EDITOR OF REDSTATE
The Alternative Universe and the Media Feedback Loop
Yesterday in Charlotte the Democratic National Convention began as amateurishly as President Obama’s first term has been. Three times Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles tried to get a majority of Democratic delegates to agree to add God and Jerusalem back into the Democratic Platform. Three times he failed. But on the third time, he declared he heard a two-thirds vote for changing the platform. Debbie Wasserman Schultz lied again saying there was no fight and called it a “technical change”, but the Democratic delegates booed putting God and his holy city back into the Democratic Platform.
If booing God and his holy city is a part of the Democratic Convention happening in this universe, I’ll take the alternative universe Bill Clinton said the GOP lives in. This is why Barack Obama stands a good chance of losing. It is the Democrats who have disconnected from America.
I’m on record repeatedly doubting Mitt Romney’s viability as a candidate, but more and more I think not only is Romney winning, but the polling is not reflecting the strength of his campaign and the media is actually sabotaging the Democrats’ chance of winning. In fact, I dare say if MItt Romney wins he will have the American media to thank for his win. Hear me out and I think you will agree.
First, and I realize you will have to take my word for it, I have a pretty good gut check on winning and losing. My gut tells me Mitt Romney is doing better than I expected and better than the polling is suggesting. Anecdotes are not data, but more and more a steady stream of anecdotes are piling up to suggest Romney is winning.
He is ahead by double digits in most polls with independents. More and more voters say Barack Obama does not deserve a second term. More and more voters think Barack Obama’s handling of the economy has been bad. More and more voters trust Mitt Romney to handle the economy, jobs, and even entitlements than Barack Obama. In many Democratic primaries in places like Pennsylvania the President’s undervote compared to the rest of the Democratic primary ballot was staggering. In Kentucky and Arkansas and Oklahoma — granted they’ll go for the GOP — third parties got to close to 40% of the vote against him in his own supposedly uncontested primaries.
In the past two years the Democrats and certain members of the media have invested a lot of time and energy telling independent voters who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 that they’d be racists to abandon him. “Racism” is cropping up more and more as a rebuttal to all attacks against Barack Obama. At the same time, the left has used “bigotry” to attack any person who supports marriage.
Poling on marriage has become terribly inaccurate. Ask a person if they favor changing marriage and most will say yes, but in more than 30 states the voters keep rejecting it. Voters do not want to let pollsters think they are bigots anymore than they want pollsters to think them racists. So they ago along to get along.
If, however, a pollster asks voters how they think their neighbors will vote on gay marriage, suddenly polls become a lot more accurate. Voters are happy to tell pollsters that they are sophisticated, but that their neighbors are bigots. In North Carolina, asking voters about their neighbors’ vote on gay marriage rendered a much more accurate poll more closely resembling the final outcome than asking about the voter’s own vote.
I’m beginning to think pollsters need to start asking voters who they think their neighbor will vote for President. Yesterday, we got a startling hint at this.
Eighty-nine percent of Republicans said the president after Obama would be from their camp, and 55 percent of independents agreed. Surprisingly 38 percent of Democrats had the same view (versus 47 percent who said it would be a Democrat). The telephone survey was taken during the last two nights of the GOP convention and got answers from 1,000 voters, meaning it was a typical sample.
With that many independents and Republicans and more than a third of Democrats thinking MItt Romney will win, I think standard polling on the horserace may have the same problems the gay marriage polling has had — the Democrats have done a damn fine job of throwing out racism and bigotry so much that voters are less than honest with pollsters.
So if Mitt Romney is such a bad candidate, why do I think he’s winning and what does the media have to do with it? It’s actually a pretty easy concept to grasp.
The Democrats and most of the mainstream media live in a symbiotic relationship and feedback loop. When Todd Akin says something dumb, the media seizes on it and attacks Todd Akin and the GOP. For the past several weeks the media has fixated on how out of touch the GOP is, its platform is, and its Presidential candidate is.
At the same time, the media has been largely silent on the Democratic Platform except for yesterday’s ridiculousness. Even then, the media mostly failed to point out that the Obama campaign said it had approved the platform removing God and Jerusalem, while going to great lengths to point out Obama intervened to put them back in.
Meanwhile, the Democrats booed God and his holy city the day after claiming we all belong the government as if it is some sort of Rotary Club.
This becomes the fatal problem for the Democrats — the media reinforces that the Democrats are grounded in reality and connected to America when they are not.
The Democrats actually have a very extremist position on abortion. The media that spent so long focused on the GOP’s position has barely dealt with the Democrats. Why? Because most of the mainstream media is in ideological lockstep with the Democrats on this. It’s hard to tell the Democrats they’ve gone too far astray from mainstream America when the mainstream media is over on the lefthand side to begin with.
The Democrats, in other words, overplayed their hand on the War on Women and there is no media voice they listen to saying, “Hold up, you’ve gone too far.” Most of the media is with or to the left of the Democrats on this. For a year now you and I have been hearing about the growing secularization of and atheism in America. I now see that’s no longer a coincidence, but another effort to feed the Democrats’ feedback loop in much the same way polls were being churned out in the press in 2010 showing how popular Obamacare would be despite all objective polling showing it was not.
Consequently, the Democrats turned Sandra Fluke and Elizabeth Warren into cult heroes on feminism and liberal issues. Barack Obama utters, “you didn’t build that” and the Democrats start their convention telling us we all belong to the government. They get rid of God and Jerusalem, give a podium to two disastrous speeches by Fluke and Warren that I’m willing to bet did more harm than good, hand much of the rest of the convention over to abortion rights activists, see MSNBC hosts wear buttons with uteruses on them, and think that they are connecting with middle America because the media is not raising red flags in the way the media does with the GOP.
The feedback loop between the Democrats and the media has pushed the Democrats well outside the mainstream and I believe there is a silent majority looking at this festival of the bizarre in Charlotte in absolute revulsion. They hear “fair share” and cringe. They hear Bill Clinton ask if people are better off than they were four years ago and are shocked the Democrats yell back “yes.”
The Democrats, having so many ideological soul mates from New York City and DC in the media, lack a buffer to their echo chamber and the feedback loop has only accelerated.
I really don’t think Mitt Romney is a strong candidate. And I’ve consistently believed he would lose. But now I think he’s winning and doing so largely because the Democrats have so overplayed their hand on social issues while ignoring the economy with no corrective from the media. The American people are aghast at what they are seeing and will respond accordingly at the polls.
The Democrats have made the one always fatal mistake anyone can make in politics — they’ve believed their own press.