Krugman’s blog, 10/21/15

There were three posts yesterday.  The first was “Robot Assisted Trotskyism in Space:”

Brad DeLong has an annotated transcript of the Star Trek economics panel at Comic Con.

The second post yesterday was “Thought For Food:”

I was at the Times Food for Tomorrow conference this morning …

Yesterday’s last post was “Hillary’s Loops:”

The party primaries have been hell on pundits; on the GOP side, in particular, events have demolished almost every supposed certainty (except for one: if Bill Kristol makes a prediction, you can be sure that it won’t happen). And I (a) claim no special insight (b) have no desire to get into the game.

I would, however, like to give props to Nate Silver, who had a good post a month ago about Hillary Clinton’s “poll-deflating feedback loop” set off by the erroneous Times story about a supposed criminal investigation. He noted that at the time Clinton’s press coverage was almost completely dominated by three kinds of negative stories: emails, declining poll numbers, and Biden speculation. And these stories were mutually reinforcing: weak poll numbers led to more Biden speculation, more negative stories hurt the poll numbers, and — Silver doesn’t say this, but it was obvious — there was a blood-in-the-water effect on the press, which was encouraged to indulge its Clinton derangement syndrome by signs of weakness.

One implication of Silver’s analysis was that the feedback loop could quite easily go into reverse if Clinton was the beneficiary of some positive news, if her poll numbers stopped falling, if Biden chose not to enter the race. And sure enough, that’s exactly what’s happening now. The Benghazi thing is being recognized as the witch hunt it always was, the first debate showed why Clinton was a force to begin with, polling has turned up, Biden is out, and coverage has turned positive.

I wouldn’t count out a resurgence of CDS. And I do have one prediction of my own: most if not all Republican-leaning pundits who have been wringing their hands over the party’s turn away from true conservatism will find ways to decide that Donald Trump really isn’t so bad once he gets the nomination. But at least for now the feedback is working Hillary’s way.

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