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Chris Matthews Still Doesn’t Get It 09 Jan 2008

Posted by Jessa in Politics.
Tags: , ,

The votes are in for the New Hampshire primaries, and – surprise – Hillary won. It turns out that the polls predicting an Obama runaway were off the mark. The discrepancy between the polls and the vote left Chris Matthews utterly confused, as though it’s never happened before. “Dewey Defeats Truman”, anyone?

At least Tom Brokaw was there to talk some sense:

MATTHEWS: We’re going to have to go back and figure out the methodology, I think, on some of these.

BROKAW: You know what I think we’re going to have to go back and do? Wait for the voters to make their judgment.

MATTHEWS: What do we do then in the days before balloting–

BROKAW: What a novel idea–

MATTHEWS: –We must stay home then I guess.

BROKAW: No, no, we don’t stay home. There are reasons to analyze what they’re saying. We know from how the people voted today what moved them to vote. We can take a look at that. There are a lot of issues that had not been fully explored in all this.

But we don’t have to get in the business of making judgments before the polls have closed and trying to stampede and affect the process.

Look, I’m not picking just on us. It’s part of the culture in which we live these days.

But I think the people out there are going to begin to make some judgments about us, if they haven’t already, if we don’t begin to temper that temptation to constantly try to get ahead of what the voters are deciding, in many cases as we learned in New Hampshire, as they went into the polling place today or in the past three days. They were making decisions very late.

What? Stop putting so much emphasis on polls and let the voters decide? What a novel concept! I’d like to think that Matthews would take Brokaw’s words to heart, but I wouldn’t count on it.

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1. ollie - 09 Jan 2008

actually, the polls were not that far off, as far as Obama’s result. He was pegged between 33-38 percent fairly consistently.

It was HRC’s numbers that were low; the reason is that she cleaned up on the undecideds, as Obama did in Iowa.

THAT is probably the lesson: it is the undecideds that will be tough to predict.

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