More of the 2012 cycle’s descents into fantasyland — the unskewing of polls and BLS paranoia most obvious among them — have featured Republicans than Democrats, prompting some on the left to argue that American conservatives have a particular hostility to reality. And certainly, the conservative movement has long nourished more skepticism of the mainstream media and of some forms of government authority than has the left.
But there’s probably a simpler explanation for at least some of this: Mitt Romney has spent most of the year losing, and so the Republicans are the ones feeling compelled to re-imagine the polls. That Democrats share, at least, the impulse became clear Wednesday night when a CNN snap poll showed Romney winning overwhelmingly. The liberal twittersphere erupted with skepticism over a sample that, an easy misread suggested, was tilted toward Southern Whites. The progressive news site TalkingPointsMemo shared, then retracted, those doubts; others, like the enduring liberal blog Hullaballoo, which declared the poll “malpractice,” didn’t correct, and the episode prompted a wave of glee among conservatives who had watched the previous round of unskewing with some embarrassment.
Simon Owens is an assistant managing editor at U.S. News & World Report. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org