Journalists: please, skip the “momentum” talk

Dear political reporters,
Please reread Nate Silver’s posts (back to 2010) about the mythological status of “momentum,” and then try to report candidates in terms of 1) what polls show that citizens know and DO NOT know; and in that context, 2) what polls suggest people actually think about the issues. If you did that, it would be absolutely unsurprising that there’s substantial support for Bernie Sanders’ positions on the issues out there (for Rand Paul’s, too), and that if many people actually find out what his positions are, they are quite interested. Please ignore polls that actually are dependent on, not independent of, what you report, like name recognition, or citizens’ guesses about electability.

Bernie Sanders, enjoying a rise in early-state and national polls and attracting large crowds at his rallies, has a message for voters: believe the hype. The Vermont senator, an Independent who is running for the Democratic nomination for president,…