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Gullible Media Hype Romney 'Momentum'—Which No Longer Exists | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Gullible Media Hype Romney 'Momentum'—Which No Longer Exists

Nate Silver in his daily analysis at The New York Times today points out that President Obama gained in five of the six leading national tracking polls yesterday and had reached his highest point for chances of winning (in the dreaded Electoral College) on Election Day, at 71 percent, since October 9. Even Rasmussen today has Obama gaining a point. And five new polls out of Ohio gave Obama the lead there, one by 5 percent.

So much for the “Mittmentum” you’ve been hearing about non-stop all week.

Along with many others, I have mocked in recent days the pundit and reporter claim—falling for blatant and concerted Romney camp hype—that Mitt was now in the lead and had the “momentum.” This came even though half a dozen respected polls showed Obama won the third debate, mainly by very wide margins, and some polls showing some movement in his direction afterward.

Also: no electoral map outside Karl Rove’s has ever showed Romney in the lead. From the media coverage, you’d think my wish had been granted and the Electoral College disbanded this week. Oh, and Obama has been leading in Ohio in virtually every poll for months.

Some in the media have weakly replied, Look at the Romney gains in polls—since early October. No one disputes that, following Obama’s epic flop in the first debate. The point that critics on the left have made in recent days was directed at the hype this week, clearly after Romney had peaked (and based, clearly, on Romney pushing that line to gullible reporters and pundits).

Now comes Nate Silver’s morning assesssment, and much more. At worse, they show no movement toward Obama, and most indicators—especially when you drill down to the swing state level—show his prospects improving. Another NYT piece raises the electoral vote problem for Romney.

Obama’s position is so clearly slightly ahead that he doesn’t even have to win Ohio to get a victory, despite another false media narrative that whoever wins that state surely wins it all.

And I love Ohio. I even have several close in-laws there and have visited state dozens of times. But outside of Chuck Todd and a few others you never hear this: Obama could very well win without Ohio, and Florida and Virginia.

That’s why the GOP bluff about “winning” is so far off, even if the media are now pushing it. Obama could still win without those states if he takes other toss-ups, all within easy reach based on polls and past behavior (favoring Dems off and on): Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin. In fact, many are already giving him Nevada and Wisconsin and the others are truly even. Obama is even close in Arizona. And Virginia and Florida certainly are feasible.

So we can ask: Meme dead in O-HI-O?

Now, go here for updates from me all day on the campaign.

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