Karl Rove wasn't the only person surprised that television networks were calling the 2012 election for President Barack Obama so early on Tuesday night. Obama's campaign team was too, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
NBC News called Ohio, and the presidency, for Obama at roughly 11:12 PM. Other networks quickly followed suit. The Post's David Nakamura wrote that Obama hadn't even gathered with his campaign staff at that point in the night; instead, he was with his family.
One reason staffers might have been taken aback by the swiftness of the calls: they'd been watching a lot of television. On Tuesday morning's "Today," for instance, Chuck Todd mapped out Electoral College "nightmare scenarios," showing how Obama and Romney could wind up tied. Later that day, he warned viewers that "too close to call" were words they'd be hearing late into the night, and said he would be "shocked" if Ohio was decided before midnight.
None of these things proved to be true, and the election was called just 12 minutes after Obama's victory was in 2008.