This sheds a little more light on what's really bothering Katz. Not that I misquoted her, because I didn't. Rather, she thinks I am suggesting that reporters are lazy, that they just look at polls rather than going out and reporting. But this is not what I said and not what I believe.
I think reporting on election reporting is grueling work. Political reporters assigned to the campaign work hard. And what they mainly work hard at is... horse race coverage! The idea that a focus on voters is antithetical to horse race coverage misunderstands what the term "horse race coverage" means. The idea that if you cover "issues" or add "analysis," then you are not doing horse race coverage also misunderstands what the term means.
It means coverage that is mainly about: who's ahead, who's going to win, what are the dynamics of the race and how are the candidates positioning themselves for victory? Issues can be viewed through that lens. So can voters. Or a campaign debate
. It's the preferred narrative strategy in the campaign press. I think most journalists know this. I know for sure that lots of readers do.
And besides, if you're freezing your butt or sweating the pounds
off in Iowa reporting on the campaign, you do need to ask yourself why you and hundreds of other reporters are there in the first place. Because of Iowa's perceived importance in the horse race!
But to Katz, "horse race coverage" means "reporting on polls." Thus...