It's gonna be a long night
2012 Election Night: TV Networks, Associated Press Prepare To Call Winners
NEW YORK -- At 11 a.m. Tuesday, representatives from five TV networks and the Associated Press will head into the "quarantine room," an undisclosed location with no cell phone or Internet access.
That's where the National Election Pool -- ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and the AP -- start sifting through exit poll data provided by Edison Research. Six hours later, staffers will be permitted to start sending data to their respective news organizations, while additional exit polls, especially on the West Coast, keep coming in.
While news outlets can begin reporting after 5 p.m. on some general trends they have observed in exit polls, such as whether voters consider the economy the most important issue in the 2012 election, they're not permitted to publish or broadcast any information that suggests which way a state is leaning until its polls close and actual vote numbers start streaming in.