Many polls didn’t give President Trump a chance. Some pundits claimed Lindsey Graham could go down, others said Texas could turn blue and liberals on CNN and MSNBC believed the president would surely be repudiated by minority communities.
But election night arrived and media narratives were debunked throughout the evening, with a presidential race so close that both sides essentially claimed victory. Graham defeated media darling Jaime Harrison handily, Texas stayed red, Hispanics helped Trump carry Florida and critics were left pondering the future of the polling industry.
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Regardless of who wins the presidential election, there was no blue wave, no overwhelming anti-Trump surge and the current president was not rejected as a racist bigot.
“The media were wrong because it was a mixture of wishful thinking and propaganda designed to influence the result. The people they most influenced were themselves and their leftist allies,” Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor told Fox News.
Gainor feels the mainstream media spent four years “pretending they were neutral” while “spouting lies” about President Trump — even calling him an agent for Russia.
“The press promoted polls they told us were absolutely showing Trump and the GOP were going to get destroyed,” Gainor continued. “Yet, here we are with a close election once more. Polling and especially ‘news’ based on it is like looking in a crystal ball, in a dark room, at night while wearing a blindfold.”
AN ABC News-Washington Post poll showed Biden ahead of Trump by 17 points in Wisconsin as recently as Oct. 25 – but the state remained too close to call when the candidates addressed Americans early Wednesday morning.
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“The View” co-host Meghan McCain took notice and said that nobody will believe pundits going forward.
“The big loser tonight are the pollsters and most of the media who no one will ever believe anymore,” McCain tweeted.
Trump declared victory in multiple key battleground states early Wednesday, even though it remained unclear who had the votes to win, as Trump hinted the White House would push the Supreme Court to rule over disputed ballots, warning that a “very sad group of people” was trying to “disenfranchise” voters.
The president was able to declare victory late Tuesday in battleground states of Florida, Ohio, and Iowa, and was able to clinch a big electoral win in traditionally red Texas, among other states, Fox News projected.
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But a number of key battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, and North Carolina, were too close to call.
Biden, speaking earlier in Wilmington, Del., said just after midnight that he was “on track to win this election.”
Some pundits even insisted we’d have a clear winner on Election Day, which obviously didn’t come to fruition.
“I saw James Carville, the Ragin’ Cajun, on MSNBC saying we will have a winner declared by 10 p.m. last night. That worked out well. He also declared a landslide in 2016,” The Hill media reporter Joe Concha said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.”
CNN’s Van Jones said the “repudiation” of Trump did not happen for Democrats even if Biden hangs on for a narrow victory.
“People got their hopes up looking at those polls,” he said, adding that the polling industry overall cannot be trusted at this point.
Spectator USA Washington editor Amber Athey feels the media botched their predictions, even if Biden is eventually declared the winner.
“The media learned nothing from 2016 and instead doubled down on the lie that the movement for Trump was about White racism. That’s why they could’ve never predicted Trump picking up so much of the Latino vote in Florida and, according to current exit polls, outperforming 2016 with the black vote nationally,” Athey told Fox News.
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NewsBusters Executive Editor Tim Graham offered a few theories on what went wrong.
“It’s possible that the media’s incessant hammering of Trump and the Republicans who dare to support him is causing people to avoid stating their support. It’s also possible that so many people won’t take the call because they don’t trust the pollsters,” Graham told Fox News.
“Whatever it is, our ‘conventional wisdom’ relies far too heavily on these rickety guesses. They lead to both sides of the divide feeling the system is rigged,” Graham continued. “What’s obviously rigged are these polls, trying to guess on a turnout model that doesn’t match reality.”
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However, pollsters such as Nate Silver have defended themselves, especially since Biden began closing the gap in key battleground states after Trump jumped out to an early lead. NBC News’ Dave Wasserman offered his thoughts via Twitter early Wednesday morning.
DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News the “media clearly had trouble during this election season separating responsible analysis from wishful thinking,” and feels it’s clear the press is not helpful in truly understanding the nation’s temperature.
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“Overall, the media should remember that push-polling and speculating about political elections is not like covering the run-up to the Super Bowl. People love to make bold predictions about sporting events, because they are largely entertainment,” McCall said, noting the political future of the nation is not a sporting event and is not supposed to be entertainment.
“If the media recognized this, they would less likely get hung out to dry with wishful storylines about Texas turning blue or the flipping of the Senate,” McCall said.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report