Why the Media Got ‘Personhood’ So Wrong

Reporter after reporter wrote that Mississippi’s controversial “personhood” amendment was “expected to pass” in Tuesday night’s elections, but it went on to fail by over 20 percentage points. Why was everyone so far off? The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg says it wasn’t just the media. “Both gubernatorial candidates supported it, so local Democrats expected it to pass too.” Slate’s Dave Weigel says the Democratic gubernatorial candidate only endorsed it to neutralize a partisan issue in an election dominated by Republicans. Will the “personhood” framing still accrue to abortion opponents’ benefit? “We'll just see, but in the short term, the discussion of "personhood" ended up foundering on the silliness of defining a fertilized egg as a ‘person.’”