Over at Wizbang Politics there are several posts linking to stories about the way some in the media are spinning recent polls and how many are overplaying the Democrats’ edge. I just wonder how the election results will be spun if the Democrats fall short. Such high expectations are being set that if Democrats do not win enough seats to take control of the House and/or Senate the story of their failure will be huge.
I am sure the media will find some way to spin it though. I remember in one election (I’m not sure which year, but it was when Arianna was still supposedly on the right) the Republicans lost some seats, but not enough to lose the House. The election results were reported as a huge loss for the GOP because they lost some seats they previously held. The media story was all about the huge win for Democrats. What frustrated me was the fact that none of the reports I saw explained that Republicans still won more races than the Democrats. They still had more seats in Congress. Every seat in the House is up for grabs every two years and Republicans had won more of them than Democrats had, they just had not won as many as they had two years earlier. Their margin of victory was slimmer than expected, but the GOP had been victorious. No one watching the news reports would have known that though. Democrats had won the expectations game and they had won a few more seats than they were “supposed” to win so every report I saw painted the Republicans as the losers, even though they still controlled the House.
With expectations so high, if Democrats don’t retake control of Congress it will be hard to spin it as anything but a disastrous defeat, even if they only fall a few seats short of the mark. And just for the record, I still think Republicans can hold the House and Senate. The Foley scandal hurt because it stopped GOP momentum that was building and overshadowed stories of good economic news (falling gas prices and record Dow, among others), but there are still quite a few races that could go either way and some good, smart, hard work can still tip the scales.