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Wednesday, November 22, 2023
MRC Hypes Worse-Than-Usual Poll For Biden, Buries The Fact That It's An Outlier
Topic: Media Research Center

We've shown how the Media Research Center loves to tout polls showing President Biden doing badly, even though it maliciously attacked similarly polls in 2020 showing Donald Trump doing badly as having been faked. One particular poll, however, caught its fancy and it latched on tightly to that. Kevin Tober hyped it in a Sept. 24 post:

On Sunday, ABC News released a poll in conjunction with The Washington Post and the results were apocalyptically bad for Joe Biden's reelection chances against former President Donald Trump. Aside from the Jimmy Carter-like disapproval ratings on the economy and inflation, Biden is now losing to Trump by 9 points in a head-to-head matchup. Of course, ABC's This Week had a near-panic attack when reporting the numbers. It was fun to watch. 

"These numbers are simply staggering for the sitting President," ABC political director Rick Klein told co-moderator Martha Raddatz. 

Reading out the poll's findings, Klein reported: "44 percent of people in this poll say they are not as well off as they were at the start of the Biden administration 2 1/2 years ago. Those are the worst numbers that we've seen in our ABC News Washington Post polling."

Later that day, Tober did another post hyping the poll and reaction to it:

Just like on ABC’s This Week, Sunday’s edition of NBC Meet the Press was stunned to find out that former President Donald Trump is in a dead heat with Joe Biden in a potential rematch for the presidency in 2024. Moderator Kristen Welker, proving she’s just as much of a partisan activist as her predecessor Chuck Todd, when she exclaimed “oof” in horror at the prospect of Trump getting good polling news. 

“What's so stunning about this number, a lot’s happened since June, we’re talking two more indictments against former President Trump,” Welker said to her guest and MSNBC political analyst Steve Kornacki. “So four in total and the first GOP primary debate and yet Mr. Trump is just solidifying his lead with GOP voters.”

“You know this from talking to Republican critics of Trump from rival campaigns, everything you just explained they thought would take him down a peg this summer and instead he has only moved up here,” Kornacki fretted. “You can see the number saying the party needs a new leader has gone down. So for Donald Trump there, nothing but good news.” 

Before he could finish his thought, Welker blurted out “Oof.”

What Tober didn't tell his readers: Those results are an outlier, as espected political analyst Larry Sabato pointed out (h/t Mediaite): "Ignore the Washington Post - ABC poll. It’s a ridiculous outlier (Trump up 10 over Biden—laughable). My question: How could you even publish a poll so absurd on its face? Will be a lingering embarrassment for you."

Nevertheless, the MRC continued hyping the poll. Mark  Finkelstein took the whataboutism route in a Sept. 25 post:

So much of the focus nowadays is on Joe Biden's mental impairment and shaky memory. But perhaps Joe Scarborough should have his own noggin checked out. Because he seemed to have suffered a stunning memory lapse on today's Morning Joe.

Scarborough spent the first segment whistling past the graveyard of the disastrous Washington Post/ABC News poll showing Biden losing by nine points to Trump, and then went on to trash the "fools" who thought they were "truth tellers" suggesting doom for Biden in 2020 and 2022. 

Scarborough somehow forgot that among those people writing off Biden was  . . . Joe Scarborough himself!

Finkelstein didn't mention his employer's own flip-flop on polls. instead, he went on to complain that "there there was the Washington Post, trying to downplay the importance of its own poll, casting it as an "outlier."

Curtis Houck hyped the poll in his own Sept. 25 post:

On Monday’s Good Morning America, ABC was still beside itself after Sunday’s This Week unfurled the results of a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that showed ominous news about President Biden’s age, how Americans view his handling of the border crisis and the economy, and Trump having a nine-point lead nationally over the President.

“The race for 2024. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll sounding the alarm for President Biden in a head to head with former President Trump,” teased co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos.

Fast-forward to the actual segment and chyron stating the poll “finds weakness on the economy & immigration,” Stephanopoulos fretted the poll “signal[ed] trouble for President Biden.”

Houck buried the fact that that it was pointed out the wildly large Trump lead "is an outlier in polling."

Nicholas Fondacaro spent his daily hate-watching of "The View" on Sept. 25 complaining that the co-hosts pointed out how much of an outlier the poll is:

With ABC News sounding the alarm over their own poll showing former President Trump leading President Biden by 10 points in a hypothetical head-to-head rematch, the cast of ABC’s The View were in a panic on Monday. The fact that the network they worked for was the one who conducted the poll meant little as they all took to attacking the results; with faux conservative Ana Navarro openly suggesting the pollsters were all “high” on “edibles or somethings” when they were asking the questions.

“A new ABC/Washington Post poll … [s]hows that Biden is trailing you-know-who by nearly ten points, but – but I know there are other polls that are also happening that are saying different things,” moderator Whoopi Goldberg scoffed as she led into the segment.

The other faux-conservative on the panel, Alyssa Farah Griffin called her network’s poll “an outlier” and opined about how she was “skeptical of polls” because “They were wrong in 2016, they were wrong in the midterms in 2020.”

She decried the ABC poll as “so far out of step with other polling” at there had to be “an anomaly when they were taking the poll.” Realizing she was dissing her own network, she quickly pivoted to praising her co-workers by saying, “I trust our pollsters at ABC, they're phenomenal.” She also almost said they “misrep[resented]” Trump’s lead, but she caught herself mid-word and rephrased it to “may have overstated the lead.”


Towards the end of the segment, Hostin was forced by ABC to read a legal note to reassure the viewers that, “[n]obody at ABC that was conducting the poll was high.” “I'm just doing what I'm told to do,” she quipped in response to the audience’s laughter.

Fondacaro made no effort to defend the accuracy of the poll.

Meanwhile, Mediaite's Isaac Schorr pointed out that the poll's results "don’t just make the poll an 'outlier,' as the pollsters themselves admitted. The results are actively misleading, and fail not only to reflect reality, but any potential reality," adding that giving oxygen to such obvious outliers is "dangerous to the reputations of those who repeat them and the political prospects of those who take them seriously." But the MRC has no such worries about its reputation -- it's nothing but a right-wing shill, the poll served its partisan narratives, and the fact that it's an outlier that doesn't reflect reality is irrelevant to those narratives.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:42 PM EST

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