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CNN's exit polling is suspect; Trump ignores Buffalo and Paladino in victory speech; Benigni blasts Ryan

This is what I'm thinking:

CNN has some explaining to do today about its exit polling.

At the start of its New York primary coverage at 9 p.m. Tuesday, the cable news network declared Donald Trump the victor of the Republican presidential contest but said the Democratic race was too close to call. (In fairness, Fox News also suggested the race was close.)

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said that exit polling had Hillary Clinton ahead of Bernie Sanders by only 52-48. Blitzer undoubtedly caused some anxiety in the Clinton camp even though he added those numbers could be off.

As the vote came in, it became clear that the exit polling was way off. Clinton ended up winning by what appears to be a large 58-42 margin. Several media outlets declared her the winner before CNN.

It made you wonder how in the world CNN’s exit polling was so wrong. It didn’t make any sense from the start since all primary polling before Tuesday had her ahead by double digits. NBC’s Chuck Todd said Tuesday morning that he would be surprised if the polls were wrong because independent voters can’t vote in the New York primaries, unlike the primaries in other states.

All I could think is that there must have been a lot of people telling exit pollsters that they voted for Sanders when they voted for Clinton. Perhaps they did so because they thought saying a vote for Sanders was a cooler thing to do.

Bill Carter, the former New York Times media reporter who is a friend of mine, also speculated on Twitter that Sanders voters might have been “more eager to talk up their guy to exit pollsters.”

Many WNYers noticed that former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino of Buffalo was visible right behind Trump as the Republican presidential candidate gave his victory speech. Trump mentioned a lot of his prominent supporters, but it was noticeable that he didn’t mention Paladino’s name. It made you wonder if he forgot it. Trump also mentioned large crowds for his rallies at many New York State cities in his speech. He didn’t mention Buffalo, which made you wonder if he forgot his Monday visit here. But Trump can be forgiven. He was a little excited and couldn't be expected to remember everything or everybody.

Time Warner Cable News staffers are feeling a little ignored by me since I didn’t mention the cable channel’s coverage of the Trump rally. So I guess I have a little explaining to do, too. TWCN is only in about half of Western New York homes. Satellite television subscribers can’t get the channel, which is exclusive to cable. Still, people watch the channel. It had a 1.5 rating for the hour in which Trump’s speech aired, which was about 12 percent of the 13.3 rating that broadcast channel WIVB-TV averaged. TWCN also aired the speech in its entirety. Channel 4 pulled away at 8:30 p.m. as Trump was winding down to show CBS' "Supergirl."

Cheers to Channel 2 sports director Adam Benigni for delivering a hard-hitting commentary on Bills Coach Rex Ryan’s decision to introduce Trump at Monday’s rally. Benigni compared Ryan’s decision to how you would describe the team’s defense last year.

Benigni said the Ryan introduction “was not all that smart and not all that well-executed.”

He added he would have felt that way if Ryan had introduced any political candidate, not just Trump.

It is rare these days to hear any local sports commentary that critical.

To paraphrase or borrow some of Ryan’s own words in introducing Trump, “other sportscasters may have wanted to say the same thing as Benigni. But there’s a difference. They didn’t have the courage to say it. And Adam Benigni certainly had the courage to say it.”

It was announced Tuesday that Channel 2 has won three prestigious regional Edward R. Murrow awards and TWCN has won one. The national winners will be announced in June.

Channel 2 won regional awards for feature reporting for a story on “The Fainting Runner,” for investigative reporting for a story “Getting Away with Murder,” and for its website.

TWCN in Buffalo won for use of video for “The November Storm: A Look Back.” It also won two mentions in my blog today.

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