What’s Fox News to do when its own polling comes up with terrible results for Donald Trump and great news for Joe Biden? Why, try to delegitimize the findings, of course.
Tonight, Fox News’ Special Report show covered the results of Fox polls in several states, each with bad news for Trump. In North Carolina and Georgia, Biden leads by 2; in Florida by 9 and in Texas by 1. Trump won all those states in 2016.
As I’ve repeatedly written, Fox News polling is highly regarded. Anchor Bret Baier correctly noted that – and then began undercutting his network's findings.
Baier explained that the poll respondents were registered voters, not likely voters, which is customary this far ahead of an election, thus suggesting that viewers should not take the results too seriously. But he may also have been talking directly to the Trump campaign, which actually threatened to sue CNN, partly for polling registered voters, instead of likely voters, after it came out with unfavorable results for the Crybaby in Chief.
It’s not until Labor Day, Baier said, that “many everyday Americans start tuning in and turning their attention to the election. So that gives us a perspective of this poll.”
Turning To Trumper guest Charlie Hurt first, Baier said, “Obviously, it’s June, we got a long way to go.” He also reiterated that polls of likely voters “give a better sense of state polls.” But he also conceded that Fox’s polling tracks with other battleground state polls.
Hurt said such early polling is to be “taken with at least a slight grain of salt.” But then he baselessly suggested that the results were skewed and unreliable altogether:
HURT: I think that those caveats become even greater when you look around at the environment that we're looking at right now where you have, you know, one of the reasons that people are reluctant to talk to pollsters has a lot to do with, you know, the toxic environment that we're in.
And so with that caveat, I think it's important to also note that the campaign has just begun. Obviously as anybody would note, you know, you want to be ahead in the polls at all times. But the campaign has just begun and when people look around and they see the lawlessness in the streets and they see we've just been through a pandemic, an economic collapse the likes of which this country has never seen before, you know, it's going to be a full three, four, five month campaign before these issues start to get sorted out.
Nobody challenged Hurt’s baseless assertion about reluctance to talk to pollsters. More importantly, nobody challenged Hurt’s falsehood that we are "through" the pandemic.
Instead, Baier moved on to “ask” guest Jason Riley, “Does the monument stuff and the violence that we’ve seen around some of this, does that start to turn some folks in the middle?” He meant turn them to Trump, of course. “What the president’s saying about it, the lack of action on police reform on Capitol Hill, does that boomerang somehow against Democrats?” Baier continued.
“I think that’s yet to be seen,” Riley said. Then he ran through some more bad news for Trump in the polls.
You can watch it below, from the June 25, 2020 Special Report, via Media Matters.