The problem with the American election in 2000 was that all the networks relied on FAULTY and untrue data. And plus, the networks all were too eager to call the election and they were just too close to call…
There's nothing with calling the results a bit early, as long as the result is very lopsided and clear.
It all went horribly(?!) wrong at the 1992 election with both the BBC and ITN underestimating the Tory majority in their exit polls. Sure, there were plenty of red faces (no pun intended), but nine years down the line does anybody really give a hoot - and the same for the US networks for their 'results'. There may well be caution at the next election but I bet they still call early.
I think, overall, it's best not to take it all that seriously, after all, the government gets in whatever happens!
Actually that is just the thing.
The government have never forgiven the BBC for some of the mistakes it made during the late 80's and early 90's and consequently Sky is used instead of the BBC in government offices.
(I am not making this up I read it in The Independent).
Many people have never forgiven ITN for the fact that they were so overly Tory biased (and still are) during the 1992 election, especially the smile on Suchet's face!
Many of the US networks have lost a lot of respect... I for one would never watch CNN's coverage of any election, nor NBC's for that matter, I have lost all respect for them.
Take for example Torbay at this election, this was No.1 on the key seats that Hague had to win to be PM.
ITV called the seat for the Tories... it went to the Lib Dems and JD said on air that they screwed up big time!
This is because last time there was only a lib dem maj. of 12, ITV in their wisdom thought that the Tories had won it as they did not wait until the offical result came out, like the BBC and Sky.
ITV proudly declared that the Tories had won it and started talking about how this would be good news for Hague and a blow to Kennedy etc etc.
When the offical result came out JD got totally confused and VERY embarrased.