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January 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

To the relief of everyone connected with TV coverage of Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, the polls turned out to be right on the mark. Political pollsters, who have sometimes proved to be embarrassingly off-target in recent elections, had predicted a very tight race between Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. No one had realized how tight the results would be until the very end, when it was announced that Romney had won by just eight votes, the smallest number in the history of the Iowa caucuses. How viewers voted with their remotes probably won’t be known until Thursday. Generally, CNN scores strongly on “event” coverage, but this event featured Republicans, and Republicans dominate Fox’s target audience. MSNBC is expected to place a distant third. All of which raises the question, where was Keith Olbermann and why was Al Gore anchoring election coverage on his Current cable network? Olbermann had said last week during a presumed holiday that he planned to return to the channel in time to anchor his Countdown program on the night of the Iowa straw vote. But shortly before the coverage began, he tweeted, “So as not to mislead: I am informed Countdown will not be on tonight, I must defer on all questions to [Current CEO] @JoelHyatt [Current Chairman] @AlGore and @Current.” However, a Current spokesperson said on the channel’s “Politically Direct 2012” page, “Current asked Keith to be the sole anchor and exec producer of our primary and caucus coverage beginning tonight. Unfortunately, he declined to anchor or participate.” That comment served to fuel speculation that Olbermann is once again feuding with the people who sign his paychecks, something that Olbermann himself continues to deny.