Watching the Election

The ever-changing electoral map of 2012 (courtesy of CNN News)

It is 9:10 p.m. on the east coast of the United States and the Presidential election is now in full swing. And like many Americans, I have been glued to my television screen since the first polls closed just over an hour ago.

You’d think I was watching NFL football from the way I keep flipping channels to check different scores, utilizing picture-in-picture to monitor coverage and worrying that my team might not win. And since the race is so close, it looks like the better part of my evening will be even more stressful.

I must admit that I find much of this stuff confusing. News sources report their “projections” for who won this state or who won that one, but they all seem to be completely different. On CBS, Romney leads with 88 electoral votes over Obama’s 78. At the same time, ABC shows Obama leading 78 to 76.

What the hell is that about?

To make matters worse, most of these projections are made with less than 5% of precincts reporting. I even saw one projection based on 0% of precincts reporting, which I knew was impossible until a commentator explained that these were likely early votes. Nevertheless, how can you call a state one way or another when 95% of the results haven’t even been reported? Could it be that these projections are as patently useless as all those wavering polls the last few months?

My guess is “yes,” but there is one benefit. If projections can be based on such little reporting, then there’s always the chance things could swing to the other side once all the votes are counted, right?

English: Fingers Crossed

I’ve got my fingers crossed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not necessarily.

These varied projections are supposedly based on exit polls conducted all over the nation, but nobody ever approached me. Sure, I had to push past some annoying campaigners trying to influence me at the last second on the way in, but they ignored me as I was leaving. And if I wasn’t asked to contribute to an exit poll, then I’m sure the same is true of other Americans.

So basically, the projections are crap. Call me when all the votes come in and maybe then we’ll talk. In the meantime, it’s back to the boob tube to check the latest scores.

And it is going to be a long night.

Posted on November 7, 2012, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I have the benefit of being on the west coast so it won’t be quite so late for me. I just posted a status on my Fb this evening saying that if it was up to us Canadians the democrats would sweep it. At the very least, I hope there is a clear winner tonight so we don’t have to put up with weeks of corrupt polling investigations and whatnot.

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