The dumbest pundits

Pundit Shaming collects some of the most spectacularly wrong election calls uttered in recent weeks by political pundits.

“But the most entertaining fall-out will be the recriminations of pollsters and polling generally in the wake of Romney’s 330+ electoral vote win next Tuesday." — Don Rasmussen

I'm convinced that most of them knew it was bullshit. They were, rather, making displays of faith. It doesn't matter whether they're right or wrong. All that matters is the chroma-keyed studio performance for the conservative media bubble. And what a semiotic shitshow that is. [The Atlantic]


  1. Unfortunately, the theory of pundit shaming rests on the premise that pundits are capable of experiencing shame…

    1. Who said they were ever paid to be right? They’re paid to shill. MSNBC, CNN and the rest certainly can’t be shamed for hiring these assholes.

  2. You can’t shame a pundit. It’d probably be more useful to shame a network owner, but they’re almost as shameless. 

  3. I wonder if some of the pundits who kept predicting a Romney win knew the odds were against it but were hoping to influence public behavior anyway.

    Although it seems like both a risky strategy and a pretty poor one, if what they really wanted was a Romney win. There was a lot of talk about the loss of enthusiasm among Obama voters between 2008 and 2012, but a lot of unenthusiastic voters were still concerned about the possibility of a Romney presidency, and the predictions proferred by pundits may have pushed some to the polls.

    (Sorry for the spittle.)

    1. Exactly. I think Obama won this election in no small part because the majority of independent/undecided Americans feared Romney/Republicans a lot more than they feared Obama/Democrats.

    2. Not that I wouldn’t have voted anyway and not that my state wouldn’t have gone to Obama anyway, but more people predicting Romney wins would have further motivated me to vote (for Obama) if I weren’t already inclined to do so.

      It was a terrible strategy. Were they trying to the get, “I want to say I voted for the winner!” vote?

    3. Here’s a fascinating theory that I think needs more exposure:

      A good part of the rage is not Obama-centric. It is over the fact that they were so wrong – and that Americans would vote the monster they had been trained to believe obama was – and accept the extreme socialistic welfare-state he would bring.
      The only way to insure that that rage did not blow-back on Mitt and the GOP was to feign utter shock themselves. If there was even a hint that they had been mis-led or that it was just another loss to the elites, the risk of blow-back was real. This analysis also fits with big donor blow-back. I can see Karl out there telling them they better be shocked at the results if the GOP wanted to see that kind of money in 2014. Anything less than shell-shocked means acceptance of a reality that spells doom for the GOP going forward.

      (via TPM)

    4.  Like I said below, I think they said these things not to help their victory, but to cover up for what they thought would be a narrow loss.

  4. The interesting part is that, due to the Bubble Effect, Republicans managed to absolutely convince themselves that Romney was headed for a landslide.  They were so sure of this that Romney didn’t even have a concession speech prepared.  He really believed his victory was inevitable.

  5. They’re political weathermen so I’m not sure they should be held accountable for making predictions that turn out not to be true.

  6. That’s some alternate reality these people have constructed for their audiences.  Just this morning, for unknowable reasons, my SO had left Faux on the TV.  When I came downstairs to retrieve some java, I heard one of their dizzy fools say something about Bengazi.  I think they’re all suffering PTSD at this point. 

    1. Like… “the biggest problem with the united states is the ones voting most taxpaying working people try to have a decent sized family but they are being out breed by the welfare queens and welfare families” …?

      1. “…but they are being out breed by the welfare queens and welfare families”

        You have to admit, there are an awful lot of Waltons.

        (Walmart Waltons, not the mountain-folk Waltons who were decent, god-fearing people.  Goodnight, John-Boy.)

  7. What is clear is that conservatives see no downside to claiming certain victory.  If they Win, great!.  And if they lose they can claim the election was stolen.  They thought this election was going to be close and they could blame the Obama (Muslims Kenyan Atheist Communist Nazi Manchurian Candidate) Victory on a conspiracy. De-legitimize his next 4 years and stop any sort of agenda.

    They got caught in their stupid lies when it turned out not to be close at all.

    1. Playing out this idea further, the conservatives even had a readymade way to redeem the landslide: everyone who voted for Obama was operating from parasitical motives.  Obama voters were that mythical 47% who seek to be dependent on government, plus a few extra, no doubt emerging from the much-discussed national demographic shift.

      Thus a loss is converted into a win.  In their fantasy world, they lost the election but won the moral victory.

    2. I dunno.  I find it hard to swallow that the majority of these particular pundits didn’t believe Romney would win handily.  Honestly, what’s the upside to proclaiming loudly, in front of an audience of millions, that Romney’s going to win in a landslide (or at least decisively) if you think there’s a really strong chance that those words will be your breakfast omelet, scrambled with the egg on your own face, on Wednesday morning?  Dumb as these people might be for being Romney-boosters in the first place, most of them have actual, store-bought educations and work next to people who can read poll results aloud to them, if necessary.  Surely the number of them who were predicting a solid Romney victory in the hope that Predicted Victory Begets Electoral Victory can’t be all that great.  The idea that Joe Q. Republican will hurry out to the polls to vote the Romney/Ryan ticket simply because Dick Morris sez he’s gonna win big is counterintuitive, as if America loves the overdog.  It would make more sense for the right-leaning folks to encourage turnout by hinting darkly that Obama’s definitely gonna win again if you don’t get your pale cracked asses out there and vote yer consciences.

      It made sense for the whole punditocracy to declare this a close race all year long, to encourage viewership and interest and the spending of unfathomable oceans of money on this goddamned campaign.  It was cynical and greedy and manipulative and dishonest, but it made a diseased kind of sense.  And it would have made sense for the Dumbest Pundits (if they weren’t so dumb, I guess) to have declared this race a terrifyingly close toss-up right down to the wire, to maximize the frightened-white-dude voter turnout.

      But predicting a fat victory for Romney?  There was no upside to that if they didn’t honestly believe it.  It might even run the risk of depressing turnout if the Right becomes complacent about its chances. And in the end, all it did was erase whatever credibility they possessed among the chuckleheads who thought they were credible in the first place.

      1.  I think I would explain that by saying I think they started out seeing there being no downside to predicting victory and then eventually started to believe their own spin and lost track of reality.

  8. I figure that the people who work for Fox News have no choice but to push the agenda they are already known for….the people might not honestly believe the crap they push, but they will NEVER get another job in broadcast news. Ever. No other network will ever touch them so they shout the lies as loud as they can and hope that they keep their jobs.

  9. My favorite was Dick Morris predicting a Romney ‘landslide’ with 300+ electoral votes, only to later describe Obama’s 300+ win as a ‘squeaker.’

    NPR (among others) was also guilty of a similar spin:
    2004, Bush over Kerry 286-251:  NPR: “By any definition, I think you could call this a mandate.”2012, Obama over Romney, 303-206: NPR: “For Obama, Vindication, But Not a Mandate.”

    1. There’s an eight-year difference in the NPR stories, and they were written by different people. The Dick Morris quotes are from within a couple of days of each other.

  10. I imagine the Twitter delete button got a serious workout Wed. morning. Too bad more people didn’t get some screen captures…

  11. Note that the founder of polling firm Rasmussen Reports is Scott Rasmussen, not Don Rasmussen who provided the quote above. So it’s not nearly as cringe-worthy as I at first thought.

  12. It’s not really fair to accuse only conservative media of this sort of thing.  Any long-time readers of the Daily Howler (now at ) knows our “liberal media” isn’t exactly staffed with geniuses.

Comments are closed.