Watching the Sunday Morning talking heads on Meet the Press and This Week was kind of a surreal experience. For a minute I thought it was next Sunday, because they were all talking about the election in the past tense, with questions like "when was it that John McCain lost this election?" The discussion came down mostly to how much of a landslide the election is going to be for Obama, with no consideration of the possibility of any other outcome.
Apparently the media has entirely convinced itself that exit polls of early voting can accurately predict the overall outcome of the election, despite the fact that it has been definitively proven that people lie pathologically to exit pollsters, as was demonstrated in 2000 and 2004. In addition, all of the polls are using weighting systems based on hypothetical assumptions about demographics, voter turnout and voter attitudes which have no basis in anything except the partisan wishful thinking of the pollsters and their employers. With McCain running such a wildly unconventional campaign, clearly based on a completely different set of assumptions, the talking heads seem foolishly arrogant in their premature conclusions. It is almost enough to raise the suspicion that they are engaging in psyops-style vote suppression and attempting to convince people not to vote because the outcome is predetermined.
One of the fundamental mistakes the punditocracy and the pollsters seems to be making is the assumption that high voter turnout means that lots more Democrats are voting and that independents are turning out to vote Democrat. This seems to be based on the theory that only Barack Obama can inspire people to vote and that those people can only be voting for him. They seem to be overlooking the reality that Obama is a polarizing figure and his power to turn out voters may very well include the power to turn out a lot of voters who oppose him. This is clearly what the McCain campaign is banking on by painting the Obama's negatives in broad strokes and making sure that those who have concerns about Obama are given plenty to worry about.