Wed Oct 24, 2012, 09:41 AM
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Who ascribes 'momentum'? (updated)
Last edited Wed Oct 24, 2012, 09:59 AM USA/ET - Edit history (1)
Who ascribes 'momentum'?
By Steve Benen
I saw a curious headline from NPR this morning: "Romney Rides Momentum To Nevada, Colorado." Reuters had a similar headline this morning, touting Romney's "momentum," and Slate did the same thing yesterday.
I have no idea what they're talking about.
To be sure, the Republican saw significant, possibly even election-changing, gains after his first debate with President Obama three weeks ago, erasing the advantage the incumbent built up in September.
But what's happened since? By every measure, Obama won the second debate last week, then won again in the third debate. The polls that showed the president's lead evaporating have leveled off. Early voting totals have looked quite favorable for Democrats. In Nate Silver's model, Obama's odds of winning have gone from 61.1% two weeks ago to 68.1% yesterday.
So why simply ascribe Romney with "momentum"? Based on what, exactly? Does the Republican have momentum because he's telling the media he has momentum?
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The news organizations are desperately trying to push Republican enthusiasm higher by creating the impression that Romney is surging.
Updated to add:
The Morning Plum: For now, the math still favors Obama
By Greg Sargent
News orgs have been too credulous in reporting on Mitt Romney’s supposedly continuing “surge.” The Romney campaign has carefully orchestrated the appearance of “momentum,” and even though tracking polls suggest the race has stabilized, the “momentum” storyline persists.
But little by little, a new storyline is taking hold: Whatever is happening on the national level, the fact remains that Romney faces a more daunting climb in the electoral math than Obama does — meaning the President is currently leading.
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