The public perception of where the 2016 presidential race stands has been affected much more by Big Media wishful thinking than the actual preferences of the American people.
That is the takeaway of the most recent L.A. Times/USC poll — one that does daily tracking with a carefully selected group of about 3,000 U.S. citizens on the basis of demographics that represent the national voting pool.
For the Big Media, the race is over. Hillary is going to win in a historic landslide that may even result in a change of control of the Congress.
This began when Hillary Clinton got to what we are being told was a double-digit lead in several polls.
Thus, the narrative was written — in mid-August, way before Labor Day, when things start to get serious.
Then came the shocker over the weekend, when the latest L.A. Times poll was released.
It's unclear whether the author of the analysis story that accompanied the poll data even looked at the new numbers.
The results showed Donald Trump in the lead.
But what was the headline on the story?
"New poll analysis finds a wasted summer for Donald Trump and a boost for Hillary Clinton."
No, I am not kidding. That is how the L.A. Times analysis story is headlined. Read it for yourself.
I've been in the news business for over 40 years. There's a term for that story. It's called burying the lead. It's a cardinal sin in the newsroom.
For weeks since the two conventions ended, the media have gleefully reported polls showing Clinton winning by 8-10 points. Yet this new one shows Trump edging Clinton 44.2 percent to 43.6 percent — a statistical tie within the margin of error.
Is that not news?
Not to the L.A. Times. And not to any other major media outlet apparently. Doesn't fit the narrative.
They want you to believe the race is over.
And they have even convinced Trump and Clinton voters alike that it is over.
When you get past the presidential preference part of the survey, you find that overwhelmingly Americans believe Hillary is going to trounce Trump.