CNN's Cillizza Repeats Wrong 2016 Prediction: Trump 'Rapidly Slipping Away'

June 9th, 2020 2:10 PM

If you boldly make an incredibly embarrassing prediction that turns out to be horribly wrong, wouldn't you prefer not to make that same mistake again? Most normal people would avoid repeating that error. However, CNN's Chris Cillizza revisited his 2016 electoral prediction and renewed it for 2020.

Amazingly the two predictions have almost identical headlines. The 2016 Cillizza prediction appeared in the October 11, 2016 Washington Post in which he (and Aaron Blake) proclaimed that "The 2016 electoral map is rapidly slipping away from Donald Trump."

After that prediction flopped, instead of putting it to sleep forever, it looks like Cillizza merely recycled it for 2020 at CNN with virtually the same headline: "The electoral map is tilting badly against Donald Trump right now." In fact the two headlines are so similar as to be interchangeable: "The Electoral Map Is Badly/Rapidly Tilting/Slipping Away From Trump."

In both the 2016 and 2020 Cillizza prediction incarnations, Pennsylvania was tilting/slipping away from Trump. On Arizona, Cillizza basically performed a copy-and-paste. In 2016 Cillizza observed that "The last Democrat to carry Arizona at the presidential level was Bill Clinton in 1996," which he copied and pasted into his 2020 version as "The last Democrat to win Arizona at the presidential level was Bill Clinton in 1996."

In addition to that bit about the last Democrat to win Arizona, both articles projected a bleak path to 270 electoral votes for Trump. In 2016 it was "Trump's always-narrow path to 270 electoral votes has become a footpath — at best — over the past two weeks or so." This narrow path in 2016 was replicated in 2020 as "Biden, as of right now, has a WHOLE lot of different paths to 270 electoral votes, while Trump has a dwindling number."

Exit question: Will Chris Cillizza also be forced to recycle his 2016 excuses for being wrong in his election prediction later this year?