Presidential Campaign as World Wrestling Foundation by mattsteinglass
September 8, 2008, 1:16 pm
Filed under: Media, President

What could explain the fact that every presidential election since 2000 has been essentially a 50-50 tie?

Well, let’s say you had a television media that was dedicated to the appearance of “impartiality”, in the sense of favoring neither candidate on any issue, regardless of the merits. Let’s say that each time one candidate threatened to get far out ahead of the other one, the media shifted its story to favor the new “underdog”. And let’s say that in shaping this televised story the media  attempted insofar as possible to ignore any inconvenient facts or reality outside the purview of its self-created narrative.

And let’s further say that the power of the televised media pretty much overwhelmed any other factor in determining the narrative of the campaign and, thus, who voters pick.

That would produce pretty much a 50-50 tie every time.

One might object that these results are very new. How come we didn’t get 50-50 ties before 2000? Well, in 1996 and 1992 there were three candidates. It’s very hard to fine-tune your narrative to produce a close result in a three-way race. And what about 1988 and before? That was before the reality-TV era. People used to read newspapers.

I’m not sure this is actually what’s going on. But it would explain what we’re seeing.


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