To Keep Hope Alive for Biden, Joe Scarborough Clings to New York Times Article

News & Politics

Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough John Heilemann MSNBC Morning Joe 5-30-24 On Thursday’s Morning Joe, to keep hope alive for President Biden’s chances in the 2024 election, co-host Joe Scarborough clung to an article by Nate Cohn of the New York Times like a drowning man to a life vest.

Here’s the gist of Cohn’s theory:

“The polls are not perfect. They’ve been off before, and they’ll be off again. They wouldn’t really need to be off-target by much at all for Mr. Biden to squeak out a victory. But even if the polls were exactly right, in the sense that Mr. Trump would win if the election were held tomorrow by the precise margins implied by the recent polls, Mr. Biden would still have a very real chance to win in November.”

Note that, per Cohn, even if things fell into place Biden’s way, he would likely win with the bare minimum of 270 Electoral College votes.

Scarborough also boasted about having predicted in 2016 that Trump could win, omitting the fact that just a few days before the 2016 election, he told worried Democrats to “Just relax. Don’t go under your bed and get in the fetal position and get your Cheetos out. It’s going to be OK. I think Hillary is still going to win.”

And speaking of Joe’s paltry powers of prognostication, in 2018 Scarborough predicted that Trump wouldn’t run in 2020!

Inevitably, Scarborough also worked in the fact that he had been a congressman. He boasted that in his first run, while his opponents were wasting their time waving to crowds at fairs, he was going door to door, putting up yard signs, etc.

In early May, we noteda furious Scarborough accusing the New York Times [!] of rigging its polls against Biden, in order to drum up the basis for multiple follow-up articles. When, on that show, panelist John Heilemann cautiously expressed doubts about Scarborough’s conspiracy theory, Joe angrily rebuked him.

Today, perhaps in an effort to butter up the guy who controls his appearances on Morning Joe, Heilemann suggested that The Times had listened to Scarborough’s tirade, and that it had published Cohn’s article as “a useful corrective.”

That was some serious sycophancy, Heilemann!

Instead of subscribing to Cohn’s theory, Scarborough could just as easily have discussed this recent column by respected, non-partisan election analyst Sean Trende: “Are We Too Bearish on Trump?” in which he makes the case that the race is not the toss-up most analysts claim and that Trump was actually leading. Trende ascribes analysts’ unjustifiably bearish view of Trump’s chances in part to “deeply internalized biases [emphasis added]: ”Most of us very much do not want it to be the case that Trump is the favorite. Our degrees of revulsion at the idea of Trump again occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. vary widely, but it’s definitely the predominant view.”

But of course, Scarborough would never mention Trende’s analysis. Joe wants to buck up the Biden base, and cheer up his phone buddy, The Big Guy in the Oval Office.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

MSNBC’s Morning Joe
5/30/24
6:04 am EDT

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Amid reports of hand-wringing from Democrats about President Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the New York Times is out with a new piece this morning entitled, “Perhaps lost in the polling: The race for president is still close.” In it, chief political analyst Nate Cohn writes that November’s election will likely come down to just three states, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Where have we heard that before, Joe? As Cohn points out, Biden could lose every other swing state, but if he wins those three, he will most likely win a second term.  

. . . 

As Cohn puts it, quote, Biden has already done what would ordinarily be considered the hard part. The polls are not perfect. They’ve been off before, and they’ll be off again. They wouldn’t really need to be off-target by much at all for Mr. Biden to squeak out a victory. But even if the polls were exactly right, in the sense that Mr. Trump would win if the election were held tomorrow by the precise margins implied by the recent polls, Mr. Biden would still have a very real chance to win in November. 

. . .

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I’ll just say, in 2016, people freaked out when we said that Donald Trump could win. In 2020, I’ve even dared to say how likely I think it is that Joe –or in 2024, how likely I think it is that Joe Biden will win. Cause I know everybody will freak out and say that I’ve got my head in the sand. You look at the numbers. You look what Biden’s sitting at right now. You look at the fact he’s had a low-water mark. You look at the fact that the two areas that he should be having the most problem with, white voters and men, older men, he’s actually — older Americans, he’s actually doing very well.

. . . 

What I always talk about is blocking and tackling. They are lights ahead right now, light years ahead, the Biden team is, of organizing on the ground. Is this, is this a pep rally for Joe Biden? No, it’s not. I’m just — I’m just, just like it wasn’t a pep rally for Trump in ’16 when everybody said, no, he can’t win. Yeah, he can. He can get 270. We were mocked and ridiculed and abused because we predicted the hurricane was coming in September and October.

. . . 

The stupidity I’ve been listening to over the past several months, about how this race is over and, you know, Democrats are freaking out and Trumpers are so overconfident. John Heilemann, it’s just absolutely insane. 

It reminds me when I ran the first time. I would drive past state fairs, and I would see all of my opponents. And they wouldd be waving to people at state fairs. And I would drive by laughing. And then I would go to a neighborhood where I knew there were — what I called supervoters, who voted every two years. And while they were waving at tens of thousands of people, I was knocking on doors, shaking hands, planting yard signs. It’s how I won! I didn’t have money. Nobody knew who I was. But it was targeted.

This political race this year is targeted. It’s basically about 7, 8, 9 congressional campaigns. In Wisconsin, in Michigan, in Pennsylvania. And I thought the Nate Cohn article yesterday explained this better than any I’ve seen. ANd explained why Biden, man, Biden’s as good a chance as he had in 2020. Right now.

JOHN HEILEMANN:  Well, good morning, Joe. And I will say, the last time we were talking about The New York Times on the air, you and I were having a healthy, spirited exchange. And, you know, you were pretty angry, annoyed, irritated at the — at that last wave of Siena battleground state polling. And I guess, you know, someone over at the New York Times may have been listening. This seemed like a useful corrective on that front.

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