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Boston Review conversation

- August 24, 2009

The Boston Review solicited several replies to Andy’s and my piece on the 2008 election. Those are now online.

The replies are from Michael Dawson, Richard Johnston and Emily Thorson, Rick Perlstein, and Mark Schmitt. They all pushed us to think more about our account, and they all are well worth reading.

Here is our response to these replies. One tidbit, prompted by Rick Perlstein’s generous call for more political scientists on TV news:

bq. Will these efforts [to enter the public sphere] get political scientists invited to Joe Scarborough’s kaffeeklatsch? Probably not. The media ecology fetishizes novelty in reporting and certainty in commentary. And yet the academic study of elections shows that what is certain is almost never new, and what is new is almost never certain. We might only bore Fox & Friends with our scholarly qualifications and caveats, or simply look foolish trying to present our research in soundbites…That said, we are willing to risk it if we can take airtime away from yet another discussion of the Bradley effect. Wolf Blitzer: have your people call our people.