The New Math

November 12, 2012 4:55 a.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

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?

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.

Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).

COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.). (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: