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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Debate Preview

Of course, this will not be the usual nuts and bolts and scenarios but simply this, in response to so many raising fears about Trump "winning" due to media's "low expectations": 

I covered very closely for Editor & Publisher and The Nation (also for two books of the elections, see right bar of this blog) the debates of 2008 and 2012, including the veep ones.  In almost every case the instant analyst on-air pundits claimed or hinted at the conclusion that the Republican candidate "won" or "did surprisingly well" against a supposedly better-informed Dem. Even Sarah Palin was said to hold her own, and then Ryan, against Joe Biden.

Then, in the hour afterward: the very unscientific online popularity polls, and equally skewed focus groups, also generally showed GOP candidate won or did very well indeed. These would then be cited by many pundits and GOP as proof their candidate "won," and Trump is certain to do this in spaces.  All through this in the past I would be warning people online that this would NOT hold true when the scientific (real) polls were released in another hour or so, usually by CNN and CBS. 

And, guess what? I was correct every single time. Viewers, properly sampled, gave the Dem candidate the clear win, narrow or wide. So be ready for the same phenomenon this week. Trump will be judged to have "held his own" and "done well" and be "sure to gain" but when the dust settles he will have gained nothing, or lost, and instant pundits and hacks will have the usual mud on their face.

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