Joe Scarborough—recently revealed to be a frequent phone buddy and adviser to Joe Biden—was hard at work on behalf of his man this morning.
Morning Joe waited till the end of its first hour to breathe any mention of a new NBC News poll.
But even then, Scarborough only discussed the poll’s findings showing Americans still dissatisfied about the economy, and expressing much more confidence in Trump’s ability to deal with it.
There was nary a mention of the headline number of the poll: that among registered voters, Trump is beating Biden by 5 points, his largest lead yet!
In addition to covering for Biden, Scarborough was also following the lead of his parent network. The NBC article on the poll didn’t get around to mentioning the head-to-head matchup showing Trump with a 5% lead until . . . the 27th paragraph!
Even for an until-recently undercover member of Team Biden like Scarborough, his total omission of the most important poll number constituted shameful journalistic malpractice. Did Joe ‘n Joe chat last night and decide the bad poll number should be deep-sixed?
Note that when a recent poll showed Biden beating Trump, Morning Joe trumpeted it. See screencap.
In trying to downplay the significance of the poll, Scarborough ripped Democrats for “panicking” over it, and said that there’s a “long way to go.” He did stop short of accusing Dems of being “bedwetters,” or breaking out the old chestnut about polls being “just a snapshot in time!”
There was a curious moment toward the end of the segment. When “MSNBC Republican” Elise Jordan, agreeing with Scarborough, observed that “so much can happen from now until November,” Mika murmured: “That’s the part to worry about.”
What could Mika have had in mind? A dramatic development in which Biden doesn’t run and is replaced by likely landslide loser Kamala?
Note also that in teasing the segment, Mika vowed that the show would be “digging into” the poll. Yeah, with a very small teaspoon!
Here’s the transcript.
6:18 am ET
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Ahead, despite an impressive January jobs report, President Biden still down 20 points when it comes to the economy. We’re digging into new NBC News polling.
. . .
Friday’s numbers showed the U.S. economy added 353,000 dollars, uh, jobs last month. Economists had predicted gains around 185,000. So that’s a IIlot more than expected.
But despite continued strong economic data, new polling from NBC News shows 36% of registered voters approve of how President Joe Biden has handled the economy. And when asked who they would trust more to handle the economy, 55% said Donald Trump, compared to 33% who said Biden.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So Jonathan Lemire, the numbers are stark despite the good numbers in the economy. And let’s keep that one up right there, 55% to 33%. Why, what’s the Biden White House’s explanation? And what are they going to do about it?
JONATHAN LEMIRE: I was speaking to some senior aides at the end of last week about this very matter, and they’re still confident they can turn this narrative around. They point to the strong jobs report, other strong economic metrics.
Most importantly, they feel, consumer sentiment. They feel like people are feeling better about the economy, and that translates, usually, into votes for the incumbent, the president who is overseeing that strong economy.
But at least for now, there is a disconnect between Americans who now are starting to think better about how things feel, economically, but they’re not giving the White House any credit. There’s a — that is something that they need to work on. That’s about messaging, that’s about salesmanship. That’s certainly something this White House is going to do.
. . .
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You look at the numbers, obviously a lot of Democrats panicking as Democrats do. We’re in the beginning of February, long way to go. Joe Biden’s numbers are very low. These are — and this is — you know, there was an FT [Financial Times] article on this last week, I think, that we talked about.
Donald Trump could win. Who knows? Maybe he wins in a landslide. Not saying he’s not. I am saying, though, if you look at numbers across the West, you see leaders that have low approval ratings. You saw Emmanuel Macron when he was going into re-election with approval ratings in the low-to-mid 30s. He ended up with 58% of the vote.
I just think staring at approval ratings and panicking about February polls, that’s just time wasted.
ELISE JORDAN: No, and so much can happen from now until November.
MIKA: That’s the part to worry about.