Psych professors: feel free to borrow our clip of Jeffrey Toobin on CNN this morning. It's a perfect illustration of the Kübler-Ross model's first stage of grief: denial.
Toobin simply refused to believe the results of CNN's own poll showing a rather dramatic drop in Democrat support for impeachment: from 90% down to 77%. Note Alisyn Camerota trying to downplay the drop, claiming Democrat support for impeachment had merely softened "a little bit." Thirteen percent ain't little, Alisyn! If President Trump's numbers had declined by the same amount, you'd be clamoring about his "collapse!"
Here was poor Jeffrey, in the depths of denial:
"I don’t believe that poll for one second, the 90 to 77%. I don’t believe it. It makes no sense that that number would change like that . . . David, that poll is wrong. Just because I said so, okay?"
Toobin stopped just short of stamping his feet, banging his fists, and knocking over his Lego tower.
The David in question was CNN political director David Chalian, who defended his own poll:
"I don’t know what’s not to believe. You call people on the telephone, you get their information. You pop out a survey. This is what those that we polled told us."
Couple this CNN poll with the new USA Today poll showing Trump beating all contenders, and Democrats have something to sweat about today. It's obvious there are Democrats who worry about backlash. Toobin can never believe when Democrats don't fully back CNN's agenda.
There were a couple of amusing moments during the segment. First, Toobin referred to Chalian as his "twin brother." Have a look at the screencap and you'll see what Jeffrey was joking about.
Then, toward the end of the segment, co-host John Berman seemed to have had enough of Toobin dumping on the network's polling. Announced Berman, jocularly we presume, "we're going to turn off Jeffrey's mic for a moment."
Here's the transcript.
7:05 am ET
ALISYN CAMEROTA: So David, give us a read on where the polls are right now with impeachment. Because, you told us earlier, that the support has softened a little bit among Democrats.
DAVID CHALIAN: Yeah, I mean, John showed the numbers. This is a country divided on this: 45% support impeachment and removal, 47% are opposed. But if you do look at it by party, Alisyn, you’re right, you see a decline from our last poll in Democratic support from 90% down to 77%. You see independents holding roughly steady there, and a slight decline among Republicans. I would just note that that November poll was taken right on the heels of that House Intelligence committee hearings, all the public evidence being put forth to the American people, and probably because of how damning the evidence is, Democrats probably were at their most enthused, engaged and in supportive mode of impeachment.
In the weeks since then, it’s been much more political warfare. But let’s be clear, overwhelmingly Democrats are supporting this. Overwhelmingly, Republicans are opposed.
JEFFREY TOOBIN: Can I just say, to my twin brother, that I don’t believe that poll for one second --
CAMEROTA: What part don't you believe?
TOOBIN: The 90 to 77%. You know, it's just I don’t believe it. Like, it makes no sense that that number would change like that.
CAMEROTA: You don't believe that?
CHALIAN: It’s a subset of the poll. The margin of error when you look at just Democrats is like 6.7% in here. It’s not a wild swing. It’s just where the movement is in the poll. I don’t know what’s not to believe. That's what: you call people up on the telephone, you get their information. You pop out a survey. This is what those that we polled told us.
TOOBIN: I get it. But I mean, you know, life has shown us that polls are sometimes wrong, and David, that poll is wrong. Just because I said so, okay?
CAMEROTA: Wow! Wow!
JOHN BERMAN: We don't know why, necessarily.
KIRSTEN POWERS: Jeffrey is telling David that his poll is wrong?
. . .
TOOBIN: What do I know?, I thought Hillary Clinton was going to win in 2016.
BERMAN: We're going to turn off Jeffrey's mic for a moment.