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August 13, 2010


A question that seems relevant to your own research: Doesn't repeating language of the myth tend to reinforce, rather than debunk it?

In this case:

"Midterm votes foretell future election results" printed at the top of the article, in bold type, is the first thing anyone will read. The other myths, also in bold, appear basically as bullet points to remember. None of the evidence against these myths is as memorable as the myths themselves.

Yes, it's very possible. It's not their fault -- that's how all the pieces in the "Five Myths" series seem to be structured. Also, it's hard to avoid repeating myths when you are writing a piece like that.

Jon Stewart did a whole segment on the ridiculousness of election themes in the media last night. TPM has it up.

The last two posts are almost opposites. The prior post says the economy is the key to election results, while point #4 above says it's a myth that election results are all about the economy.

Perhaps both points are true, with appropriate modifiers and qualifiers. E.g., the discussion above doesn't quite support point #4, but rather says it's a myth that elections are always all about the economy. Abramowitz and Ornstein then go on to acknowledge that the 2010 election in particular may well turn out to be primarily about the economy.

I guess it's pleasant to criticize comments made by other political pundits. There may not be much value in these lists of "myths", but they don't do much harm either.

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