WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – In the long hours of the counting for the US presidential election, many observers have confused why some media proclaim a candidate as the winner in one state and others not. This was especially true in Arizona, where Fox News and the Associated Press (AP) announced Democrat Joe Biden the winner in the hours after the election. Other media held back. During the detailed count, the Republican incumbent lay down Donald Trump and Biden really close together for a long time.
In the USA there is no federal election line, instead polls conduct post-election surveys. The AP news agency maintains a network of thousands of volunteers who aggregate actual reported results from local election officials. Usually, the presidential election is decided on the basis of forecasts from large media houses. AP has a prominent position: the news agency is valued for its independence and accuracy. As soon as AP announces the winner, the choice is actually decided.
The differences in the winners that have already been forecast are due to different methods of projections and analyzes. Broadcasters and agencies set up “decision desks”, special teams with statisticians and political scientists who look at initial results and post-election surveys. They weigh up whether on this basis and with a view to the remaining votes, a candidate can be extrapolated as the winner with certainty – however, each medium has different criteria for weighing this decision.
The news agency dpa is primarily orienting its results reports on the election in the USA to AP. Dpa also reports forecasts and intermediate statuses on the basis of two US broadcasters, if they report unanimously./cfa/jbz/cy/DP/fba