ABC, CBS Boast About Biden Beating President Trump in National Poll

With almost a year and a half to go until the 2020 general election, Tuesday’s editions of ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News showed that the media didn’t learn anything from 2016. Nearly two weeks ahead of the first Democratic Party debate, both broadcast networks boasted about former Vice President Joe Biden’s 13-point national lead against President Trump.

Despite Trump’s massive 2016 upset (proving all the national polls to be grossly inaccurate), CBS fill-in anchor Margaret Brennan led into the story by bragging about how “a new Quinnipiac University poll gives Joe Biden a 13-point lead nationally over President Trump.” She also touted political correspondent Ed O'Keefe's forthcoming report by suggesting it showed why the “Trump campaign has a reason to be worried.

O’Keefe admitted that “there are 237 days until the Iowa caucuses and 511 days until election day 2020.” But that didn’t stop him from reveling in claims from anonymous sources that suggested: “Internal Trump campaign polling shows Biden leading the president in several key states Mr. Trump will need to keep the White House, including Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona.”

Later on in his report, O’Keefe noted that Biden was still leading in Iowa among the other Democrats and that Iowa voters wanted most of the 24-candidate field to drop out. He also shared how Biden didn’t put faith in the polls this far out.

Meanwhile, sensationalist ABC anchor David Muir hyped the “the new and eye-opening numbers. If this does end up being Trump versus Biden,” as he handed the story off to senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce.

 

 

Bruce didn’t really touch on the poll numbers directly in her report, so Muir wanted her to talk more about them with viewers. “Biden now leading the President by a pretty wide margin there; 53 percent to 40 percent. But that same poll, Mary, shows Biden leading the pack of Democrats, but it appears one candidate, it would seem, is on the move as of late,” he teed her up.

“Well, David, Biden is brushing off the polls. He says this is just the beginning of a very long marathon. While the President says these new numbers are fake news,” she explained.

The pair were also excited that the polls also showed that “Elizabeth Warren is on the move. According to these new polls, she's now in third place nationwide, just four points behind Bernie Sanders.”

The reason Bruce didn’t touch on the poll numbers in her report seemed to be because it was reserved for boosting Biden’s anti-Trump campaign message (click “expand):

BRUCE: President Trump heading to Iowa today where Joe Biden was waiting for him. The former Vice President making his most direct attacks yet.

BIDEN: The President is literally an existential threat to America.

BRUCE: Speaking to voters in Iowa, Biden said the president undermines American values.

BIDEN: But this is a guy who does everything to separate and frighten people. It's about fear and loathing. [SCREEN WIPE] No president has done something like that, for God's sake. I mean, it's bizarre. And it's damaging.

BRUCE: Biden is eager to look past his Democratic rivals. In just one speech today, he references the President 76 times.

This boasting by the broadcast networks was insidious. Previous polls have shown that “electability” was what a many of Democratic voters were looking for in a candidate. By elevating the results, they could drive more voters to him ahead of the Democratic primary.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
June 11, 2019
6:34:05 p.m. Eastern

MARGARET BRENNAN: Today the President and the Democratic frontrunner vying for his job traded insults in dueling visits to Iowa. This as a new Quinnipiac University poll gives Joe Biden a 13-point lead nationally over President Trump. Ed O’Keefe reports the Trump campaign has a reason to be worried.

[Cuts to video]

JOE BIDEN: I believe that the President is literally an existential threat to America.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I'd rather run against I think Biden than anybody. I think he's the weakest mentally.

ED O’KEEFE: Given the way former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump targeted each other today, you'd be forgiven if you thought the election was next week.

TRUMP: Sleepy Joe. [Transition] He was someplace in Iowa today, and he said my name so many times that people couldn't stand it anymore.

BIDEN: This is a guy who does everything to separate and frighten people.

O’KEEFE: But there are 237 days until the Iowa caucuses and 511 days until election day 2020. One reason for the early action, CBS News has learned that internal Trump campaign polling shows Biden leading the president in several key states Mr. Trump will need to keep the White House, including Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona. But Mr. Trump's campaign believes Biden's record on trade and his previous support of NAFTA are weaknesses the President can exploit.

TRUMP: Joe Biden thought that China was not a competitor of ours. Joe Biden is a dummy.

BIDEN: Iowa farmers have been crushed by his tariff war with China.

O’KEEFE: Among Iowa Democrats, Biden remains the favorite. Today the former Vice President dismissed the early survey.

BIDEN: I see all these polls. They give them to me. They don't mean a thing right now. This is a marathon.

O’KEEFE: That Iowa poll also showed that roughly three in four voters here want many of those running to be the Democratic nominee, now numbering 24, to drop out.

[Cuts back to live]

The President is concluding his stay here at an Iowa GOP fundraiser just outside Des Moines. Aside from Joe Biden, the Trump campaign is also keeping its eye on Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. One senior campaign official described her as authentic and the real deal. Margaret?

BRENNAN: Ed O’Keefe on the campaign trail.

 

ABC’s World News Tonight
June 11, 2019
6:39:09 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Now to the race for 2020 tonight, and to the faceoff this evening in Iowa. President Trump and Joe Biden both campaigning there. Air Force One there on the tarmac near Omaha, landing just a short time ago with the President onboard. Joe Biden already there, both already tonight taking aim at each other. The gloves are coming off, and this evening, the new and eye-opening numbers. If this does end up being Trump versus Biden. Mary Bruce from Iowa tonight.

[Cuts to video]

MARY BRUCE: President Trump heading to Iowa today where Joe Biden was waiting for him. The former Vice President making his most direct attacks yet.

JOE BIDEN: The President is literally an existential threat to America.

BRUCE: Speaking to voters in Iowa, Biden said the president undermines American values.

BIDEN: But this is a guy who does everything to separate and frighten people. It's about fear and loathing. [SCREEN WIPE] No president has done something like that, for god's sake. I mean, it's bizarre. And it's damaging.

BRUCE: Biden is eager to look past his Democratic rivals. In just one speech today, he references the President 76 times. Trump is paying close attention.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He was someplace in Iowa today and he said my name so many times, people couldn't stand it anymore. No, don't keep saying it. Sleepy guy.

BRUCE: The President taking a page out of his 2016 playbook, attacking the former Vice President’s stamina and mental fitness.

TRUMP: He looks different than he used to. He acts different than he used to. He's even slower than he used to be. [Transition] I'd rather run against I think Biden than anybody. I think he's the weakest mentally. And I like running against people that are weak mentally.

BRUCE: Mr. Vice president, why do you think the President says he would rather run against you than anyone else?

BIDEN: That's -- I don't know. I have no idea. But I'm looking forward to it.

BRUCE: Biden is leading in the early polls, but with 23 Democratic candidates to choose from, some Democrats we spoke with today aren't sold yet.

LESLEY GREEN (Iowa voter): He's a person I really respect, I loved him as vice president. [Transition] But I think he has too much baggage he's accumulated over the years.

BRUCE: A lot of Democrats say it's time for new blood in the party. What do you make of that?

PAM JANNEY (Iowa voter): We need stability.

BRUCE: Stability?

JANNEY: Stability. We need somebody that knows the ropes.

[Cuts back to love]

MUIR: We have a long way to go. Mary Bruce already in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, for us. And Mary, you're aware of this new poll out tonight, it’s a national poll showing the potential match-up, if this is former Vice President Biden versus Trump.

Biden now leading the President by a pretty wide margin there; 53 percent to 40 percent. But that same poll, Mary, shows Biden leading the pack of Democrats, but it appears one candidate, it would seem, is on the move as of late.

BRUCE: Well, David, Biden is brushing off the polls. He says this is just the beginning of a very long marathon. While the President says these new numbers are fake news.

But David, among the Democrats, Elizabeth Warren is on the move. According to these new polls, she's now in third place nationwide, just four points behind Bernie Sanders. David?

MUIR: Mary Bruce, great to have you in Iowa.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Polling Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News Video Mary Bruce David Muir Margaret Brennan Ed O'Keefe Donald Trump Joe Biden

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