Pew Poll: Media Should Not Declare the Race Over

The Pew Research Center has released the results of a poll on the media's insistence that the Democratic primary has ended and Obama is the winner:

Barack Obama may be building an insurmountable lead in the Democratic primary race, but the public is sending a strong message to journalists and pundits: It is too early to declare, as some already have, that the race is over.

Fully 72% of the public - including comparable percentages of Democrats, Republicans and independents - say that journalists should not be anointing Obama as the Democratic nominee at this stage in the race. Just 20% say that journalists should be doing this.

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    It will bite them in the behind. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by rooge04 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:36:57 AM EST
    The media has been told time and again by VOTERS that they are not responsible for determining our nominee. Yet they keep doing it. Yesterday, they decided Edwards and Obama are a dream ticket, even though Edwards can't get votes to save his life.   People are finally waking up to how ridiculous the media is. They've become so obvious that it backfires.  I hope it backfires to the point where Hillary is the nominee while all of them eat crow.  

    I Hope It Is Something Far Worse Than Crow (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:38:27 AM EST
    that they will be required to eat. :)  FTR...edwards just came out and said he will not run for VP...let's see if he stix to it.

    But Is That Enough To Stop Them.... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:37:08 AM EST
    The obama camp is doing their share to push this agenda too.  They are all drunk with power it seems...the media and obama.

    Managing expectations (2.00 / 0) (#15)
    by HelenK on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:50:57 AM EST
    IS a big part of politics and I fully believe that ANY candidate would be doing the same thing.

    Many Hillary supporters here at TL discuss managing expectations before primaries.

    Now that Obama is doing it successfully, he is building on momentum, it's bad.

    Regarding this poll: Americans probably mistrust journalists these days more than do politicians, so a big majority saying the journalists shouldn't call the race is over, is interesting, but not very significant.


    A media (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:58:11 AM EST
    narrative isn't that influential. If the media was that powerful Obama would have won PA and not lost WV by 41 pts. Heck, they were calling it all over before WV and look what happened.

    I think the problem is that no matter how hard the media tries to help Obama it really backfires on Obama. If the working class whites see the media as trying to help Obama simply because he's black that could create even larger problems for him if he's the nominee.

    The media is the same media that did this in the run up to Iraq. They are a bunch of idiots.


    Media's narrative (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by DJ on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:14:11 AM EST
    on going to war, on Bush's good old boy persona (1999-?), on Obama's hopey changey, Hillary evil, etc.
    why do people keep buying in to it?  
    O/T but didn't GE start Reagan's political career?

    Obama hasn't had momentum since Wisconsin. (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by masslib on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:48:02 AM EST
    Except (none / 0) (#45)
    by HelenK on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:04:22 PM EST
    he has ALL the momentum right now, superdelegates coming out for him everyday, endorsed by John Edwards and the Steelworkers union. Depends on how you define momentum!

    I define momentum (none / 0) (#48)
    by masslib on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:59:04 PM EST
    as not losing significant primaries.  Let's look at BO and HRC's wins since the begining of March, post-BO peaking in WI.



    She's won more than 300k votes than him in that time period.  


    If ony the metrics you are using (none / 0) (#49)
    by HelenK on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:07:58 PM EST
    are the ones that matter at this point.

    Obama's campaign organization is masterful and that talent for organization is just another of his good points.

    Hillary's closest advisors are on record today discussing how it all went wrong. Her organization failed to capitalize, and most of it seems to be a belief that she didn't need to campaign after Super Tuesday, which turned out not to be the case.

    Politics is a game, alas, and I wish it were not so.


    Too bad no caucuses in November. (none / 0) (#50)
    by masslib on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:12:39 PM EST
    Not from voters. (none / 0) (#51)
    by nycstray on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:19:09 PM EST
    Obama will call it in OR (none / 0) (#18)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:58:13 AM EST
    I put this in yesterday..... from somone at noquarter...

    [I heard Paul Begala on the radio with Ed Schultz and Schultz felt that Obama was going to have
    2025 by May 20. He just got 9 delegates today from
    Edwards...... Schultz asked Begala if this happens then the DNC can't change the number needed and it would be unnecessary for them to meet on Florida and Michigan. Begala said that is right. I think that Obama is trying to get this done before the DNC meets.]-----------------------

    and you responded there would still need to be a vote.  Candidates have reached the number early in the race and votes still occur it's just that one person has reached the 'goal' (which is wrong in my opinion.

    The issue is, Clinton supporter Begala agrees with Obama on this.  He has said it on the radio, CNN will have him on to say Obama has reached the (fake) goal.

    The media doesn't care what the voters want (neither does the Dem party).  They want it done before Obama bleeds more voters.  They can pretend it is wrapped up and then they can pretend that the bad results from the remaining contests can't be analyzed because... well, you know, the voters decided...  The media won't have the nerve to not cover the final contests, but they will brush off the results.

    Only good thing for Obama supporters is the Repubs seem unable to get it together.


    If Obama "calls it" (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by frankly0 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:04:18 AM EST
    after OR, it's just going to fly in the face of what this poll is obviously saying: the people don't want to have it declared over.

    It will be just one more thing to make the guy look less like the "presumptive nominee" and more like the "presumptuous nominee".


    Desperation (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:19:49 AM EST
    It looks like desperation to me.

    BTW.... presumptuous.. did you see media talk about Obama's expression when Edwards endorsed?  It was not pleasant but they were kind enough to say 'cheshire grin'.     Let's be less kind and say he looked like a 'snob' again.  Just feeds in to the arrogant/elitist meme.  He seems incapable of dialing it down.


    Begala (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by americanincanada on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:04:37 AM EST
    is setting the Obama campaign up.

    yesterday on CNN even Donna Brazile said that the number to be nominee is somewhere BEWTEEN 2025 and 2209. If Obama declares vitory it will come back to bite him.

    Begala is not stupid and he says things for a reason. He has also not abandoned HRC, the Obama people assume so at their own peril.


    So it seems (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:37:15 AM EST
    that the people will only believe it's over when the candidates (but which one?) say so.

    Interesting how little faith people have in the media, and somewhat encouraging.

    Yet the netroots (none / 0) (#7)
    by Stellaaa on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:42:42 AM EST
    are going along.  Yeah for opposition.  

    The tide turns (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:54:32 AM EST
    even in SC.  Two columnists (Wickham and Goodwin) have interesting words today.  The first says Clinton's legacy will be MI/FL-- he does think Obama will be the nominee, but he wants Clinton in until May 31.

    Goodwin says the repubs and Clinton get the gut truth--Americanism (heritage, she calls it) counts.  I would amend to say that many people who have worked to make America a just nation want the country to continue on the path Clinton has chosen.  Doesn't matter how long they or their ancestors have been here, but these are people who have adopted our values and continue to work for them.  Not sure I have put it right--but she was saying it isn't racism and prejudice that is driving the primary votes.

    There were also 2 letters to the editor that present reasoned views on politcs and religion (both from my college town, actually).  One 'proves' that Bush economics has not resulted in lower taxes/more money for people.

    Hope this is not OT; but thought it apt since it is about what the media is saying here.

    Tradition? (none / 0) (#26)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:15:54 AM EST
    I don't think your statements are off topic at all.  They relate to why people may be polling they don't want it over.

    They are thought provoking statementsI'm not sure I understand the term Americanism.  Does it mean tradition?  I'm also confused about the statement that the Repubs and Clinton get it.  If it is tradition (American values) that people want (that has been absent the last 7 years) does that mean voters are rejecting the 'hope/change' schpiel?


    The idea was the voters (none / 0) (#42)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:08:28 AM EST
    should reject Obama's spiel.  She was really saying that it should be Clinton or McCain.  I used the term Americanism to sum up Goodwin's heritage reference.  That word sounds sort of them vs. us, but I don't think that was the point.  The point was, I think, that Clinton 'gets' the importance of work and American values (in the best sense of the words--something that most immigrants want to adopt, I believe).  I will try to find a link to post.

    Molly - do you have a link? (none / 0) (#37)
    by Josey on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:44:11 AM EST
    Bad mistake: (none / 0) (#43)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:20:39 AM EST
    Not Goodman, but Kathleen Parker!  Big difference, isn't it?  My paper was on the dining room table and my computer is not!  Also, was in a hurry to get rid of a lot of money (a re-fi).  Google won't even give me the Greenville News (SC).

    That same piece was also printed in my paper (none / 0) (#52)
    by FLVoter on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:39:10 PM EST
    the Sun Sentinel on Thursday (I think).  IMO you explained it correctly.

    Well its not over for me (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by dotcommodity on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:58:39 AM EST
    and I ventured back into the belly of the beast dailykos to diary my last stand for good eco policy wonk with

    My Super Rep Jerry McNerney's Difficult Decision

    hope you'll check back there to help fend off my attackers...


    Can you imagine, (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Anne on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:26:19 AM EST
    at tomorrow's Preakness, the starting gates open, the horses thunder down the track, and at the 3/4 pole, the announcer calls the race for the horse in 1st place at that point - while the horses continue to run hard, and the horse in 2nd is only a nose off the lead?

    That's what the media is doing.

    (sorry - I'm from Maryland, live in horse country)

    I want Hillary to win because (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by stillife on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:32:46 AM EST
    she's the best candidate, but I would also like her to win just to discredit the noxious pundits who are in such a hurry to anoint Barack Obama.  

    why do we allow corporate media pundits (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Josey on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:34:53 AM EST
    and presstitutes to control the narrative for elections?
    They'll always do the right thing - the corporate thing - and Obama is their new corporate American Idol.

    Without jixing anything (none / 0) (#5)
    by cmugirl on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:42:16 AM EST
    What will the media narrative next week if Hillary trounces Obama in KY and keeps it close in OR?

    It will be that she lost again. (none / 0) (#8)
    by rooge04 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:43:20 AM EST
    If he wins OR, KY and the 'rednecks' therein will not matter.  It will just prove once again how electable he is!

    I'm confused! (none / 0) (#6)
    by sarissa on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:42:19 AM EST
    So the will of the majority should be overridden by "enlightened professionals" on the issue of homosexual marriage, but on the issue of projecting a winner in a nomination contest it should not?

    Somebody help me out :)

    Hm? (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Steve M on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:02:09 AM EST
    I'm not sure whose civil rights would be infringed if the media did its job and simply reported on the primary without trying to decide it.

    Define (none / 0) (#10)
    by cmugirl on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:45:29 AM EST
    "will of the majority".

    You mean that HRC has won more actual votes?

    Or that she has won more Democrats?


    clarify (none / 0) (#12)
    by CanadianDem on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:47:56 AM EST
    You mean that HRC has won more actual votes?

    Or that she has won more Democrats?

    Has she done either of these?  If so, links?  Not trying to be inflammatory just curious.


    Look it up (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Cream City on Fri May 16, 2008 at 11:08:16 AM EST
    for once -- at sites provided before to data we have discussed here before.

    Go to pollster.com.  Look up the popular vote count.  See the count including all votes, i.e., FL and MI. Then bookmark the site (and others usefully provided here by many commenters), so we all keep up on the conversation and save costly bandwidth by not starting threads rehashing info.  Or provide your own links, if you think you have evidence otherwise.


    I don't think Hillary's going anywhere... (none / 0) (#9)
    by sweetthings on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:44:22 AM EST
    But I notice a different atmosphere in the last few days.

    It seems like everyone is always talking about how great everyone else is. Hillary is defending Obama against Bush. Edwards is careful to heap praise on Hillary before endorsing Obama. And everyone everywhere is starting to talk Unity for November.

    It just seems like something has changed. Maybe it's just me, though.

    The media narrative is changing (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by cmugirl on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:49:06 AM EST
    Because a full 29% of Democrats (not just HRC supporters) say she should run as an Independent.

    38% want her to drop out (but 25% want Obama to drop out) - again, not just her supporters - Democrats nation-wide.

    While it is down a bit, 76% of all Democrats now believe it is at least somewhat likely the Democratic nomination will remain unresolved until the Democratic convention in August.

    That's why the narrative is shifting.



    Hillary has ALWAYS (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by rooge04 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:50:56 AM EST
    spoken kindly and defended any attacks against Obama from Republicans.  

    He and his supporters don't seem to understand the difference between attacking his record and attacking him personally. She has never attacked him personally and if anything has been gracious to him this entire time.


    two different universes (none / 0) (#54)
    by LCaution on Fri May 16, 2008 at 02:03:18 PM EST
    With the exception of BTD, Hillary and Obama supporters seem to live in two different universes (think Star Trek).

    They see her and Bill as Satans who have played the race card against Obama from Day 1, insulted him, etc., etc.

    I see an Obama who has, personally, made some obviously sexist and disrespectvul comments but not gone into the gutter where all his supporters (including writers for the NYT, TNR, The New Yorker, Newsweek, etc.) have gone.  But he hasn't done anything to stop them other.  (Apologizing after he gets the nomination won't count.)

    OTOH, one of the things that drew me to Hillary and has made me an ever stronger supporter has been the absolute class and graciousness she has demonstrated in the campaign since Iowa.  I simply do not see how any rational person can watch her or listen to her and conclude that she (or Bill) is a racist who has no respect for Obama.

    Like I said, two alternate universes.


    They want her voters (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:09:15 AM EST
    The media and the Dem party are being nice to Clinton because they made her voters angry.  The media and the partyr are in STARK REALITY MODE.  Code Blue!  Code Blue! Obama is the only one sending out signals by not being nice to her.

    Joan in VA wrote yesterday that she watched Obama lump Clinton in with Bush and McCain again yesterday on CNN.  (No VP for Clinton?)

    BTDs media darling theory is holding up big time.  I have never seen a candidate in such need of propping someone up and media so willing to do it.  (I'm agree with other commentors... Iraq war all over again)  The desperation of the media and the Dem party is glaring and, really, kind of sad and pathetic.


    nope (none / 0) (#11)
    by CanadianDem on Fri May 16, 2008 at 09:46:28 AM EST
    I noticed it as well.  Be more telling as the next Primary approaches to see the tone of it all.

    The strangest thing (none / 0) (#21)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:03:07 AM EST
    is I turned to my husband last night and said, "where would we be without Faux News"?  And I'm saying this from the standpoint of someone who used to do everything in my power to avoid watching anything on Faux News.

    Honestly without them somewhat tempering the story, imagine how rabid the media would have gotten.  It's unthinkable.

    Yeah, I know, their "news" casters and pundits come off to me as concern trolls.  But they really played an important part in this primary.

    what exactly is a concern troll? n/t (none / 0) (#27)
    by DJ on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:16:01 AM EST
    I understand what you are saying. (none / 0) (#30)
    by DJ on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:17:41 AM EST
    My husband printed the Cokie and Steve Roberts article to bring home to me.  He felt relief to finally read something that agrees with us.

    That Cokie piece is a godsend. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by masslib on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:49:56 AM EST
    I wish I knew how to contact her.  

    there is an email address (none / 0) (#44)
    by DJ on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:03:38 PM EST
    at the bottom of that piece that goes to Steve and Cokie (I hope)

    I sent her a note myself.


    HRC Stay & Fight! (none / 0) (#23)
    by aa incalif on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:05:14 AM EST
    Millions donated money for HRC to stay to the end no matter what.  We didn't donate our money to see her give into the pressure from the MSM & MSNBC.

    What's the rush to get out?  Who cares about party unity?  The DNC talks about unity and fighting in the party, what about the fights that BO started.  The Dems talk as if HRC started all the fights.

    Millions protested the war on TV I didn't see BO at any war protest and I watched each one that was on TV.  It ain't over till it's over.  In football a team may be down 47-0 in the final minute however the game ain't over until the clock strikes 0 minutes.

    Fight till the end!  What are they afraid of?

    seems obvious to me (none / 0) (#32)
    by Josey on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:21:50 AM EST
    The desperate Washington establishment keeps rolling out SDs for their candidate - but the SD endorsements now seem based on PRESSURE disguised as "unifying the party" - not because Obama is the best GE nominee or would be an effective president.
    If Edwards thought Obama was the "best" why didn't he endorse him 2 months ago and begin campaigning for him in PA, IN, WV, KY....

    Goalposts? (none / 0) (#28)
    by arjay on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:16:15 AM EST
    Sorry if this is OT - I look new, but I have actually been on this site for about a year though I never comment.

    Anyway, Obama folks are always claiming that Hillary's folks have been moving the goal posts.

    Now, the Obama campaign is getting set to declare victory by winning a pledged-delegate majority.  How does that matter? Is there something else in the rules? I thought there was a specific number they had to hit (which I know is in debate) but what does "majority" mean?

    it's very confusing (none / 0) (#34)
    by Josey on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:31:06 AM EST
    and others here can explain it better.
    The FL & MI debacle is a key factor - when and how it is resolved.
    Obama will crown himself the nominee of 48 states on May 20 before the Rules committee meets May 31 to resolve FL & MI.

    People believe what they see and hear on TV (none / 0) (#29)
    by kenosharick on Fri May 16, 2008 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    control the narrative/story and you make the truth. In 2000, the bush people declared victory from the start and never wavered.

    Clinton will have won the popular vote (none / 0) (#46)
    by gandy007 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:43:48 PM EST
    by any measure after Puerto Rico, even given the most conservative estimates. That's why she should not quit and neither should we.  People may not know the details, but they sense that fairness dictates that this should play out to the end.

    Real Clear Politics has a very good chart explaining this, w/o Mi and Fla and the caucuses,
    with only Mi and Fla added in, and with all included with the best guess on the caucus states.

    2008 Democratic Popular Vote Count

    Popular Vote Total        Obama    16,104,613    49.3%; Clinton    15,511,003 47.5%            Obama +593,610    +1.8%

    Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA*             16,438,697    49.3%    15,734,865    47.2%    Obama +703,832    +2.1%

    Popular Vote (w/FL)            16,680,827    48.4%    16,381,989    47.6%                Obama +298,838    +0.8%

    Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA*             17,014,911    48.5%    16,605,851    47.3%    Obama +409,060    +1.2%

    Popular Vote (w/FL & MI)*            16,680,827    47.6%    16,710,298    47.7%        Clinton +29,471    +0.08%

    Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA             17,014,911    47.7%    16,934,160    47.5%        Obama +80,751    +0.22%

    (Iowa, Nevada, Washington & Maine Have Not Released Popular Vote Totals. RealClearPolitics has estimated the popular vote totals for Senator Obama and Clinton in these four states. RCP uses the WA Caucus results from February 9 in this estimate because the Caucuses on February 9 were the "official" contest recognized by the DNC to determine delegates to the Democratic convention. The estimate from these four Caucus states where there are not official popular vote numbers increases Senator Obama's popular vote margin by 110,224. This number would be about 50,000 less if the Washington primary results from February 19th were used instead of the Washington Caucus results.)

    *(Senator Obama was not on the Michigan Ballot and thus received zero votes. Uncommitted was on the ballot and received 238,168 votes as compared to 328,309 for Senator Clinton.)

    Summary of popular vote (none / 0) (#47)
    by gandy007 on Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:47:25 PM EST
    The chart is current numbers.  It means that by the most optimistic estimate, Obama is about 80,000 votes ahead and if you consider Washington in a light most favorable to Clinton, he is only ahead by  about 30,000.

    CNN? Time? Newsweek? The Economist? MSNBC? (none / 0) (#53)
    by LCaution on Fri May 16, 2008 at 01:53:04 PM EST
    You think any of these outlets and more will report the results of the PEW poll - or change the way they are acting because of the poll?

    Not a chance. After all, they've all, except the NYT, managed to avoid that little problem of relying on military analysts paid by the Pentagon. Good grief: Brian Williams defended one because he's "known" the guy for a long time and "knows" he wouldn't shade the truth just because the Pentagon was paying him.  Sheesh. Another "I looked into his eyes".