Fox & Friends trotted out pollster Lee Carter to tell viewers that despite the fact that poll numbers “don’t look great” for Trump, “I wouldn’t be totally discouraged.”
Carter based her reasoning on the fact that Trump has narrowed the polls in Florida after a recent visit there. Neither she nor “tough journalist” and host Ainsley Earhardt mention that FiveThirtyEight has only nudged Biden’s chances of winning the state down from 73% to 71%. The Cook Political Report moved it from “toss up” to “lean Democrat” in July and there it remains.
Carter also claimed that Iowa has started to “narrow in the polls” since a visit. Actually, Trump has long been ahead in Iowa. Since his Wednesday visit to the state, his lead has grown some, from 54% to 58%, according to FiveThirtyEight. Cook rates it “lean Republican.” In other words, at best, Trump's visit helped him from losing (more) ground.
Nevertheless, Carter called those gains “a really, really big deal for him.” Sure, they could be. And I believe all Biden supporters should work at getting him elected as hard as if he's losing. But there's very little bad news for him in the polls at the moment. FiveThirtyEight gives Biden an 87% chance of winning. Cook Political Report indicates he’s favored, too. Not that Earhardt brought any of that up.
Carter also claimed that the polls are not properly weighted: “Numbers of people they’re talking to is equally represented between Republicans, Democrats and independents and that’s simply not the way people turn out and vote,” she said. Meaning that Republicans turn out more. “They’re gonna end up leaning a little bit more than you would think towards Donald Trump.”
“Ultimately, it’s going to come down to the undecideds,” Carter continued.
Then she all but pitched Trump to them.
CARTER: The unanswered questions that are out there about these candidates are really, really significant, especially when it comes to Joe Biden. Last night, he talked about stacking the courts. He didn’t really answer the question. He said he thinks he’s going to give an answer. That was a big problem for undecided voters.
People are also really concerned about Joe Biden, is he going to go far to the left? He said he’s not but people are still not sure exactly what he’s going to do. There’s still some significant questions about Joe Biden.
A lot of people want to know, is he going to shut down the economy again? If things get bad, are we going to find a reasonable way to stay open? That’s very, very concerning to voters.
So, what did she say about Dear Leader?
CARTER: Now, on Donald Trump’s side, there’s some concerns as well. A lot of voters that are undecided want to know what he’s going to do with health care. He hasn’t made that case. A lot of people fear what’s going to happen with pre-existing conditions and other kinds of things and that’s something that the president needs to address.
Fair enough. But then she said.
CARTER: The other thing is related to his character.
That was all she said on the subject of Trump’s character. She didn’t mention just how much Americans dislike it. In June, Pew Research, e.g., found that only 31% of registered voters think he’s a good role model and only 36% think he’s honest. Not that Earhardt told viewers that, either.
CARTER: I think some people have questions about the taxes and they weren’t satisfied with [Trump’s] answers that [were] heard from him last night. But I don’t think that’s anything new. I don’t think that’s going to change anybody’s mind. But when you look at it, those things have to be answered for the voter in order to make a decision if you’re undecided at this point.
Although Carter sanitized the subject to suggest that there are questions about Trump’s tax policy, what she was almost certainly referring to were questions about Trump’s personal taxes raised during his NBC News town hall the night before, why he continues to refuse to release his tax returns and to whom he owes $400 million.
“Tough journalist” Earhardt, didn’t probe further there, either. She followed up by asking when the undecideds will make up their minds.
“I think there’s sort of an epiphany moment that they’re looking for,” Carter said. “They want to hear from Joe Biden what does America look like under you, they want the answer to the Supreme Court, they want the answer on are you really going to go too far left. What’s gonna happen, really – what are you gonna do differently about COVID, not just attacking what Donald Trump did, what are you gonna do differently, And I think if they get the answer, they might lean that way. Otherwise, I think many people are going to stick with Donald Trump. They’re almost looking for a reason to leave him.”
Carter didn't seem like someone looking for a reason to leave Trump. She cited a Pew poll that found “56% of Americans feel better off today, despite COVID than they did back in 2016. And that’s with a pandemic, they’re still feeling more optimistic. So, despite everything, that to me, favors Donald Trump."
It was actually a Gallup poll. But even Fox News’ article touting the results acknowledged that “polls still show Trump down against Democratic nominee Joe Biden nationwide and in battleground states.” And you probably guessed it... Earhardt didn't mention that, either.
You can watch Carter put lipstick on a pig below, from the October 16, 2020 Fox & Friends.
Again, do not be complacent even if the polls given Biden a 99% chance of winning. Make sure to vote. If you're not registered, you may still be able to. Here's all the information you need about voting in every state. And did I mention make sure to vote?