WE READ THE SUNDAY REVIEW: Before we encountered the Sunday Review!


Interlude—Our evening with Lawrence O'Donnell:
Truthfully, we feel a sense of liberation.

Last night will change American history in ways which may not be good. But for ourselves, at least we'll be freed from trying to make the Sweathogs discuss the actual political and journalistic history of the past twenty-five years.

Even as they've kept begging you for your money, they've steadfastly refused to do that.

Last night, for example, we marveled at the way Frontline depicted parts of Hillary Clinton's history. We watched the program because the 7 PM election results seemed so bad, and because Margaret Sullivan had recommended the program so highly.

In ways which struck us as baldly deceptive, the august PBS org regurgitated narratives which locked into place in the "mainstream press" in 1998. The Marshalls, the Drums, the Dionnes, the Frontlines were never willing to tell you such things, and they never would have been.

For eighteen years, we've tried to get the "liberal" Sweathogs to discuss those destructive narratives. Now we'll never have to do so again. Even as Krugman discovers the war against Gore and Bruni discovers the Clinton murders narrative, can you see what a liberation it is to be freed of the need to confront the silence of the Hogs?

Our Own Sweathog Behavior down through all these years helped create last night's result. So did the horrific foolishness we encountered when we read the Sunday Review.

We'll return to the Sunday Review tomorrow. But before we encountered last weekend's Sunday Review, we spent an evening with Lawrence.

How foolish are the TV stars the suits have selected for us on corporate cable? How blindingly stupid is their work? Try to believe what happened on Our Own Liberal Channel last Tuesday.

At 9 PM, Rachel threw to Lawrence. This followed an hour of her own inanity, which we won't have room for below.

Instantly, Lawrence said he had a bombshell to share. According to the official transcript, the throw went something like this:
MADDOW (11/1/16): That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow. Now it's time for The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Good evening, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: Hey, Rachel, we've got some really big breaking news coming in this hour about what the vote looks like right now in Florida

MADDOW: Right. Excellent.

O'DONNELL: Really important stuff.

MADDOW: Good stuff. Thank you, man.

O'DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel.
The analysts always mock the way Rachel likes to say, "Thanks, man" when she throws to Lawrence or when she takes the throw from Chris. At any rate, Lawrence had some breaking news about the vote in Florida.

In fact, he had really big breaking news. The real importance of his stuff came clear as he dumbly continued:
O'DONNELL (continuing directly): Moody's Analytics has correctly predicted every presidential election since 1980. Their new projection includes an exact electoral vote count which is very good news for the Clinton campaign. But that is not the big news of this hour.

We have breaking news that will dominate tomorrow's campaign coverage. It could be the most important information that we will have before votes are counted a week from tonight.

And that information indicates that a week from tonight, at this very hour, we might already know who the next president of the United States will be.
The analysts leaned forward, expectant. According to Lawrence, his breaking news was going to dominate the next day's campaign coverage!

It sounded like his breaking news meant that Candidate Clinton was going to win the White House. Soon, the ridiculous TV star unspooled his breaking news.

Lawrence stretched out the excitement. But his breaking news, which would dominate the coverage, involved voting in Florida, the ridiculous corporate star said:
O'DONNELL: Tonight is the night to remember the unforgettable words of Tim Russert of 16 years ago—Florida.

We have breaking news tonight about an important new tracking survey of early voters and likely voters in Florida. This is the first poll in Florida that includes actual early voters, how they have voted. So this poll is giving us a picture of the early voting results in Florida right now.

And if we can get data like this for only one state, Florida is the state we want.
Florida is once again the most important state on the electoral map because Democrats and Republicans all agree that Hillary Clinton has alternative routes to an electoral college victory that do not have to include winning Florida.

But Donald Trump, Donald Trump has no other way. It is virtually impossible to win the electoral college for Donald Trump without Florida's 29 electoral college votes. Florida is do or die for the Trump campaign.


Some observers have joked that Donald Trump seems to be running for president of Florida, but that's because Florida means everything to the Trump campaign, and I mean everything. And tomorrow morning, a new tracking survey of Florida voters conducted by Target Smart and the college of William & Mary will be released in full.

That survey contains the most important news yet about the early vote in Florida.
And joining us now with an advanced look at the data that will be fully released tomorrow is Tom Bonier, the CEO of Target Smart, a political data firm.
Tom Bonier? Rachel would have let us laugh about that funny last name. To relive her earlier fun with boners and weiners, just click to this report.

Lawrence was too focused for nonsense like that. Soon, we got the important news straight from Bonier's mouth (actual name).

Bonier was excited to be there! He spilled his results on the ground:
O'DONNELL (continuing directly): Tom, what are the basic results you're finding? What is the state of the race in Florida now with all the information you have?

BONIER: Lawrence, so, in our survey, and as you said, we're releasing the full results tomorrow. But we're excited to be here to share these results for the first time with anyone publicly.

We see this race as an eight-point spread in favor of Secretary Clinton, 48-40.
Which really is challenging the conventional wisdom of what we`ve seen so far.
Say what? Candidate Clinton was going to win Florida by eight points? As Bonier (real name) continued, he explained what made his finding so special.

Good lord! His finding was based on a survey of 3.6 million Floridians who had already cast early votes! As he continued, he cited "a stunning figure:"
BONIER (continuing directly): I will say, in what we're seeing, as has been noted on your show and elsewhere on the network, a lot of the vote in Florida has already been cast, and elsewhere.

As of this morning, over 3.6 million votes have been cast. And so what's unique about this survey is our ability to actually poll people who have voted and see where they are.

And there's been a lot of analysis of who's voted by party, but really, no sense given of how they're voting. And really, what's fueling this, honestly, somewhat surprising eight percent margin for Secretary Clinton is the fact that she's performing incredibly strongly with registered Republican voters.

So what we're seeing in this survey is Secretary Clinton is winning 28 percent of registered Republicans who have already cast the ballot in Florida. And that's a pretty—


BONIER: Substantial universe—

O'DONNELL: Tom, let me stop you right there. You're going to have to say that sentence again, because the political media out there is taking notes right now. That is a stunning figure that you just announced.
Lawrence wanted "Bonier" to say it again. Bonier had announced a stunning figure. The media were taking notes!

Bonier rose to the challenge. In his survey of Floridians who had already voted, Clinton was taking 28 percent of the votes by registered Republicans! In large part because of that, she was going to win the all-important state by eight points!
O'DONNELL (continuing directly): Twenty-eight percent of Republican early voters in Florida voting for Hillary Clinton.

BONIER: That's right. So this includes voters who have voted by mail, absentee voters who tend to trend more Republican, and then also voters who have voted, early voted in person tend to trend more Democratic.

But that's it. Keep in mind, we're talking only about voters who are registered Republicans. And 28 percent of those voters are crossing over and voting for Secretary Clinton.

When we look at the other side and we look at registered Democrats, there are no such defections. Donald Trump is winning only six percent of registered Democrats who have voted so far in this election. And when we look at the overall landscape, there's almost an identical number of registered Republicans and Democrats who have voted.

It's a difference of about 0.4 percent. So this is really making up the difference that we're seeing in this poll, is this substantial crossover vote.

O'DONNELL: And what is the Clinton-winning percentage at the moment with early voters?

BONIER: So overall, she's up 28 points. And she's at 53 percent with early voters.

O'DONNELL: So Hillary Clinton is at 53 percent just with the early vote?

BONIER: That's right.
Excitedly, Lawrence went on and on, then on and on, then on and on from there. "This is a survey in which you have actual results," he excitedly said. "You have spoken to actual voters. You've got their results. And then you also project what likely voters are likely to do on Election Day."

O'Donnell and Bonier took turns marveling at the 28 percent crossover figure. Bonier praised the brilliant methodology which "makes this survey unique in our partnership with William & Mary." Excitedly, Lawrence asked him to explain it yet again, "because I know people are, you know, tweeting all over the country right now and texting this."

As you may have heard by now, Candidate Clinton actually didn't win Florida by eight points. She didn't win, 48-40. Nor did Lawrence ever ask where the other twelve points were going.

Out here in the actual world, Candidate Clinton actually lost Florida, 49.1% to 47.7%. Only 3.2 percent of the vote went somewhere else. Bonier's brilliant work with William & Mary was totally, hopelessly wrong.

Just for the record, Lawrence's "really big breaking news" actually didn't "dominate [the next day's] campaign coverage." On November 2, Lawrence's really big breaking news was barely mentioned at all.

On November 8, we learned that his breaking news had been gigantically wrong. We can't say we were surprised. Lawrence's excitement had borne the mark of the Totally Hopelessly Stupid.

After speaking with Bonier, Lawrence brought Mark Zandi on. First, he went to a live speech by Candidate Clinton. After that, completely absurdly, the completely ridiculous corporate clown actually told us this. We did not make this up:
O'DONNELL: That's Hillary Clinton sounding energized tonight in Fort Lauderdale. It's possible that the information about this new Florida survey was passed to her after it was delivered from this television show in the minutes before she got to that podium.

That's information showing that Hillary Clinton is winning the early vote in Florida by 53 percent in the latest data in that survey.

And really surprisingly, she is winning 28 percent of Republican early voters in the state of Florida. If Hillary Clinton wins Florida, no one believes there is a route to victory in the electoral college for Donald Trump. Florida could end this presidential campaign for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on election night, one week from tonight.

There is more good news for the Clinton campaign tonight. The Moody's Analytics presidential election model projects a win for Hillary Clinton.

Moody's has accurately predicted every presidential election since 1980. The Moody's electoral map projects Hillary Clinton to win 332 electoral votes to Donald Trump's 206.

Joining us now is Mark Zandi; chief economist of Moody's Analytics. Mark, tell us what your projection is based on.
Clinton really seemed energized. Someone may have told her what Lawrence's television show had said!

As it turned out, Zandi's projection was based on six factors, including the flight of birds and the alignment of chicken bones randomly thrown on the ground. He used no polling data.

We've tried and tried and tried and tried to tell the liberal world about this—about the sheer inanity which comes our way from The One True Liberal Channel. Maddow had presented a string of silly reports that night. But when she threw to Lawrence, he walked away with the prize.

Candidate Clinton didn't win 332 electoral votes last night. Zandi's projection, based on six factors, was massively, hopelessly wrong.

On the brighter side, the weaponized scripts of the past twenty-five years will now fade into irrelevance. We'll admit that we feel a sense of liberation when we contemplate that fact.

Corporate clowns like Maddow and Lawrence could have been exploring those scripts over the past many years. Instead, Maddow has been laughing at funny names like Weiner and Boner. Last Tuesday night, she opened with that entertaining fist fight at the car show in the small town.

One hour later, she threw to Lawrence. He seemed to be on somebody's meds.

American history changed last night. Rachel and Lawrence helped get us to this place.

We liberals have never been able to see who and what these people are. Simply put, we liberals haven't been smart enough for this game. Despite the praise we heap on ourselves, we just aren't especially bright.

Our evening with Lawrence happened before we read the Sunday Review. Tomorrow, we'll return to its pages. We liberals have a lot to learn about what consummate marks we hapless liberals be.

Tomorrow: Men and women become Us and Them


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  2. Bob - I've read many liberal blogs this morning that include a lot of recriminations against the people/institutions that they see as responsible for this awful result. Some of them say something about listening to the people who got it right.

    I just want to say that you're one of those who regularly get things right. Your work on the 2000 election is the most important unexplored political story of the past 30 years (maybe more), and you were right a couple years ago when you kept warning us that the Benghazi BS was going to cause major problems if it wasn't responded-to.

    I guess that I shouldn't be surprised that no one listens to you, because I've noticed that people don't like to confront the truth. I just hope that you don't stop doing the great work that you regularly produce.


    1. I want to to second Jonny's comment. Bob, I find your coverage of the media indispensable, and unavailable anywhere else. I know you don't think so, but to me it seems that your persistence is oh-so-slowly beginning to pay off. The idea that the mainstream media have gotten things terribly, terribly wrong is gradually creeping into the Overton window, and you have played a major, albeit largely unacknowledged, role in that. I know it came too late. I know the prospect off a Trump presidency is profoundly dismaying, but it is also the kind of calamity that may permit a re-examination of how we got here.

      By all means grieve, but then please reapply yourself to your Sisyphean task. Your country needs you.

    2. Ditto to the above from me

    3. Ditto, thanks Bob.

  3. Bonier's survey was alleged to be particulary accurate, because it was based on a survey of 3.6 million Floridians who had already cast early votes. Speaking as a statistics pro, this isn't enough. It well might be (as it actually was) that the early voters aren't a random sample. Hillary voters might be more apt to vote early than Trump voters. Or, Hillary voters might be more willing to tell exit pollsters who they voted for than Trump voters.

    1. You are not a statistics pro, much less a polling expert.

  4. Good news makes people fat and happy. These "liberal" media entertainers are just opiates of the masses.

  5. I agree with Rebecca Traister's analysis that the opposition to Hillary has been due to male refusal to accept a female president. It was first embodied by Bernie's campaign, providing cover for those who didn't want a female candidate. Then all those men came out in droves to make sure she didn't gain office.

    I agree also with Jamelle Bouie's analysis that this is a backlash against our first black president and his policies of social change. The people supposedly demanding change are actually demanding a return to previous conditions before Obama changed things.

    Viewed in those terms, the election is not so hard to understand. Traister says that Trump embodies everything opposite to Clinton, and that is the whole point of voting for him. Add a layer of alt-right white racism and you have it all.

    People who thought in those terms could have predicted the outcome. People of course do not want to admit to being sexist, misogynist or racist, so the polls mean nothing except that people know the right answers even when they diverge from their own feelings.

    1. The result is due to numerous factors. There could be 10 'but for' factors, and sexism could be one of the ten. Historians still can't agree one what caused World War I (let's hope Trump's election doesn't rival that as a world catastrophe). Attributing it simply to Clinton's gender is reductionism. For example, if it weren't for the bogus Benghazi issue, and the failure of the so-called liberal pundits and media to deal with it competently, she might have won (especially when you consider that the whole email farce never would have come to the fore, but for it's being exposed in the 8th Benghazi investigation).

    2. 2:10. I told you ac in July Trump had this thing won. Word up.

    3. Yes anon - you were right. I would add that I didn't say Trump wouldn't win, never said that. My view is that you find out who wins after the votes are counted. You either are much smarter than me (a distinct possibility) or just made an estimate that one of the 2 candidates would win, and it so happened that the one you named did win.
      More interesting question is what's going to happen now? Are we screwed?

    4. I will answer your questions so you know now what will happen in the future. In terms of liberal causes, yes we are screwed. In terms of us having a functioning country, we will be ok although there will less vertical movement among the classes. Betting against America has always been a bad bet.
      That's right
      I know it seem hard sometimes but uh
      Remember one thing
      Through every dark night, there's a bright day after that
      So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out
      Keep your head up, and handle it

    5. Clinton didn't cause Benghazi or the email scandal or any of the attacks on her. If it weren't those issues it would have been something else. Any candidate has vulnerabilities -- look how Kerry was swiftboated and how they latched onto his Frenchness. The difference is that Clinton wasn't defended and the damage was cumulative and people who should haved supported her instead started calling her a bad campaigner or a careless emailer etc. They blamed her for it instead of standing up to it. That's where the sexism comes in. The "lack of enthusiasm" is code for sexism. She was willing to put herself out there and take the heat, which was brave, and now people like Somerby are piling on. I am still trying to decide whether I will come back to this blog again. I am disappointed in Americans but I am especially disappointed in what Somerby said today about her candidacy.

    6. anon 3:13, though I lack your extraordinary abilities to foresee the future, my view is that what happens is the candidates for president always promise that they will solve all these problems, the economy will be great, everyone will have great jobs, we'll prevail over our foreign adversaries, etc, etc; they have to say all this to get elected. Once they get elected, problems will arise, these problems are intractable, things will be or seem to be lousy, and after 4 or 8 years or so, the other party gets the vote. It's not like Mexico or Japan used to be. Trump went over the top like no one else before in all his way out promises. I expect when he fails to live up most or all of them, he will be primo in bullshit excuses and denials. But the tide will turn in 4 or 8 years, unless everyone starts rolling in money again. Incidentally, I don't need your assurances to keep my head up; I'm fine. And I'm also skeptical, to put it mildly, that you wanted Clinton to win, as you claim, but were just expressing the realpolitik aspect.

    7. anon 3:45, TDH doesn't criticize Clinton at all. I don't know where you get that. The whole column is attacking the so-called liberal media and msnbc crew. Please don't leave!

    8. At anon 12:58

      Your contention that Sander's campaign "provided cover" for supposed misogynists is way off base.

      Bernie would have won this election. If this doesn't convince you that Bernie's popularity was about his stance on the issues, well then, I don't think anything will.


    9. Mc I voted for hrc. Of course I wanted her to win. There's an interesting blog post by jay rosen on pressthink about trump's replication and expansion of the retreat from empiricism. You should read it and some of the links in it if you haven't already. It shows why Bob's work is so accurate. But also why there's reason to believe bullshit excuses can still gain purchase in the future. The head up stuff was a cut and paste from a Tupac song.

    10. I'm never wrong and I will never die. I mailed my vote in from Rome. I sit at the head of every table. You'll always be able to turn to me ac. I will always show you the way. You and me. The last of the true.

  6. Congrats, Bob. You've been saying for a very long time that it is possible that Trump would become President of the US,and that our feckless media leaves us vulnerable to that happening. I noticed many commenters mocking for that, especially early on. Well, you were right.

    I feel bad for that Bonier guy. That's embarrassingly wrong. I bet he's feeling quite limp today. Just totally flaccid.

  7. http://michaelmoore.com/trumpwillwin/