Frontiers

Calling It Like He Sees It

John Lapinski shares his insider view on the Republican presidential nomination race.
February 2012

Ever wonder how news networks are able to call elections so early on? Sometimes before even one percent of precincts have reported? It’s not a gamble says John Lapinski, Associate Professor of Political Science and senior analyst at the MSNBC decision desk—it’s a science.

In this Q and A, he takes us behind the scenes of election calling, offers his take on the race so far, and explains which future competitions might make or break candidacies.

Give me a typical night at the decision desk. How does it differ from your academic position?

What do you think of the race so far? Who is gaining momentum?

Are there disparities in accuracy between live polling and automated polling?

Romney has long been considered a front runner for the nomination. How has this affected the race?

Ron Paul’s camp has accused the media of not providing adequate coverage. Has he been shortchanged?

How does the climate of this race compare to previous ones? The negative ad campaigns, for instance?

What’s your take on the upcoming Michigan contest? Is Romney a favorite son given his family background there?