Uncall: To rescind an announcement that an election has been decided.
On Wednesday, November 5, the Associated Press "uncalled" the Minnesota Senate race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and his Democratic challenger, Al Franken, saying it had "called the race prematurely" for Coleman. In fact, the 571-vote margin of victory was small enough to trigger an automatic recount.
In other words, it was too early for Franken to cry uncle (North American idiom from early 20th century; origin uncertain).
The political/journalistic usage of "uncall" is unrelated to Uncall, "a web-based tool that makes those repetitive phone calls for you." Nor is it related to "uncalled capital," a financial term dating back to at least the mid-19th century that means "not called up for payment." Any confusion of these usages would be ... uncalled for.
I don't recall seeing uncall prior to this election cycle. Anyone?
I love the illustration James Lileks unearthed for his blog post on "uncall."
UPDATE: My brother Michael forwarded a link to a USA Today op-ed column dated Nov. 9, 2000, that includes this paragraph (emphasis added):
Tuesday night, we trusted too much. The networks called the key state of Florida for All Gore all at about the same time and had to turn around and uncall it two hours later. All were looking at the same set of data from Voter News Service (VNS).