The long hyped blue wave now is practically non-existent on liberal news outlets now that election day is around the corner. Midterms coverage is gradually acknowledging the large size of the republican base and expected turnout. A true sign of how strong republican turnout may be is depicted by how President Trump’s favorite news agency, CNN, has shifted its coverage. Now, even CNN is worried about a non-existent blue wave.
CNN, of course, still gives the upper hand to the democratic party when it comes to the House of Representatives. The agency predicts that “Democrats will win 226 seats (and the House majority) while Republicans will win just 209 seats. A Democratic win of 202 seats and 260 seats is within the margin of error.”
When it comes to the Senate, CNN predicts, “Republicans will hold 51 seats (and maintain control of the Senate) next Congress while Democrats will hold just 49. Anything between Republicans holding 47 seats and 56 seats is within the margin of error.”
These predictions are much more tame than some proposals made during the peak hype of the blue wave. Even still, CNN notes just how unreliable their predictions have been. “Although we haven't generally presented a percent probability, the model gives Democrats about a 72% chance of winning control of the House...You know who else had about a 72% chance of winning? Hillary Clinton in 2016.”
That’s right. Their confidence for a democrat controlled House is just as high as was a Hillary Clinton presidency. By admitting this, republicans may breathe a sigh of relief, knowing just how wrong the 2016 forecast turned out to be. However, midterms are certainly a different beast than presidential elections. Confidence from either party is questionable, and voter turnout efforts should remain strong as if each race is crucial.
Still, there is something unavoidably familiar to the shift in coverage from the mainstream media. An inevitable “blue wave” was hyped for months, serving as a propaganda tool to try and meme the blue wave into existence. The thought process goes, “if everyone believes this to be certain, resistance to this version of the future is futile.” It can also be analogized as attempting to direct a school of fish. If everyone is being told that the school is swimming this direction, then naturally this is the direction that people will chose to swim. This far more preferable than attempting to swim against the tide and risk social alienation.
However, once it comes time to vote, these agencies must switch their tactics. The propaganda machine must dial back, for these agencies have to consider their continued credibility. Thus, even though they had been routinely presenting a false state of reality for months, they can act as if, all of a sudden, things are not so certain. For the sake of preserving their continued influence, they must convince their audience at the last hour that they are indeed trustworthy.
Thus, even CNN left room for a republican victory. “Let's say Republicans win all the seats where they are favored as well as the seats where Democratic candidate leads by about a point or less in our forecast. That would leave Republicans with 220 seats to Democrats with 215 seats. Now, that's not the most likely scenario, but it's on the table.”
This tactic is for sake of preserving some sense of a credible reputation. Even though, according to the news agency, a republican victory is “not the most likely scenario,” CNN has provided some wiggle room to say they acknowledged it might happen.
For those who are not caught in the CNN swim stream, this is a real sign of concern from the agency. Admitting that republicans may maintain control of congress shows that the midterms are much more competitive than the agency might wish.