WASHINGTON – Fox News was the first television network to project victory in Ohio for Barack Obama on Tuesday, then quickly rescinded it, but minutes later again gave the battleground state to the Democratic presidential candidate.
The call came as Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who helped George W. Bush win two presidential elections, stood silently on screen.
Fox first called the state shortly after its polls closed at 9 p.m., then rescinded its call moments later, saying it had “put the check mark in the wrong place.” Around 9:19 p.m., the network reaffirmed its initial call, joined within minutes by other networks.
Rove, now an analyst for the network, made no immediate comments about the loss of Ohio for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. No Republican has won the White House without carrying Ohio.
But Nicolle Wallace, a McCain campaign adviser, acknowledged to the network that the losses in Ohio and another key state that McCain had hoped to win, Pennsylvania, were bad news.