Some of this is honest stupidity, but most of it is careerism. Pouring scorn on the polls and on unwelcome news reports, predicting a Trump landslide with very little hard evidence to back up that wishful thinking, and, above all, reassuring conservatives that our ideas are more popular than they actually are, that the vast majority of Americans are on our side even if they don’t seem to know it, is a good way to build audience share and a social-media following. And if — as is likely though not certain — this is revealed on Election Day as a fraud and a fantasy, then you can always complain that the election was rigged and that the Deep State has done you wrong. Those doggie vitamins aren’t going to sell themselves.

Maybe I will be surprised — again — on Election Day. But that would not mean that the bull peddled by the entertainment wing of the conservative movement in the closing days of the campaign wasn’t bull. Some people win the lottery, but that doesn’t make buying a lottery ticket a good investment strategy.

And if conservatives expecting a Trump landslide find themselves grumbling disconsolately into their oatmeal on the morning of November 4, then they might ask themselves why so many of their most influential media figures lied to them, what was gained by those lies, and what was lost by them.