GOP Doom Postponed, Despite Earnest NY Times Wishful Thinking

Posted on Sat 11/10/2018 by

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By Clay Waters ~

The Republican Party did better in the midterm elections than many in the media and the anti-Trump “Resistance” expected. The New York Times let its pro-Democratic hopes overwhelm its objective journalism in several instances before and after the voting.

The lead National section story on Election Day morning was “Democrats See Close Sun Belt Races as Key to Senate.” Tuesday’s front-page teaser: “Off-the-charts early voting numbers give Democrats hope they can flip two or three Senate seats.”

Lisa Lerer and Jose A. Del Real emphasized Democratic chances.

The Southwest has emerged as a key battleground for control of the United States Senate in the final days of the turbulent midterm election, with off-the-charts early voting numbers giving Democrats hope that they can win tight races in Arizona, Nevada and maybe, just maybe, the bank shot of them all, Texas.

The “bank shot” flew off the table, as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz beat liberal hope Beto O’Rourke. Democrats did take Nevada, and Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is ahead by half a percentage point of Republican Martha McSally, but that race has yet to be called.

The Times report from before Election Day voting began:

The mere fact that the Republican Senate candidates haven’t put away the race in those two states has been enough to lead some Democrats to think that Tuesday’s election could lead to a very late night, with the East Coast waiting for the results out West to see who controls the Senate. Republicans now have a single-seat majority.

The Republicans have a net gain of two Senate seats in the bag already and are waiting on full vote tallies and possible recounts in a couple of states that could possibly mean more.

The Times was certainly hyped up about the mere prospect of Democratic wins in the Senate.

Democratic victory in those states plus Texas would be enough to win the party control of the Senate, assuming it keeps its losses to North Dakota, a state most strategists believe is likely to fall into Republican hands. (Democrats are in tough races in Indiana and Missouri as well.) A trifecta of wins, or even victories in Nevada and Arizona with a narrow loss in Texas, would have a significant impact on the party’s strategy and message in 2020 and beyond, shifting emphasis away from white Midwestern voters and toward the fast-growing, more diverse West.

….

Strong early voting numbers for Democrats, which look more like the party’s higher turnout in presidential cycles, have buoyed party strategists, given that early voters make up a majority of the total electorate in both states….

The pattern was clear in pre-Election Day coverage. Jack Healy’s lead National section story from South Dakota on October 22 pushed for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton: “A Shot at Rural America – Former Rodeo Star Thinks He Can Win Farmers Back for Democrats.” Nope, Republican Kristi Noem won by 3.5 percentage points.

Metro political reporter Lisa Foderaro pondered on October 16 if “On Long Island, Swell of Anti-Trump Sentiment Could Cost Congressman His Job.” Also a no. Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, the subject of the story, won re-election by six percentage points.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Young Kim (pictured above) is leading the vote tally in California’s 39th District, which includes parts of Los Angeles, meaning she could become the first Korean-American woman to serve in Congress. Yet a nytimes.com search indicates the paper has yet to run a full story on her, even though the paper has run several profiles of non-traditional Democratic candidates. The paper on Thursday eagerly embraced Democratic “firsts,” as shown by headlines like “Day of Firsts Signals Shift In Attitudes Nationwide” and “Congress to Governor’s Mansions, a Night of Historic Wins.” Neither mentioned Young Kim.

Reporter Liam Stack unloaded his trademark snark on Republicans in California and Utah in his rundown of results on Wednesday, and managed to mention her, but only by name, without noting her ethnicity or the historic nature a win by her would represent, as the Times so eagerly did with Democrats.

Clay Waters was the director of Times Watch a former project of the Media Research Center .

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