I predict the three broadcast networks will call the election for Barack Obama at 9:00 am Eastern Time on November 4 and go to special reports on the incoming Obama Administration and reruns of Michelle Obama’s appearances on The View and the Food Network for the rest of the day. MSNBC and CNN will hold off until 5:00 pm to make the call, until at least half of the exit polls have been tabulated.
In 2004, you will recall, all the major media outlets suggested a John Kerry victory before the polls had closed on the east coast, partly because of highly skewed exit poll data. This time around I think they will be much more definitive.
A friend recently opined that “polls are not designed to reflect public opinion but rather to influence it.” What an astute observation.
This is the year the liberal intelligentsia have decided to pull out all the stops, to go all in. They are unabashedly using every means at their disposal to influence the election to ensure Barack Obama is elected president – and their means are formidable.
A frank column by Howard Kurtz today notes the phenomenon:
Barack Obama has a problem: He’s going to sweep so many Democrats into Congress that he will “face high expectations,” as the New York Times put it, to deliver on his promises.
Obama will attempt to fashion a “new New Deal,” most likely with Larry Summers as his Treasury secretary, New York magazine says.
“John McCain’s defeat will be a lonely one,” Newsweek reports, but Sarah Palin could revive the Republican Party for 2012.
So much for the formality of next week’s election. Many pundits and publications seem so certain of a big Democratic win that they’re exploring the intricacies of an Obama administration and whether the party will have a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate.
“If the mainstream media are wrong about Obama and the voters pull a Truman, that is going to be the end of whatever shred of credibility they have left,” says Tobe Berkovitz, associate dean of Boston University’s College of Communication.
A promising notion, that. (If you think it sufficiently inspiring, consider sending some money to these guys so they can run these ads.)
In addition to just flat ass lying, one of the means pollsters and media analysts use to further their desired outcome is to juice the sample and/or neglect to report the sample. Underlying data are not always easy to find. In the recent RCP Virginia reports, for example, only the VCU and SurveyUSA demographics are accessible without paying a fee. Both of those reveal samplings significantly higher in self-reported Democrats than Republicans, and thus a presumed runaway victory by Obama in this state.
Yes, it could be that Virginia is turning blue by a large margin. It is also possible, however, that the pollsters are calculating many more Democrats in the results on the assumption that Democrats have been wildly successful in voter registration, will have a stronger get out the vote effort on November 4, and Republican lack of enthusiasm will depress the GOP turnout. Lots of assumptions can underly the strong projected vote for Obama.
And there is the flat ass lying factor, as well.
We should have learned the lesson in 2004 when the mainstream media was proven so incredibly off base about the result in Ohio, and in 2000 when they declared Al Gore the victor in Florida before the polls had closed in the western panhandle: The media are prone to rig the game. They sponsor many of the polls. And most of the “independent” pollsters are in the tank for Barack Obama such that we have a classic “ends justify the means” scenario.
They will all do anything to get Barack Obama elected. Do not believe the polls.
UPDATE: ABC columnist “embarrassed to admit what I do for a living.”
UPDATE II: In Pennsylvania, Michael Barone discerns an ironic element in Obama’s appeal.