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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:12 AM
Original message
3 Leading Political Scientists Say U.S. Media Presentation Of Election As Toss-Up Is Myth
Edited on Mon Jul-28-08 12:33 AM by Hissyspit
From Sydney Morning Herald:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/us-election/no-cliffhanger-m...

No cliffhanger, more like an Obama landslide

July 28, 2008

The US media stand accused of distorted election coverage, writes Anne Davies in Washington.

Luckily for the Republican nominee John McCain Europeans can't vote in the November U.S. presidential election - just 100 days away. If they could it would be a landslide for the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama.

Nevertheless Senator McCain has reason to be worried - very worried. Last week three leading political scientists declared the US media's presentation of the election as a toss-up as a "myth".

Alan Abramowitz, a professor of political science at Emory University, Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution, and Larry Sabato, professor of politics at University of Virginia, accused the media of flogging a dead horse in trying to portray the presidential race as a cliffhanger.

It was a particularly bold call for Professor Sabato, who has previously cautioned about Senator Obama's claims that he can redraw the political map in America. "While no election outcome is guaranteed and McCain's prospects could improve over the next 3 months, virtually all of the evidence that we have reviewed - historical patterns, structural features of this election cycle, and national and state polls conducted over the last several months - point to a comfortable Obama/Democratic Party victory in November," the three men wrote in Sabato's Crystal Ball newsletter.

"Trumpeting this race as a toss-up, almost certain to produce another nail-biter finish, distorts the evidence and does a disservice to readers and viewers who rely upon such punditry. Again, maybe conditions will change in McCain's favour, and if they do, they should also be accurately described by the media. But current data do not justify calling this election a toss-up."

The trio reviewed the national tracking polls and found that Senator Obama has led Senator McCain in every national poll in the past two months, except for twice early on when they tied.

Senator Obama's margin has been in the 4-6 point range, in contrast to the polls in the election run-ups in 2000 and 2004 which showed much more variation over time, they said.

The state-by-state polls have also consistently given Senator Obama an advantage.

"Obama is leading in every state carried by John Kerry in 2004 along with six states carried by George Bush: Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Indiana, Nevada and Colorado. A seventh Bush state, Virginia, is tied," they wrote.

MORE




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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. Pollster.com agrees....
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. it is really pitiful
ridiculous, unfortunately, there are still people who believe the myths created by "the news".
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jeff30997 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
3. Another example of...
Fuzzy Science I tell ya! :)
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
4. The illusion must be maintained to provide "plausible deniability",
should they decide to steal this one too.

OTOH I'm not sure they want to be in the White House this term, the next President is going to face a shit storm of a magnitude not seen in 75 - 80 years, maybe even worse, and is going to get the credit or the blame.




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Cheap_Trick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. If they steal yet ANOTHER election
then it's time to go V For Vendetta on their asses.
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #4
32. It is vital if people are to believe fraudulent results. n-t
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #4
38. Well you know they'd get blame, not credit,
cuz the repubs don't fix anything -- except elections.

Your shit storm comment is spot on! It's beyond me why anyone would want to be president the next few years.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
43. It ain't over until the Diebold Programmers sing
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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. But how can they steal the election if it isn't a close call?
A myth is one thing. It can be debunked. Deliberate disinformation to keep us enslaved, however, is incredibly dangerous for us.
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. That's it in a nutshell. n/t
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. That IS it in a nutshell.
The challenge is to MAKE DAMN SURE it DOESN'T get close enough to steal.

If the numbers are lopsided, even the bad guys know the likelihood of getting away with it will be slim. It's easiest to steal when it's close. Any thief knows you break into the house that's dark and quiet rather than the one that's all lit up with the dog barking and the noise and unpredictable comings and goings. 'Cause thieves are basically sneaky little cowards.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #12
20. People just have to BELIEVE it's close..
Edited on Mon Jul-28-08 06:22 AM by SoCalDem
That's the dilemma..

We have cast off the exit-polling or "modified" it later to match the "results", so we cannot ever really know how people voted.. Candidate A may be ahead by 10 points on phone polling, but if Diebold says that every 5th Candidate A vote is a "minus 10" for A & a plus 10 for B, and it ends up with Candidate B winning by 2%, and the exit polls are rigged to match it, who's to say who really won the election..

No way to "count", if there's no paper ballot..Running the ballots through the machine after they have been "calibrated", only re-tallies the wrong numbers again.

If you run 100 counterfeit $20s through a bank counter, you will come up with 100 time and again, but they are still counterfeits.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #20
52. I don't even think belief is required anymore.
Their deniability hasn't been plausible for quite awhile now.

If their "win" is questioned they'll say prove we're cheating. If they can't cheat a "win" they'll say prove we lost. With our current election system no one can prove who wins or loses.

If a legitimate transfer of power can't be verified, who gets to keep the power? My guess is the Supreme Court will decide. Again.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #12
50. false assumption
We can't know that the margin has anything to do with the likelihood of the election being stolen. People's perceptions, however, of the margin affect whether or not they will accept the results.

Massive numbers can be shifted. The question is, will the public notice?

If we had a bank that was stealing the money we deposited, we wouldn't argue that we should put more money in to make it harder for them to steal it.
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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #5
23. In Florida, the GOP steals elections all the time that were not "close"!
If half the energy and money spent on this primary was spent on fixing a completely manipulated election system; putting a Democrat in the White House would be easy. Kerry and Gore both got the most votes and "lost".
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. If that was done, no Republican would ever get "elected." And they don't want that. nt
Edited on Mon Jul-28-08 07:32 AM by valerief
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #5
27. If you want to know how, check out the OH referendum in 05.
Edited on Mon Jul-28-08 07:56 AM by Stevepol
The Columbus paper is proud of how accurate their pre-election polls have been in the past. They did a poll of the 5 referenda on the ballot in 05. Three of the items were pretty much favored by all or there was a slim margin. In the election these three items all came out almost exactly as the pre-election polls had indicated they would.

The other two items had to do with greater scrutiny and greater regulations for the voting machines or the elections. In the pre-election polls, voters favored the referenda by about 60%. When the election came, these same voters rejected the items by about 60%. That's about a 40-point flip.

Bob Koehler has some good articles about this. One guy at the Columbus paper called it the equivalent of the Challenger disaster. The Columbus reporters of course blamed it on the pre-election polls.

Two links:

http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2006/19...

http://www.commonwonders.com/archives/col321.htm
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #27
42. check your facts
I've never seen anyone on any side of this issue claim that three of the items came out about as pre-election polls predicted. It just isn't tenable.
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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #5
35. Want to steal a landslide election? Ask the guys in Mexico how they did it.
Edited on Mon Jul-28-08 09:47 AM by crikkett
They stuffed ballot boxes,
intimidated voters,
fudged numbers left and right.

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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #5
40. It doesn't have to be anywhere near close. They just have to *say* it's close.
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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #40
49. And repeat the fiction that it is close over and over and over again...
Which is exactly what these propaganda organs are doing now.

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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
45. I have two words for you. Max. Cleland. nt
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
48. Excellent point.
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. "Senator Obama's margin has been in the 4-6 point range..."
I really believe that number is false, and a deliberate manipulation that is the MSM's underpinnings to claiming the race is a toss up.

Those MSM funded national polls are a shield from accusations of a pro rightwing bias (or so the MSM thinks), so the only way to break them from trying to throw another election is to break their hold on polling data.


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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
44. More like 8-12 points. Here's their strategy: gas prices will fall, Surge ends, "Happy days are
here again" gets played over and over again in the captive corporate media for the last 90 days. These same low-ball polls start to show a shift of a few points toward McCain -- we're back to '04 or '00 where falsified returns in swing states that have had their voter roll purged determine the outcome, again . . . at least, that's the nightnare scenario . . .
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
7. Obama vs McLame, No Contest. Obama vs. the Mighty Slime Machine, A Cliffhanger!


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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
8. The US media stopped telling the truth long ago, and it's only gotten
worse.

And this year, they've completely gone down the Stupid Hole.

:grr:

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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
9. A great way to suppress the vote for Obama is tell people it's a landslide. (Fucking stupid.)
There is NO 'comfortable margin' ... and the Democrats SHOULD be working to fucking DEMOLISH the Republicans. The bigger the better. EVERY vote counts! Embarrass the bastards! Even a 30% margin ISN'T ENOUGH!

GOTV! GOTV!

Dammit.
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trashcanistanista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Excellent point.
People need to believe it will be close so they all get their asses out and vote. Also many candidates need those coat tails.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
31. What Nut Said!
A trouncing is needed to finally send the message that the hard-core conservatism of the past 30 years is falling on deaf ears.
The Professor
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
55. I don't know that that's true. I think that when a race is reported as being
lopsided, it strongly benefits the candidate being reported as in the lead.

I've seen (but can't cite, sorry) a few studies that the reporting of a strong lead encourages more people to come out and support a winner, and discourages the trailing candidate's supporters.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 02:02 AM
Response to Original message
14. All the campaigning and polling don't matter much since the results are
Edited on Mon Jul-28-08 02:03 AM by diva77
already in the hands of those who control the software that brings us election "results." HAVA has done to voting what Katrina/Brownie, et. al. did to New Orleans.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #14
30. Diebold et. al. can only pull their BS when the election is colse enough to steal.
When the election is lopsided the manipulation would be too obvious.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #30
41. I used to believe that. I no longer do. I believe that no matter what the odds
are of winning the popular vote that candidates are being chosen by those with access to the delivery of the results. The failed struggle by citizens to get an honest competent registrar of voters to run elections in Los Angeles County, the largest jurisdiction in the US by citizens is the canary in the coal mine for my view of elections. With the unholy association of privatized voting vendors & their lobbyists coupled with government elections officials and "elected" government officeholders who are at the mercy of the vendors to "win" their races, we have a dangerous catch-22 on our hands.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #30
46. Please see:
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #30
51. to whom?
Millions of votes have alrady been stolen, and we can't get anything approaching consensus here about that.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 04:19 AM
Response to Original message
15. I hope this is true, CNN et. al. still think they control things n/t
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 04:27 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. The TV Corp Media is doing this for ratings.
They prosper when a race is close. It isn't so much for political purposes as it is for money.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. I fear that some of the super-wealthy may be trying to control the outcome...

first lower expectations through the media (bribe the polling companies, feed the media its talking points) then when election-time comes, alter the vote counts.
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Kitty Herder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 04:43 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. That's pretty much my opinion on this, too.
Yes, I think most of the corporate media outlets have a pro-Republican bias (suits their interests), but the biggest reason for them to want a tight race is for the bucks. If it's pretty clear who the winner will be clear back in July, there's far less reason for people to tune into the talking heads until November.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #19
24. case in point.... during the primary race
CNNs ratings climbed over Fox News - based on coverage of the Obama-Clinton race. It is in CNNs best interest to try to keep the 'nose by nose horserace' aura going.
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 04:32 AM
Response to Original message
18. of course it is a myth
They have to portray it as close because that's the only way they will be able to steal it.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 06:24 AM
Response to Original message
21. Duh!
K & R
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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
22. The race must be reported as close, so no one will be surprised when it is hacked!
Polls don't matter. Debates don't matter. The number of votes "certified" by GOP election supervisors, on GOP machines, with BOP pollworkers is what we get...

don't be surprised if McCain "wins".


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awoke_in_2003 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #22
36. "don't be surprised if McCain "wins""
Oh, I won't be. One reason to say the race is close in the news has not been touched on yet. If the news was reporting very large margins, then they steal the election for McCain, what do you think the reaction of the public, especially the African American public, is going to be? It will not be pretty.
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kitfalbo Donating Member (237 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
26. Heh
Media is promoting this tied race, so when voter fraud/ voter machines are used to steal this election there will be a defense for them not noticing it or why they believe it didn't happen.

Just wait for fake exit poles, their blame of magic "effects" ect.. ect..
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
28. it borders on the criminal...these people (media) have the public trust and it's being abused
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
29. It's all about the advertisement money.
Edited on Mon Jul-28-08 08:06 AM by Odin2005
A landslide election is boring so the MSM creates an illusion of a close race to keep the ad revenue coming in. A corporation's only "responsibility" is making profit for it's shareholders. Everything else, even truth and morality, are thrown out the window.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. I Concur Completely
They don't cover government. They cover politics. An impending landslide is bad television, so they're worried about cash flow. It's all they do.
The Professor
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #33
56. Yep, there is no need to think up conspiracies when the cause is the flaws of Capitalism.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 09:28 AM
Response to Original message
34. Bush didn't win Ohio, NM, NC or Colorado. RNC stole those states and DNC let them do it.
.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
37. the "dead horse" analogy is pretty funny
as applied to the media's treatment of the McCain campaign.

(No offense to any horses, dead or alive.)
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
39. I was in Mexico for the last election, and Costa Rica when the CAFTA vote happened.
Edited on Mon Jul-28-08 11:13 AM by Marr
Oddest thing. If you talked to people on the street, you'd be luck to find one in ten who supported the right-wing candidate (or free trade policy in the case of CAFTA). And yet, everything seemed to poll at 50/50. Both votes came out 51-49 in favor of the apparently unpopular position/candidate.

I later found out that the Mexican government had "assistance" with their elections from US Republican Party operatives.

I'm telling you-- presenting this election as a horse race is not just some marketing angle to stir up interest and sell papers. It's a prelude to stealing the election.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
47. If it's not close they can't steal it! MIHOP
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fl410 Donating Member (114 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #47
53. Not really...if it doesn't APPEAR to be close, they will have a little more trouble stealing it.
...
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-28-08 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
54. In July, every election is a toss-up.
If the election were tomorrow, Obama would be a shoe-in.

But so much can happen in the intervening time - three months is an incredibly long time in politics - that the odds of Obama victory, while higher than 50/50, are still a long way short of 100%.

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