Jake Tapper Clashes With Panelists Over CNN’s Choice to Call Iowa Before Some Caucuses Began: ‘How It’s Been Done’ | Video

 “If there is a change made, it needs to be network-wide. It needs to be every channel, every news service,” the anchor says

Jake Tapper, CNN
Jake Tapper (CREDIT: CNN)

After Ron DeSantis complained about news organizations calling the Iowa caucuses early on Monday, CNN anchor Jake Tapper and his panelists debated whether the former GOP hopeful had a point.

“I think CNN was the first to call that, AP a minute later, for Donald Trump,” Tapper said on Tuesday, noting that “really everybody” reported Trump had won as DeSantis objected before some caucuses had begun.

“It’s not unusual. This is how it’s been done for a long time,” Tapper noted. “When there’s enough information.”

“We had people that decided to leave as I was given a speech interview,” DeSantis said in a news clip. “I got off the stage and they said, ‘Oh, they called it.’ Well, wait a minute. These people haven’t even voted yet.” He admitted that Trump would likely still have emerged victorious, but questioned whether the practice of reporting the results early was fair.

Margaret Talev, a senior contributor at Axios, argued that the caucus process “has not changed the pace with modern technology.” She added, “The reality is, every bit of news is incident. You walk into a caucus with the phone, you’re gonna know what happened.”

Democratic strategist Karen Finney rebutted, “If we’re gonna say we’re for democracy, then [we’ve got to let] people get to vote before we call it, period, full stop. I mean, people were calling races in 2022 and 2024 when literally people were waiting in line for hours in the heat to vote.”

Added Republican strategist Doug Heye, “I remember being in a call-in center in California in 2000 when elections were called. We’re calling voters [to say], ‘Get to the polls,’ and they said, ‘It’s already over.’”

Tapper concluded that if news agencies and networks were going to wait to call caucus election results, everyone would have to get on the same page. “If there is a change made, it needs to be networkwide, it needs to be every channel, every new service,” he said.


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