BC Beat

B&C's Election 2012 Live Blog

11/06/2012 05:45:26 PM

Check out B&C’s Election 2012 Live Blog of election TV coverage below and keep refreshing for constant updates. All times ET. For later posts, click here.

(8:18) CNN: PROJECTS MORE SENATE SEATS

CNN projects independent Angus King wins the Maine Senate seat, Dem Bill Nelson in Florida, Dem Tom Carper in Delaware, Dem Ben Cardin in Maryland. Looking good for Dems to hold the Senate. GOP would need a net four for GOP, and it is not looking good for them.

(8:16) CNN: ROMNEY HAS TOUGHER PATH TO NOMINATION

John King goes to Magic Wall to show how voting in Florida is going, making the point that the President has an easier path and Romney can’t afford to lose some key counties. John King says if Romney wins Richmond, in Virginia, he will carry the state, but returns showing him ahead are very early.

(8:15) CBS: BILL NELSON TAKES FLORIDA SENATE

CBS just made its second Senate projection of the night, giving Democratic candidate Bill Nelson the win, which may a precursor to which party the key battleground state will lean.

(8:13) CNN CALLS GEORGIA FOR ROMNEY

CNN calls Georgia for Romney and now has the electoral count as Obama 64, Romney 56.

(8:11) FOX: TALKING DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM CAN GET YOU IN TROUBLE

Fox anchor Shepard Smith, starting a remote with Romney campaign senior advisor Ed Gillespie from Romney campaign HQ in Boston, is interrupted by the sound of a woman singing The Star Spangled Banner to kick off the evening’s festivities for the Romney crowd. “What’s that?” Smith asks on-camera. He also introduces Gillespie as a “Democrat” before cutting off the interview. Smith apologizes, cuts away and goes back to Gillespie once the anthem is over.

(8:11) CNN: PROVISIONAL BALLOTS COULD BE KEY IN OHIO

Erin Burnett in Ohio points out that there are a couple of hundred thousand provisional ballots there that won’t be counted until 10 days after the election. If the state is won by fewer than that number, then the Ohio winner may not be known until Nov. 17, a point CNN has been making repeatedly.

(8:11) ABC: ROMNEY AHEAD BY A HAIR IN FLA

With half the votes counted in Florida, Romney stands at 51% and Obama at 49%.

Cecilia Vega at University of South Florida reporting. Camera shows seniors in the pool as Cecilia discussed senior vote and divisive nature of Sunshine State.

(8:10) MSNBC: CHUCK TODD GETS LOST IN ELECTORAL MAP

When Rachel Maddow threw to Chuck Todd to talk about demographics in Florida, she briefly lost him behind his giant electronic map.

“Chuck, do we have Chuck?” Maddow asked as the camera was stuck on the map. “Chuck has been replaced by an animated map!”

The camera finally panned out and found Todd, who is doing hits for both MSNBC and NBC News tonight.

(8:10) CBS: CALLS MAINE SENATE RACE FOR ANGUS KING

CBS made its first Senate projection for the evening, giving Independent candidate Angus King the win in Maine. Pelley said no word on which party King will align himself with.

(8:07) CNN: RUNS FOOTAGE OF ROMNEY ON CAMPAIGN PLANE

CNN runs footage of Romney on the campaign plane saying that his team has been very solid and didn’t have the infighting of other campaigns. “We left nothing in the locker room.”

(8:06) NBC: CHUCK TODD ‘GEEKS OUT’

Political junkie Chuck Todd (see Andrea Morabito’s recent profile here), gets into the intricacies of some of the states’ voting. He explains that he is not calling Maine because “we only called 3 of the 4 electoral votes.” It’s because one of the issues Todd says we should watch for tonight, which is that Maine and Nebraska are two states that award electoral votes by Congressional districts. So “we have not projected that fourth one.”

Turning to Florida, his hometown state, he notes he’s perhaps geeking out as he explains there’s raw data available right as polls close at 8 due to early vote/absentee votes in Florida. At the moment with that early data Obama leads by a 50K vote margin. But he is not calling the state.

(8:05) FOX NEWS: BILL O’REILLY SAYS SANDY RAINED ON ROMNEY’S PARADE

Bill O’Reilly, making his first appearance on the channel’s election coverage, is always one for the soundbites. When prodded for his thoughts on the current exit polls, O’Reilly declared that if Obama wins the presidency tonight, Hurricane Sandy - and the subsequent media coverage of Obama with Chris Christie (and Romney’s lack of media coverage in those five days) - will be one of the reasons.

Romney’s campaign, O’Reilly said, took zero chances. “They didn’t go on talk radio. They didn’t go on national programs outside of football interviews, which mean nothing,” he said. They were right, he continued, if it weren’t for Hurricane Sandy.

(8:04) CBS: FLORIDA GETS FIRST MENTION

Four minutes into its second hour of coverage, Pelley made the first mention of key battleground state Florida, which has been known to play a big role in past elections.

(8:03) MSNBC: SEVEN STATES CALLED FOR OBAMA

As polls have closed at 8 p.m. ET, NBC News has more projected winners:

Obama: Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland
Romney: Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, Mississippi

Too early to call: New Hampshire, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey

For those hoping for an early end to this night: Rachel Maddow notes NBC News may not call New Jersey until Friday due to extenuating voting circumstances in the storm-ravaged state.

Maddow also noted that there are no surprises on the election returns so far: “In terms of what we didn’t know heading into tonight, we still don’t know that.”

(8:03) CBS: OBAMA TO WIN ILLINOIS, MASSACHUSETTS, MARYLAND, MAINE, RHODE ISLAND, DELAWARE, D.C.

CBS has projected Obama to win six more states: Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware and also Washington, D.C. The network’s Electoral College projections so far have Romney still leading 82-64.

(8:01) ABC: OBAMA TAKES ELECTORAL LEAD

Obama jumps ahead with ABC-projected wins in Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware and Washington DC, with Romney claiming Oklahoma, projects ABC.

New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Florida too early to call.

Top of the hour “Your Voice Your Vote” open.

(8:00) CNN: NEXT WAVE OF PROJECTIONS AS MORE POLLS CLOSE

CNN projects that Obama gets Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine (3 of 4 electoral votes), Rhode Island. Romney gets Oklahoma. Electoral count total is now Obama 64, Romney 40. None of those were swing states or surprises.

(8:00) PBS: OPB FINALLY STARTS ELECTION COVERAGE

Oregon Public Broadcasting started airing PBS NewsHour’s live TV election coverage at 5 PT, 8 ET, an hour after the Portland, Oregon ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates began airing national network coverage.

(7:58) FOX NEWS: CAMERAMEN TAKE CENTER STAGE (BY ACCIDENT)

Whoops - a couple cameramen walked directly in front of Brit Hume (and the cameras) as he discussed the differences between male and female voters, but they quickly ducked out of sight when Hume — and surely a few others — gave them a little glare

(7:56) ABC: OBAMA…ROMNEY…SANTA?

Pretty effective tease from Diane Sawyer as ABC News cuts to commercial: “172 electoral votes coming in” as polls close at 8 ET around the country.

Win 4 lottery balls popping in the commercial pod; lacks tension of election.

Santa pops up in Lincoln auto commercial. My wife bemoans seasonal creep.

(7:56) CNN: BALLOTCAM

CNN has a “ballotcam” graphic with flashing red lights for when it throws to correspondent at polling place.

(7:55) MSNBC: ROMNEY WINS GEORGIA

Georgia, which had previously been labeled “too early to call,” has been called for Mitt Romney by NBC News.

(7:52) CBS: OHIO, VIRGINIA DOMINATING EARLY COVERAGE

To no surprise, Ohio and Virginia have taken up much of CBS’ first hour of Election coverage. Both are key battleground states that the network says are still too close to call.

(7:50) FOX: OBAMA TEAM KEEPING VOTERS IN LINE IN VIRGINIA

Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh says on Fox network that the Obama campaign has texted campaign workers in Virginia to encourage voters who are still waiting in lines to vote and stick it out because their votes count in the key up-for-grabs state. Polls in Virginia closed at 7 p.m. ET, but voters who got in line before then can still vote.

(7:49) CBS: VIRGINIA GOV. PREDICTS ROMNEY WILL WIN STATE

Scott Pelley threw to the first non-CBS employee of the night, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, who said he predicts that Mitt Romney will win the key battleground state. Obama won this state in 2008.

(7:48) MSNBC: FIRST SHOT OF ELECTION ICE RINK MAP

Democracy Plaza, home to NBC News’ and MSNBC’s election night coverage, has filled in the first states on its U.S. map superimposed on the iconic Rockefeller Center ice rink.

South Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky had been colored red, while Vermont has gone blue. NBC News has red and blue colored cutouts for all 50 states (yes, even the solidly red or blue ones) and will place and ice them over as each state is called.

(7:46) CNN: Makes First Senate Calls

CNN projects that Democrat Joe Manchin will win re-election to Senate from West Virginia, while Bernie Sanders will return as Vermont’s independent Senator.

(7:43) CNN: JOHN KING SAYS EARLY OHIO VOTES FOR ROMNEY ARE TO BE EXPECTED

John King reports that early votes in Ohio show Romney leading, but King points out it is early and from rural portions where Romney is stronger.

(7:42) CNN: JOHN ZARRELLA, PLEASE REPORT TO THE ANCHOR DESK

CNN is having some trouble throwing to John Zarrella, who is in the key battleground state of Florida.

(7:43) CBS: SCHEIFFER WONDERS WHY ROMNEY MADE STOP IN CLEVELAND

Bob Schieffer, with a smirk on a face, said he didn’t understand at all why Mitt Romney made one of his last campaign stops in Cleveland, noting that it’s one of the most heavily Democratic counties in the U.S.

“Maybe he was just trying to tie up traffic or something to keep Democrats from going out to vote”

(7:41) CNN: CALLS SC FOR ROMNEY THOUGH RAW VOTE HAS HIM WITH 24% OF VOTE TO 75% FOR OBAMA

CNN has placed South Carolina in the Romney camp with 1% of vote in, even though Obama is shown ahead 75% to 24%. Wolf notes that while saying they can still call it for Romney.

(7:37) NBC: GOOD BOOKING BOOKER

Brian Williams has Newark Mayor Cory Booker on talking about the effect of weather on the election. “We took this very seriously.”

This is a good early evening guest to book, before the avalanche of results come in. It becomes great when Booker starts to respond to Williams’ questions about the compliments exchanged among New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie, Democrat President Barack Obama and Democrat Mayor Booker about their responses to Hurricane Sandy.

“We all need each other in this thing, and yet he (Christie) was taking heat for saying complimentary things about the leadership the President has shown, you’ve complimented the leadership the governor has shown,” Williams says. “You’re all gonna get in trouble.”

Says Booker: “I could write a dissertation on our (his and Christie’s) disagreements, but we were elected not to play politics, we were elected to solve problems. … The two of these men (Christie and Obama) did the right thing. They put aside partisanship and both got in the same trench. And you know this, cause you were a firefighter. When there’s a crisis, when the building’s burning you don’t ask that firefighter if they’re a Democrat or a Republican. You don’t them what kind of God they pray to. You just are in the same trench. You’re fighting the same battle.”

“So that’s something that really inspires me about our country,” Booker continues. “And I have to say tonight I’m hoping the partisanship stops because we’ve got a fiscal cliff coming, we’ve got a debt ceiling, hopefully not a crisis but a debate coming up, we’ve got an economy that’s still in recovery. We’ve got a lot of work to do after tonight and I’m hoping this kind of coming together… I hope that’s going to continue going forward out of this crisis.”

(7:35) FOX NEWS: ‘GOODE’ NEWS AND BAD NEWS

“Are you ready to call Virginia yet?” Chris Wallace asked his panelists members, to which Karl Rove replied with a correction on the pronunciation of Virgil Goode’s last name (hint: it’s not “good”).

“I’ll keep that in mind if I ever mention his name during the night,” Wallace replied.

And with all of the gadgets at Fox News’ disposal, Rove opted to whip out an iPad to point out counties in Virginia, and the camera had noticeable difficulty zooming in on the screen - they tried numerous angles, ultimately focusing on Wallace instead.

(7:35) MSNBC: SOUTH CAROLINA GOES FOR ROMNEY

Just after putting West Virginia in Romney’s column, Rachel Maddow said NBC News has called South Carolina for the Republican as well.

Electoral College: Romney, 33; Obama, 3.

(7:32) ABC: ROMNEY TAKES WEST VIRGINIA

ABC ready to project West Virginia for Obama, no surprise there. North Carolina’s polls are closed.

“Ohio! Ohio! Ohio!” says Sawyer. “We want to see what Ohio has said today, but we don’t have enough information.”

Ron Brownstein from National Journal talking about Ohio, Matthew Dowd calls it “microcosm for country as a whole.”

(7:30) MSNBC: W. VIRGINIA CALLED FOR ROMNEY

As more polls closed at 7:30, Rachel Maddow said NBC News had called West Virginia for Mitt Romney. Both Ohio and North Carolina are too close to call.

For those keeping score at home, that gives Romney 24 Electoral College votes to Obama’s three.

(7:30) CNN: PROJECTS WEST VIRGINA GOES TO ROMNEY

CNN projects West Virginia and its 5 electoral votes go to Mitt Romney, but can’t call North Carolina or Ohio, even though polls have closed there. But exit polls show North Carolina a dead heat, while Ohio is 51% for Obama, 48% for Romney.

(7:29) NBC: WEIRD TRANSITION

After a five minute segment following a commercial break, Craig Melvin tosses to another short break, but rather than going to a break, theme music plays over a live outdoor shot, goes dark for a moment and then over a new live outdoor shot the announcer says “Decision 2012: Election Night continues. Here’s Brian Williams.”

Brian Williams returns at 7:30 anchoring “from Democracy Plaza,” as the anchor mentions one of quite a few times this evening already.

(7:29) CBS: PELLEY SAYS ROMNEY NEEDS TO WIN OHIO

Scott Pelley just said that polls are about to close in Ohio, and stressed the importance of winning that key battleground state.
“Hard to see how Romney can win the Presidency if he doesn’t have Ohio in the win column”

(7:27) ABC: VIRGINIA A TOSS-UP, AND A WABC LOCAL UPDATE
Amy Robach, wearing purple in Virginia to acknowledge toss-up nature of the state. She breaks down the layout of the state, from coal country to military to DC exurbs, and says it’s a must-win for Romney, and a luxury for Obama.

Another commercial break, and then Bill and Sade from WABC offer local updates, including one on Linda McMahon and her huge spending in Connecticut race.

(7:26) ON FOX, A LITTLE HARD GETTING TO THE HARD-OUT

Chris Wallace, leading a three-way chat about Virginia with Joe Trippi and an iPad-wielding Karl Rove, cuts off the chatter in mid-sentence with an awkward toss-back to anchor Shepard Smith. Taken aback, Smith offers Wallace a blank stare. “I was told you had a hard-out” to a commercial break, Wallace says to Smith in his own defense. Seems this team is still warming up in the bullpen.

(7:26) MSNBC: MADDOW’S GOP SOURCES

With the polls set to close in Ohio in less than 35 minutes, talk turned to the hotly contested state and Maddow relayed some insight from an unlikely source.

“I don’t have the best Republican sources in the world but I do have some,” the liberal host said. “And they’re telling me this is not just noise,” that Ohio will be a tipping point to who wins the election.

(7:24 ) NBC: CRAIG MELVIN ANCHORS OUT OF BREAK

Kinda surprised to see MSNBC anchor and NBC News correspondent Craig Melvin anchoring NBC coverage out of a commercial break less than a half hour into the election coverage. Not Brian Williams.

Perhaps the anchor is pacing himself. Everyone deserves a pit stop.

Melvin makes some calls:

Georgia too early to call
South Carolina too early to call
Kentucky - “Gov. Romney’s first pickup for the night. Projected to win Kentucky and Indiana.”
Vermont - Pres Obama projected to win

(7:23) CNN: PROJECTS INDIANA IN ROMNEY CAMP

CNN projects that Indiana goes to Romney, with the electoral vote tally now 19 for Romney, 3 for Obama.

(7:20) CNN: SARTORIAL NEUTRALITY

I note that some of the CNN anchors and correspondents have taken pains to wear neutral colors-no red or blue. Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, for example, in grey tones. But Republican commentator Margaret Hoover ’s dress is as in-your-face, almost electric red as any Romney state.

(7:18) CBS: CRAWFORD SAYS ROMNEY HAS NOT WRITTEN CONCESSION SPEECH

Jan Crawford, reporting from Mitt Romney’s campaign headquarters in Boston, said the Romney campaign is so confident they told her the former Massachusetts governor has not even written a concession speech.

(7:17) ABC: PRESIDENT HAS WIN SPEECH, LOSS SPEECH

The president has penned both a win speech and a concession speech, reports Jake Tapper, after being prompted by Diane Sawyer, while Romney has but one. “You can’t be too careful,” says Tapper, paraphrasing Obama. ”

First commercial break at 7:21 for Common Sense Media.

(7:15) CBS: CORDES CHECKS IN FROM OBAMA HEADQUARTERS

Nancy Cordes, reporting from Obama headquarters in Chicago, said the President’s campaign told her that they expect to win battleground states Iowa, Wisconsin and Nevada.

(7:12) NBC: MACHINE MALFUNCTION DRINKING GAME?

Lester Holt with the second reference of the night to the Pennsylvania voter who had a video of himself trying to vote Obama and watching it check Romney. “Keep in mind 25% of Americans will be voting electronically.”

This incident is representative of the new age of voting - and socially networking - electronically. Understandably interesting. Will likewise be interesting to see how often it gets mentioned tonight.

Dare ya to drink each time.

(7:12) CBS: REYNOLDS — PROVISIONAL VOTING WAS ‘VERY HEAVY’

Dean Reynolds, reporting from battleground state Ohio, said that election officials told him that provisional voting was ‘very heavy’ on Tuesday. Said those ballots won’t be counted until Nov. 17.

“Ohio could very well be the state that tips the balance for one candidate or the other,” said Pelley.

(7:11) COURIC TALKS UP SOCIAL MEDIA

Katie Couric is announced on ABC, on the social media beat, and calls the 2012 race “the first truly digital election,” with 70 million people on Twitter.
Obama has 52% of the early voters’ vote, reports ABC, with Romney at 45%. Obama had a much larger early voter lead four years ago.

Josh Elliott is in Times Square, bundled up.

(7:10) CNN: REPORTS FIRST FLORIDA RAW VOTE TOTALS

CNN reports that with 4% of the returns in in Florida, Obama has 55%, Romney with 45%. That is CNN’s first reported raw-vote from one of the big swing states.

(7:07) CBS: O’DONNELL COMMENTS ON LARGE AMOUNT OF EARLY VOTERS

Norah O’Donnell, in her first appearance of the night, commented on the large amount of early voters. A CBS graphic pointed out the percentage of early voters in the following battleground states: Colorado - 77%. Nevada - 72%, North Carolina - 63%, Florida - 53%, Iowa - 44%, Ohio - 31%

“We could have most of the results already”

(7:05) CNN: CANDY CROWLEY SAYS THERE HAS BEEN SOME ‘BLOWBACK’ ON OHIO POLL REPORT

Candy Crowley says the network was getting some blowback over Peter Hamby’s report that Internal Romney polls as of Sunday showed he was behind Obama by 5 percentage points in Ohio.

(7:05) ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION: THE STREAMING RACE TAKES OFF

The three big-English language broadcast networks as well as Telemundo and Univision just started streaming their live TV election coverage to the web and depending on the network, to a variety of other platforms as well, producing more live streaming than any presidential election in history.

PBS NewsHour started streaming its coverage an hour earlier at 6 ET.

On cable, you need to have downloaded a TV Everywhere app and need to authenticate your subscription to get access to the live channel feeds from CNN and Fox News. Not all operators have cut deals that allow their subscribers to access live channel feeds on the CNN and Fox News apps; Charter gives access to CNN but not Fox News, for example. MSNBC does not have a TV Everywhere app. Both CNN and Fox News are streaming additional coverage online and to their apps.

(7:02) ABC WITH THREE PROJECTIONS TO MAKE

Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos officially sign on at ABC and offer three projections: Indiana, with 4% of voting in, to Romney, Kentucky, with 4% in, to Romney, and Vermont to Obama.

It is way too early to call Virginia, however. “This is a big one, George,” says Diane. “We do not have enough information.”

Scoreboard has it 19 Romney, Obama 3.

(7:01) NBC: Pull Up A Chair

“Pull up a chair,” Brian Williams says as he opens the network’s coverage with projected Presidential winners in states where polls have closed. “We have the first closings to report.”

He calls Commonwealth of Virginia too close to call.

He calls Indiana a projected win for Romney. “And note that’s a net pickup. President Obama won last time.”

Kentucky, he declares Mitt Romney projected winner.

South Carolina too early to call.

“Vermont in New England projecting Barack Obama will repeat there.”

Georgia too early to call.

(7:01): MSNBC: NBC NEWS CALLS FIRST STATES

As we passed the witching hour of 7 p.m. ET when the first polls closed on the East Coast, Rachel Maddow relayed which states NBC News could call at this hour:

Virginia: Too close to call
Indiana: Romney
Kentucky: Romney
Vermont: Obama
Georgia: Too early to call
South Carolina: Too early to call

Maddow cautioned that the “too early to call” designation “does not necessarily mean it is too close to call, just that we don’t have enough information at this time.”

As far as the Electoral College goes, those projections have Obama with three EC votes and Romney with 19.

(7:00) CNN MAKES FIRST PROJECTIONS: VERMONT TO OBAMA, KENTUCKY TO ROMNEY

CNN projects Obama will take Vermont (3 electoral votes), and Romney Kentucky (8 electoral votes), both noncompetitive races. CNN not ready to project in Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina or battleground state of Virginia, but exit polls show Romney up in Indiana (55% to 43%) and Virginia to be a dead heat (49% to 49%).

(7:00) CBS: First State Projections In

Scott Pelley opens CBS’ Election Night coverage by projecting that Mitt Romney will win Indiana and Kentucky, while Barack Obama is projected to win Vermont

(6:53) FOX NEWS: JENNA LEE TRACKS TWITTER

Megyn Kelly introduces Fox News’ resident Twitter analyst, Jenna Lee, who says Twitter is “peeking into the national conversation in real time.” With a special partnership with Twitter, Fox News is breaking down the conversations - only don’t tweet @JennaLee, Lee says, because “that’s some girl in Paris, and she’s getting really annoyed.”

If you want to join Lee in the conversation, her handle is @JennaFNC.

(6:47) MSNBC: FIRST CHECK ON SENATE RACES

Rachel Maddow threw to Alex Wagner for the first check on some of the key Senate races across the country; when Wagner got to a closely contested race on Montana where political ads have been blanketing local TV she said, “I am not sure there are any TV sets in the state on Montana that have not been thrown out.”

Side note: It’s been a long day for Wagner already, who co-hosted the 9 a.m. hour of Today. No costume change though; she was sporting the same purple dress as this morning

(6:46) CNN: GERGEN SAYS AUTO BAILOUT MAY WIND UP DETERMINING ELECTION

David Gergen says that the Romney Jeep ad may have backfired and Ohio bailout could prove Obama’s margin of victory.

(6:45) NBC: Election Coverage Before the Election Coverage

NBC’s election coverage doesn’t officially start until 7, but Election Day is of course one of the biggest stories of the day; it has been dominating NBC Nightly News.

Among the Election Day bits, anchor Brian Williams, who will anchor the network’s coverage for the night, highlights a story from justice correspondent Pete Williams about a voter who videotaped himself trying to vote for Obama but watched as his machine malfunctioned and continued to check Romney. The anchor Williams says the story went viral and kudos to NBC News, they promptly rolled the video.

“Eventually he figured out how to touch the screen in such a way that allowed him to choose the candidate of his choice,” Williams reported. Williams says the voter reported the malfunction and “we’re told the machine has been recalibrated and returned to service.”

(6:42) CNN: PETER HAMBY REPORTS THAT ROMNEY INTERNAL POLLS HAVE OBAMA UP 5% IN OHIO

Peter Hamby reports that he has gotten access to the Romney campaign’s last internal poll on Ohio and that shows as of Sunday Romney was trailing Obama by about 5% in Ohio.

(6:40) FOX NEWS CHANNEL IS LYING TO YOU AND THEY ADMIT IT

In a time-killing segment that worked, FNC’s Bret Baier just took viewers on a (pretty entertaining) guided tour of the entire Fox News Channel compound, from the studios to the control room to where the website gets updated.

But when Baier took the cameras onto the set of Studio B with Shepard Smith, he made the gigantic acknowledgment that tonight the show was actually coming from Studio H - NOT STUDIO B!

How dare you, Fox News. How dare you.

(Yes, much like the cable newsers, we are looking for things to fill time until things get interesting)

(6:35) FOX NEWS: COMING OUT WITH THE TOUCHSCREEN

Bill Hemmer uses the touchscreen billboard - providing real-time data updates throughout the night — for the first time tonight, joking that Megyn Kelly “gave Brett [Baier] permission to use the board for one night only.”

(6:35) MSNBC: ON ELECTION NIGHT, CAMPAIGNS ARE PASSIVE TV WATCHERS

As Steve Schmidt recalled what it feels like for campaigns on Election Night, Lawrence O’Donnell asked “How much of it is just watching TV?”

“A lot of it is watching TV,” he replied. He noted the passive watching can be hard for campaigns who have spent a year trying to influence the news cycle. “Now there’s nothing you can do about it.”
(6:32) CNN: COOPER SAYS ‘LONG NIGHT’ WILL BE MOST-USED PHRASE

Anderson Cooper suggests that “this is going to be a long night” will be the most overused phrase of what will probably, indeed, be a long night.

(6:26) PBS NEWSHOUR: EXIT POLLS COMPLICATED BY EARLY VOTING

PBS takes a look at the nuts and bolts of exit polls that will be used all night, noting that exit polling has been complicated by the fact that about 30% of voters are now voting early. To address that, Edison Research, which the news organizations have hired to conduct the polls, is doing extensive telephone polling.

Given the past problems with exit polls, Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg political report notes that “those of us who are in this business have to treat these very tentatively.”

(6:22) CNN’S FIRST USE OF ITS ‘VIRTUAL SENATE’

CNN’s Tom Foreman uses the “virtual Senate” virtual set to demonstrate what could happen in the Senate depending on who wins. The set includes what appears to be a virtual spittoon under one of the chairs.

(6:20) FNC: BRIT HUME REIGNS IN THE EXPECTATIONS…FOR THE EARLY COVERAGE

Nice job out of Fox News Channel’s Brit Hume when anchor Megyn Kelly asked him for his thoughts on a couple of sound bytes in which both presidential candidates sounded optimistic.

“You keep asking me that Megyn,” he said with a laugh. “I’m not sure I know anything more than I did 24 hours ago.”

But that won’t keep every talking head on TV from opining at this early hour, will it?

(6:19) MSNBC: GHOSTS OF DEBATES PAST ON ELECTION NIGHT

MSNBC’s token Republican, former McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, said that if Mitt Romney wins tonight, he can credit it to the first debate, in which the President turned in a widely panned performance.

Chris Matthews wasn’t buying that as a strategic play though, more a lucky break. “Since when was doing lousy in a debate a decision?” he shouted. No one says “Let’s decide to blow it tonight.”

(6:12) CNN REPORTS MORE RAW NUMBERS, ADDING INDIANA TO KENTUCKY AS FIRST TWO STATES

CNN reports that with 1% of the vote in, Romney leads 59% to Obama’s 39% in Indiana. Updates Kentucky number to 59% Romney, 39% Obama with 1% of the vote in.

(6:09) CNN: DAVID GERGEN CAUTIONS ABOUT PUTTING TOO MUCH STAKE IN EXIT POLLS

Commentator David Gergen, who has served Presidents of both parties, points out that John Kerry had a victory speech prepared based on the exit polls in 2004, but he says it looks like it could be a long night. Gergen, John King and others have seen exit poll results that they won’t share until polls close.

(6:05) CNN: COVERAGE OFFICIALLY BEGINS WITH EARLY FIRST RAW VOTE NUMBERS FROM KENTUCKYIn very early voting, Wolf Blitzer reports that Romney leads in Kentucky 79% to 19%. CNN also reports that the President won his pre-election basketball game today..

(6:02) MSNBC: MADDOW JOKES ABOUT NET’S FULL HOUSE

As Rachel Maddow opened the network’s Election Night coverage and introduced the others seated at the anchor desk - Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ed Schultz and Steve Schmidt - she jokingly added, after naming the many other pundits who would be contributing throughout the night, “And everybody else you have ever heard of is going to be joining us.”

(6:00) PBS NEWSHOUR: STARTS LIVE STREAMING CHANNELS

After offering a live blog with current reports and streaming a mix of older stories that started at 8 a.m. ET, the PBS NewsHour is now streaming its election coverage available online. That’s an hour earlier than the online streams from the major commercial broadcasters are scheduled to start.

Live TV PBS NewsHour coverage in New York and other markets won’t start until 7 ET.

Good news for Romney. On who would better handle the economy: 45% say Obama, 53% Romney.

(5:55) CNN: EXIT POLLS, TAKE II

According to national exit poll, mothers go for Obama 55%, to 45% for Romney, while fathers go for Romney 54% to 43% for Obama. Voters who never go to church–Obama 62%; Romney 34%.

(5:50) CNN: JOHN KING REPORTS FIRST EXIT POLL RESULTS

John King reports that first exit polls show 60% of voters say the most important issue is economy; 15% said deficit; 17% health care; and 28% say “shares my values” is most important quality in their leader.

21% of voters in Virginia call themselves white evangelical Christians, which could be a problem for Romney since that is down from 2008.

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