Is this “analysis” by the Washington Post as wildly misleading as it seems? Why yes…yes it is! Here are a few reasons why I say that (note: I also checked with several political pros to see what they thought, and am including their reasons as well, in quotes).
- For starters, by Virginia’s primary on February 12, 2008, John McCain had already de facto clinched the GOP nomination on Super Tuesday (February 5, 2008), with Mitt Romney withdrawing on February 7, 2008. So…Virginia’s GOP primary in 2008 was almost completely meaningless, boring, anti-climactic, you name it. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
- In stark contrast, the Virginia Democratic primary in 2008 couldn’t have been more exciting, with an extremely hot race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and with Virginia a state both campaigns worked hard to win. So of course turnout was super-high that year!
- In constrast, as a Dem politico told me (correctly): “Republicans have a competitive race this time; Dems really don’t (sorry Bernie fans).”
- As a Dem politico told me, “turnout is always higher for the party out of power,” in this case the Republicans. In 2008, it was a totally different situation, obviously, with George W. Bush having been in the White House since 2001.
- Also: “Republicans have [a gazillion] candidates running this time,” all of whom are spending tons of money and campaigning like mad to get out their voters. Again, that was not the case by the Virginia 2008 GOP primary.
- And: “The TV networks with their 24/7 Trump coverage have not really made the Dem primary a big focus.”
- Finally, “In Northern Virginia, there were absolutely a lot of Dems who went to vote AGAINST Trump” (Patricia Sullivan reported on this in the Post today; I also have a hard-core Democratic neighbor who told me she voted for Kasich to try and stop Trump and Cruz).
So why does the Washington Post push this fallacious crap as “news,” especially when it’s really just a bulls*** GOP talking point to try to depress and demoralize Democrats? I asked a few political friends what they thought. Here’s a sampling.
- “They want clicks, duh.”
- “If there’s a second agenda there, it’s instinctive self-insulation from bias allegations by playing both sides.”
“Because they GOP is saying it, and and [the corporate media] are stenographers, not reporters. A reporter would ask: is there any evidence that this has a connection?”
- I personally think the media really, really wants a close race this summer and fall, and as much drama as possible leading up to the general election. So if they can push narratives indicating that this might be the case, they do it, even if there’s no empirical basis of truth to the narrative.
Anything else we all missed? Feel free to weigh in about the godawful corporate media, and the Washington Post specifically, in the comments section.