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Karl Rove disputes Fox News calling election for Obama

It was nothing less than the Super Bowl of election coverage, featuring every major news outlet on the planet pulling out every resource to broadcast, tweet, post and publish as much data as possible on one of the most contentious elections in recent history.

But the real action didn't emerge until late Tuesday night, when Fox News joined an avalanche of news outlets predicting President Barack Obama would win Ohio only to discover a prominent objector.

Their own analyst, Karl Rove.

Rove, who directed many millions in advertising dollars to support Romney, disputed Fox News' own elections number crunchers, bringing an awkward moment as anchor Megyn Kelley trotted down a long hallway to quiz their own analysts.

"In terms of public perception, it looks a little odd for us to be making a call," Rove said, before another analyst, Michael Barone, explained on camera that there weren't enough likely Romney votes left in the state, explaining the GOP loss to the channel's conservative audience, as well.

Rove wasn't the only conservative who had trouble accepting the call, first made by NBC News, that Obama had won Ohio and the election. Reality TV star Donald Trump railed on Twitter about a "sham" election, saying "we should have a revolution in this country."

The odd civil war on Fox proved more exciting than live broadcasts from Jon Stewart's Daily Show, drawing a flood of comments on social media.

The rhetoric was a surprising turn from a mostly laid-back election night where news outlets moved slowly to call victories and there were few fireworks (beyond Fox News star Bill O'Reilly's offensive outburst that "the white establishment is now the minority". . . and "it's not a traditional America anymore.")

Another question answered decisively: New York Times polling analyst Nate Silver's bold prediction of an Obama victory, which led him to offer a $2,000 bet to critic and MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, proved his wonky method of crunching poll numbers works, trumping naysayers.

Social media proved a tremendous sharing space, where people traded information on problems at voting areas on Twitter, Reddit and other platforms.

By 10:30 p.m., Twitter announced election-related tweets hit 20 million messages; the most-tweeted political event in history.

Some celebrities posted their filled-out ballots on Twitter — which is illegal in some states — prompting Fox News' Sean Hannity to delete a tweet of his ballot with a sheepish apology.

Race proved an odd subtext on right-leaning Fox News, where analyst Mike Huckabee criticized Republicans for "a pathetic job on reaching out to people of color." On liberal Current TV, former vice president and co-owner Al Gore alleged long lines were the result of attempts to stop voting that recalled "racist Jim Crow" tactics, and ABC turned to an anchor on Spanish-language Univision to talk about Hispanic issues.

Florida attracted its share of media coverage: President Obama chose Tampa Fox affiliate WTVT-Ch. 13 for one of 16 interviews granted to stations across the country.

British broadcasters BBC aired live coverage from a watch party at the University of South Florida campus in Tampa; a spot where ABC News correspondent Cecilia Vega also filed a report.

Vega's report, featuring senior citizens disagreeing over voting for Obama or Romney, drew a pensive response from analyst Cokie Roberts.

"What we're seeing is an American change of vast proportions," she said, noting Florida seniors seemed less worried about the future of Medicare and Social Security. "(Seniors) are worried about having a more liberal, activist government that represents minorities and young people and, to some degree, women."

Karl Rove disputes Fox News calling election for Obama 11/06/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 12:44am]
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