Changing a tradition that’s been in place since the 1980 election, the networks don’t intend to hold back from “calling” the election when they think they have a winner.
“There’s no way to get around it,” CBS News senior veep Paul Friedman tells The Hollywood Reporter. “If one man gets 270 electoral votes before the West Coast polls are closed, we’re not going to pretend (he doesn’t.)”
This includes the dicey art of ‘projecting’ state winners based on exit polls, a practice that gave Al Gore Florida in 2000…when, in fact, it had been “won” by George Bush.
Activists in California are concerned that if the race is over before people vote on the way home from work, they may skip it.
“That could seriously impact votes for Proposition 8,” said one get-out-the-vote organizer in Los Angeles. That’s the referendum on whether gay marriage should be constitutionally banned in the state.