These burning questions are the top of mind after yesterday’s stunner:
Why did 18 of Florida’s 27 newspapers rush to print useless, incomplete news that the Presidential race was “too close to call?” Why waste valuable A-1 above-the-fold space with two-inch screaming banner headlines proclaiming, “DOWN TO THE WIRE” or “TOO CLOSE TO CALL” when, by the time most of the newspaper’s bathrobe-wearing readers had waddled out to their driveways to fetch the worthless rag, they already knew Trump was the next leader of the free world. One pathetic outlet even printed that Trump had only 216 electoral votes at the time they went to press. Can’t they hold off until they have actual news? The phenomenon can’t be pinned on smaller papers with lower budgets, either. The issue plagued big syndicates and smaller local papers, alike. See the travesty for yourself via Kevin Cate’s excellent (and free) Above the Fold newspaper front page clipping service.
Should the Everglades Foundation get out of the political business and focus on actual conservation efforts? Their horrible hashtag / political pledge campaign, #NowOrNeverglades, blew up in their face. Forty-one of the fifty-five political candidates who signed the pledge (that’s 75 percent) lost their respective races last night. The catastrophe wasn’t limited to Democrats, either. Republicans who signed the pledge faired poorly, too. Just before the election, the Everglades Foundation launched a 12-day, 20-city bus tour that proved to be a complete flop at the polls.
Why did Florida Democrats spend so much money to win a targeted Senate race, and win it, but gained zero seats? They took out Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, and then promptly lost Dwight Bullard. All that money and effort by Democrats, for a net of exactly zero. On the flip side, Republicans may have also netted zero, but the return on investment for them is in their continued control of the Florida Senate by a comfortable margin. Worth it? Definitely.
Which member of the Florida Cabinet has a cozy relationship with a major “establishment” national media outlet and a bad grasp of the Florida electorate? Sometime after 8pm last night, a certain member of the Florida cabinet sent a text message to a Washington Post reporter. Here’s how it was reported:
A Republican who won a statewide race in Florida two years ago texted after polls closed to say Clinton was going to win that state by four points.
So who did it? We can immediately rule out Rick Scott, who has no ability on his own phone to send a text message to anyone, nor is he the type to exchange gossip and predictions. That leaves Bondi, Atwater and Putnam. The upshot is that a seemingly innocent text may say a lot about the individual, his (or her) relationships, and their grasp of the evolving electorate, which in turn may have implications in 2018. We have calls in to all four Cabinet officials, and the Washington Post reporter. Once I hear back from everyone, I’ll post a follow up and what I think it means…
Will progressive media outlets like Wired Magazine and Huffington Post eat crow for proclaiming Nate Silver dead? In my inbox yesterday, Wired Magazine dropped the screaming headline “2016’s Big Data Hero isn’t Nate Silver. It’s Sam Wang.” The story went on to puff up a Princeton professor for calling the 2016 presidential race for Hillary Clinton at 8:55pm on…OCTOBER 18th. Yeah…weeks ago. So certain was Mr. Wang that he was right, he even offered to eat a bug if Trump got more than 240 electoral votes.
Can we / should we put the entirety of Buzzfeed.com on suicide watch? Not really joking. Check out the feed today. The most “uplifting” posts have headlines like, “Ten Tumblr posts that absolutely obliterate Donald Trump.” or “Watch Trump get totally destroyed by a reporter.” I’m not sure that kind of hyperbole is all that helpful to a reader who thinks the world is about to end, so only go there if you’re OK with last night’s election outcome and you enjoy laughing at other people’s pain.