What An Obama Loss Would Mean To Punditry


Slate tantalizes us with a story that we think is going to be about pundits:

An Obama loss would mean the majority of pundits, reporters, and analysts were wrong. Pollsters would have to find a new line of work, since Obama has been ahead in all 159 polls taken in the last six weeks. The massive crowds that have regularly turned out to see Obama would turn out to have meant nothing. This collective failure of elites would provide such a blast of schadenfreude that Republicans like Rush Limbaugh would be struck speechless (another historic first).

But then the story forgets what it’s about and devolves into a campaign trail account of Barack Obama’s stump speeches. Which is weird.

So let’s see if we can add (read: steal from elsewhere) some insight:

Bonnie Erbe reminds us that news outlets predicting Ronald Reagan victorious well before western voters went to the polls, resulting in “hundreds of thousands or millions” staying home.

And the Globe and Mail notes: “At Pollster.com, Mark Blumenthal acknowledged yesterday the slight narrowing of Mr. Obama’s lead over Mr. McCain in the past few days, to 5.4 per cent nationally.”

In other words, this year pundits, and not voters, could determine the outcome of the elections. So here’s our little public service announcement: Turn off your TVs until after you’ve cast your ballot.


From the TV Board Blog:

But what if the polls were wrong? Suppose for a moment that McCain were to win. What will happen? Smarter men than I have suggested the country may be at risk for racial strife the likes of which it has never been seen. Will minorities feel wronged? Undoubtedly. Will it be the fault of television — unequivocally. Let us hope for the sake of television as a medium that Barack Obama wins tomorrow. Whether or not television has affected who will become President, let us pray the medium avoids its “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment for another election cycle.