Obama Wins! CBS Affiliate Reports 2012 Election Results Weeks Early [video]_Featured_, Politics Monday, October 22nd, 2012
While the 2012 presidential election is still more than two weeks away, last Friday a CBS News affiliate in Arizona displayed a graphic with a Nationwide vote count indicating that President Barack Obama was the winner.
For 17 seconds at around 3:25 pm on October 19, Phoenix, Arizona CBS News affiliate KPHO ran a graphic showing President Obama had won the Nov. 6 election over Governor Mitt Romney with 99% of the precincts reporting. The graphic appeared during an episode of “The People’s Court.”
The CBS News graphic showed Obama winning the election with 43 percent of the vote nationwide to Romney’s 40 percent — or 40,237,966 votes to 38,116,216. It is unclear who garnered the other 17 percent in the fictional election results.
CLN Editor’s Commentary: While it is certainly interesting that apparent election results were aired weeks in advance, we caution readers not to automatically infer conspiratorial intent. It is entirely possible that the CBS affiliate in question was simply testing their election results graphics in preparation for the November elections, and that this test was accidentally broadcast live.
The most interesting thing we noticed is that the inadvertently aired election results indicated 43 percent of the vote going to Obama, with 40 going to Romney, and 99% of precincts reporting. This means that the operator who entered the sample election results allocated 17% of the vote to third party candidates. The only modern precedent for this level of third party support is the presidential campaign of Ross Perot in 1992, which garnered 18.9% of the popular vote. Why would a broadcast technician entering these sample numbers assume such substantial third party support, especially given that this conflicts so directly with the popular mainstream media narrative at the moment?
This is most certainly a curious and noteworthy incident, but it is by no means the smoking gun for scripted election coverage that many have assumed.