It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings or, if you come from conservative camps, Karl Rove says so.
That was just the case last night as the Fox News teamed called the election for Obama, only to have on-air commentator and George W. Bush campaign mastermind Karl Rove claim that the announcement was premature and that all of Ohio's votes still needed to be counted before anything could be decided.
Rove was backed up by a Romney spokesperson who emailed Fox News saying he didn't agree with their election call either, as less than 20 percent of the vote had been tallied in GOP areas.
“We still have 700,000 or more votes still to count,” said Rove. “We were raising the cautionary note that we might want to wait a little longer.”
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Mired in cognitive dissonance and a painful on-air silence, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly quipped “That's awkward” and joked that there would be a “cage match” between the head of the Fox election analysis team and Rove.
Undeterred, the enterprising Kelly led cameras on a labyrinthian tour of the Fox building to find the analysis team behind the Obama call, lamenting on the way that the team didn't sit near the main studio anymore. On her way over, Kelly even seemed to stop one of the crew members from falling.
In the analysis room, where about ten unassuming men sat by stat-laden computers. Kelly asked a member of the team to stand by his call despite Rove's doubts.
“We're actually quite comfortable with the call in Ohio,” the team member said. “Basically, right now there's too much Obama vote that's outstanding that we know will come in as Obama. While, yes, there are a number of counties that will be Romney, the largest thing that's outstanding right now is the Cleveland area, it's Cuyahoga, this is democratic territory, and we're quite comfortable with the idea that Obama will carry Ohio.”
Rove wouldn't back down however. Acknowledging the prematurely-called 2000 election and arguing with the anchors--who stood behind the analysts' scientific methods—Rove continued to dispute the call by rattling off polling data from the Secretary of State's website and the various names of undecided GOP strongholds in Ohio.
Putting things into context, another Fox election analyst again explained why they stood by their call, against Rove's doubt.
“It's not that I disagree with his theory,” the analyst said, referring to Rove. “He's saying, 'This is going to be a lot closer, and that there's still a lot of vote to be counted and you have provisionals.' ” “What we're saying is that the amount of raw vote that's in these counties out there still waiting to come in is so large and the historical trend is so strong, and the polling is so strong, about how democratic these counties are, that no matter what the handful of Republican precincts are, it's just not going to make it.”
Asked by Kelly how certain he was that Ohio would go for Obama, the analyst said he was 99.95 percent certain, and the team was right. The President took Ohio, and Fox suffered one of its biggest embarrassments in recent memory.