So, here’s what I’m keeping in mind to avoid this.
1- Polls Uber Alles. Polls are the best indicator we have for how A living in B feels about X at time Y. “My cousin says” and “I heard” are as plentiful as cat turds and just as useful. Yes, some firms can be screwy. Yes, others can put their thumb on the scales. But the averages of the polls rarely deviate from the winner of the race that was inquired about. Democrats shoved their fingers in their ears as Governor Scott Walker consistently led in every public poll released, and we did the same as the close of the 2012 cycle approached us.
Yep, I fell for the same malarkey: The poll samples are skewed, Nate Cohn is a partisan hack, blah, blah, blah.
Which made the 2012 results all the more personally shocking and depressing. Not only did my attempt to con myself into believing that a lame buffoon like Romney was winning, I may have caused you to believe the same thing.
I can promise you I won’t be making a similar mistake this year. Once the polling really gets going, the Poll Averages section of Real Clear Politics will be my go-to on a daily basis. And if my side is losing there, that’s how I’ll be reporting and analyzing the situation.