The Horserace Next Time

Jason Zengerle worries about it:

What’s most problematic about Silver’s and the pollsters’ triumph last night is what it may herald for the future of campaign coverage. Without a doubt, Silver’s rigorous empiricism is much, much more preferable to the lazy, gassy, vibration-sensing punditry that has made up so much of our political journalism. And yet, the biggest complaint about campaign coverage over the last twenty years has been that it’s too focused on the horse race and doesn’t pay enough attention to the substance. Silver and his fellow polling analysts and aggregators have brought a welcome degree of precision, but they’ve only made the horse race more central to the political conversation. After all, what dominated that conversation for the past month? It wasn’t a conversation about the candidate’s dueling tax plans. Rather, it was a debate about the polls. The fact that the good guys — who put their faith in the data rather than the vibrations — won that debate may turn out to be something of a pyrrhic victory.