Though it seems as if Mr. Trump’s success came out of the blue, it didn’t. The first signs that something was amiss in the coverage of the Tea Partyera actually surfaced in the 2014 midterms. Oh, you broadcast network newscast viewers didn’t know we had important elections with huge consequences for the governance of your country that year? You can be forgiven because the broadcast networks hardly covered them. They didn’t rate. No Trump, or anyone like him. (Boring!)
But here’s what happened. A conservative economics professor and political neophyte named David Brat decided he would challenge the House Republican majority leader Eric Cantor for his Virginia congressional seat. There were few Republicans more powerful than Mr. Cantor, so Mr. Brat’s bid seemed quixotic. Mr. Cantor’s own pollster released numbers days before the election showing a 34-point lead for the congressman, and the closest public poll showed Mr. Cantor up by 13 points.
When Mr. Cantor lost, headlines labeled it an “earthquake” and a “shocker.” And it was, for people who relied solely on polls.
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