I don’t know how to make a narratively coherent post out of all of these thoughts, but these thoughts have been piling up since I heard that Fetterman won decisively last night. Here we go:
- Stop paying so much attention to polls. The ones done by the media are used by the media to drive their own narratives (no matter how wrong); we are unsure of how the pollsters are meeting the shifting challenges of polling today; aggregators are as good as the polls they aggregate and the models they use. Most got hit by the pile of R-friendly junk polls at the end of the cycle.
- Be clear that most of the media is not paying close attention to polls. Horserace reporting doesn’t require much other than impressions of topline trends. Even last October when a batch of polls came through with good news for Dems, the media (NYT) kept up their doom narrative for Dems. Because of fundamentals.
- There *was* a story the media was missing in the middle of their prepackaged stories on Dems in Trouble. And it was — in spite of the difficulty of trusting polls — that Dems were keeping most races spectacularly close. There was little evidence of the “shellacking” on the horizon. I MEAN, Dems are outperforming GOP gerrymanders.
- Abortion rights is a winning issue. Women registered to vote just for this issue. And it would not surprise me that pollsters missed this energy.
- While the media focused on demonizing Dems on lies regarding crime, and inflation, they were FAR less interested in the Democracy preservation messages of Dems. And as it turns out — yesterday was a pretty strong rebuke (referendum on?) of MAGA.
- I continue to be annoyed that reporting on election circumstances do not regularly include the extent to how much the field has been gerrymandered or otherwise subject to voter suppression rules.
- As of now, all of the Dems who faced the GOP extremist candidates supported by Dems to create a better playing field for their candidates won. Lots of unnecessary handwringing and panic over this. Sure, this was a high-risk strategy, but it was a long bet that extremism was not a winner in some areas. I don’t care that this doesn’t look like fair play. I just don’t. Play to m*therf*ckin’ win, gang.
- Fetterman and Shapiro (especially) provide a lesson on Big Tent coalition building — punch right (and then punch right again), not left. Again, it’s the extremism, stupid.
- I don’t worry much about “messaging” largely because a Big Tent will adapt to the places they are running. What I do worry about are the messaging venues. There’s just not enough left-leaning radio, You Tube channels, TikTok channels that can deliver regular discussion of local and national Dem messaging to groups at the edge of falling away from Dems. Fight fire with fire.
- ALSO, you can see the nationalizing of these elections as local media fails to keep locals informed about what is happening in their communities.
- The complete collapse of the Dem Party apparatus in Florida is a big warning sign everywhere. Every local Party should take up an operations review and work at bolstering their ground game and bench.
- I want Jordan Peele to make a horror movie of liberal reporters stuck forever in rural diners.
- I’m gonna miss Twitter when it is gone.
What would you add?