Go behind the scenes with MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki as he discusses the secrets of the “Big Board” — the large, interactive screen that provides detailed election data at the touch of his fingertips. Watch the video above or read an edited transcript of Kornacki below.
What is the purpose of the Big Board?
You could just show who’s winning, you could just show what the percentages are. But I think what the Big Board enables us to do is to really zoom in. It’s one thing to just say, “One candidate won and one candidate lost,” but I think this allows us to get to the why. It gives you a sense of what some possible patterns are, what some possible things to look for are, what the timing could be in terms of where you’re going to start to get results from.
NBC News is part of the National Election Pool (NEP), which works with Edison Research for a quick turnaround of vote tabulation and exit polls.
[Edison has] folks in precincts and counties and states all around the country who are collecting the vote as it comes in. As soon as they’re getting that vote, they’re transmitting it to us. We can show the trends geographically, we could show the trends demographically. We could say: It’s a particular region in a state, a particular county, a particular city, there’s a particular area of the state where one demographic group is particularly well represented and explain what is going into the victory or loss of a candidate.
A wealth of electoral data
County boards of elections around the country are getting much more sophisticated with the data that they provide real-time, sometimes breaking it down with real sophistication. If you’re interested in election results and data, the amount of information that is available right now is vastly greater than it was a decade ago, 20 years ago. You can find some election night broadcasts – they did as well as they could, but it’s primitive compared to what we’re able to do today. You could do a lot to teach yourself, just with all the information that’s available out there.