Why did the media get it so wrong?

Hi there, Chloe here sitting in for Ros today. 

Yesterday we seemed to be bombarded with predictions that Barack Obama would secure a narrow victory in the New Hampshire Primary, a prediction we made ourselves here at the BBC. People were writing off Hillary Clinton and some commentators even questioned whether she would drop out of the running altogether. Seems ridiculous now in hindsight. So how was it called so wrong?

Are the media both inside and outside the US in love with Barack Obama? Did the pollsters and commentators speak to the wrong people? Did voters simply say one thing in public but in the privacy of their voting booth changing their minds? Or is it an impossible job to predict winners in an election that is the most wide open for 50 years?

There is another strand to this debate and that is whether the voters are listening to the media at all.

And then there was that emotional moment in a New Hampshire Coffee shop – did Hillary Clinton let her guard down and show her true self or was it a cynical ploy to get votes? Either way it seemed to have worked with her capturing the women’s vote which deserted her in Iowa last week.

Since the New Hampshire result there has barely been a mention of John McCain winning the Republican vote, giving fresh impetus to what was a flagging campaign. Is there a general feeling that it is a foregone conclusion that the Democrats will sweep to victory in November and ultimately the White House? So much to talk about later on.


Also a word about tomorrow’s programme when Ros will be back in the hot seat. The world’s cheapest car is going to be unveiled by the Indian company, Tata. You’ll be able to get your hands on it for around $2,500. (You may have seen Martin’s post on the blog about this). Some experts have warned that a big increase in the number of cars on India’s roads will be a major threat to the environment. Does everyone who can afford it have the right to own and drive a car? We may well look at this in tomorrow’s programme, so send us your comments now.

105 Responses to “Why did the media get it so wrong?”

  1. January 9, 2008 at 15:11

    who cares
    the bbc becomming focused on this great red herring of american demon autocracy ,must we be bombarded with this senseless beat up
    like isnt there real news ?

    or you [bbc ]sacked your WORLD corrospondents
    make them all put in a report a day
    hearing a half hourly report on american mindlessness isnt news
    and in trying to give all your american corrospondants a bonus isnt making the WORLD NEW sss work for us who dont care about cau-cussing in the least

    if we dont hear another ”mock election report it will be fine with us [remember us your world wide listeners ?
    new news [think about that]
    not sports not american primacy, world news
    it just might make a difference

  2. January 9, 2008 at 15:17

    ok when these cars comming to australia
    i want to by 2
    is there an electric model?
    or are they wind up
    of course people have the right to drive thier cars
    petrol companies shouldnt have the right to make them all run on petro chemical
    an over unity electric car can run for years recharfging itself
    even if we had to rent them at or near the price of petrol costs
    saving the plannet would earn such a far seeing manufacturor trillions
    but i forget who owns and runs the autto industry

  3. 3 John D. Anthony
    January 9, 2008 at 15:19

    New Hampshire had an enormous number of undecideds and independents. It was foolhardy for the media to predict anything but apparently the payoff in viewership for calling it right makes it worth the gamble.

    And if Hillary’s “moment” was a ploy then she deserves an Oscar. To me she sounded exhausted and unguardedly sincere.

    John in Salem

  4. 4 Anthony
    January 9, 2008 at 15:29

    What everyone forgets is, people from one state, are TOTALLY DIFFERENT from people in another. Different morals, needs, wants, mentalities, mannerisms, and whole personas. When someone is visiting California from another state, Californians can tell right away, and visa versa. So of course different states are going to vary quite a bit. I don’t think anyone can really predict winners this early.

    -Anthony, Los Angeles, California.

    BTW, my vote is for Clinton. (with Obama as her Vice President)

  5. 5 John
    January 9, 2008 at 15:33

    Hi Chloe.
    Crocodile tears?, is it possible that Mrs Clinton obtained the results from the sympathy trip?. Lets face it just 2% more, i am of the opinion she is not yet there.

    Bill Clinton was ok as far as one could see. Mrs Clinton has not the charisma that he had, and both of them in the White House would not be an ideal situation. Where as Barack Obama has the drive, and would be fresh blood in American top line politics.

    Ods on Barack will win. The world needs a change in American politics, no disrespect to Mr Bush, he did his best.. So, no wonder, just a twist, lets wait for the next results.

    John in Germany

  6. January 9, 2008 at 15:46


    The Media did not get anything wrong much less the BBC. The problem is the USA is undergoing changes that it never imagined. The US Elite is feeling the effects of these changes. If only there was a political opening for Libertarians and Greens.

    Just to inform you the Green Party of the USA will be having their debate in San Francisco California on the 13th of January 2008. The Moderator will be Cindy Sheehan. Two of the people participating will be Cynthia Mc Kinney [Georgia Politician who believed that the USA was at fault for 9/11] and Ralph Nader. More information on the Green Party USA Website at gp.org

    Before leaving, Congressmen Wexler, Kucinich, and Gutierrez are introducing a motion in Congress and the House of Representatives to impeach Cheney for Abuses of Power. This is from a concept originated in the Green Party. Here are the websites: http://www.impeachbush.org/
    http://www.WexlerWantsHearings.com I signed the petitions for their impeachment.

    Cheers from Miami Florida


  7. 7 Mohammed Ali
    January 9, 2008 at 15:49

    I don’t think the media and the pollsters got it all wrong. Mrs. Clinton was able to play on the emotion of the undecided voters. She also played on the women voters by publicly shedding tears. Women normally do not like to see their colleagues downhearted. So they went against the odds.

  8. January 9, 2008 at 15:51

    Correction, the website for the Green Party USA is: http://gp.org
    The Libertarian Party Website is http://lp.org
    The George Phillies for President Website is

  9. January 9, 2008 at 15:55

    i would like to comment on
    g.ww3 busche appearing in the holy of holies [jerusalam?]
    soon ?
    seems to link up with some prophecy about the anti christ standing somewhere holy
    if we really knew what his plans are we would soon see bringing peace to palistein isnt on the cards
    scince when a us president serving foreign agencies [israel][aipac] not regarded as treason [giving 6 million one trillion dollars us shows how much the neo con lobby does its paper clip self service well [for its own]
    bankrupting his own people to serve those who tried to kill his own pappy [lest we forget] to bring on his ww3
    if he brings peace [yeah right]
    what no one tell him cheeney /aipac/mossad news corp/fox etc etc
    wont let him do that
    but if he was half a real president he would say this is what will be [or the slush funding stops]

  10. 10 Andre
    January 9, 2008 at 16:07

    The media likes to pick its favourites early and tends to slant slightly towards them. After Iowa, Barack Obama became the favourite as his “exotic” background and heavily progressive (or leftist), policies attracted much of the media elite. Hillary Clinton was written off as the past, already known, boring even.

    The truth is – we don’t yet know who will win the democratic nomination. Secondly, each state is a seperate election and different factors will come into play. For example, in the upcoming South Carolina primary, Obama should win easily because of the nearly 50 percent of African-American voters. Things will be different in Florida, New York and California – however. Either candidate can win in any state but each candidate will be favoured or handicapped differently in each state.

    I am personally hoping for a Hillary Presidency as I feel that Obama is getting a comparatively easy run because he happens to be an articulate black senator. However, being a good speechmaker does not necessarily mean being a good chief executive. Barack Obama, with no executive and little legislative experience, is seeking the most powerful fully elected office in the world – no wonder we’re concerned.

  11. 11 Nanci Hogan
    January 9, 2008 at 16:08

    Not sure why the media and pundits did so badly in calling this primary early for an overwhelming Obama win. They certainly did him no favors. Given he was behind even just a few weeks ago in the New Hampshire polls, the fact that he did so well is overshadowed by the false expectations raised by the media.

    The cynical Brits on the HYS are profoundly irritating. America’s process of electing their party representatives for president is far more democratic and grass roots oriented than the British equivalent of a week long at most party conference in September. You have a Prime Minister that wasn’t even elected by the people. He was coronated Tony Blair’s successor. This election in the States is the most wide open election in decades and demonstrates that democracy isn’t dead yet.

    :Hillary doesn’t represent change but a political dynasty. She bleats on about 35 years of being a change agent, but what has she really done? Obama needs to start asking HER where’s the beef? He also needs to clarify what kinds of changes he would make. His message is very inspirational and resonnates with those born after 1960. He represents a new generation and I want him to succeed. However, to reach out to people of my parents’ generation, he needs to spell out specific changes he’d make.

    Hilary only won by six thousand votes out of 500,000 cast in one tiny state. It’s too early to predict that she’ll take this election. New Hampshire is not representative of America by any stretch of the imagination. So, it will be interesting to see how both Hilary and Obama play in the heartland of America, in the burgeoning growth area of the South and in the large industrial rust-belt northern states.

    Now the media has swerved to support Hillary on the basis of little evidence and my prediction is that they’ll be proved wrong yet again as the primaries continue. Although I’m sad to see Obama didn’t win this primary, I do love to see the pundits proved wrong. This race is wide open.

  12. 12 gary
    January 9, 2008 at 16:09

    Hello All,
    Regarding: Whay did the media get it wrong?
    I hate to say this to a bunch of really competent (BBC) reporters; but most of us common folk don’t want to talk to you! A microphone stuck in your face can be quite intimidating. Those people that wish to talk to the media, have an agenda. That is, they are not a random sample of the voting public.
    Oh, another thing, I do mostly agree with Jonah. Most every news organization can find something better to do, certainly more informative and entertaining, than covering pre-presidental politics in this country. Come on guys! Don’t encourage them. It just makes them feel more self-important.

  13. 13 Vijay
    January 9, 2008 at 16:18

    Please no more media stories.

    The media talking to the media about the media,so lazy ,can’t the media think about anything other than there own and their friends interests and their jobs.

    OK yeah I forgot ,the media is the message, the medium is the message.

    All the indicators were highlighted before the New Hampshire Primary .

    1.There were 40% undecided voters .
    2. the margin of error was about 5% in some polls
    3.New Hampshire was a primary ie a ballot(secret vote)was conducted and not a caucus poll as in Iowa ,therefore timid people were not intimidated by the enthusiasm of the Obama supporters.

  14. 14 Kevin Brady
    January 9, 2008 at 16:21

    This Nation (the U.S) has been beat up badly by current leadership. There is a nastiness to many things in public policy. We have been a very negative force in the World. Even if someone agrees with current policies, they feel the loss of Joy in being united in a vision. This is reflected in extreme positions, dissatisfaction, and disconnection from civic life.

    The underlying need of many people is someone they can believe in. I was 14 when JFK was running and I remember the feeling of joy and belief in the future he generated in adults (and in me). (‘Hope’ is to short a word to describe the feeling and the need.) I heard that same feeling in many radio interviews of Obama supporters.

    Hillary can move away from the tough one-of-guys attitude she has been presenting, and show more of her Human nurture side (ie: show of emotion on Monday). She must be honest, not just politically expedient.

    We need a vision of how to come together, a new belief in the future.

    I’m looking forward to making the choice between Hil and Obam (Feb in Arizona). We need the Joy back

  15. 15 Shirley Wilson
    January 9, 2008 at 16:48

    I am much more progressive than a Democrat, but I do know that (we?) Democrats have been rather unpredictable in this race. Not only have we apparently made last-minute decisions at the polls, but we have also been shifting from day to day and week to week.

    I will be interested to see Michigan’s response to the Democratic boycott of Michigan. Only Dennis Kucinich has been to Michigan. When his attempt to remove his name form the ballot failed, he decided to leave it on the ballot. It really is unfortunate that the media is ignoring him while the rest of the Democrats ignore Michigan.

  16. 16 George
    January 9, 2008 at 17:09

    It was not just the polls that indicated a landslide victory for Obama,

    the crowds were massing in incredible strength for his speeches,

    while empty chairs at Hillary speeches spoke volumes.

    The scanner used to count the results- Diebold- is the largest factor in the NH primary.

  17. 17 steve
    January 9, 2008 at 17:18

    Kind of liking this global warming thing. Here in Washington, DC, on January 9th, it’s warm enough to wear shorts and a tshirt outside, instead of being cold and snowy. It already is hot as hell here during the summer so you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference during the summer, and if the ice caps melt, this will become beachfront property.. Then again, I like to ski. Oh well.

    The worst part of this election campaign I’m hearing is that other people are voting based upon who is winning. That’s the stupidest reason “oh, hillary is popular, thus I will vote for her”. I swear some people are too stupid to be trusted with the vote. Voting shouldn’t be about popularity or coolness or whatever is trendy. Vote for someone based on where they stand on the issues and if you believe what they say, NOT because someone’s getting votes and thus that convinces you to vote for them. If Hillary jumped off a cliff would you also?

  18. 18 Chawezi Phiri
    January 9, 2008 at 17:34

    Sometimes the media get overwhemed with a slight bit of info and they get away with it while in real terms that news is bogus or wrong. The Obama/Clinton pollster issue is just an iceberg of what happens inside media houses inside and outside the US.
    False hopes amused all media houses that OBAMA with IOWA in his hands then simple logic follows that HAMPSHIRE is also in OBAMA’s hands. No! A very BIG NO should read today at WHYS door that nowadays politicks has metarphosised just like football, where predictions of SUPER teams is having no room in modern football – everyone is a winner nowadays.
    Why do you leave us on the bus stop when WHYS bus has a lot of empty chairs for us in AFRICA to sit and AIR what the EUROPE, AMERICA, ASIA and other parts of the world not take part in discussing such BIG issues like USA woes. Take us on board and we will pay you the WHYS busfare at all cost – give us the paltform to voice out our BIG ideas.
    Its Chawezi PHIRI here in LILONGWE, MALAWI

  19. 19 Isaac
    January 9, 2008 at 17:37

    Hi WHYS,

    In my comment I said win an election doesnt just come by but involve harding. I directly talk about Mrs Clinton who thought it could walkover because the she is an ex lady and she has successful man behind her who was once president. What happened in Argentia last month where the wife of the president won the election did just come by but it was a result of working hard. If Mrs Clinton wants to be president she had unscroll all her nauts and work hard. But the presidential trail is not over it has just started and candidate who relax will be given a red card by voters. They have the mandate to choose who will lead them after George W.Bush. Experience alone is not enough but what you can transform in reality that is what the americans citizens should be looking at. Its their choice if they want change a better change its in their hands.

    The media didnt get it wrong for predicating that Obama has it in his hand, but they are there to oversee a smoothy conduct of an election. Predicating who will win is just part of media promotion strategy you know good or bad news sells better for the media.


  20. 20 Shirley Wilson
    January 9, 2008 at 17:38

    I am much more progressive than a Democrat, but I do know that (we?) Democrats have been rather unpredictable in this race. Not only have we apparently made last-minute decisions at the polls, but we have also been shifting from day to day and week to week.

    I will be interested to see Michigan’s response to the Democratic boycott of Michigan. Only Dennis Kucinich has been to Michigan. When his attempt to remove his name form the ballot failed, he decided to leave it on the ballot. It really is unfortunate that the media is ignoring him while the rest of the Democrats ignore Michigan.

    -Shirley Wilson, CHicago, Illinois

  21. 21 Daniel from Iowa
    January 9, 2008 at 17:57

    I think that Americans are finally taking a hard look at substance, something Barack Obama doesn’t really bring to the table yet. Unfortunately, its too late for the candidates that really had something to offer. Candidates like Joe Biden and Chris Dodd didn’t have flash, but did have solid track records to back up their promises.

    – Daniel, Des Moines, Iowa, USA

  22. January 9, 2008 at 18:11

    Something that happens often is that when a candidate is so far ahead in polls, his/her supporters don’t worry about voting as much because they think that it is in the bag. They stay home thinking that there is no way that their candidate can lose. The Media enhances this false sense of security in the voters minds.

    Eliel from Brooklyn

  23. 23 Clara
    January 9, 2008 at 18:15

    Before you ask why the media got it so wrong, I’d like someone to explain what the media is trying to do by predicting the results .


    Cleveland, Ohio

  24. 24 Vikram
    January 9, 2008 at 18:16

    Answer is simple, Obama is media favorite. Media have been soft on him from the very beginning and are hoping that he wins. Hillary’s win does make as much of a media splash as Obama’s win.

  25. 25 Andrew in New York
    January 9, 2008 at 18:16

    I think the results in New Hampshire show that elections, like economies, are about fundamentals. No matter how excited people, or the media, get about a candidate’s charisma, in the end they will vote for the person who seems most competent and prepared.

  26. 26 RAYMOND
    January 9, 2008 at 18:24


  27. 27 Skip
    January 9, 2008 at 18:29

    Why did the electorate get it wrong? Because we are dealing with ignorant an electorate. Most of the electorate could not tell you who the secretary of defense is or the speaker of the house and we should think they have the knowledge of who to vote for? They are operating purely on emotion. Not good.

    Both Obama and Clinton are empty suites. Neither have enough experience to succeed as President. I remember when Carter ran on a platform of change and won. He was the worst president ever. We had record gas prices (his administration oversaw the first major gas price hike), interest rates were at 18% for home loans, and we had a terrible foreign affairs. The kids who are involved with Obama do not know because they don’t remember. He is a great orator, but would be a horrible president. But you can’t tell the electorate that because they would poo-poo it. If either Hillary or Obama are elected we will relive history, I believe.

    And, why are we talking about only the Democrats? There is another party.

    Skip – Chesterland, Ohio

  28. 28 Tom
    January 9, 2008 at 18:29

    Do you get how ridiculous it is that the media is talking about the media instead of talking about issues?


    Tom in Oregon

  29. January 9, 2008 at 18:29

    The media should have learned long ago not to focus so much on polls because
    polls can be wrong.

    Or to focus so much on a win or loss in the first two states.

    The nominee will be the person who gets enough delegates. And Clinton and Obama won the same number of delegates in NH, 9. And Obama is currently slightly ahead.

    This will be a long campaign.

    The media should focus on the issues, not who is temporarily up or down both in the primaries and the general election.

  30. 30 John D. Anthony
    January 9, 2008 at 18:30

    I have to say that for me all of this poll talk is an academic sideshow. Thanks to George Bush I will be voting Democratic regardless of who the nominee is.
    And I’m not alone…

    John in Salem

  31. 31 Will in Portland, OR
    January 9, 2008 at 18:31

    I think Obama supporters got lazy. The media kept telling them that Obama had it all sewn up so folks didn’t feel like they needed to vote. oops.

  32. 32 Leah in Oregon
    January 9, 2008 at 18:31

    The voters in New Hampshire just came out in such massive numbers that the pollsters couldn’t get it competely right with their small sample. This is great news for Democrats in the US because it bodes well for the general election.

    I won’t be choosing between Obama and Clinton when I get to vote (in May). I will be sticking with the candidate that I feel has the best platform, the best and most thorough proposed policies, and enough experience to lead the country: John Edwards. The media doesn’t want to talk about Edwards because he’s not a minority and not a woman. When it comes to the media in the US and elsewhere, they mostly want to talk about sensational news… a white man from the south running for president is hardly sensational. But if they paid attention to the content of what he is saying, they might see a different story. Unfortunately, it’s still not “sexy enough” for 20-second sound bites.

  33. 33 Nicole in Georgia
    January 9, 2008 at 18:31

    I’m an African-American female and my state votes on “Super Tuesday”. I remain undecided and will continue to look at the records of both Obama and Clinton. I believe every American should do this and supporting someone based solely on a physical characteristic sounds absolutely ridiculous.

  34. 34 Kevin, in Trinidad
    January 9, 2008 at 18:31

    Obama is a perfect fairy tale story for the media. Tragically voters don’t live in a fairy tale.
    Kevin in Trinidad

  35. 35 viola anderson
    January 9, 2008 at 18:32

    It is irritating when the media jumps on a bandwagon which they perceive is winning. As Steve pointed out, voting for or supporting or being swayed by a perceived winner so as not to be left off the “winning” bandwagon is just about the stupidest reason I can think of for voting for someone, right up there with “he/she has charisma” or is cute. Media should leave the prophesying to the prophets, and readers and watchers and listeners and commenters should remember that most so-called prophets are false. In journalism, fact and opinion should be clearly separated. Fact: Obama won the Iowa caucus by whatever percentage. Opinion: Obama will win the New Hampshire primary. Fact: Hilary Clinton made an emotional speech. My opinion: Hilary Clinton was tired and discouraged, and it showed. She rallied and so did her supporters. Perhaps Mr. Obama and his supporters will do the same.

    Does everyone who can afford it have the right to own and drive a car? Who else? What? The powers that be should think up some other criteria for owning and driving a car, such as degree of necessity?

  36. 36 Jason in Texas
    January 9, 2008 at 18:32

    I am an African-American male and an Obama supporter. I would note that with respect to the issue of whether it is harder to elect an African-American or a whoman that there have been several female governors elected to office in the US. Most notably states Texas, Michigan and Louisiana come to mind.

    In contrast, there have not been any African-American elected as governors and the number of African-Americans Senators, regardless of gender, pales in comparison to the number of female Senators.

    Based on the preceding, I submit that the record is clear that the American people are more willing to accept a white female as chief executive rather than an African American regardless of gender.

  37. 37 M
    January 9, 2008 at 18:32

    I think the corporate-owned media’s spectable of this debacle is entertainment garbage. The media has neither offered true discourse or substantial debate in this race– why expect any better of them now? Their fodder is sensationalism and a juvenile popularity contest, not substance, and unfortunately people eat it up. Why not remove any pretense of a democracy and simply put Clinton and Obama head- to-head on Jerry Springer? The only true democrat in the race is Dennis Kucinich. While the others have dirty track records and questionable motives, he stands for true change that would benefit the average person (and not a corporate sponsor). While the others would leave us in Iraq, Kucinich would withdraw immediately. He has called for Bush and Cheney to be impeached and convicted of war crimes, while the others cowardly remain silent in their grab for power. My vote stands firmly with Dennis Kucinich, a man of true integrity. I do not want to hear any more so-called “news” about the Barack/Clinton catfight.

  38. 38 Victor Ojuku-Nasarawa
    January 9, 2008 at 18:33

    Mrs Clinton is the right person. Her husband did well and I believe he will help her to bring more changes to USA in general.
    Victor Ojukwu-NASARAWA, NIGERIA

  39. 39 Rob
    January 9, 2008 at 18:33

    I live in New Hampshire and supported Hillary Clinton.

    It should come as no shock to anyone that polls get it wrong. Likelwise it should come as no shock that, in a tight race, the older and establishment support candidate should come out ahead.

    Another factor that I observed (and this is obviously not scientific) but many women I spoke to and heard from were deeply offended by the media’s treatment if Hillary Clinton in the last few days of the campaign. It seems unlikely that a male candidate would have received the same treatment. Isuspect that this affected some late deciding female voters.

  40. January 9, 2008 at 18:33

    Before President Bush even finished half of his current term, people were already campaigning to be his successor. After a year of hype and the creation of Tsunami Tuesday, it should come as no surprise that the media was over-eager to jump the gun when it came to predicting the Democratic nominee. There was so much hype around the Iowa caucus that the media unconsciously (or consciously) assumed that this was it: whoever won Iowa would win it all. The Iowa caucus was the first time that we got an official “poll” count. We no longer had to rely on a margin of error, we actually had the exact percentage of Iowans who supported each candidate. For the media, this is exciting stuff.

    With that being said, I think it is still and always will be important for voters to vote for the candidate that best represents their ideals and not vote for a candidate because everyone else is voting for him or her.

  41. 41 Mac
    January 9, 2008 at 18:34

    Why on earth is everyone referring to Obama as an African American (black man).
    The man is 50% black and 50% white. Is he to black to be white ? When will
    the media start referring to him as the “European American” (white man).

    For goodness sake lets stop imposing this racial label. His is just an American man, neither black nor white.

  42. 42 Dan in Massachusetts
    January 9, 2008 at 18:34

    The three top democratic candidates are so similar in their positions that it comes down to how one wants their politics presented. The media bias doesn’t take the form of picking Obama over Clinton. The bias comes in the filtering out of other candidates, people like Richardson, Biden and Dodd, the latter two who dropped out of the race not for a lack of vision, quality or experience, but for a lack of press attention which translated to a lack of national attention (to say nothing of the more outlying candidates or third party candidates in national elections)

  43. January 9, 2008 at 18:34

    You have the wrong focus, because you’ve forgotten that we don’t directly elect the president – some mysterious process called the Electorial College does. You should be talking about how the primaries will effect the electoral process there – remember, last time the PEOPLE chose Gore but the College chose Bush.

  44. 44 Darren
    January 9, 2008 at 18:35

    The only candidate that is talking tough and getting into the real nature of our political problems is John Edwards. I wish the media would take him more seriously.

  45. 45 Sarah
    January 9, 2008 at 18:37

    I am an American woman who happens to fall into that ‘other’ category when filling out applications about ethnicity, and I am, at least so far, been supporting Obama, and I have yet to see anyone in the race who I would rather support more. If we are talking about what each candidate is offering, i would argue that all of them do not really present a complete picture of what they believe in, and that Obama’s oratory skills and what he says resonates with people. I would say the polls got it wrong for two reasons: people are sick of ‘big media’ -note the out-rage people still feel about the FCC passing a law allowing for big media to become even bigger, completely disregarding what the public wants, and second, Hillary does have alot of support, and just because the media does not want to admit it, does not mean that the people will follow the same rout.

  46. 46 Ahmad in Doha
    January 9, 2008 at 18:38

    Strange how things seem to be going in a circle. If Hillary goes on to win (big if), then USA would have gone from Bush to Clinton to Bush to Clinton once again. So where is the change? At least it won’t be George W. No matter what anybody says, there’s no way the a black man will be elected.

  47. 47 bjay
    January 9, 2008 at 18:39


    “Why did the media get it so wrong?”
    Ye! It is so simple; because Barack Obama DO NOT HAVE
    a ‘Plymouth Rock’ credential – in WASPland.

    bjay connotation with accent.

  48. January 9, 2008 at 18:39

    I wonder if the media’s Republican bias is the cause.
    Obama would be much easier to swiftboat after he gets the nomination!

  49. January 9, 2008 at 18:40

    The Primary in my view is only a checkpoint in a long Olympic-sized tortoise-and-hare running race that has become a spectator sporting event driven by the media who deservingly have the elections in all countries, including Pakistan, Kenya, and the States, to report and analyze, so I can’t blame them. Where is the problem if we accept the fact that politics is a sport (and for that matter most sports involve politics as well?)

  50. January 9, 2008 at 18:41

    The media has not revealed Obama’s past mistakes. Why not? I feel sure it is not because they are taking the high road…

  51. 51 Juan - Portland, OR
    January 9, 2008 at 18:41

    This very topic is consistent with the “media” problem. Hilary Clinton won New Hampshire by 2% over Barack Obama. The media polls were wrong, not Barack Obama. He never said he would continue to defeat Mrs. Clinton. The truth of the results are that Barack Obama beat Hilary Clinton in double digit numbers, and again Hilary won by 2%. It’s simply too early to know how this race will fair. The wonderful story here is that the race is extremely close. Neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Obama have won the demcratic party. We must wait to see who wins in the end, only God knows who will win.

  52. 52 Mary
    January 9, 2008 at 18:42

    You are asking the wrong question. Instead of asking why the media didn’t accurately predict the outcome of the election, you should be asking why the media attempts to create a story by making predictions. Predictions are not news! News is reporting on events that have already happened. For example, why not report on Obama’s attempt to negotiate a peace between his cousin Mr. Odinga and President Kibaki? What were his motives? Was he just trying to buy a quick card making him appear to have foreign affairs experience — which he does not have?

    Reporting on news that has not yet happened is not news. Nor is it appropriate to report poll outcomes before all of the votes have voted.

  53. January 9, 2008 at 18:42

    I love Obama as a person, but he does not have the necessary experience.
    (part 3 of 3)

  54. 54 Asha
    January 9, 2008 at 18:43

    I am a black American young woman, 25, and just moved to Chicago from New York City. I’ve had access to attend informational meetings held by the Obama Campaign, and feel that people who call him a fraud are simply uninformed. I fully support Obama.

    I sincerely feel that Hillary Clinton played the “gender card” with her sympathy tears– and it worked. Moreover, Bill Clinton’s demonstrated anger and scolding of New Hampshire for the date of its primary showed a giant entitlement. The Clinton Camp says that Obama’s campaign is based on emotion, like the former of George W. Bush. Well in my eyes, the Clinton Campaign is based on entitlement, like Bush.

    It’s also my opinion that the day’s early media reports of an Obama landslide influenced undecided New Hampshire voters to vote for Hillary to be fair and keep her strong in the race.

  55. 55 Darren in San Diego
    January 9, 2008 at 18:43

    Ron Paul is not a viable candidate as he appeals to a fringe of people who probably do not understand the total impact of his position on most issues. He is against having government. It is a simple yet deeply flawed position.

  56. 56 Aji in New York
    January 9, 2008 at 18:44

    People say that Obama is a fantastic speaker who talks in generalities and he’s not pressed about specifics. Listen carefully and you’ll learn that he’s saying our biggest issues require a change in the way our system of government works — one that requires that we reach out to those who don’t necessarily agree with us to get things accomplished. Hillary Clinton already comes to the table with a lot of people that will never vote for her and if she wins they will never be convinced to work with her. So she can have all these specifics, like her health plan, but will she be able to get the big things done? This is why people are hopeful about an Obama candidacy.

  57. 57 Sulayman Dauda
    January 9, 2008 at 18:45

    All political predictions are nothing but a mere guess…
    Sulayman Dauda in Kaduna Nigeria

  58. 58 Peter Dar
    January 9, 2008 at 18:46

    Congratulations to Hilary. You are great. You represent experience and honesty. This is a good start pointing to Pen Avenue. God bless you.
    Peter Dar

  59. 59 Chris in Oregon
    January 9, 2008 at 18:47

    Circumstances change and every announcement form any high ranking ranking official in any part of the world regarding the candidates, has a potential impact on the outcome of each primary and the final election itself.

    The claim from Odinga in Kenya, regarding the familial relationship with Obama, put a burr under previous Obama supporters’ saddle, forcing them to consider whether electing him as president will involve the U.S. in a possible Kenyan unrest.

    Primary voters in New Hampshire, influenced by this news (whether true or not is irrelevant to public opinion), swung their votes toward Clinton.

  60. 60 Paul
    January 9, 2008 at 18:48

    I find this show very telling. Another media show where pundits bemoan punditry. If we all agree that the media gets it wrong most of the time then why should we be interested in listening to the media speculating on why they get it wrong? I don’t think the constant ad nauseum coverage and analysis of the primary in NH has anything to do with giving the people the news they need. I think it has more to do with the media’s inability and unwillingness to bring us stories that are more difficult to get to; take more guts and journalistic independence; and are far more important…. namely the american war empire machine and the unfolding story in Kenya, as well as other hot spots around the world.

  61. 61 Raymond via email
    January 9, 2008 at 18:50

    The whole motiive of this is to kill Hillary’s campaign and then move on to the killing of Obama’s, because the GOP knows she is a hard strong woman and alot of them are intimidated by her intellect and her ambitions. The Republicans know she will be hard to beat and know Obama is an easier target. I think the media need to quit attempting to motivate people and relay the facts of both candidates, thier experiences, thier goals for America and so on. When all the party is over we have a country to run, a country that has been through alot and need to reinstated and reintroduce as a peace maker and a negotiator and a leader in the free world. And the experience and knowledge guide us through that, not a rock star.

  62. 62 Charley via email
    January 9, 2008 at 18:51

    Re: today’s discussion regarding the Media polling errors vs the actual vote

    The vote was different from the polls because many New Hampshire voters (especially Democrats) deliberately lie to pollsters as a “sport”.

    The idea is to make fun of the media, and to give the pundits fits afterwards.

    They have succeeded admirably.

    Charley, Portland, Oregon

  63. 63 Samuel
    January 9, 2008 at 18:51

    I really feel the media in the US easily lose focus. All said and done, I don’t think Obama would have predicted even a close race with Clinton judging from the beginning of the campaign.
    I don’t feel he is weak on issues; the media has not given him the chance to do that and then they go back and say he is weak on the issues.
    People vote based on many factors and I think some are too sensitive to make a big deal of. I always felt a minority candidate’s best chance is a close race, never a landslide as the media comfortably make all of us believe

  64. 64 Lamii via email
    January 9, 2008 at 18:52

    Dear World Have Your Say,

    It was not only the media that got it wrong. We all did. I predicted an Obama win in the Democratic nomination but a defeat in the actual race to the White House against the Republican John McCain. I still stand by this.

    Lamii in Liberia

  65. 65 *
    January 9, 2008 at 18:52

    Why is the BBC pandering and focusing on tears, personality and other vague and sensational nonsense?!! You should be talking about the real, practical issues and NOT be playing into this typical tabloid celebrity fixation.

  66. 66 Melinda via email
    January 9, 2008 at 18:53

    Today’s conversation is totally self-media-centered and has nothing to do with the election, results, platforms, reasons. It’s the media discussing their ability to influence and/or project their own effect on elections which should be a voter-centric theme. Don’t discuss why the polls were wrong; talk to the voters about when the voter decided. Quit hypothesizing. This is nuts. The media is NOT the news; the voters are what is important. Predictions muddy the waters and influence votes.

    Melinda in Portland, Oregon

  67. 67 Shawn via email
    January 9, 2008 at 18:53

    I am looking forward to casting my democratic primary vote–for whoever I want! Why do your guests assume that the only options for women are Obama and Clinton? I greatly respect John Edwards’ stand on using only public money to finance his campaign and will probably vote for him.

    Thank you–

    Shawn, Oregon, USA

  68. 68 Richard via email
    January 9, 2008 at 18:54

    It’s going to be Clinton/Obama as the Democrat ticket, and there is no way the one single demographic will save the Republicans like they did Bush. The only group to vote in the majority for Bush in the last to elections was the white male. Every other single demographic went for Gore or Kerry. The white male vote is going to be overwhelmed, and the Democrats will win this year.

    May that be the start of a solution to so many of our issues, but I am not sure any one administration can do what is needed to repair and revive that which has been damaged by the policies of the last 7 years.

    Richard listening on Oregon Public Broadcasting

  69. 69 Chad Robinson
    January 9, 2008 at 18:55

    I am infuriated by this talk about black people getting the vote first and somehow making a difference about a black man’s electability. I’d argue that blacks didn’t have the vote until the 1965 Voting Rights Act considering they were systematically disenfranchised with literacy tests and other absurdities. It is ridiculous to suggest that blacks or women are more or less deserving or capable of the presidency. If you listen to the two of them, Barack never mentions his race but she always mentions her gender. Which one matters more?

  70. 70 Robert
    January 9, 2008 at 18:56

    Arianna Huffington (huffingtonpost.com) a political pundit who is a wealthy greek immigrant, has said for many years that we should lie to pollsters since many people are driven by the polls. It’s easy to jump on a winning team, and if the pollsters say someone is leading than many people go that way. This is why people like Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, and Ron Paul don’t get the following they deserve.

    I agree with Ms. Huffington – lie to pollsters, polls shouldn’t determine the outcome of an election

    San Diego, CA

  71. 71 Linda via email
    January 9, 2008 at 18:56

    I live in the states and plan to vote for Hillary Clinton. I think Mr. Obahma is just not ready to take the lead when our country has so many issues at hand. Our current president has made a mess of things and we need to let a woman take the lead now. I will not let the media make up my mind on this issue.


  72. 72 Kachali
    January 9, 2008 at 18:58

    The media these days mostly care about what is realised(money) for the information more than the accurancy of the info.
    This is KACHALI F.M.K. of Rumphi,Northern MALAWI

  73. 73 Emma in Portland Oregon
    January 9, 2008 at 18:58

    Will in Portland has it right. The media polls were correct, but Obama’s supporters are very young and have a lot to do besides vote in the primary. He was supposed to win by double digits. They simply thought their vote wouldn’t matter and went off to ski or have coffee I think. At 68, a life long “libber,” I do not support Hillary, in the interests of honesty about my comment, nor Barack, and I don’t have a single (fairly sophisticated) woman friend who does. I could support Obama quicker than Hillary however. I am not sure they have it right, or that they have actually measured, that women are supporting her. I know many fairly right wing men hate her and I think she would be a weak candidate. And I also think her “emotional” moment was false. I am retired from psychiatric social work, and tho I am not infallible, I have sized up a certain number of human responses in my time.

  74. 74 Chernor Jalloh
    January 9, 2008 at 18:59

    I am glad in my comments I never predicted who is going to win.Instead,I told everybody including the media to leave the American people to choose their favourite candidate.

  75. 75 Richard
    January 9, 2008 at 18:59

    It’s not the media,they report the polls. It’s Americns waking from a false sense of obamamania. He can’t win it for the democratic party. Hilary will. Richard. Lagos. nigeria

  76. 76 Darren in San Diego
    January 9, 2008 at 19:05

    I could not agree with Shawn more. It is exactly the key issue for American politics as corporate money is corrupting the political process. Talk about special interests!

  77. 77 Amy in Oregon
    January 9, 2008 at 19:17

    I’m was disappointed by the New Hampshire primaries, because I have pinned my hopes on Barack Obama winning the Democratic nomination. I am a life-long democrat and I voted for Bill Clinton twice. However, I feel like we need Barack if the Democrats hope to win back the White House.

    Why? We Democrats have twice made the mistake of nominating good, solid candidates who win on the issues, seemingly winning debates, winning the minds and votes of intellectuals, but lack the personality to connect with voters on a personal level.

    Leadership does include where you stand on issues, what direction you will take the country, but it also requires the ability to inspire others. If we hope change the direction of the country, it will take the actions and thoughts of many, not just one. That is why the ability to imspire, as Barack Obama does, is crucial.

    I feel like Hilary Clinton is yet another intellectuals’ candidate. Her surge in NH can be attributed to her one moment of heartfelt emotion, but I don’t believe that she’s going to be able to repeat that moment over and over again through the General Election. Obama will continue to connect with people as he does everywhere he speaks.

    SO, even though this will be long decided by the time I get to vote, I’m absolutely voting for Barack Obama in the primary. I’m hoping that many others feel the same and will vote for him before I get a chance to.

  78. 78 North Coast Craig
    January 9, 2008 at 19:23

    The goal should be to get the Republicans out of the White House. The coalition should include Democrats, independents and Republican woman. Segregating the Democrats between women and black men is not going to help achieve the White House goal. It doesn’t help to say things like it is easier for a black man to be US President than for a woman. Look at England and India. Where are the black man presidents? It is easier for a black man to be wrongly convicted of a crime, but where does that get us?

  79. 79 Syed Hasan Turab
    January 9, 2008 at 22:23

    The way both political parties along with Jewish controlled media are trying to ignore core internal & external issues public intrest & trust in voting is shaking.
    Infact US Democracy is commiting sucide because of political Bankrupcy & unavaliability of strong public agenda.
    Yesterday I was watching Christine TV and amazed to understand that even bible been contiminated according to the wish & will of Jewish, as money talk & facts walk, no matter what ever was the cost even Nazi Hitler of Roman Catholic school of thought never attempted to ammand the Holly Bible according to his wish & will.
    Is there any politician ready to spit out the truth & address public issues along with impartial media?

  80. 80 Greg
    January 9, 2008 at 22:51

    The media got it so wrong basically because the media should be in the business of reporting news, not trying to predict what it will be.

    Media misuse polling techniques like exit polling to try to discern who won, when exit polls can really only gather a few ideas or issues on voters’ minds. Extrapolating what some other polls measure further corrupts their accuracy as it’s often completely different from what was supposed to be measured.

    Then toss in additional corrupting influences like story deadlines and corporate ownership of media and you get a recipe for disaster.

  81. 81 Gern Blansten
    January 9, 2008 at 23:19

    This is why everyone ALWAYS get it so wrong:

  82. 82 Christopher
    January 10, 2008 at 09:54

    Mary Jordan sounds strangely prejudiced against Obama and pro Clinton, as if she personally identifies with Clinton’s travails. The media anointed Hillary Clinton as the front runner last fall; the Iowa results were contrary to that, which gave the story a sensational twist; New Hampshire prospects added drama; it will go on ad infinitum. Chasing their own story arc, the press are missing the hesitations that people like me have with Clinton: (1) weariness with the Clintons/Bush tag team era, (2)she may be too polarizing a figure (from all the time of her experience in the White House) to get an agenda through Congress, (3) her saber-rattling over Iran, (4) her arrogance in thinking this is her turn. Any appeal Obama may have to me has nothing to do with his race or gender; any concern I have with Clinton, has nothing to do with her race or gender.

  83. 83 John P.
    January 10, 2008 at 12:50

    Who says the media got it wrong?

    The facts are that the only people who REALLY know what the true vote tallys were are those that programmed the vote counting machines used in New Hampshire. As the programming in those machines is NOT subject to public oversight and the company that made them is run by a known Republican partisian it is subject to question.

    It doesn’t matter one bit what the voters marked on their election cards because the vote counting machines can produce whatever results the programming tells them to produce. As we don’t know what the programs are we don’t know the true vote counts.

    “Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
    Those who count the votes decide everything.”- attributed to Joseph Stalin

  84. 84 Dave
    January 10, 2008 at 13:40

    Elections ?
    I think the election process is about finished here.

    After the fiasco last time and what appears proven that the voting computers can be hacked.


    Its becoming a joke.
    The so called home Grown Terrorism Act flys in the face off free speech and with it the very basis of the Constitytion,has passed the first stage with only 6 “Nays’

    There is serious doubt about the validity of the process.

    Here is just one doubter.

    I just got off the phone with Jennifer Call, Town Clerk for Sutton. She confirmed that the Ron Paul totals in Sutton were actually 31, and said that they were “left off the tally sheet” and it was human error.

    This is not an acceptable answer, especially because one of the most common forms of fraud in a hand count system is to alter or omit results on the reporting sheet. Hand count is lovely, transparent. They then fill out another reconciliation sheet, often in front of witnesses, and it looks fine. Then they provide a summary or media sheet with the incorrect results.

    With at best only 35% of the electorate even bothereing to vote. How can this be regarded as democracy.

    As Joe Stalin said ‘Its not the vote that counts, its who counts the votes !

    Such irony………………. America sure has lost its way.

    For further suggested reading – Decline and Fall ?

  85. 85 Dave
    January 10, 2008 at 14:07

    So why are these machines still used ?
    By Nancy Tobi
    Democracy for NH Article Link
    81% of New Hampshire ballots are counted in secret by a private corporation named Diebold Election Systems (now known as “Premier Election Systems”). The elections run on these machines are programmed by one company, LHS Associates, based in Methuen, MA. We know nothing about the people programming these machines, and we know even less about LHS Associates. We know even less about the secret vote counting software used to tabulate 81% of our ballots. People like to say “but we use paper ballots! They can always be counted by hand!”

    But they’re not. They’re counted by Diebold. Only a candidate can request a hand recount, and most never do so. And a rigged election can easily become a rigged recount, as we learned in Ohio 2004, where two election officials were convicted of rigging their recount. (Is it just a funny coincidence that Diebold spokesman is named Mr. Riggall?)

    We need to get the count right on election night. Right now, nobody in New Hampshire, except the programmers at LHS Associates and Diebold Election Systems, knows if we are getting it right or wrong. Our state officials and representatives know this. They learned all about it when computer security specialists Harri Hursti and Bruce Odell testified before the legislative subcommittee on e-voting in September 2007 (Hursti’s testimony is shown in this video). Scientific reports about the vulnerabilities and risks with Diebold optical scanners have been available since 2003. ‘

    I read the other day that the Irish bookie, Peter Powell ,was already paying out on an Obama win at the next election !
    Humm should the horse be subjected too a ‘doping test’ or a Diebold test ?

    And thatssssss all folks.

  86. 86 Season Kepfer
    January 10, 2008 at 16:59

    I have to say that I don’t think the difference in the democratic polls for New Hampshire was that astounding. Obama was only a few percentage points behind Clinton; it was not a landslide in her favor like Obama pulled off in Iowa. Also, I believe that Clinton’s teary-eyed comment was outrageous. As a woman who is planning on voting for a democrat I thought her emotional lapse made her less reliable. Is she going to cry in front of the nation when things get tough in the white house? We all have hard days and lack of sleep, to call a little sniffle boo-hoo a “humanizing” moment is presumptious and silly. Furthermore, I don’t care if a woman, an african american, or a quadriplegic is running for President, all I’m interested in are the issues and where the candidates stand; and I hope that’s how other voters feel too!

    Happy Cooking,
    Season Kepfer

  87. 87 Diane
    January 10, 2008 at 17:02

    I’m 51, Democrat, white woman, living in Oregon. I believe a young, idealistic, intelligent, likable person of color is exactly what this country needs, for both the people of this nation and as a signal to the world that we are not a nation of republican good ol boys. Diane

  88. 88 Lara Gardner
    January 10, 2008 at 17:06

    I have been listening to your program and what I find surprising is that you are shocked the media got it “wrong.” When does the media get it right? A couple of media outlets decide something is news and everyone jumps on the bandwagon, that story becomes the “top story” and we’re all forced to go along with it. Ironically enough, I wrote about this exact issue on my blog on New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day. I noticed while looking for a story that MSNBC was reporting the top ten clicked stories of the week. All of them were about murders. I thought how odd it was that the top ten stories would be about murder. But then I realized that those were the top ten clicked stories, meaning the stories had been put out there by MSNBC and that people could then click them. I thought a better guide of what people might be looking for would be searches on google, where there are no ads or “stories’ being flashed at them to click on. After doing a search on google for the top ten searches, I discovered that what people were searching for and what people were clicking were two very different things.

    One of your commentators even touched on this issue. He said his poll was ignored by the media outlet who paid for it because they jumped on the bandwagon of “newer, later polls.” This is more of the same problem. It is the lemming version of journalism. Everyone is reporting it, therefore it is news. There seems to be little investigation of the truth or interest in reporting what is actually happening. More it seems there is reporting of what everyone else says. It’s like that movie, Wag the Dog. It’s not surprising the media got it wrong; we should be more surprised when the media gets it right.


    Lara Gardner
    Portland, Oregon
    blog located at laragardner.wordpress.com

  89. 89 Lara Gardner
    January 10, 2008 at 17:14

    News alert, Bush is not running. Who ever gets elected there will be a change. Do we want empty suits (no experience), someone that can simply talk elegantly or do we want someone that can lead this nation. I for one do not want a person who faints crying. This simply shows weakness and our enemies will take advantage of this.

    New Hampshire voters are being emotional and not practical.

    Skip – Chesterland, Ohio

  90. 90 Margaret Wyman
    January 10, 2008 at 17:15

    We need to have a nationwide primary day!
    The media and a few states should not decide
    the candidates.

    Margaret Wyman
    Bend Oregon USA

  91. 91 Lise
    January 10, 2008 at 17:15

    Ron Paul doesn’t believe in global warming. A person with that sort of philosophy is not the leader we need for the future. He should be ignored.
    Portland, OR

  92. 92 Skip
    January 10, 2008 at 17:15

    I am from Ohio and when I hears someone say that Dennis Kucinich has good things to say I simply shake my head and wonder what people are thinking. Dennis is a wacko who almost destroyed Cleveland when he was major. He has views that are completely out of the main stream and would put the U.S. at risk. Get real world.

    Skip – Chesterland, Ohio

  93. 93 A 25-year-old woman from New York currently living in Chicago
    January 10, 2008 at 17:17

    I am a black American young woman, 25, and just moved to Chicago from New York City. I’ve had access to attend informational meetings held by the Obama Campaign, and feel that people who call him a fraud are simply uninformed. I fully support Obama.

    I sincerely feel that Hillary Clinton played the “gender card” with her sympathy tears– and it worked. Moreover, Bill Clinton’s demonstrated anger and scolding of New Hampshire for the date of its primary showed a giant entitlement. The Clinton Camp says that Obama’s campaign is based on emotion, like the former of George W. Bush. Well in my eyes, the Clinton Campaign is based on entitlement, like Bush.

    It’s also my opinion that the day’s early media reports of an Obama landslide influenced undecided New Hampshire voters to vote for Hillary to be fair and keep her strong in the race.

  94. 94 d matthews
    January 10, 2008 at 17:45

    to washington post, i wrote:
    Hillary Clinton has won 9 New Hampshire delegates (3 statewide, 6 district-level)
    Barack Obama has won 9 New Hampshire delegates (3 statewide, 6 district-level)
    John Edwards has won 4 New Hampshire delegates (2 statewide, 2 district-level)
    22 Democratic delegates were at stake in the New Hampshire primary
    There are also 8 Democratic “superdelegates” in New Hampshire.
    Of those, 2 support Clinton
    and 3 support Obama, according to a CNN survey.

    and ive heard this election was brought to complements of diebold. bush ala’ fla and ohio.. and those who would lose to obama in nov.. any confirmation?
    i’m female and i know what the DLC is so i couldn’t vote hillary. i choose obama so we dont end up with gop- lite and all the “pork” she’ll owe..

    more on another diebold issue?

    We, the undersigned, call on Congressman Ron Paul and Junior Senator Barack Obama, in the interests of fair play and truth at the ballot boxes, to request a hand recount of ALL votes cast in the 2008 New Hampshire Primary.

    Click here to sign the petition NOW!!



  95. 95 d matthews
    January 10, 2008 at 17:47

    if interested in the petition…

    go here


  96. 96 Carolyn Wiecks
    January 10, 2008 at 18:08

    Hi. I’m a female voter from the state of Oregon. Our primary is not until May. We have no way of knowing who will be in the race at that time. Clinton or Obama? I’d be happy with either.

    But – just a quick comment regarding your current conversation. My question is not why the women in New Hampshire ‘came back’ to Hillary, but why the women in Iowa went to Obama. And I can’t help but wonder how much of that was due to the appearances with Oprah, coming just before the Iowa Primary.

    I am not an Oprah watcher – for working people, afternoon television is not an option. But she is a huge presence among women in this country – and even a non-watcher such as myself cannot deny the truly wonderful things she has accomplished. If nothing else, her ‘book club’ has promoted reading among adults like nothing we’ve seen before.

    My uneducated guess is that Obama got a bump among women in Iowa that will not be sustained. And that Clinton, barring any unforeseen errors on her part, will continue to enjoy the support of women voters.

    Carolyn Wiecks (WIX)
    West Linn, Oregon

  97. 97 Bette Rice
    January 10, 2008 at 18:10

    Could it be that the sensible & down-to-earth folks of New Hampshire opted for competence & an actual track record of working across party lines in the Senate over soaring rhetoraic?
    Many of us are tired of the incompetence pervasive in the Bush administration. I don’t understand why Obama’s empty rhetoric is seen as “real” while Hillary’s many sound proposals aren’t.

    Bette Rice
    Bend, Oregon

    When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought of western civilization, he
    said, “I think it would be a good idea”.

  98. 98 Ari
    January 10, 2008 at 18:10

    If the purpose of the media is to inform the public and the media only provide coverage of a small segment of the candidates, they are only providing a small percentage of the available information to the public. This is antithetical to the idea of informing the public and it skews the thoughts and actions of the electorate.


  99. 99 Ari
    January 10, 2008 at 18:11

    Last night I called my brother who lives in hollis and asked him about his vote. He said when he woke up yesterday he decided to vote for Hillary Clinton instead of Barak Obama because he wasn;t ready for it (the primary process) to be over already. Once he got to the poll however, he registered GOP and voted for McCain. New Hampshire residents are aware of the honor they are given by the rest of the country in terms of the personal appearances, speeches, town hall conversations and conversations with the presidential candidates – something that could never happen in a state as large California or as spread out as my State of Washington. The Granite State will continue to be the state of “Live Free or Die” and make their ultimate decision at the poll, no sooner

    Drew Kenney
    Vancouver, WA

  100. January 10, 2008 at 18:15

    The media got it so wrong, because the media is biased and tries to analyze too much. We just need to present the facts, inform the public of the various candidates, and where they stand on the issues, and let the voters decide.

    The fact is, Americans are so polarized, the whole process is in disarray. Furthermore, not all the candidates are being given coverage. Big Media is failing to provide equal time to all the candidates, and trying to sideline candidates such as Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul, both of whom have a large and enthusiastic, loyal following. Mike Gravel is another candidate, very popular with college age voters, who is also largely being ignored. All three have been barred from various debates; reasons given were feeble and illogical — and very transparent.

    Pollsters have yet to contact me — although I am an active blogger, have my own webpage on the Care2 network, and am trying to get the message out. “Democracy in action”? hogwash!

    NOTHING will change in America, UNTIL we have Campaign/Election reform. I fear the next election is already rigged, the parties have already selected their candidate, and we are just “going through the motions” of a “nomination”.

    I continue to hope otherwise, especially since I work as an election official in my local area in Virginia, working the polls on election day. It’s a long grueling process, and I wonder in the back of my mind, if it’s all “in vain”!

    I especially worry about this election, because in my area (and probably in many locales around the US) paper ballot machines are being phased out, and touch screen, electronic machines are being brought in. Without a paper trail, the elections may indeed be fraudulent. I would like to see election observers brought in, to ensure a fair and transparent election result!

  101. 101 Chris in FL
    January 10, 2008 at 23:30

    Clinton Optical scan 91,717 52.95%
    Obama Optical scan 81,495 47.05%

    Clinton Hand-counted 20,889 47.05%
    Obama Hand-counted 23,509 52.95%

    This from a report on the OSCE’s 2003 elections in Georgia (the former Soviet Republic):

    A parallel vote tabulation (PVT) conducted by ISFED according to a dependable methodology, and an exit poll which resulted in similar findings, provided electors with an independent verification of the many irregularities in the election process.
    Are we to believe that different criteria should apply in Eastern Europe and the U.S.?
    Maybe we should have independant observers from other countries just as they like to do in so called emerging democracies.
    Whether another conspiracy theory or not. It is indicative off the mistrust of the system here. And the so called Electoral College?

  102. 102 George
    January 11, 2008 at 04:47


    “Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
    Those who count the votes decide everything.”- attributed to Joseph Stalin

  103. 103 Abi
    January 11, 2008 at 11:48

    As you maybe aware we have just elected a new government in Australia. The leader of then opposition who is now our Prime Minister was picked by the media during the election campaign as their favourite and as a result his policies have never been examined. In fact , he was allowed to get away by using slogans and motherood statements. I agree with Mr Clinton, the American media should be responsable by ensuring that Mr. Barrack ’s policies are examined . I agree with one of your e-mails who pointed out that a good speach writer does not automatically make a good CEO. Now in Australia, we are all praying with our fingers crossed for our inxperinced team in government to do a good job. Can the world leader ( USA) afford to make the same . mistake as we did in Australia? Let ’s hope they don’t .

  104. 104 Dave soon to be ex US
    January 13, 2008 at 23:47

    So now the word is that it was the exit poll that got it wrong.

    More follow up from what may become the test constituency.

    On the Republican side, something fishy happened as well to its one outlier – Ron Paul. The candidate’s “war room” hand count showed he got 15% of the vote, but official counting gave him 8% and 9% in total when electronically tabulated votes were included. His web site said he scored 10% or better in every township and listed percentages for them all. They ranged from 34% to 10.25%. If these numbers are accurate, Paul got a minimum of 10% of New Hampshire’s vote for a third place finish.

    Another disturbing report also emerged.
    The town of Sutton admitted it voided all Paul votes.
    He got 31, but none made the official tally. It was blamed on “human error” that might account for a slight variance but highly unlikely to erase his entire total. Yet it did and raises strong suspicions of fraud. Once this information got out, other districts where Paul scored zero changed their final count adding votes for him never counted. Something clearly is rotten in New Hampshire. It doesn’t say much for the process ahead, or past ones either for that matter.

    If they can’t get the election right this time around then there will be little credibility for the US left in the world.
    Its already at all all time low of 20%.
    Yet there he goes again on his ME tour hypocritically preaching to the rest of the world about democracy !

  105. 105 Dennis via email
    January 14, 2008 at 20:18

    Because the common people told
    pollester they would vote for Barack
    Obama and they didn’t for reason one!

    They were a large number of
    voters that the pollesters were
    not excepting @ the polls…..i.e.
    woman, new voters and the senior citizens..

    the media including the BBC does
    makes mistakes from time to time!

    We forgive you because you put
    out at lot of informtion in a 24 hour



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