The last presidential contest I really didn’t pay that much attention to was back in 1980, but I do remember this: I was in high school, and I had the TV on but the sound down when Jimmy Carter came out at around 6:15 PST to announce he was conceding the election. It was pretty early in the evening, but it was obvious Carter wasn’t going to catch up to Ronald Reagan that night.
Although Carter wanted to get the misery over with, his early concession speech angered people in California on the West Coast, where there were still hours before the polls closed. Every election since then (except for those that went into overtime), have not been declared by the networks and the Associated Press until 11 p.m. Eastern, when all the polls are closed.
That is supposed to change tonight.
As reported by POLITICO on Monday, “Slate and Vice News have partnered with Votecastr, a company helmed by Obama and Bush campaign veterans, to provide real-time projections of how the candidates are faring in each state throughout the day. They expect to begin posting projections at 8 a.m. Eastern time on Election Day — a dramatic departure from current practice, where representatives from a consortium of news organizations (The Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News) huddle in a quarantine room without cell phones, poring over the earliest exit poll data but declining to release anything that points to an election result until all the polls have closed.”
POLITICO also will be working with Morning Consult to conduct a survey of voters after they have cast ballots. Voters will complete the interviews over the internet, beginning one hour after the polls open in their state. Respondents will be asked whether they have voted, and how they voted: either using early voting, by mail or on Election Day in person. POLITICO and Morning Consult will report on some of the results during the day.
I don’t know what any of this means, but let’s face it: in recent elections, people sit around most of the day on Election Day, with nothing to do with polls being meaningless (“the only poll that matters is on Election Day”) but no returns to review until the early evening.
There is some of that infamous exit poll research the networks will start reporting on after 5 p.m. but we all learned after 2004 not to take them too seriously, right, President Kerry?
Personally, I’ll be interested in some House races in Hillsborough County which could go either way — in House Districts 59, 60, and 63.
Have a great day.
In other news …
HART CFO Jeff Seward is going to the International Climate Change Conference in the U.K. next spring, the first representative from a North American transit agency to be invited to the annual event.
On the eve of a Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission meeting on a temporary agreement with Uber and Lyft, a limousine company based in Tampa says they want to become a ridesharing company as well, and is going to court to challenge the agency.
Marco Rubio made a last-day campaign appearance in Brandon yesterday, where he said he thinks the increase in Latino voters in the early vote bodes well for his chances tonight.
Eric Seidel is thinking he can peel off some wayward Democrats in his bid to defeat Pat Frank in the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Courts race tonight.
In a Vice News interview last night, Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the Bernie Sanders campaign made her into a “bogeyman” for her role at the DNC.