The "Political Press," AKA "People Paid To Lie On TV," Were Very Wrong

I’m a @fivethirtyeight admirer. But I had no idea that liberals thought the core function of the political press is to predict who wins.

— Chris Suellentrop (@suellentrop) November 7, 2012

There are so many things that are wrong with this statement, but mainly: the “liberals” (and, presumably, “everyone else”?) wanted a “political press” that wasn’t lying to them. Because what was happening with predictions over the last week was that MANY PEOPLE WERE JUST LYING. Newt Gingrich said Romney would get “over 300” electoral votes. That’s not about accuracy or misjudgment. That’s just lying on the T.V. shows. Because the popular press, which is mostly TV, hires people who are not the press; they are actually operatives. So the enthusiasm for Nate Silver was actually a reprieve from the political press. And their job is to lie on the T.V. Let’s review who expected Mitt Romney to get 206 electoral votes (Florida still being out, caveat). For starters: NOT ANN COULTER.

Whoopsie! RT @anncoulter: I can’t see a scenario where Romney wins less than 273 electoral votes.

— Clare O’Connor (@Clare_OC) November 7, 2012


Just revisiting this Michael Barone column: “Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223.”

— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) November 7, 2012

And there are many, many, many more. Such as: everyone who has worked in some capacity for the Republican party.

So who thought Obama would get either 303 or 329?

From our pundit roundup, Jamelle Bouie, Jennifer Granholm and Matthew Dowd all came in at 303. And our own forecast predictor, Evan Hughes, came in with an ambitious 323. (AKA, “the Colorado surprise,” but including Florida, which may happen.)