Wednesday, October 27, 2004

# Posted 11:29 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

GETTING READY FOR THE RECOUNT(S): An AP poll reports that six out of ten voters don't expect there to be a clear winner by the morning after the election. (Hat tip: Megan-guest-blogging-for-Glenn)

This seems to me like a classic example of the human tendency to predict the future on the basis of the very recent past. Four years ago, no one said to themselves: "A close election? I hope it doesn't turn into another 1876!"

But now, you can open the paper any morning and read about legal battles in a dozen different states, with accusations of dishonesty flying on both sides. These stories are important and they should be covered in considerable detail. Nonetheless, they have the cumulative effect of creating misperceptions among the voting public. It's an inevitable process, but one we should think about more often in a broader set of contexts.
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