NBC Discovers Midterm Voters Don’t Care About Trump Tweets, Russia

During a report on Wednesday’s Megyn Kelly Today, NBC News correspondent Jacob Soboroff revealed that midterm voters in Florida were much more interested in local issues that impact their daily lives than the latest tweet from President Trump, the Russia investigation, or other political intrigue in Washington D.C.

Anchor Megyn Kelly began the segment: “So what really matters to American voters like you? Is it Trump tweets? Petty squabbles amongst the politicians? Not so much, as it turns out.” Touting the possibility of Democrats winning control of the House of Representatives in November, Soboroff introduced a new series titled What Matters: “We wanted to figure out what really matters to voters in some of these toss-up districts. The only way to do that is ignore the polls, forget the pundits, right? And hit the ground.”

 

 

Traveling to south Florida’s 26th Congressional District, the reporter found that most voters there were focused on statewide environmental issues like water quality and hurricane preparedness.

Talking to Key West resident Dee Dee Green, Soboroff asked about some of the favorite liberal media narratives: “What about the stuff that we hear about on TV all the time, Trump, Russia investigation, scandals?” Green replied: “Those are sometimes distracters. I mean, I think they’re important, but I like to stay focused on who’s supporting what I’m supporting.”

Following the report, Kelly observed: “The media falls in love with its own stories and like the Trump tweet and the latest on Mueller and the Russia investigation. And they’re like, ‘Wrong, wrong.’”

Soboroff was quick to defend such media obsession: “And it’s not to say that those issues aren’t critically important to the health of our democracy and to the country and if the president is engaged in scandals and collusion with Russia, you know, that we shouldn’t be focused on it.”

However, he then acknowledged that journalists need to get out of the newsroom and actually talk to real people:

But every day we have to remember what people like you guys [referring to the studio audience] are thinking about, the stuff that affects your daily life, your livelihood, how you actually, you know, wake up, get out of bed, and go, you know, into your day. And that’s what these people care about.

Kelly agreed and shared her own anecdote:

I’ll tell you, we went out to our vacation in Montana and we went to a rodeo, like a real rodeo, you know?...And the folks we talked to out there could not care less about the latest tweet controversy at all. They want to make sure they can provide for their families, that they have good schools, that the government stays out of their business. That’s number one out there, they’re kind of like New Hampshire, live free or die.

The host again criticized her own profession: “And so, it’s funny how we sort of in the echo chamber of like New York and L.A. or the media circles get all wrapped around the axle on certain things, and they’re like, ‘Couldn’t care less.’ And then we marvel that the poll numbers don’t move.” Soboroff responded: “That’s exactly right.”

This was not the first time that Soboroff was confronted with the reality that most voters aren’t interested in talking about the Russia investigation. Back in February, a Democratic congressional candidate in California actually complained to the reporter that “you folks in the media only talk about the Russia thing.”

Earlier on Wednesday’s Today show, even Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd admitted that a new tell-all book from Bob Woodward about the Trump White House probably wouldn’t resonate with anyone outside of political and media circles: “Look, I don’t know if outside of Washington this is anything more than, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s just another crazy story involving the Trump White House.’ I don’t know if it penetrates that much outside of our bubbles.”

It’s nice to see that NBC journalists are at least aware that they live in a bubble. If only the network’s political coverage would actually reflect that self awareness.

Here are excerpts of the September 5 discussion between Kelly and Soboroff:

9:14 AM ET

MEGYN KELLY: So what really matters to American voters like you? Is it Trump tweets? Petty squabbles amongst the politicians? Not so much, as it turns out. Jacob Soboroff is out there exploring the real answer to that question in his new series and he is here now with the first installment.

JACOB SOBOROFF: I’m so excited about the election. I'm such an election nerd, Megyn. We’ve got 62 days to go from today. Voters are gonna go to polls, they’re gonna decide the balance of power. Yet again, Democrats need to flip 23 House seats to take back control. But really, how likely is that? We wanted to figure out what really matters to voters in some of these toss-up districts. The only way to do that is ignore the polls, forget the pundits, right? And hit the ground. We started in south Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

(...)

SOBOROFF: We finished our journey as far south as you can go, Key West. We ran into Dee Dee Green as she was heading off to work. With the congressional election coming up, what do you think the things that people in Key West are gonna voting on?

DEE DEE GREEN: The biggest one will probably be the environment.

SOBOROFF: What about the stuff that we hear about on TV all the time, Trump, Russia investigation, scandals?

GREEN: Those are sometimes distracters. I mean, I think they’re important, but I like to stay focused on who’s supporting what I’m supporting.

(...)

9:19 AM ET

KELLY: That last exchange with the woman in the truck was interesting, right? The media falls in love with its own stories and like the Trump tweet and the latest on Mueller and the Russia investigation. And they’re like, “Wrong, wrong.”  

SOBOROFF: And it’s not to say that those issues aren’t critically important to the health of our democracy and to the country and if the president is engaged in scandals and collusion with Russia, you know, that we shouldn’t be focused on it. But every day we have to remember what people like you guys [referring to the studio audience] are thinking about, the stuff that affects your daily life, your livelihood, how you actually, you know, wake up, get out of bed, and go, you know, into your day. And that’s what these people care about.

KELLY: Exactly right. I’ll tell you, we went out to our vacation in Montana and we went to a rodeo, like a real rodeo, you know?  

SOBOROFF: It’s so fun.

KELLY: The cowboys and like the whole bit with the chaps. And the folks we talked to out there could not care less about the latest tweet controversy at all. They want to make sure they can provide for their families, that they have good schools, that the government stays out of their business. That’s number one out there, they’re kind of like New Hampshire, live free or die.

SOBOROFF: Yup.

KELLY: And so, it’s funny how we sort of in the echo chamber of like New York and L.A. or the media circles...

SOBOROFF: That’s right.

KELLY: ...get all wrapped around the axle on certain things, and they’re like, “Couldn’t care less.” And then we marvel that the poll numbers don’t move.

SOBOROFF: That’s exactly right. And look, the House could still flip, but it’s important we keep going out there asking this question, what matters to the people out there? Because if it does flip, it’s gonna flip for reasons like that, not necessarily what the President’s doing or tweeting about.

(...)


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