I’m fine with the media waiting to call the election until Joe Biden has run up the score a bit, to blunt Trump’s inevitable argument that it was called too soon. But Biden has won, and he’s signaled he wants to address the nation tonight. The media must call the race by then.
If this were a matter of the media not yet being comfortable with the election math, they wouldn’t owe Biden anything. Candidates don’t get to decide when they’ve won. We saw Donald Trump try that one already. But at this point Biden has won, and everyone involved knows it.
The media is now clearly just stalling for reasons of optics. Accordingly, Joe Biden has a right to give them a deadline of tonight, which he’s done, and I expect they’ll meet it. My guess is they call the race early in the evening, then start building hype for Biden’s acceptance speech. But really, it’s time to make the call. It’s about who won, not about the media wanting to make the announcement in primetime.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report