There is a good story in the second section of todays Wall Street Journal (not available online unfortunately) about the efforts the networks are making to avoid the Florida problem in 2000. But dont expect the networks to make any early calls of Ohio or Florida or other close states.
This is why the person to watch will be Michael Barone on Fox News. (Of course, youd be watching Fox News anyway, right?) In 2002, Barone made an early call for Norm Coleman in the Minnesota senate race based on early returns from Hennepin County. Think Tim Russert would know that? Of course not. Barone is better than all the network computers put together. I expect he will hint what he thinks is going to happen based on early returns from key parts of the battelground states. Then we can go to bed early.