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What Did the Pundits Get So Very, Very Wrong?

God bless 24-hours of news for giving us the "something happened, here's a boatload of people to tell you how to think about it" model of reporting. After all, where would we be without pundits? Thinking for ourselves? Well that clearly just won't do at all. So what happens when what we've been told by the experts turns out to be a little, uh, wrong? Salon rounded up a list of "bum calls" from pundits this election. Here are a few:

  • Everybody Loves Sarah: For a while there in August everything was coming up Palin — leading the heads to speculate she was a masterful pick that was going to snare the Hillary voters and make a big splash with feminists. Polls out this week however show that 60 percent of women under 50 have negative feelings about her.
  • Steve Schmidt Rules: After McCain topped the polls following the convention, the world beat a path to strategist Steve Schmidt's door. But with the decision to suspend the campaign and focus on the day to day rather than building a brand, the strategy seems to be coming up shorter than expected
  • They were wrong about Obama too. To see how,


  • Obama Should Have Taken His Allowance: When Obama turned down the federal funding and his money stalled a bit after the conventions, the heads saw blood. Clearly he was too big for his britches. Though his record fundraising month of September proved that wrong.
  • The Hillary Fans Are Done For: The pundits sure thought the vocal Hillary supporters would never come around to Obama and he'd blown it by not picking her. But with new numbers showing Obama beating McCain with a 91 to 5 percent margin among Democrats it seems like there were 18 million cracks in their crystal balls.

Check out the whole list to see more. Did you make any election predictions that didn't come true?


Join The Conversation
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I agree although Pat Buchanan has been on cat knip or something since the 90's he's not as bad as he used to be.
laceykk23 laceykk23 8 years
i second that hypnotic and along with the two you pointed out ill add rush limbaugh just because he is such a blowhard and pat buchanan that man drives me up the dang wall with his shrill voice.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Most pundants I can deal with but I tell ya I would give up a months pay to slap the taste out of Sean Hannity's mouth and if Ann Coulter was a man that would be two months pay.
zeze zeze 8 years
Well in 2004 I predicted Hillary would be the next Dem. running for president - wrong. In 2006-2007 I still knew Hillary would be Dem candidate - wrong. Most of 2008 I still thought Hillary would get it - wrong. I thought Obama and McCain would be either tied now or McCain leading by a good amount - wrong. I thought McCain would pick Romney and guarantee MI for the Repubs - wrong. I still think McCain has a better chance to win then most people do and I still think that the race is a lot closer than people make it seem, I think in reality Obama might be up 2-3 points (not based on any poll, just how I think people would vote) and I still think that McCain will probably win - I don't know why, honestly, but it seems to me that all the states Obama is competitive in he will come closer than any other Democrat, reflecting his success in those states, but close only counts in horse shoes. I don't see how he will win OH, FL, NV, CO, VA, and even PA.
TinkerbellSF TinkerbellSF 8 years
Woop -- good point! Palin gave me a renewed and unexpected appreciation for Senator Clinton.
Woop Woop 8 years
"Did you make any election predictions that didn't come true?" Yes. I predicted that I would not miss Hillary Clinton. :( Since Palin's introduction, she's a wonderful sight for sore eyes.
t-and-co t-and-co 8 years
Jessie, I couldn't agree more. I was in the same boat as you...It took me a while to get behind Obama, but it's so insulting to hear people ask if I support Palin because I supported Clinton.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
It was insulting to assume that Hilary supporters would flock to Palin. Even if Palin was the ideal VP candidate, she is still a complete 180 on the political spectrum and to assume that women didn't actually like Hilary for her stance on the political issues and only backed her because she is a woman is sad. With that said Palin isn't half the candidate Hilary was. I was a Hilary supporter, but I sucked up my whining to back Obama, the way I assumed most Democratic Hilary supporters did. I didn't say "Ooooo McCain has a shiny woman, let me go back him" :?.
stephley stephley 8 years
I haven't made any election predictions that I can recall but my conventional wisdom has been shaken plenty of times this year. The biggest jawdropper to me was Palin - when I had only heard the name and then heard Cindy McCain say that being able to see Russia from Alaska counted as foreign affairs experience I felt sorry for Cindy -I thought McCain would be calling her nasty names again in public. Imagine my surprise when people took that claim seriously. I doubt I'll ever say anything is too stupid to be believed again.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Man, I can't stand most pundits. "Did you make any election predictions that didn't come true?" I thought McCain would have more of a chance than it seems he does.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
Everybody Loves Sarah :sick:
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