If Fox’s decision to release its poll yesterday showing 80% of Americans have a favorable opinion of face masks and 59% oppose political rallies right now isn’t a deliberate message to Donald Trump, I don’t know what is.
This is part of the same poll, released on Thursday, that found Biden’s lead over Trump had jumped from 8 to 12 points in less than a month. In my Thursday post about that poll, I noted that some of its results had been embargoed. Yesterday, they were released. The timing, the evening before Trump’s reckless rally in Tulsa, in which masks will be optional, can’t be an accident.
In my Thursday post, I thought that Fox had tried to spin the dismal-for-Trump results on his behalf. That was definitely not the case this time.
These are the first two paragraphs of the FoxNews.com article:
Voters gave a thumbs-up to face masks and a thumbs-down to political rallies in the latest Fox News Poll. Eighty (80) percent have a favorable view of mask-wearers, including 89 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of Republicans, and 61 percent of those who strongly approve of President Trump’s job performance.
By a 36-point margin, voters say presidential candidates holding large political events and rallies is a bad idea (23 percent good idea, 59 percent bad idea). Another 16 percent say it depends.
There are graphics driving home the point, too:
Apparently, the best “pony” Fox could come up with was this:
The number of voters giving the economy positive marks is up 8 points since last month and currently stands at 28 percent excellent/good. That is still a long way from the 55 percent who rated conditions positively in January.
Forty-nine percent approve of how the president is handling the economy, down from a high of 56 percent in January. The economy is still his best issue, as fewer approve on health care (39 percent) and race relations (32 percent).
I’ve repeatedly noted that Fox News polling is highly regarded. It’s a surprise given the shoddiness of what passes for journalism on the network. But I have a theory: that Fox wants to be sure it understands public opinion so as to best frame its talking points.
There seems to be someone high up in the “news” side greenlighting unflattering and non-sycophantic coverage of Trump. I don’t know whether this latest release is more of that, a friendly warning to the Fan-in-Chief or just more disunity and friction at Fox.
Whatever it was, the timing was no accident.
(Trump image via screen grab)