FLASHBACK: Nets Mentioned Trump’s Low Polls Almost Twice as Much as Cratering Biden

July 23rd, 2022 12:46 PM

This week saw Joe Biden’s cratering poll numbers fall even lower. On Wednesday, four polls came out and the results are bleak. Reuters: 36 percent. Politico: 38 percent. Rasmussen: 39 percent. Economist/YouGuv: 40 percent. Unsurprisingly, the networks skipped coverage of the latest terrible news for the President. 

But it’s not particularly surprising. An MRC/NewsBusters study last fall found that ABC, CBS and NBC covered Donald Trump’s low polling almost twice as much as the flailing Biden. As I explained on October 26, 2021, “While ABC, CBS and NBC mentioned Donald Trump’s unpopularity 37 times, they only noted the rapidly dropping numbers for Biden 19 times.” 

Here’s our video montage from last year: 



I wrote at the time: 

Biden’s fall is, by far, the bigger news story of the two. In January of 2017, Trump started as an unpopular President, averaging around 44 percent, according to Real Clear Politics. His numbers largely stayed that way for four years. In January of 2021, Biden began as a popular President, beginning with a 55 percent popularity rating. By near the end of October, his average fell to just 42 percent. 

In the August to October 2017 period, ABC offered the most mentions of just how unpopular Trump was at 16. CBS came in second with 13 and NBC last with eight. Four years later, all three networks had much less interest in a Democratic unpopular president. CBS managed eight mentions of imploding Biden numbers. NBC came in second with six and ABC was last at five. 

And since then, it’s gotten even worse. On Friday, Biden’s Real Clear Politics average of approval polls was 37.2. On July 22, 2018, four years ago, Trump’s approval was 43.1. That means Biden is almost six percent LESS popular than the unpopular Trump. 

Back during the Trump years, the networks were gleeful at Trump’s bad polling. On the August 2, 2017 CBS Evening News, Chip Reid trumpeted, “According to a new poll from Quinnipiac University, 62 percent of Americans say the President is not honest. Seventy-one percent say he is not levelheaded.” 

The question for Biden is just how low can he go? According to the New York Times, Biden is polling at 33 percent. One thing is for sure, the networks won’t be excited about Biden’s collapse as they were about Trump unpopularity. 

For more examples from our weekly flashback series, which we call NewsBusters Time Machine, go here