Magazine article Editor & Publisher

How Does AP Call an Election? Answer to This and More as It Rolls out Election Night Plans

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

How Does AP Call an Election? Answer to This and More as It Rolls out Election Night Plans

Article excerpt

Still considered by many as the most authoritative source for declaring winners on Election Night, Tthe Associated Press relies on its state bureau chiefs for much of the insight.

Offering voters and journalists an inside look at how it prepares for what may be the most watched Election Night in decades, AP stressed that it is up to the bureau chiefs to use their knowledge of local areas and background to decide when a race is to be called.

"The Associated Press calls races at scheduled poll closings when our political experts and analysts are satisfied a candidate has a significant winning margin," the news organization declared in a release Monday. "They weigh a number of factors, including voter turnout, previous voting patterns, Election Day exit polling, telephone polls of absentee or early voters, and the experience of AP journalists who have covered the campaigns. When our analysis indicates a candidate has that significant winning margin, we will call the race at the scheduled poll close hour even if voting has been extended briefly in selected precincts. As always, we do not call races until we are confident of that winning margin, whether at poll close or many hours or days later. …

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