FOX 31’s Eli Stokols is out this morning with his list of winners and losers from last night’s election–we’re working on our own as well, and hope to have it up soon. In the meantime, we wanted to call attention to the final “loser” on Stokols’ list, which we think contains a vital lesson for Republicans attempting to process and rationalize yesterday’s many defeats:
Conservative media: Conservatives have grown so distrustful of everything they are told by the mainstream media, it becomes easy for them to fall into the trap of assuming that polls showing Obama winning are inherently flawed. Even last night, when any political novice could tell that the president was on his way to reelection based solely on the early indications from a number of eastern states, Karl Rove, sitting on the Fox News Channel set, refused to accept the network’s conclusion that Obama had won Ohio. His on-air tantrum became an instant YouTube sensation, a flashpoint of conservative anger that encapsulated the ugly truth that conservatives had long been living inside a Fox News Channel/Rush Limbaugh bubble, failing to acknowledge any events or viewpoints that didn’t mesh with their own conservative ideology and political fantasies.
Viewers and listeners so wrapped up inside that bubble with obsessive coverage of Benghazi didn’t realize how out of line they were with the rest of the country. In Colorado, conservatives dismissing the work of pollster Chris Keating on the grounds that he’s worked for Hickenlooper and Udall, overlooked a series of polls that were spot-on. A day before the election, Keating had Obama leading Romney 50-46; it was a four-point win for Obama, 52-48, in the end. [Pols emphasis]
Living within that conservative echo chamber doesn’t seem to serve viewers all that well, given that insulating oneself from reality only works for so long. Feigning confidence, hoping it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy, while ignoring or dismissing massive amounts of polling data because it doesn’t add up to a positive outcome – none of it seems to serve viewers all that well in the end, much less American democracy. Even the Romney campaign was drinking the conservative media Kool-Aid, with aides acknowledging Wednesday what was plainly evident from the candidate’s halfhearted, hastily thrown together concession speech – that they truly expected they would win.
As Rick Perry said, “Oops.”