THE BLOG

Re: Who Predicted 140 Million?

12/08/2008 07:22 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

My colleague Marc Ambinder reports two additional details on turnout:

First, Michael McDonald revised his national turnout estimate today, which now stands 131.3 million who cast ballots in the presidential election, or 61.6% of eligible voters.

Second, Ambinder addresses my question from last week about the unnamed "experts" who supposedly "forecast" a turnout of 140 million:

My colleague Mark Blumenthal can't find any on-the-record prediction by senior Obama campaign officials that turnout would reach 140 million, although I can say today that several senior aides told me on background, they expected that the turnout would be slightly higher than it turned out to be, anywhere between 133 million and 140 million. Smartly, none would put the prediction on the record, so there's plausible deniability. As the campaign continues its forensic accounting of its GOTV efforts, though, there may be internal efforts to figure out whether certain levers weren't pushed.

Point taken. Ambinder had the perspective of background conversations and predictions that the rest of us did not. However, if the Bloomberg article in question was relying on the background spin of the Obama campaign, I'm not sure why it didn't say so explicitly.