Faulty Polls and Self-Offsetting Tax Cuts


Conor P. Williams

Conor Williams on Twitter. More background here.

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29 Responses

  1. Avatar NewDealer says:

    “Perhaps their insistence on writing the Left out of the American tradition will finally cease.”

    If someone believes this (and I am not saying that you do), I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I would like to sell them.

    The tradition of wirting the Left out of the American tradition goes back way before Fox News, way before Goldwater, and Hofstadter’s Paranoid Style/Anti-Intellectualism.

    It seems to me that the right-wing has always dismissed the American Left as being part of the other even though we have been around since the Colonial Era. I consider Roger Williams, William Penn, and Anne Hathaway to the originators of the American Left in their own ways. Same with many of the Founders.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Every political commentator predicts victory for their side. It’s not surprising when conservatives do that, and it’s not surprising that Fox’s main election analyst would be a conservative. It’s maybe surprising that they went beyond the usual “I’m going to cheer for my side and at worst look dumb for a day when they lose” guy to an “I talked people into giving me $300 million dollars to buy this election so my side damned well better win” guy, It’s not at all surprising that he melted down on-air because he couldn’t face the unpleasant fact that his side was losing. [1] Will they learn from this? Now that would be surprising.

    1. Did it strike anybody else as odd when Fox said, on-air, “We’re getting messages from the Romney campaign saying we shouldn’t have called these states”? Don’t they pretend to be an independent news-gathering organization? Or does election coverage count as the editorial side?Report

    • Avatar Michelle in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Fox stopped pretending to be a wing of the Republican Party quite a while ago, well before Beck started promoting the Tea Party on his show.Report

    • I’m not sure this is right. Compare the different post-debate reactions this cycle. After Debate 1, left-wing pundit reactions ranged from “Hey! No Fair!” to “Obama lost the election tonight.” After the other debates, right-wing reactions ranged from “If it was a loss for Romney/Ryan, it doesn’t much matter.” to “He flayed that empty suit.”

      In other words, the distorting factor isn’t the same on both sides.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      The part that I found interesting isn’t that the Romney campaign complained about Fox calling Ohio too early, but that Karl Rove was out front of it making an argument that had no basis in fact. I do give Fox News and Megyn (can’t remember her last name) for challenging Rove on that and then actually going back to the stats room so that the viewers could hear first hand why Rove was talking out of his ass. I felt like that little reality check for Fox viewers was a useful public service. It might disabuse some of their viewers of the idea that a claim is true simply because a conservative said it.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Stillwater says:

        The funniest comment I saw on this was that Megyn Kelly walked over to the stat geeks rather than vice versa because Fox never misses a chance to show off her legs. So, public service mixed with fan service.Report

  3. Avatar zic says:

    I’m not holding my breath here. If the right-wing media is a hedgehog, then understanding them requires understanding their one big idea.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with governing; I think it’s distracting the masses — voters — from the process of governing so that wealthy and powerful people can amass more wealth and more power. The responsibility here is the responsibility to make sure things keep flowing up. Learning to recognize the distractions for what they are is key to peering at the men behind the curtain, pulling the leavers of power. (Hint: this morning, it’s General Patreaus.)

    I’d certainly welcome other notions of what that one big idea might be, but my guess is they’re all synonyms of my definition.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to zic says:

      The reason why the left thrives, despite the right’s efforts, is that the left is constantly growing new heads. The right can only abide having one at a time.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to zic says:


      The real point here is, the Right Wing have done their best over the past X years (take your pick – 2008 since the Tea movement took off? 2006 since the Democrats took the House and Senate?) to engage in a philosophical pogrom. The Great RINO Hunt, as it’s sometimes referred to.

      Essentially, the goal was to “purge” the party of anyone who did not believe in lock-step with each of the interest groups that now controlled the Party.

      Not an absolute deficit hawk? Sorry, you had to go.
      Believe that women should be able to make their own medical choices? Sorry, you had to go.
      Gay? Sorry you REALLY had to go.
      Believed the US shouldn’t be engaging in military adventurism? Bush ran on it, but then 9/11/2001 happened and by 2004, if you weren’t gung-ho on invading other countries, by god you weren’t a real amurrikkan.
      Latino or Black? Better have a real thick skin for all the jokes they’re going to crack about people who look like you.
      Believe that maybe, just maybe, the scientists might be right about the whole global climate change thing, as if creating giant urban heat islands and massive ecological shifts might just have an effect on the earth? Whoops, away from the party you go. Global climate change is a lib’rul media scam, a big religion-of-science talking point only, don’tchaknow.

      The Republicans did this to themselves. They kicked anyone who wasn’t a raving lunatic out of the tent, and now they’re surprised that those remaining inside the tent are being exposed as raving lunatics.


  4. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    I began this election by assuming that the candidates always had a realistic read on how the election was going. They have a lot of paid experts and pollsters working for them. Now I’m starting to think that, at least at the top, election consultants don’t have much of an interest in letting their guy know the bad news. It’s in their best interest for both their candidate and the wealthy donors they’re fleecing to believe 100% that everything is going great. As long as the money keeps flowing and the candidacy keeps pushing forward, they get keep getting their piece of it, win or lose.

    The question is how many millionaires will forget the con and open their wallets again in four years.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to MFarmer says:

      Written in May 2004 — right after the primary, not after months and months of polls — and not days before election day.

      Can you not tell the difference? Or are you just hoping no one would notice the giant date on top?Report