NBC Hypes New 2020 Poll as ‘Loud Warning Sign’ for Trump

After Tuesday’s ABC and CBS evening newscasts seized on a new Quinnipiac University poll showing Joe Biden and other 2020 Democratic contenders defeating President Trump in hypothetical match-ups for a general election still 18 months away, on Wednesday morning, NBC was eager to catch up to the hype.

“Warning signs? The new polling this morning that shows the President’s re-election could be in trouble,” proclaimed co-host Savannah Guthrie as she teased the Today show’s top story. Moments later, as the segment began, she repeated the assertion: “New national polls that may serve as a warning sign for President Trump heading into the 2020 race.”

 

 

White House correspondent Peter Alexander touted: “Some of the President’s aides and allies are already expressing concern about these new polls that show him behind six of the top Democrats.” The headline on screen blared: “Trump’s Poll Troubles; Multiple Dems Outpace President as He and Biden Trade Jabs.”

After declaring an “escalating feud” between Trump and Biden as they held “dueling events” in Iowa on Tuesday, Alexander smelled blood in the water for the President: “While President Trump is publicly dismissive of Biden, privately his allies tell NBC News the President is concerned about Biden’s prospects, with recent polls showing Biden maintaining an advantage over the sprawling Democratic field and in a head-to-head match-up with the President.”

The reporter marveled at the Democratic frontrunner: “Even in the face of the occasional protester, Biden displaying a different campaign style.” A soundbite played of Biden telling the crowd to “be nice” to the demonstrator because “This is not a Trump rally.”

Following the taped report, Guthrie requested more promotion of the largely irrelevant polling: “Peter, you talked about those poll numbers. So what do they show when you do that head-to-head match-up with some of these 2020 contenders?” Alexander was happy to oblige:

Yeah, Savannah, specifically a new national poll is really a loud warning sign for the President. This comes from Quinnipiac University. And it shows President Trump is lagging far behind Biden, but also behind five other top Democrats in a general election match-up. Of course at the end of the day, it’s the states that will matter, not the national numbers. But what you see on your screen, this gives you a good sense of the mood of Americans right now. Biden leading Trump by 13 points, 53 to 40. Right now you see Bernie Sanders is ahead of Trump, too. But so is Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Cory Booker as well. With the President failing to get above 42% against any of them.

If 2016 should have taught journalists anything, it would have been not to over-rely on polling. Apparently that lesson goes unlearned.  

Here is a full transcript of Alexander’s June 12 report:

7:02 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let’s get to our top story, politics. New national polls that may serve as a warning sign for President Trump heading into the 2020 race. And they’re coming on the same day that he and the leading Democrat in the race, Joe Biden, unloaded on each other. Dueling events in the early ground – early battleground state of Iowa. And NBC’s Peter Alexander joins us from the White House. Peter, good morning.

PETER ALEXANDER: Hey, Savannah, good morning to you. Some of the President’s aides and allies are already expressing concern about these new polls that show him behind six of the top Democrats. It’s still more than seven months before the first votes are counted in the Democratic primaries, but President Trump is already seemingly laser focused on Joe Biden. And Biden is saving all of his best swipes for the President. The two men trading insults across a crucial early voting state.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump’s Poll Troubles; Multiple Dems Outpace President as He and Biden Trade Jabs]

ALEXANDER: In Iowa, a possible presidential preview. 

DONALD TRUMP: Sleepy Joe, he’s a sleepy guy.  

JOE BIDEN: I believe that Trump poses a fundamental threat to America.

ALEXANDER: That escalating feud between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on full display in a day of dueling events.

TRUMP: People don’t respect him, even the people that he’s running against. They’re saying, “Where is he? What happened?”

ALEXANDER: Biden casting the 2020 race as a referendum on President Trump.

BIDEN: We have to clearly and fully reject, for our own safety’s sake, his view of the presidency.

ALEXANDER: The former vice president taking aim at some of the President’s most striking past comments as the Democratic crowd roared.

BIDEN: Quote, “I have complete power.” No, you don’t, Donald Trump. [Cheers and applause] Or, “Only I can fix it.” Fix yourself first, Donald Trump. [Cheers and applause] When has a president ever used those phrases?!

ALEXANDER: President Trump so far ignoring the advice of aides who warned him against elevating, repeatedly bashing him in personal terms.

TRUMP: Biden, who's a loser. I mean, look. Joe never got more than 1%, expect Obama took him off the trash heap. Joe Biden is a dummy. I think he’s the weakest mentally and I like running against people that are weak mentally. I think Joe is the weakest up here.

ALEXANDER: While President Trump is publicly dismissive of Biden, privately his allies tell NBC News the President is concerned about Biden’s prospects, with recent polls showing Biden maintaining an advantage over the sprawling Democratic field and in a head-to-head match-up with the President. Even in the face of the occasional protester, Biden displaying a different campaign style.

BIDEN: That’s okay, be nice. This is not a Trump rally.

GUTHRIE: Peter, you talked about those poll numbers. So what do they show when you do that head-to-head match-up with some of these 2020 contenders?

ALEXANDER: Yeah, Savannah, specifically a new national poll is really a loud warning sign for the President. This comes from Quinnipiac University. And it shows President Trump is lagging far behind Biden, but also behind five other top Democrats in a general election match-up. Of course at the end of the day, it’s the states that will matter, not the national numbers. But what you see on your screen, this gives you a good sense of the mood of Americans right now. Biden leading Trump by 13 points, 53 to 40. Right now you see Bernie Sanders is ahead of Trump, too. But so is Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Cory Booker as well. With the President failing to get above 42% against any of them. Savannah and Craig?

GUTHRIE: Alright, we’ll see what happens. Peter, thank you very much.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Polling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats NBC Today Video Peter Alexander Donald Trump Joe Biden

Sponsored Links