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    Fox News' Trip to the Election Data Room Was Really Awkward

    Written by

    Derek Mead


    “But you know how the science works!”

    That line right there from a Fox News host sealed what was one of the weirdest stretches of broadcast news I’ve ever seen, made all the stranger by the fact that it was prompted by Fox calling the win for Obama. The story goes something like this: With Ohio sure to seal the victory for Obama, results were basically tied in the Buckeye state with mostly Democratic-leaning precincts left to report. That was enough for Fox, who was quick to call states last night, to call Ohio — and a second term — for Obama. It makes sense: If the race is tied, and the rest of the people left to report clearly lean towards Obama, Obama was going to win.

    But Karl Rove wasn’t having any of it. He said it was too early to call because Romney and Obama were still tied at that point. That led Fox to have to defend its own call while live, which led to a rather awkward walk through a hallway to go talk to the nerds in the data closet. They, of course, defend their point cogently, and Rove was left to talk about how an intelligent projection was misleading viewers, despite the fact that the workings of said projection was clearly explained. It’s a rich and fitting end to a campaign season that, towards its end, was less about the candidates themselves and more about a battle between pundits and math. Guess who won.

    Screenshot via TPM

    Follow Derek Mead on Twitter: @derektmead.