Nov. 17, 2016
Best of the Week — First Winner
Historic presidential race call followed months of prep, hours of analysis
When Election Day arrived, just about everyone in politics had assumed for weeks that Hillary Clinton would soon be the next president. All it would take was California's trove of 55 electoral votes and a series of easy wins elsewhere to push her past the 270 she would need.
Not David Pace, Stephen Ohlemacher and AP's team of race callers and decision analysts.
They had prepared for months for all contingencies _ including a race that wasn't a blowout but a collection of close races that would demand deep analysis of AP's vote count, exit polls and the history of voting patterns state by state. To call the race for president before all others, and to do so with the unfailing accuracy the world expects from the AP on Election Day, would require excellence at calling those tight races that go deep into the night.
They did just that. And their call of the assumption-shattering result earns the Beat of the Week.