In an appearance on Fox News regarding the papal conclave, Karl Rove has said that networks should avoid calling elections prematurely. According to Talking Points Memo, Rove said that U.S. media should take its cues from the Vatican regarding secrecy and predicting the outcome of elections.
“Thank God we don’t have exit polls or early returns” in the search for a new Pope, he said. “They do it the right way. They get to the final vote and the decision and then they let the smoke get it.”
“Maybe there’s a message there for American media,” he continued. “Maybe we’d better wait, rather than try to call it, let the election go to its final conclusion and let the results speak for themselves.”
Rove, a former Republican party kingmaker, came unglued on national television during Fox News’ coverage of Election Night 2012. As returns came in for Ohio, the network’s so-called Decision Desk called the election for President Barack Obama.
“I think this is premature,” Rove sputtered, shuffling papers and looking agitated. “I don’t know what the outcome is going to be but we gotta be careful about calling things when we have like 991 votes separating the two candidates and a quarter of the vote yet to count.”
Fox anchor Megyn Kelly was dispatched to the office of the Decision Desk to consult with a pair of statisticians, who only confirmed what would be the night’s result, that Obama carried Ohio and won re-election by a comfortable margin.
Rove’s fortunes have waned since his days as President George W. Bush’s right-hand man and chief political enforcer. Once seen as an unstoppable election-winning mastermind, Rove’s decline could be said to have begun when he famously misstepped in 2006 assuring NPR’s Robert Siegel of “All Things Considered,” that polls predicting the Democrats retaking the U.S. House of Representatives were wrong.
“I’m looking at all of these Robert and adding them up,” said Rove. “I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I’m entitled to THE math.”
Democrats won the House and Senate in 2006, installing Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) as Senate Majority Leader and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Speaker of the House.
Watch the video, embedded below via Talking Points Memo: