It was another embarrassing election night for the mainstream media that once again badly misinterpreted exit polls.
Standing above the chaos was the Drudge Report which at 5:44 PM correctly announced to the world, "EXIT POLLS SHOW WALKER HOLDING SEAT":
Up in the top left, the headline read, "EXIT POLLS: RESULTS SIMILAR TO ELECTION 2 YEARS AGO, SOURCES TELL DRUDGE... '5 POINT MARGIN'... DEVELOPING... "
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel scolded Drudge writing, "Republican and Democratic sources in Wisconsin told the Journal Sentinel that the numbers used by the Drudge Report are wrong. Sources said the exit polls showed that race as being much tighter than the conservative website indicated."
As it turns out, Walker won by seven points.
Of course, traditional media outlets aren't allowed to make predictions before polls close. So at 9 PM, over three hours after Drudge correctly called it a win with a significant margin for Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker, CNN's Wolf Blitzer led the insanity:
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, I'm Wolf Blitzer in for Piers Morgan. He's in London with the latest on today's Diamond Jubilee celebration. But we begin with breaking news out of Wisconsin right now where polls have just closed. The recall vote that could preview November's election.
Look at this. Our exit polls show it's a 50-50 race as of this minute. These are exit polls, the polls that we conducted throughout the day, throughout the state of Wisconsin. These are preliminary exit poll results. Fifty percent for Scott Walker. He's on the left of your screen. Fifty percent for Tom Barrett, the Democrat, the mayor of Milwaukee. He is on the right.
Scott Walker is the incumbent Republican governor. This is a race to recall him, to remove him from office. Based on the exit polls that we've been conducting throughout the day. Right now the exit polls show it's 50 percent for Walker, 50 percent for Barrett. Doesn't get much closer than this.
Thus began a parade of mainstream media outlets calling the race a dead-heat at 50-50.
For the record, I immediately cautioned my Twitter followers:
CNN claiming exit polls have this 50-50. Don't believe it!— Noel Sheppard (@NoelSheppard) June 6, 2012
Yet, only 49 minutes after virtually every media outlet in the country with the exception of the Drudge Report called the race a 50-50 dead heat, the penguin march to call if for Walker began.
49 minutes - and over four hours after Drudge had correctly called it.
In the aftermath of this disgrace, Politico's Dylan Byers said this was "The worst night on cable news."
Frankly, I'd consider expanding that to include most of the mainstream media in that scorching analysis.
Nice job, Matt! Bravo!