too close to call


Also found in: Acronyms.
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too close to call

Too close of a competition to identify a clear winner. This one is going to be too close to call—it's a photo finish! Right now the election is still too close to call.
See also: call, close

too close to call

Resulting in too narrow a margin to make a decision, as in That ball didn't miss by much but it was too close to call, or The election was too close to call, so they decided to have a runoff. This expression comes from sports, where call has signified "a judgment" since the mid-1600s. In the 1960s it began to be applied to pre-election polls and then to the outcome of elections.
See also: call, close

too close to call

COMMON If a contest is too close to call, it is impossible to say who will win, because the opponents seem equally good or equally popular. The presidential race is too close to call. Exit polls in Britain say that today's parliamentary election was too close to call.
See also: call, close

too close to call

(of a contest, race, etc.) so evenly balanced that it is impossible to predict the outcome with confidence. informal
See also: call, close

too close to call

It is impossible to guess who is the winner. This term comes from close call, which since the late 1800s has meant a narrow escape. The current phrase seems to have originated in the 1960s in political broadcasting, according to William Safire, when it began to be used in reporting election results. In a situation where all the votes had been reported but there was no certain winner, the election was said to be too close to call. Since then the phrase has also been used of certain sports decisions, such as line calls in tennis (was the ball in or out?), penalty plays in basketball, and the like.
See also: call, close
References in periodicals archive ?
"A lot of the semi-finals are too close to call and I have no doubt that we are going so see some very competitive bouts across all weight categories over the weekend."
ELECTIONS pitting Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative coalition against centre-left forces led by Romano Prodi were too close to call last night after projections showed Berlusconi's forces leading in the Senate but running neck-and-neck in the lower Chamber of Deputies.
The 2005 domestic market share race remained too close to call as of December 18, with Warner Bros.
LORD Coe admitted last night that the race to grab the 2012 Olympic Games was "too close to call".
But allies of Mr Blair warned the vote would be too close to call and he could lose and be forced to quit his job.
Young is the Democrats' king of the recount--a post-election fixer who is called upon by the DNC when the outcome of an election is too close to call. Think of Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction, the Wolf, but in the context of electoral systems rather than organized crime Young, who's got a rough, likable, fast-talking wit, was at the center of the Democrats' recount efforts in Florida in 2000.
Election night ends without a winner: result in Florida too close to call
So when the Christian Coalition's founder and president saw this year's race for the White House was too close to call, he selected key battleground states that could influence the outcome of the election and went on tour.
"The state of Florida is too close to call," Gore said, citing new data showing that instead of 50,000 votes, Bush's lead had dwindled to 1,200 votes, or less than one 30th of one percent of the 5.8 million votes cast.
The election polling shows the race is too close to call, he said.
Bush was ahead in 24 states with 209 votes, while 9 states with 90 votes were too close to call.
Trump also led in Wisconsin, while Minnesota, Arizona, New Hampshire and Maine were too close to call. Trump has 244 electoral votes to 215 electoral votes for Clinton.
"All the big names are here and the way it's shaping up it's too close to call who'll come out on top."
In short, the whole race is too close to call. In the ABC News/Washington Post Poll released on Friday, "some underlying shifts toward Romney paused," Gary Langer, pollster for ABC, wrote.
As voting finishes in Greek's crucial national election, exit polls suggest that the pro-bailout conservative New Democracy party and the anti-bailout leftist Syriza party are running neck and neck in a contest still too close to call.