It was bad enough when NBC called the election in Reagan's favor more than two hours before polls closed out West. But when Carter threw in the towel on national TV -- with an hour of voting time still left on the West Coast -- Democrats were livid. The President's early concession, local politicos felt, discouraged Democrats from voting.
The results indicate they may have been right. Sen. Barry Goldwater's opponent in Arizona, Bill Schulz, and Rep. Al Ullman of Oregon are two that see early network projections contributing to their losses.
One solution to the time-difference problem, says California Secretary of State March Fong Eu, may be to open polls in the West at 5 p.m. election eve and close them at 5 p.m. election day.m