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Election Night Projections

Election night projections are made in the United States on the night of major primaries and major elections to help project the winners of key political races (e.g. president, senator, governor) and issue referenda. A small group of survey research experts make up the Election Night decision teams that make these projected calls. The same basic methods are used to project the winners by the National Election Pool (NEP), a consortium of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, and the Associated Press.

Each media organization makes its own projection decisions but relies on common data using this procedure and occasionally supplemented with its own. The method has evolved over the years, but it is essentially the same model developed and implemented in 1967 by Murray Edelman and ...

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