Peter Schorsch over at SaintPetersblog has some great commentary on the near-complete meltdown that the Florida media has experienced while trying to cover the Crist/Rubio Senate battle. Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies, so I just love the Vizzini analogy. It's been very entertaining to see the MSM's coverage of the story has seemed at times to focus more on their complete and utter shock that their great little psychic predictions they had made over a year before the election had repeatedly failed to come true.
I have been enjoying (ok, maybe gloating a little) a huge "I told you so" moment regarding this race. From the beginning, the MSM declared that Marco was way too behind Charlie in the polls and fundraising, and never be able to catch up. My answer at this time last year was that (1) every time they published a story saying "Marco can't win because he's only polling at X, and Charlie is polling at Y," Marco's number kept inching higher, and Charlie's kept creeping down, and (2) at the same point in the chronology of the 2008 elections, we all "knew" that the Presidential race would be between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Hmmm, remind me again how that one turned out?
Another great insight on this issue was written by Jordan Raynor last November on his personal blog:
...with the right candidate and the right message, the internet could level the playing field and help reverse the conventional wisdom that you must run a "Traditional 3M" campaign to get elected to office. I argued that the Traditional 3M model was based on big money to launch a campaign, followed by momentum, with the candidate's message being a distant third priority. This model can be diagrammed like this:
MONEY → MOMENTUM → MESSAGE
Using the internet to drive message directly to voters, victory is now possible for candidates who don’t have big money to kick-start their campaigns, by following a “New 3M” model that looks like this:
MESSAGE → MOMENTUM → MONEY
When I wrote the 3M piece 5 months ago, I had the race for the Republican nomination for the open Florida U.S. Senate seat in mind. At the time, it seemed unthinkable that Marco Rubio, the insurgent candidate with no money or momentum, could beat political titan Charlie Crist. Today, it is a very real possibility.
Jordan's prediction from last year has absolutely come true. Even the jump in the polls Charlie got in the immediate aftermath of declaring his
blatant political opportunism independence is starting to look like a dead cat bounce. While the media may continue to find it "inconceivable" that the old models may not apply and they don't know all the answers, I'm going to just sit here and feel smug. Ha.