CNN calls their John Avlon segments "Reality Check," but it's just another pompous editorial. Avlon appeared on Monday's New Day to proclaim that America is not as divided as people think. If you cherry-pick your examples, you can make America look quite liberal and claim the only reason it does not appear that way is because the composition of the Senate is unfair and the redistricting process is "rigged."
He touted that 62 percent favor the bipartisan "infrastructure" bill, and then shifted to cherry-pick out the global-warming piece of the larger $3.5 million "infrastructure" add-on, claiming 64 percent merely agreed it was an important issue (not that they back every socialist scheme to stop it).
Avlon let the mask slip when talking about cultural issues:
JOHN AVLON: You can even dig into culture war issues that have dominated debates in the past and see movement towards majority consensus. Take same-sex marriage. According to the most recent Gallup poll, a record 70 percent of Americans now believe in equal rights on the issue, up from 27 percent back in 1996. Or marijuana legalization. Gallup shows its reached a new high with 68 percent support last November. And given the recent restrictive Texas abortion law, it’s worth noting that nearly 60 percent of Americans oppose completely overturning Roe v. Wade.
If support for same-sex marriage was at 27 percent in '96, then the country was unified then too, just not in the way CNN wants. When opinions shift left, Avlon finds "real hope" for democracy.
As for a strong majority opposing "completely overturning" Roe, there are plenty of problems with that, not the least of which is just how much Americans actually know about Roe. As it is, self-described pro-choicers outnumber pro-lifers 49-47 and more Americans say there should be more restrictions than there are currently than do those who say it should be generally available. Not exactly a liberal consensus.
Avlon concluded by telling the audience:
Now look, some people will be surprised to see supermajorities supporting the same broad positions, but that’s because of our hyper-partisan politics. It’s a structural problem, particularly in Congress. For example, the U.S. Senate is literally divided 50/50, but the states that Democrats represent contain roughly 41 million more people. Likewise the rigged system of redistricting, which is happening in state houses right now, and results in fewer competitive districts by design, means that members of Congress are incentivized to play to the base rather than reflecting the supermajority of America’s center.
CNN thinks it represents the "supermajority of the center," but the ratings don't reflect that. Avlon concluded:
You should be angry about politicians who refuse to represent the will of the people and, instead, pander to the outer reaches of politics. But you shouldn’t despair about the ability of Americans to ever unite on big issues. We’re not a 50/50 nation on many issues, we’re like 70/30, and that's reason for real hope. And that's your Reality Check.
Avlon not only spun the numbers to fit his preferred reality, he also ignored counterexamples. For example, Americans oppose Critical Race Theory by a 58-38 margin and 62% of Americans think transgender athletes should compete as a member of their biological sex. They also oppose progressives' Court packing schemes by 20 points, with those in favor being outranked by "don't know/no opinion" and 74% of voters favor school choice.
That's the true reality check.
This segment was sponsored by Breyers.