The three major networks will project a winner in the presidential race state-by-state as polls close, but refrain from declaring a winner overall until West Coast voters cast their ballots--unless there is a landslide, according to network executives.
If one candidate racks up enough electoral votes for victory, based on projections in states where polls have closed, the networks will not refrain from stating the obvious.
“We’re not going to tell the viewer that she has to sit there with a calculator and add it up,” said Michael Gartner, who is president of NBC News.
ABC, CBS and NBC will preempt entertainment programming on election night, Nov. 8, and begin coverage with their evening newscasts.
Cable News Network, which as a policy does not project election winners, will run its election coverage from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. PBS will have updates throughout the evening.