‘Not a Red Wave’; CBS Hopes Dems Will Focus More on Abortion, Trump to Keep the House

Political News

Monday’s CBS Mornings kicked off a new week with an examination of their latest Battleground Tracker and a predictable question: What do we – as in Democrats – need to do to keep power? And, as per fill-in co-host Vladimir Duthiers and CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto, it’s focus on abortion and Donald Trump to keep women – a key constituency – motivated to vote as, thus far, there’s no sign of “a red wave.”

Duthiers teed up Salvanto with framing that showed viewers it would be more about how Democrats are at risk of losing power and what they need to do to keep it instead of Republicans winning power and having any sort of mandate: “Let’s talk the House. What could cause the Democrats to lose their majority?”

Nothing that the Battleground Tracker includes “voters in all these districts,” Salvanto revealed that CBS currently has Republicans at a 230-to-205 breakdown over Democrats.

“Now, the reason…is voters say what’s on their mind is the way they think things are just going in the country, and they think it’s going badly…[T]hose who think it’s going badly are breaking toward the Republicans,” he added.

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Notice how he said nothing about the state of the economy, including inflation, lackluster wage growth, retirement funds, stocks, or the supply chain crisis.

Duthiers replied with hope for Democrats: “So, it’s not a red wave, but a win is a win.”

Instead of drilling down on why voters are moving away from the left (or actual issues like the economy or education), Duthiers wanted to know if abortion and the January 6 hearings could help Democrats win voters back.

Salvanto didn’t touch on the hearings, but he was more than happy to make a portion of the remaining segment all about abortion and how Democrats are supposedly losing steam because they’re not pro-abortion enough (click “expand”):

DUTHIERS: Let’s talk about the issues that could drive voters to the polls, Roe v. Wade, the January 6th hearings, could that help the Democrats? 

SALVANTO: Alright, let’s start with Roe vs. Wade. I looked in particular at women under 50 because they’re such an important part of the Democrats’ base. Well, for them, they’re saying the abortion issue is just as important as the economy and the inflation – and inflation. Now look at what’s going on with women registered voters generally. They think that a Republican majority would make things in the country worse for women more so than better. All of this affects the Democratic base cause Democrats need these votes. Well, what happens, Vlad? You look at the Democratic base saying that their party is not doing enough to protect abortion access, so Democrats still need to fire up that base and say they can do something about that issue they care about. 

Duthiers kept this unofficial Democratic National Committee strategy session by wondering if another way for them to keep Congress would be for President Biden to up his involvement: “Can the leader of the Democratic Party – that’s President Biden – can he drive voters to the polls?”

Salvanto briefly burst that bubble, pointing out that “Biden is a motivator, but a motivator for Republicans” with 62 percent of them saying he’s “on their minds” “a lot.”

But the pair went right back to picking up their fellow progressives, showing 45 percent of all voters will have Donald Trump on their mind come November.

“Wouldn’t be surprised if Democrats in this campaign keep talking about Donald Trump,” Salvanto added.

At the other end of the set, co-host Nate Burleson boasted: “I love the way he broke that down. Well done, fellas.”

CBS’s liberal pep talk was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Allstate and Amazon. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant CBS transcript from August 1, click “expand.”

CBS Mornings
August 1, 2022
7:12 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: State of the Midterms; CBS News Polling on Political Trends Heading into 2022 Elections]

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: With the midterm election coming up, CBS News is bringing back its battleground tracker, studying all 435 races for the House of Representatives. CBS News elections and surveys director – that’s Anthony Salvanto – he is here for a closer look at the numbers. Good to see you, man. 

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Great to see you, bud.

DUTHIERS: Let’s talk the House. What could cause the Democrats to lose their majority? 

SALVANTO: Okay, Vlad. So, let’s start with this – the current House, blue for Democratic seats, red for Republicans, and what happen folks should see is Democrats have this narrow majority, just over that 218 line that you need. Well, we talked to voters in all these districts. And when we put that together in the model right now, I’m going to show you how this just swings a little bit. You see some of these seats go over the line. That would give the Republicans control at 230 currently where things stand. Now, the reason for that – number-one reason, I’m going to show you, is voters say what’s on their mind is the way they think things are just going in the country, and they think it’s going badly. So, what happens? Well, they start to punish the party in power for that, and those who think it’s going badly are breaking toward the Republicans. 

DUTHIERS: All right. So, it’s not a red wave, but a win is still a win. Let’s talk about the issues that could drive voters to the polls, Roe v. Wade, the January 6th hearings, could that help the Democrats? 

SALVANTO: Alright, let’s start with Roe vs. Wade. I looked in particular at women under 50 because they’re such an important part of the Democrats’ base. Well, for them, they’re saying the abortion issue is just as important as the economy and the inflation – and inflation. Now look at what’s going on with women registered voters generally. They think that a Republican majority would make things in the country worse for women more so than better. All of this affects the Democratic base cause Democrats need these votes. Well, what happens, Vlad? You look at the Democratic base saying that their party is not doing enough to protect abortion access, so Democrats still need to fire up that base and say they can do something about that issue they care about. 

DUTHIERS: Can the leader of the Democratic Party – that’s President Biden – can he drive voters to the polls? 

SALVANTO: Okay, I want to show a couple of things, Vlad. First of all, Joe Biden is a motivator but a motivator for Republicans. 

DUTHIERS: Republicans. 

SALVANTO: Look at this. 62 percent of Republicans saying that he’s a lot on their minds. It’s another bite at the apple. They – they lost in 2020, this is a chance to vote again. Typically happens in a midterm, but it’s less so for Democrats. So that’s part of trying to motivate that base. And here’s another part that I want to show you – take a look at the former President against the current one. 

DUTHIERS: Wow. He’s driving voters, too, Donald Trump.

SALVANTO: He is just as much on voters’ minds as Joe Biden. And it’s positive for Republicans. They think he’s fighting for them, but for Democrats, they’re out there to vote against him. Wouldn’t be surprised if Democrats in this campaign keep talking about Donald Trump. 

DUTHIERS: All right. Anthony Salvanto, always great to have you on set. Man, thank you. Nate, back to you. 

NATE BURLESON: I love the way he broke that down. Well done, fellas.

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