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CNN’s Cautious Projections

cnnsuper_2-6.jpgAs TVNewser live blogged Super Tuesday coverage last night, one trend seemed to emerge: CNN was trailing in call times. TVNewser readers noticed too: “When it comes to projections, it appears that FOX News is the first to project and CNN is the last,” wrote one.

A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser, “CNN is not concerned with the competition. We do our own analysis with one goal in mind: accuracy.”

A sampling of calls made by CNN and their cable competition shows the time difference. CNN called Massachusetts for Sen. Hillary Clinton more than 45 minutes after the first network made the call; CNN called New Jersey for Clinton more than 35 minutes after the first; and Missouri, which as of this morning ABC hadn’t yet given to Obama, was called by CNN at 1:23amET, 45 minutes after the first network called it. And more: the Democratic races in California and Connecticut were called by CNN 13 and 14 minutes, respectively, after the first call.

Some in the CNN Election Center thought the network might have been too slow, too. An emailer wrote: “Bill Bennett suggested that New Jersey should have been called for Hillary…I think he’s surfing quite a bit!”

And while CNN may have been “cautious” all night, the AP and Reuters had it worse — they got it wrong.


Late last night, FNC’s Major Garrett reported a major snafu: Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe announced the Senator won Missouri. The Associated Press and Reuters reported a Clinton victory, at 11:13 and 11:16pmET respectively.

What’s more: Reuters mistakenly reported that CBS News projected Clinton the winner in Missouri, based off a bum report on the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC.

Some networks, including FNC, attributed the Clinton win to the AP, but cautioned that their tally had not yet been completed.

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