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I'm a bit perplexed by something as I read how close this election is likely to be:


- Gore barely won the 2000 vote, which was extremely close:

- Many newspapers that endorsed Bush in 2000 are endorsing Kerry in 2004 (I think the Wash Post cited 36);

- Anecdotally, I have heard numerous acquaintances/colleagues say they voted for Bush in 2000 but will vote Kerry in 2004 (and such posts have appeared on these boards);

- I've not heard of a single 2000 Gore voter who says they are switching to Bush in 2004.

Given the above, how can this be a close election? Do the polls have it wrong (like when they said Howard Dean would win Iowa)?

Thoughts?

David
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I can give you a theory, David, albeit it comes from a friend who works in broadcast news for one of the Big Three:

There's a possibility it may not be close at all (I won't say in whose favor, because maybe we truly don't know). Many networks tell their journalists to keep reporting it as 'close' or 'tied.' (This part is fact.)

Why? Because who would watch all this coverage when there's an expected winner?

This is a huge ratings season for news shows. This and war are the only things that really draw viewers for them. The incentive is to continue promoting a very close race. Heck, networks have to pay for the rest of the year somehow.

Now the theory gets more conspiratorial: The polling companies follow suit. After all, who are their clients, their bread and butter? The networks. So maybe it's convenient to leave out the reports of a market segment here, a demographic there, etc. to keep it at a 'tie.' And of course, once one pollster does it, the rest don't want to seem out of whack--even if they're right. So they fall in line with similar findings.

Now, I'm not saying this is all true, but it is a viable theory.
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There's a possibility it may not be close at all (I won't say in whose favor, because maybe we truly don't know). Many networks tell their journalists to keep reporting it as 'close' or 'tied.' (This part is fact.)

Why? Because who would watch all this coverage when there's an expected winner?

This is a huge ratings season for news shows. This and war are the only things that really draw viewers for them. The incentive is to continue promoting a very close race. Heck, networks have to pay for the rest of the year somehow.

-----

Like Jon Stewart, being serious for once, said on Hardball...'It's all theatre.'
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Like Jon Stewart, being serious for once, said on Hardball...'It's all theatre.'

That is a very smart assessment.
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TP2004: "There's a possibility it may not be close at all (I won't say in whose favor, because maybe we truly don't know). Many networks tell their journalists to keep reporting it as 'close' or 'tied.' (This part is fact.)...Why? Because who would watch all this coverage when there's an expected winner?"

TP, I think this is actually a better one.

How is the younger generation of voter going to vote? The pollsters don't know as most have no landline to get a number for and survey.

I believe that these voters, if they turn out in the numbers we're hearing about, will be who decides, one way or another, who will win this election.

Veloci
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I believe that these voters, if they turn out in the numbers we're hearing about, will be who decides, one way or another, who will win this election.

I agree. This demographic may be a big surprise.
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