There was an optimism in the Romney camp. But it wasn’t based on the numbers. It was based on the feel of things. And one thing you know when you cover a campaign, the feel of things can be really deceiving.
Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign says it still has momentum. President Barack Obama’s campaign says that’s all spin.
Meanwhile, there isn’t a single well-informed pundit between them who can tell you who’s right.
That was false, of course–there were people who had a good sense of how things would go. But here’s someone who didn’t know:
“I think more than any other race I’ve covered this is one where both sides genuinely seem to believe they’re going to win. That’s different,” ABC News correspondent Jon Karl said. “Given that, it’s hard for somebody covering the race to make a call. I’m completely confused. I have no idea who’s going to win. And I usually have a sense of who’s going to win.”
There’s no reason campaign journalism should be so focused on trying to predict the outcome of the election. But these reporters seem to be telling us that it’s not that hard for a presidential campaign to convince journalists that they’re going to win: You just need to be really convincing.