Ahead of Debate, ABC Thrills: ‘Democrats Would Trounce’ Trump

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On Wednesday, just one day before ABC News hosts the third Democratic primary debate ahead of 2020, Good Morning America co-host and debate moderator George Stephanopoulos excitedly touted new poll results showing President Trump “trailing all the top Democrats in head-to-head match-ups.” If only such hypothetical results nine months before the start of the general election campaign actually mattered.     

“Let’s turn now to our brand-new poll showing how the top Democrats are doing against President Trump ahead of tomorrow night’s debate. With the President’s approval rating down to 38%, approaching his record low, he’s now trailing all the top Democrats in head-to-head match-ups,” Stephanopoulos enthused while reporting live from the debate hall at Texas Southern University in Houston.

 

 

Senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega joined him and eagerly detailed the poll results:

So these numbers really should give the President and his team some pause heading into this debate tonight [sic]. If the election was held today, five Democrats would handily beat him. Let me show you those numbers, Vice President Joe Biden leads the pack, beating the President by 16 points, and he is not the only one with a double-digit lead. Bernie Sanders is right there, followed by Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Mayor Pete Buttigieg also there in the mix with a six-point lead.

The reporter added: “Really this is about concerns over the economy, that’s what’s driving this. Among Americans who think a recession is likely, Biden leads Trump, 70 to 20.” Moments later, Stephanopoulos chimed in: “And you talk about these economic concerns, there does appear to be more concern about a possible recession going forward...”

On Tuesday, GMA was thrilled that all the media hype about a possible future recession was having an impact on voters, with White House correspondent Jon Karl touting another poll finding: “Take a look at this number: 60% of Americans fear a recession in the coming year. That’s bad news for President Trump.”

Repeating coverage of the latest poll at the top of the 8:00 a.m. ET hour on Wednesday, Vega again gushed: “Let’s take a look at some of those numbers. If the election was held today, five Democrats would trounce the President.” She also reiterated: “This really ends up being about concerns over the economy, that’s what’s driving the boost for Democrats right now.” Stephanopoulos emphasized: “Yeah, he has a hard time getting over 40 against any of the Democrats.”

Wrapping up the segment, fellow co-host Robin Roberts wondered: “Hey, George, tell us, what do you do to prepare for – to moderate a debate?” Stephanopoulos declared: “You study, study a lot. All their positions, trying to figure out what the differences are between the candidates. And that’s really what I see our job. This is not about us tomorrow night, it’s about the candidates.”

A look back at the history of liberal bias from Stephanopoulos and his fellow debate moderators shows they are happy to make things all about themselves as long as it’s in service of the Trump resistance.  

Here is a transcript of the September 11 poll coverage on GMA:

7:08 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s turn now to our brand-new poll showing how the top Democrats are doing against President Trump ahead of tomorrow night’s debate. With the President’s approval rating down to 38%, approaching his record low, he’s now trailing all the top Democrats in head-to-head match-ups. Our senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega here with me with all the details. Good morning, Cecilia.

CECILIA VEGA: Hey, George, good to be here with you this morning. So these numbers really should give the President and his team some pause heading into this debate tonight [sic]. If the election was held today, five Democrats would handily beat him. Let me show you those numbers, Vice President Joe Biden leads the pack, beating the President by 16 points, and he is not the only one with a double-digit lead. Bernie Sanders is right there, followed by Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Mayor Pete Buttigieg also there in the mix with a six-point lead.

Really this is about concerns over the economy, that’s what’s driving this. Among Americans who think a recession is likely, Biden leads Trump, 70 to 20. I thought this number was really interesting in the poll, George, also. In those states that Trump won in 2016, a Biden versus Trump match-up is very tight. This should give the Democrats some pause as they’re trying to win back these white working class voters that Trump won last time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Right, they’re close in the red states, far ahead in the blue states. And you talk about these economic concerns, there does appear to be more concern about a possible recession going forward and the fact that the idea that President Trump’s trade war with China may be fueling that.

VEGA: And that is why these approval numbers that you talked about at the top of this are stagnant for him right now at 38%. He still enjoys strong support among Republicans. But really the takeaway in this poll, it’s still early. Americans are still making up their mind on all of these candidates.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, it shows more than half the voters can change their mind on the Democratic candidates. Cecilia, thanks very much. All the top contenders will be here for tomorrow night’s Democratic debate, sharing the same stage for the first time. And that starts at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

(...)

8:04 AM ET

ROBIN ROBERTS: Let’s go back to Houston. The third Democratic debate just one day away. George is there in Michael’s old stomping grounds. Good morning again, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s right. The campus of Texas Southern University, Robin, here in the Health and Education Hall. They’ve dressed it all up for our debate tomorrow night here. 3,500 people will be in the audience. Ten candidates on the stage. This will be the first time where the top ten candidates are all facing off on a single night, first time that Joe Biden will be facing off against Elizabeth Warren in a debate. And it’s coming as we have this brand-new poll out this morning that shows how several of the top candidates are doing in head-to-head match-ups against President Trump. Want to talk to Cecilia Vega about that right now. Not good news for the White House.

CECILIA VEGA: No, and this is probably something that’s going to give the campaign a little bit of pause. But debate comes at a really important time because this poll shows that voters are still really trying to make up their mind in this race. Let’s take a look at some of those numbers. If the election was held today, five Democrats would trounce the President. You can see it right there, Vice President Joe Biden, 16-point difference, Bernie Sanders up 12 over Trump, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris right there too, also South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg up by six points. Strong standing there.

By comparison, I thought this was really interesting, George, in terms of favorability, Hillary Clinton was in a weaker position than any of those Democrats this time four years ago. Let’s also talk about the President’s approval ratings, stagnant at 38%. This really ends up being about concerns over the economy, that’s what’s driving the boost for Democrats right now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, he has a hard time getting over 40 against any of the Democrats. Now, it’ll be interesting to see how the President responds. I remember several months ago when Elizabeth Warren first got into the race he thought he put her out with all that Pocahontas stuff.

VEGA: He’s been trying and the attacks have really been sort of stepped up in recent months. I think you said at the beginning, that is going to be one of the match-ups to watch here tomorrow night, the Biden versus Warren. First time that they’re on a stage together and it shows, as she’s coming up in these polls.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s it, 8:00 Eastern tomorrow night, all the top contenders on a single stage and we will be here. Back to you, guys.

ROBERTS: Hey, George, tell us, what do you do to prepare for – to moderate a debate?

STEPHANOPOULOS: You study, study a lot. All their positions, trying to figure out what the differences are between the candidates. And that’s really what I see our job. This is not about us tomorrow night, it’s about the candidates. And I think our job tomorrow night is to try to reveal the debates they are having there out on the campaign trail and have them present it to the public all there on the single stage for the first time.

ROBERTS: Well put. Alright, George, thank you. We’ll be watching.

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