I should say that I agree with the several people who commented on yesterday’s post and observed that the media’s pretense that Obama and McCain are locked in some kind of close, interesting contest is probably beneficial to down-ballot Democrats. On the one hand, Democrats running ahead of Obama in areas where Obama is unpopular (Martin in Georgia, Musgrove in Mississippi) benefit from people being confused about how overwhelmingly likely it is that Obama will be in the White House. And on the other hand, Democrats running behind Obama in areas where Obama is popular (Merkely in Oregon, Franken in Minnesota) benefit from a high level of turnout and enthusiasm among strong Obama supporters.
That said, it’s still sloppy journalism. And it’s not being done to help Democrats, it’s being done because people are sloppy.