A host of establishment media outlets are declaring victory for Hillary Clinton weeks before the U.S. presidential election — as they did on the eve of the Democratic primary in California, causing Bernie Sanders supporters to suspect coordinated voter suppression.
A couple headlines from the past week show the pro-Clinton talking point in wide circulation:
Steve Goldstein, DC Bureau Chief of MarketWatch: “The election’s over — Hillary Clinton won”
[UPDATE: NPR is explicitly citing Clinton “leading by a lot” as a reason “not to worry about a ‘rigged’ election”]
— NPR (@NPR) October 18, 2016
And several outlets are even setting expectations for a Clinton “landslide”:
FiveThirtyEight: “Should Clinton Play For An Electoral College Landslide?”
The drumbeat of an inevitable Clinton victory recalls an Associated Press story one day before the California Democratic primary.
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 7, 2016
AP reporters Hope Yen, Stephen Ohlemacher, Lisa Lerer (who indicated she would attend an off-the-record dinner at John Podesta’s home days before Clinton entered the 2016 race), and Catherine Lucey declared Clinton the presumptive nominee based on commitments from superdelegates.
A host of Sanders supporters and media surrogates said AP’s premature declaration of victory led to a massive drop in turnout after record voter registrations:
— Josh Fox (@joshfoxfilm) June 7, 2016
— Foster The People (@fosterthepeople) June 7, 2016
What benefit could this serve on the eve of the California primary other than to prejudice the voters? Why not wait 24 hours?
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) June 7, 2016
A wave of Donald Trump supporters are using social media to call out reporters for this same tactic. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has attacked the U.S. election process as “rigged,” taking aim particularly at corporate media. Reporters at establishment press outlets have turned this into a conversation about voter fraud, which they insist does not exist — despite two Democratic operatives losing their jobs over a sting investigation by independent journalist James O’Keefe and his organization Project Veritas.
However, Trump supporters and even non-partisan observers are turning the conversation back to establishment media and its attempt to declare the race over:
Do not tell the voters it is over before a single vote is casted and counted…(2)
— Gadiri Diallo (@gadiri28) October 12, 2016
On CNN, you'd think Clinton has already won, Buh in reality, no one knows who's gonna win
— Chuma (AKUNATAKASI) (@Chu_moni) October 19, 2016
— ebaca (@edmondsburnaby) October 18, 2016
Good morning Trumpettes! They'recalling the election for HC now: don't listen! They are trying to depress turnout: vote DT!!!
— Babzbee (@patriotbabz) October 19, 2016
This is the kind of "reporting" we get from the HillaryPAC news outlets while scandals break loose… They work to depress Trump turnout… https://t.co/B0ReCbWfvj
— ĆΔŞĆΔĐ€ (@PAC_CASCADE_NW) October 19, 2016
Liberal media with fake scandals & polls RIGGING the presidential election. Try to lower our expectations so his turnout's low. Vote Trump!
— J.D.Wright (@aerialmovie) October 18, 2016