Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What to Watch for Election Night

Oh no, not another one of these guides.

Yeah, I know. They're a dime a dozen at this point.

However, FHQ did want to reiterate a point we made recently. Call it a one state guide to the early part of election night.

This one hinges on how things go in the early going in North Carolina. The Tarheel state is a state that Mitt Romney should win. That isn't what this concerns. Instead, we should be looking at how early and how comfortable the networks are in calling North Carolina. If a call is able to made early and it is a 2-3 point margin for Romney, then the governor may be overperforming the polls there and perhaps -- perhaps -- elsewhere. But there are two other possibilities that if we extrapolate from the North Caroline situation, could have implications.

  1. If Romney outperforms the polls by more than 5 points and a call is made very early/quickly in the Tarheel state, then we may have some early evidence that there is in fact a tide behind the Republican candidate.
  2. If, however, North Carolina drags out into the night in a manner approaching what happened in the state four years ago, then that may alternatively bode well for the president. 
No, this is not a definitive guide. And yes, FHQ is well aware of the fact that idiosyncrasies within one state may prevent generalizing to other states. It is also true that the campaigns have both backed off just a little in the last week here in the Old North state. Yet, North Carolina is something of an early signal in this presidential election. Obviously, Virginia closes its polls early too and there may be indications there as well. But Virginia is a little more competitive than North Carolina and likely won't be able to be called as quickly.

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