All three morning shows on Thursday ignored what could possibly be the tide turning against Democrats in the midterm elections, a reaction connected to the Supreme Court hearings. But even the decidedly non-conservative hosts at MSNBC Morning Joe saw overreach and “media bias” in how liberals have hammered Brett Kavanaugh.
Joe Scarborough warned, “A lot of people seeing [Democrats] as overreaching. I talked about the media bias... and that there could be an impact politically.” Scarborough lectured fellow journalists on their role in covering campaigns or Kavanaugh:
Your job is not to beat a candidate. Your job is to report the news. And we're going to show some polls in a second that suggest that a lot of Americans believe there's been an overreach by a lot of us in the media and by a lot of Democrats the on the Judiciary Committee.
Co-host Willie Geist explained just how the political ground is shifting in the wake of the Kavanaugh battle:
According to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour Marist poll, the large advantage Democrats held in enthusiasm has all but evaporated. Eighty percent of Republicans now say the October election are very important.
That is a jump of more than ten points since July. The Republican figure is just two points shy of the Democrats, now who saw their enthusiasm tick up only slightly from the prior poll, Joe.
ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today all skipped this shifting landscape when it comes to the midterms. (Though the 9am Megyn Kelly Today warned of a “backlash” against Democrats.)
The Hill on Thursday revealed the bad news for Democrats and liberals in the media:
The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, shifted three Senate races in favor of Republicans as well as one Senate race toward Democrats less than five weeks out from the midterm elections.
Cook moved Senate races in Montana, Nebraska and New Jersey all in favor of Republicans. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) faces one of the most competitive race this cycle, which was shifted from "lean Democratic" to "toss-up." Tester is running against state auditor Matt Rosendale (R) in a state where President Trump won by double-digits in 2016.
A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Mitch McConnell is pushing ahead on a vote and we're already seeing the impacts of this Supreme Court fight with Republican voters appearing increasingly fired up with just about a month to go until the midterm elections. And I’d like to point out, Joe, at the end of the show yesterday, that’s what you warned about. You warned about a backlash on the Democrats pertaining to these hearings.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, a lot of people seeing them as overreaching. I talked about the media bias that it seemed that too many people see happening and said that there could be an impact politically. We are actually seeing that right now, Mika, in some polls that actually broke a couple of hours after the show yesterday.
BRZEZINSKI: And it's so similar the to the parallel you made to the reaction, the media reaction, the reaction in general to Trump. There was a blindness to what could be really happening.
SCARBOROUGH: People not understanding the election.
BRZEZINSKI: So fired up on their side.
SCARBOROUGH: So fired up and people in the media actually deciding that it was their job, that it was their war. And I know Willie brought this up, people saying what are we going to tell our grandchildren in the run up to the Trump election. And I know, Willie, “What you're telling your grandchildren is you're a journalist and you did your job.” Your job is not to beat a candidate. Your job is to report the news and we're going to show some polls in a second that suggest that a lot of Americans believe there's been an overreach by a lot of us in the media and by a lot of Democrats the on the Judiciary committee.
WILLIE GEIST: Yeah, there are a lot of Americans who were clearly concerned about what Judge Kavanaugh may have done to Dr. Ford. We were listening to Dr. Ford’s testimony a week ago. And in the interim, what we’ve got since then is maybe Judge Kavanaugh throwing ice cubes in 1985. And other stories like this that look to a lot of Americans, particularly Republicans, but I think even Democrats, like piling on and trying to take the man down. So, here’s what we have now. According to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour Marist poll, the large advantage Democrats held in enthusiasm has all but evaporated.
80 percent of Republicans now say the October election are very important. That is a jump of more than ten points since July. The Republican figure is just two points shy of the Democrats now who saw their enthusiasm tick up only slightly from the prior poll, Joe. There you have it. That's just over the last month or so.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Willie, we've said it time and time again on this show, when people do generic ballot tests, it's not the generic ballot tests that I look at, that a lot of other people look at going into midterms. It's voter intensity. And the Democrats have had a massive advantage in voter intensity over the past 18 months. And it has evaporated in the course of a couple of weeks. Again, Mike, this is just one poll, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist or you don't have to have a PhD In politics to understand what the last couple weeks have done to energize the Republican base and the conservative base and to say, “Hey, I hate Trump, but I'm not a big fan of what the Democrats and the media are doing right now, too.”