio, Wisconsin or Nevada. This post was about the media, not about partisan politics (I voted Libertarian, anyway).

    My point is this: Where is the logic of saying a race with 130,000 votes separating the candidates is “too close to call” (when Fox and NBC have “called” it) while at the same time “calling” two races separated by less than 20,000 votes (when the networks that “called” Ohio won’t “call” those states yet).

    At 11 a.m. Eastern the day after the election, the five major TV news operations (which we’re supposed to trust for election coverage) have four different vote counts:

    ABC, CBS: 254 – 242
    CNN: 254 – 252
    NBC: 269 – 238
    FOX: 269 – 242

    I think that’s amazing.

  • Cap’n Ken, always a compassionate voice, especially when he is picking on Natalie’s eight-year-old.

    I will more or less repeat myself. Blackwell is being sued. It is possible that the actual tally in Ohio will not be known for at least two weeks. It is also possible that he will lose those suits, even if Bush wins the election. Whatever Blackwell says and does now will be evidence. He is right to be cautious.

  • I never claimed to be compassionate. I’m not.

    And I appreciate you more or less repeating your point that has nothing to do with my post. Thanks!

    BTW: Kerry just gave up.

  • For the third time, Ohio is being sued over its use of partisan challengers. Whether Kerry concedes or not, the lawsuits still must be resolved. As the name defendant, Blackwell needs to establish he has no discriminatory intent. He is wise to make a point of appearing to be nonpartisan.

    Are people finding this hard to follow? It seems clear to me.

  • … and for the third time, whatever the hell point you’re trying to make about Ohio lawsuits has zero – nothing – not a thing – to do with this post.

    Blinded by your own agenda, I suppose.

  • It does. You are blaming ‘the media’ for Blackwell’s stance. The media is just reflecting Blackwell’s position.

    But, whatever. Continue beating the ‘liberal media,’ drum since it pleases you to do so.

  • Jesus Freaking Christ, Mac. You really are a moron, aren’t you?

    I’ll type slow so that maybe you can follow this …

    What I was commenting on is how it seems illogical for CNN, which had vowed to be very cautious about calling close races, to make calls on Wisconsin and Nevada (which were both closer races than Ohio) before anyone else, when at the same time they were not prepared to call Ohio even after other networks had.

    Never once did I mention Blackwell, the validity of the vote in Ohio or anything even coming close to the politics of the situation.

    This is a post about how CNN is reporting things, not about the vote in Ohio. Maybe you should go back and read what I wrote.

    I was questioning how CNN ends up saying Ohio is “too close to call” when it is calling races that others say are “too close to call”.

    Pretty damn simple. But not for you.

  • Jesus Freaking Christ, Mac. You really are a moron, aren’t you?
    Capn Ken:

    i guess this is what we can expect for the next four years. however, you can also expect when you call someone a moron…..it might be turned back on you……………

    jack e. jett

  • boomcrashbaby

    We watched CNN last night and it was sad to see Judy Woodruff and Wolf try to rationalize their decisions. I felt sorry for Wolf, I don’t know his personal ideology, but he looked like he was in shock last night. I just knew as I was watching it, that the Right and bloggers, etc. would be all over it (their ‘projecting winners’ rationale). Even I had a hard time buying it. I actually thought they were making it worse. The outcome seemed pretty clear and so they were giving people hopes that weren’t there. They’re still our fav news channel though, we like Aaron Brown’s laid-back attitude. I can’t imagine why, after a stressful day, people would want to see ranting and raving in their news.

  • The answer seems obvious. Being wrong on small states’ results is not a risk that really worries CNN (or any other network, as far as I can tell).

    They all desperately want to avoid being incorrect when they eventually declare the overall winner, so all the networks were being extremely cautious about that. However, they all took slightly less cautious approaches to calling the results for states that did not have very many electoral votes.

    Being wrong about Ohio was a much worse risk than being wrong about Nevada or Wisconsin. It doesn’t take any “liberal media” conspiracy theory to explain why CNN was taking a different, more cautious approach to predicting the Ohio results.

  • on the thing about the kid – I was riding its parents, not the kid. Anyone who teaches a kid to think in the “What would Jesus do?” mindset is worthy of ridicule in my mind.

    Finally, please, please, please show me where I blamed anything here on “liberal media”. In fact, I laid no blame at all. I simply asked a question as someone watching the election results. Five major networks end up projecting four different electoral vote totals. And CNN projected races that were closer then the one they called “too close to call”. It’s a question about the process.

    You are just amazingly stupid. To recap:

    2) You accuse me of making two charges (the one about Ohio lawsuits and the one about “liberal media”) that I simply did not make. It’s not hard to read back through this thread and see that.

    3) You don’t understand the difference between mocking a parent and mocking their child.

    4) You call me “stupid” when you don’t even realize you’re thinking of someone else.

    Maybe some of this is just sloppiness on your part. Let’s see you admit the mistakes.