The New Math

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A number of TPM Readers have written in this morning saying, “Josh, how can you of all people be surprised that Republicans or at least Republican pollsters had created their own alternative numbers reality (or in Megyn Kelly’s now immortal words, “Math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better”) that wasn’t completely cut off from reality.”To which I would say, good point, I guess. I’ve been making some version of this argument — as have many others — since early in the Bush administration. And we can see threads of it in the increasing conservative hostility to science. But it’s one thing to see these things in general, another quite this up close in particular. And not just in particular, but about something so concrete and critical for political peoples’ survival. What I mean is, having watched this game for a long time, every politico knows you need good private polling. Enough of the BS, in private you need good poll numbers. And yet this didn’t happen. And as I suggested last night it actually appears the Unskewed Polling Movement began inside the Romney campaign rather than them picking it up from the premier media unskewers.

So in a sense, we shouldn’t be surprised. Let’s not also pretend that what happened in polling is pervasive across all conservative thinking everywhere. But still, it’s disturbing, genuinely disturbing.

Let’s create our own science, our own cable news channel, our own media! We’ll never have to worry about liberal bias again! What could go wrong?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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