July 18, 2018 | ° F

This is what will happen

Hillary Clinton will win the Pennsylvania primary. Make no mistake. While opinion polling has its problems, all opinion polls show the New York senator with a clear advantage in that state. Sure, polls can only mean so much when it is the votes that matter. However, when polls from independent and unaffiliated organizations all show a consistent trend, their cumulative statistical significance cannot be ignored.

Sure, the pundits in the media are playing up that state as decisive. Surely, if Barack Obama won the state, it will be a nail in the coffin for Clinton's 2008 presidential ambitions. That said, you might as well ask the hypothetical question, "What if John McCain was a robot?"

The same thing happened before. Despite always being consistently behind in New Hampshire, Clinton's narrow margin of victory proved to be decisive because the pundits said so. Her low expectations came from only one poll that was taken after the Iowa caucus.

The same thing happened again in Texas and Ohio. For those following the polls, it should not have been a surprise that Obama did not come from behind to win the popular vote in those states. All it took was highly expected victories in two states to belittle the 12 consecutive contests that Obama won since Super Tuesday.

Now, in Pennsylvania, Clinton has been ahead of Obama for months in that state. There was never a poll that suggested Obama was ahead of Clinton at any point. Don't let Obama's cumulative national delegate count belittle Clinton's expectations on Tuesday. Otherwise, pundits will go along with Clinton's inevitable "decisive victory" talking point and once again raise the same "Is Obama electable?" questions we have heard a hundred times before.

What am I saying? Pundits can't be stopped. They will do it anyway.

The least we can do about it is view the media's narrative more critically. If the Democrats don't have a nominee before the Denver convention, it won't be Obama, Clinton or the voters' fault. It'll simply be because of pundits who love to keep this horses-- race going by asking questions that won't be answered on Election night.

Roger Sheng is a Rutgers College junior majoring in political science and journalism and media studies.

Roger Sheng

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