The first polls in the country to close do so in exactly two days’ time, so it’s time for the biennial reminder of how we’ll be projecting races on Election Night.
The Goobergunch Political Report (“GPR”) will project a winner in a race when there is clear and convincing evidence that a particular ballot option will be victorious when all the votes are counted. Any and all factors known to GPR may be taken into consideration in making a projection, including but not limited to preliminary returns, prior polling and prognostication, exit polling, and projections made by other organizations.
GPR will not project a winner in a race before the time at which all polls in the region casting votes for that race are scheduled to have closed. GPR reserves the right to determine policy on a race–by–race basis if polls are ordered to remain open past the originally scheduled closing time in a given jurisdiction. Before all polls in the region casting votes for a given race are scheduled to close, the race shall be characterized as “Still Voting” and be colored silver on projection charts. As many television networks refuse to project a winner in a race before all polls in that state are closed, GPR may project winners in Congressional races before television networks do.
When all polls in the region casting votes for that race are closed, if there is no clear and convincing evidence to project a winner, the race shall be characterized as “Too Close To Call” and be colored white on projection charts. GPR does not characterize races as “Too Early To Call”.
Races in which a Democrat is projected to win may be characterized as “DEM Hold” or “DEM Gain” and shall be colored blue on projection charts. Races in which a Republican is projected to win may be characterized as “GOP Hold” or “GOP Gain” and shall be colored red on projection charts. Races in which an independent candidate is projected to win may be characterized as “IND Hold” or “IND Gain” and shall be colored yellow on projection charts. Official characterizations and projection colors for seats projected to be won by other parties may be determined on Election Night.
If it becomes apparent that an additional step (e.g. a runoff election) will be required prior to a final determination of the winner in a given race, the race shall be characterized appropriately (e.g. “Runoff Between Smith (R) and Jones (D)”) and colored black on projection charts. However, if the additional step guarantees victory for a certain party, the characterizations and colors described in the previous paragraph may be made instead. Recounts, legal contests, and other challenges to the validity of the results in a given race are not considered additional steps; such races should generally be characterized as “Too Close To Call”.
For all 2010 Congressional races, the first indication of a projection will appear on the appropriate projection chart for so long as those charts remain visible on the front page of the GPR website. For other 2010 races, a projection may be announced through any and all GPR communications mechanisms.