ABC Desperately Tries to Downplay Trump Victories, Record-High Approval

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After finally acknowledging the week-old Gallup poll which found President Trump’s approval rating was at a record high of 49 percent, ABC’s chief White House correspondent and White Correspondents Association President Jon Karl desperately scrambled during World News Tonight to downplay its significance and dismiss the President’s victories.

At the top of the report, both anchor David Muir and Karl noted that the President was campaigning in New Hampshire and drew a massive crowd, with some showing up the day before and staying there through the night. “He's holding his first post-impeachment trial rally in Manchester New Hampshire tonight. Supporters have been lining in the cold and the rain up for hours to get in,” Muir said.

After noting that those Trump supporters had spent “all night out in that cold, rain and snow,” Karl suggested it was likely the highest point of his presidency. “We may be seeing the high-water mark of the Trump presidency. You mentioned the impeachment trial is over, the Russia investigation is over, the economy is strong, and the Democrats seem to be in disarray,” Karl said.

But that positive tone didn’t last long, as Karl immediately dismissed it as Trump’s ceiling. “But if this is the high-water mark for the Trump presidency it's only so high. The Gallup poll, his approval rating is 49 percent, its highest ever. But that’s still less than half the country,” he argued.

It was the first time an ABC News morning or evening newscast had acknowledged the existence of the poll since it was released a week ago (Tuesday, February 4). Both ABC and NBC omitted it from their evening newscasts that night.

 

 

Trump will have a tough battle for re-election no matter who the Democrats nominate. And trust me, his campaign knows it,” Karl declared in a bitter tone.

Of course, the 2020 campaign wouldn’t be a cakewalk. But it’s worth noting that, when President Trump was elected, Gallup found his unfavorability rating was at 61 percent with a favorability at 35 percent. A far cry from his current approval numbers.

In their recent findings, Gallup noted: “Half of registered voters say Trump deserves to be re-elected.” “Trump's approval rating has risen because of higher ratings among both Republicans and independents (…) The 42% approval rating among independents is up five points, and ties three other polls as his best among that group,” they add.

Even CNN was able to admit that last week was among President Trump’s best, with Chris Cillizza citing eight reasons. And in addition to the handful of Trump victories that ABC noted, CNN pointed out that “there was a rising sentiment within the Democratic Party -- and among odds-makers -- that Sanders was the most likely nominee against Trump.” And many consider Sanders to be the weaker candidate in the Democratic field.

In contrast to ABC, both CBS and NBC admitted that Trump’s plays in New Hampshire were justified since he narrowly lost the state back in 2016 by less than 3,000 votes, or less than half a percentage point.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
February 10, 2020
6:41:17 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: President Trump, meanwhile, isn't leaving New Hampshire to the Democrats. He's holding his first post-impeachment trial rally in Manchester New Hampshire tonight. Supporters have been lining in the cold and the rain up for hours to get in. So, let's get to our chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl. Tonight, he’s there as well. And Jon, the President is coming off two victories, his acquittal in the impeachment trial and, of course, those new numbers on jobs and the economy.

JON KARL: David, Trump supporters are as energized as they’ve ever been. People started waiting up to get in here waiting in line yesterday, spending all night out in that cold, rain and snow. We may be seeing the high-water mark of the Trump presidency. You mentioned the impeachment trial is over, the Russia investigation is over, the economy is strong, and the Democrats seem to be in disarray.

But if this is the high-water mark for the Trump presidency it's only so high. The Gallup poll, his approval rating is 49 percent, its highest ever. But that’s still less than half the country. Trump will have a tough battle for re-election no matter who the Democrats nominate. And trust me, his campaign knows it. David.

MUIR: Jon Karl, live tonight with the excited crowd there behind you, Jon. Jon, thank you.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Economy Events Trump Impeachment Conspiracy Theories Double Standards Labeling Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight Video Jonathan Karl David Muir Donald Trump

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