Will Somebody Please Call the Election? - SolidRumor.com

Will Somebody Please Call the Election?

 Will Somebody Please Call the Election?

At some point today, or tomorrow, or next week, outlets of varying prestige will call the presidential election for Joe Biden. The Decision Desk, Vox’s election-calling partner, already has, as has (checks notes) Pop Crave. But most of the major shot-callers like CNN, MSNBC and the networks, who share the same data, have Joe Biden holding steady at 253 Electoral Votes, with the exception of the Associated Press and Fox News, who have him at 264, because they partnered on a new model aptly named the Fox News Voter Analysis, as do NPR and USA Today, who follow the AP. Foreign news outlets can’t agree either: Al-Jazeera and RT both have Biden at 264, whilst the BBC grants him 253.

For true stats junkies, the election was basically over when Fox News called Arizona at 11:20pm on Tuesday night—at that moment, you could look at the vote projections on 538 or the Times, and feel confident that Biden would get there. You could also follow a continuous stream of political experts and amateurs on Twitter explaining how various counties in key swing states were trending and what the percentage breakdowns of remaining votes were likely to be and on and on. If that wasn’t good enough for you, by the following morning there was enough information about vote counts in Georgia and Philadelphia to believe that the only question was how tight Biden’s win would be.

And yet still we wait for one of the big guys to muster the courage to make the call. When it comes, the dual currents of exaltation and fury will ripple through the nation and begin an entirely new set of dilemmas, but until then, we hang on the razor’s edge of every new batch of results like we’re bingeing that new show on Netflix. The burgeoning online horniess for Steve Kornacki, the exhausted man who is doing his job, is getting out of hand. For his sake, let’s wrap this thing up!

Determining the outcome of an election isn’t meant to be a tedious version of Rashomon: It should be one of those increasingly rare moments when everyone in the country experiences the same thing roughly simultaneously. But in the age of sophisticated state-by-state forecasts, early and mail-in votes, different counting timetables, lawsuits, and a President who will likely have to be dragged out of the White House, it’s become just another endlessly fragmented, endlessly disputed event.

The Fox Arizona call, of course, came with a strong whiff of irony: With it, Trump’s supposedly litter-box trained reporters completely reshaped the narrative of the election, and a major right-wing food fight ensued. To ameliorate the President’s rage, Fox News has apparently instructed its on-air talent to not refer to Joe Biden as “President-Elect” once he hits the 270 Electoral Vote threshold, which is very big of them. Meanwhile MSNBC, the Cable News Network that most obviously loathes Trump, has said they won’t call Pennsylvania until Biden is ahead by at least thirty-five thousand votes. The “failing New York Times” has presented a cautious front throughout this whole ordeal. CNN also refuses to touch Arizona until the last ballot is recorded, or at least that appears to be their principled position. We might be a few hours away from CBS deciding to watch the world burn just by calling it for Jo Jorgensen.

While we wait, all three 24-Hour Cable News Channels are biding their time by strafing the airwaves with almost continuous footage of John King, Steve Kornacki, and Bill Hemmer furiously tapping on touchscreen counties. Our eyes are still bleeding and what we want is someone to separate from the pack and call it.  We’re a society that craves instant gratification, and you could very easily call this entire process the opposite of instant and gratification.

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