‘Frightening’ ‘Wakeup Call’; ABC Melts Down Over Poll Showing Trump Up Big on Biden

November 6th, 2023 11:05 AM

All was anything but quiet on the broadcast network front early Monday as ABC, CBS, and NBC covered the latest 2024 polls during the flagship news morning news, ranging from disgust with voters refusing to believe “strong” economic data to outright petrification over the “frightening” “wakeup call” and the supposed stupidity of “voters” having yet to “come to terms with what he is talking about doing” in a second term.

ABC’s Good Morning America was beside itself. Co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos solemnly went to chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl: “[I]n addition to our poll, New York Times has a poll out this morning showing that Donald Trump is leading in five of the six big battleground states. Now, presidents have come back in the past...but this is tough news for Joe Biden.”

Karl, a soon-to-be-three-time anti-Trump author (and thus needing Trump to stay relevant) dubbed this a “wakeup call” and seethed with anger for anyone who’d remotely consider voting for Trump: “This is frightening for not just the Biden White House, not just for Democrats. But for anybody who fears what a return to a Trump presidency would mean.”

Twice emphasizing that “he can win,” Karl sneered at non-Biden voters: “[T]he biggest challenge for Biden is it’s not just people have suddenly fallen in love with the idea of Trump going back to the White House. They haven’t. It’s that only 23 percent...in our poll, thinks the country is on the right track.”

Stephanopoulos did his part in trashing voters, channeling his inner Jonathan Gruber: “Voters don’t seem to be fazed by the fact that Donald Trump has been indicted so many times”.

Karl also called it “incredible” that voters haven’t possessed the wherewithal to “come to terms with what he is talking about doing,” which is “a campaign of revenge and retribution” of “prosecut[ing] his political opponents” and “not just Democrats, but people that served him.”

“[A]re voters really ready to sign up for that? He’s talking about invoking the Insurrection Act...using American troops on the streets of U.S. cities, something he tried to do...This would be a very radical Trump presidency, much more so than even the first one,” he concluded.

For his part, Stephanopoulos bemoaned this was “[a]ll fueled by a big lie about the last campaign.” 

This public venting was preceded by a story about the 2024 race from senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott, who put her thumb on the primary scales against Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and scoffed at Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’s endorsement (click “expand”):

SCOTT: Even as he faces multiple investigations, Donald Trump has not only emerged as the clear Republican frontrunner, polls show he’s edging out president Biden in the critical battleground states that could decide this election. This morning, new warning signs for President Biden. A vast majority of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, according to our latest ABC News poll.


SCOTT: What’s worse for Biden? Donald Trump is gaining ground in key battleground states. A New York Times/Sienna poll showing the former President is leading Biden in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Trump facing 91 felony charges, still the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, leading his GOP rivals, too.


SCOTT: Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie heckled after insisting the party deserves better than Trump.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: Your anger against the truth is reprehensible. [CROWD BOOS]

SCOTT: Other candidates, including the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, struggling to close the gap.

DESANTIS: The brand of Republicans has become toxic, very difficult to attract people to the party, so Florida has shown the way forward for the Republican Party.

SCOTT: Even though Biden and Trump are the leading candidates in their party, our latest poll shows their approval ratings are underwater, leaving challengers on both sides hoping for a breakthrough.


SCOTT: So, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to pick up a key endorsement from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds tonight. But it’s unclear how that will impact the race. One thing that could? A possible conviction for Donald Trump, Linsey.

DAVIS: And one thing that our new poll shows is that voters are clearly frustrated.

SCOTT: They are, so let’s unpack our new ABC News/Ipsos poll. Three-quarters of Americans, 76 percent, believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and that includes majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents. Only 23 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction. Voters are not only deeply frustrated with the direction of the company. They’re also unhappy with the leading candidates themselves...[T]hree in ten Americans say they would be more likely to vote for either party if they nominated someone else entirely, not Joe Biden and not Donald Trump[.]

CBS Mornings and NBC’s Today were slightly more matter of fact about it and leaned more heavily into the fact that the election remains a year away (and thus multiple lifetimes will occur between now and then). 

On NBC, co-host Savannah Guthrie calmly stated Trump has “a sizable lead in battleground states and peeling off key Biden votes” and has naturally been “setting off major alarm bells for Democrats.”

Senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson broke down The Times poll as proof that 2024 might follow past elections in which the economy will be the deciding issue” with “81 percent say[ing] that economic situation right now is fair or poor.”

Jackson fretted that this was despite “unemployment” being “relatively low” and “the pace of inflation...slowed down,” but “interest rates are still higher, so people are clearly feeling that and more than half of the people in this poll say they trust Donald Trump to do a better job on the economy.”

After noting the age of both men, Guthrie and Jackson stated the obvious that Democrats are “concerned”, but gave their fellow liberals a pep talk with the fact that the election’s a year away and not only did Barack Obama mount a comeback in 2012, but Democrats outperformed in 2022.

CBS co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King huffed that the “polls are showing some very unfavorable trends for President Biden,” leaving “Democrats quite concerned.”

Chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes played Captain Obvious: “Well, Gayle, some Democrats we spoke to this weekend concede they’ve got some work to do”.

She clicked through the CBS poll’s findings and griping that voters don’t believe the economy is strong, but concluded with hope for fellow liberals (click “expand”):

CORDES: In our CBS News poll, only 18 percent of likely voters said that they’d be financially better off if Mr. Biden wins reelection, while 45 percent said they’d be better off if Trump wins. When it comes to foreign affairs, only 31 percent think that President Biden’s policies would increase peace and stability, compared to 47 percent for Trump. Now, part of the challenge for Mr. Biden here is that people are simply pretty pessimistic at the moment. 73 percent said that things are just going badly in America right now. That’s up from 65 percent at the start of the year. So voters just don’t feel great about where things stand right now, despite the fact that we’ve seen several months of strong job growth and shrinking inflation. Gayle?

KING: Well, we’re about 100 days out now. We should also point out that the CBS News poll, not the only one showing bad news for President Biden. So what do you see in some of the states known as battleground states that will probably decide this election? What are you seeing there?

CORDES: Yeah. This really caught a lot of Democrats by surprise, Gayle. A New York Times poll of six battleground states that President Biden won back in 2020. Now, in five out of six of those states, Mr. Biden is trailing Donald Trump. He’s behind by five in Arizona, six in Georgia, and a startling ten points in Nevada. He’s even trailing in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania where the President has seen strong Democratic support. He’s just barely edging you on Trump in Wisconsin. We asked Biden campaign officials about this yesterday. They insisted they’re not alarmed. They noted former President Barack Obama was trailing at some points in its — at this point in his reelection cycle, too. It is worth noting, though, they’ve already spent millions to try to sell President Biden’s record on the economy to voters. So, is it sinking in? And Gayle, one very interesting finding in these battleground states — if Trump is convicted in any of his criminal cases over the next year, a chunk of voters say that that would cause them to shift their support from him to President Biden.

To see the relevant transcripts from November 6, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).