Media’s Coverage of Mid-Term Election is Overly Sensational, like they do with everything

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey paints a picture that is markedly similar to that of August, 1994, when few people predicted that in only three short months the Republican Party would snatch 54 seats from the Democrats and wrestle control of the House from the beleaguered party. CNN

Yes…what this poll doesn’t predict is exactly what will happen because it happened once before. CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney is a polling seer.

It seems that the media’s narrative wasn’t sensational enough for the reality of 1994, so they’re making it up by being extra sensational this time. The problem is, generic national polls that ask “are you more likely to support Republicans or Democrats in the midterm?” is not very accurate for a number of reasons which include: locality, time from election, or voters might not even know what party their congressmen belong too. In this specific poll, close to 30% of people say they could change their minds.So let’s cut the crap and try to be more cautiously realistic.

Congressional Quarterly, an institution that, you know, analyzes all things congressional, has put out a far more conservative prediction (read: a system of measurements built off historical observation). Their numbers paint a far different picture, because polls only play a part in the consideration, and they’re not bland generic polls trying to measure local elections. Also taken into consideration in CQ’s analysis is voter demographics, candidates’ available campaign funding, and several other factors. Each district is analyzed, unlike these lazy national CNN polls that cover more localized elections. http://innovation.cqpolitics.com/atlas/house2010_rr

D – 228

R – 178

Up for grabs – 29

You’ll notice that even if Republicans grab all the closest seats, by CQ’s analysis, the GOP would only have 207 to the Democrat’s 228. That is a lot of space to cover, especially with voters just as angry with Republicans, something that was not true in 1994 – as CNN points out in the body. Unfortunately, such reasonable statements weren’t good enough for the headline.

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