Campaign '04: On Election Night...: Will the Networks Get It Right?

Most of the time, media professionals wait for news to happen before reporting it. On election night, however, veteran journalists dispense with tradition and race to declare a winner before all the votes are counted, relying mainly on surveys of voters exiting the polls and partial tallies of ballots cast. The system worked pretty well until it blew up in 2000, when the networks called Florida for Al Gore, reversed themselves, and, well, you know the rest. So things will be different this time. Sure, the TV networks will be competing to declare America's next President. But restraint will prevail, the...

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