More people who strongly supported one candidate or deeply loathed another seemed to get angry this year when we told them the race isn’t going to turn out the way they hoped.
We should respect the will of the voters and wait until all ballots are counted, they said in all-caps emails or profanity-laced voicemails.
They seem to have forgotten, or maybe just never noticed, that except in very rare circumstances, races traditionally are “called” at some point before the last vote is run through a machine. It was that way when everyone voted at the polls and hasn’t changed just because Washington votes by mail.
The networks call presidential races with a panel of experts who study results and run computer models based on historic trends. The Spokesman-Review calls local and state elections with fewer people and less sophisticated models, but we’ve never had a “Dewey Beats Truman” headline.
It has always been controversial with candidates who were behind and weren’t ready to be labeled a loser, or those who were ahead and unhappy they weren’t called the winner.