advertisement
advertisement

Every media outlet called a contentious Texas race. Then the projected loser crept ahead

Every media outlet called a contentious Texas race. Then the projected loser crept ahead
[Photo: Jay Godwin/LBJ Library/Flickr]

I sure hope Gina Ortiz Jones is still awake. About two hours ago, her race to flip the House seat in San Antonio, Texas, seemed to be over. The Democratic was running against Republican Will Hurd, who was seeking a third term. Nearly every major media outlet announced that Hurd had won.

advertisement

But now things aren’t so clear.

At around 2:45 a.m. this morning, New York Times’s election site had a big red checkmark over Hurd’s name, but the numbers said something different. With 100% of the precincts reporting, it showed Jones having more votes than Hurd.

Screenshot from the New York Times‘s live election coverage

The New York Times isn’t the only one. The Houston Chronicle also declared Hurd the winner. CNN had called the race, too.

Screenshot from CNN’s election map

In the time that’s passed, the Times retracted its projection. It also updated the above numbers to show Hurd in the lead once again, but this time not deeming him the assumed winner.

So what happened? For one, it seems the premature call was first made by the Associated Press, and then other outlets followed suit. The New York Times’s Nate Cohn tweeted this explanation:

And, indeed, the AP has also withdrawn its call:

Additionally, the problem seems to come down to a discrepancy with one of the districts reporting. It’s unclear if there were a clerical error or if the votes have yet to be completely tallied. For now, Hurd is back in the lead, but with a margin of only a few hundred.

One thing this saga surely illustrates is why it’s important for major media outlets to vet their election calls. This sure seems like one decision was made and the rest followed suit. Whatever the outcome, this race should not have been called so early in the first place.

As the votes continue to be counted, I’ll update this post.

advertisement
advertisement