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November 05, 2006

The Undauntable MSM: WaPo, NYT Still Predicting Victory

They've got their game faces on, too.

The Washington Post pretty much ignores the implications of its own poll -- showing a dramatic tightening of the race -- and still bases its "analysis" on previous polls now possibly a bit suspect. In other words, they don't care what their latest, most predictive poll says, they've got their story (from past polls) and they're sticking to it.

Reminds me, of course, of the all-time classic of liberal cocooning-- Mickey Kaus' favorite tale, the story of the final 2002 poll showing a huge swing in favor of Republicans, which the NYT's go-to cocooning artist decided to bury as far as news and highlight minor findings like "Most Americans concerned with financial scandals."

As a result -- deliberately ignoring their own poll results because they so desired the Democratic win they were anticipating -- they blew their own huge scoop. The NYT's poll had accurately predicted the 2002 gains by the GOP, but the NYT suppressed this because they just didn't want it to be true.

And now? Well, as Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes have been saying for months, the generic ballot question is not very predictive... until the last week of polling. It is now the last week of polling, and therefore its predictiveness is at its height.

And yet the WaPo blithely ignores this and spins the news as postive for the Democrats:

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows some narrowing in the Democratic advantage in House races. The survey gives the Democrats a six-percentage-point lead nationally among likely voters asked which party they prefer for Congress. It was 14 points two weeks ago, but this remains a larger advantage than they have had in recent midterm elections.

Eh, what's a huge eight-point shift in the closing days of the elections matter anyhow? (PS, I'm stealing this quote and this sentiment from someone else, but I forget who. My apologies.)

It should also be noted that this line -- "this [lead] remains a larger advantage than they have had in recent midterm elections" -- is particularly sad and pathetic.

Why sad and pathetic?

Because their previous leads on this question have resulted in actual electoral defeats.

So-- they lead on a polling question in which they've led before and still lost in actual voting.

But the good news is -- the lead this time is slightly bigger that the leads they've had before (and yet lost elections with).

Shhh-- listen close. You can practically hear the Big Blue Tidal Wave swelling.

But you ahve to listen really close.

Note: See the correction to my Gallup poll story below.

Or don't. I'll correct here.

I misread Kaus' piece as saying Gallup would show a similar shift. He didn't say that; he was quoting Real Clear Politics discussing the possibility Gallup might show a similar shift.

I just missed that "if" completely.

However, while I blew that, Pew, apparently, also shows a similar shift.

Still waiting on the third confirmation, though.

I apologize for my sloppiness.

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posted by Ace at 07:49 PM

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