Here’s how NBC News calls races on election night, the steps it takes to verify results and the answers to some frequently asked questions.
How does NBC News project the outcomes of races?
Early on election night, the NBC News Decision Desk uses exit poll data to determine whether uncompetitive races can be called. Most races are called based on analyses of precinct- and county-level vote returns. The analyses also examine differences between early and Election Day votes. In close contests, a careful analysis of how much of the vote has not been counted is a crucial part of the process. No race is projected until the Decision Desk is at a minimum 99.5% confident of the winner.
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NBC News will not project a winner in a race until after the last scheduled poll-closing time in a state.
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