Oh, the irony! Employing a famous James Carville phrase, on Friday’s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough warned there’d be a lot of Democrat “bedwetting” over a CNN presidential poll showing Biden losing to Trump (and to almost all the other Republican contenders).
But Scarborough and his comrades on the panel then, obliviously, proceeded to besprinkle the linens themselves!
Historian and occasional Biden speechwriter Jon Meacham led off the leaky parade. Stamping his figurative feet, Meacham flatly declared, “I don’t believe these polls, honestly.”
Scarborough – after big-footing Mika who had tried to end the segment – and Mara Gay of the New York Times similarly cast doubts and aspersions on the poll. Gay even broke out the old chestnut that polls are “just a snapshot in time!”
And don’t forget, Mara: the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day!
As for Scarborough, he resorted to the fingers-in-the-ears technique of blotting out bad news, admitting that he recently told a reporter, “I just — you know what? Just, I don’t want to hear the polls. I don’t want to hear ’em.”
One argument that both Meacham and Gay made in an attempt to undermine the credibility of the CNN poll was glaringly illogical. They suggested that people contacted by pollsters might be unwilling to say that they planned to vote for Biden.
MEACHAM: “I don’t know if you get called up, if you’re going to tell the truth to somebody.”
GAY: “People you happen to catch on a certain day may or may not honestly tell you what they’re feeling.”
But think about it: Given the MSM’s non-stop condemnation of Trump as a traitorous threat to democracy, if there was one candidate people might hesitate to reveal to a pollster that they’re supporting, it’s not kindly Ol’ Uncle Joe, but Trump himself!
Back when Trump was in office, you never heard Scarborough doubting the validity of polls when they showed even the merest drop in Trump’s popularity. To the contrary, Scarborough would trumpet the news at every opportunity.
And Scarborough had plenty to be modest about when it comes to his own powers of presidential prognostication. Back in 2016, we caught Scarborough predicting that Hillary would administer such a thrashing to Trump that “Barry Goldwater is going to look like an extremely successful candidate.”
In 1964, Goldwater, of course, suffered an historic defeat at the hands of LBJ, winning only 38.5 percent of the vote and getting swamped in the Electoral College 486-52.
Sounds like Joe was predicting a virtual shutout of Trump at the hands of Hillary! How’d that turn out, Swami Scarborough?
Morning Joe refusing to believe a CNN poll showing Biden tied with Trump and losing to almost all of the other Republican contenders. was sponsored in part by maker of Subway, Abbvie, maker of Rinvoq, GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Trelegy, Consumer Cellular, GoDaddy, and Carfax.
Here’s the transcript.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe
6:24 am EDT
JOE SCARBOROUGH: There is a lot of hand wringing. As James Carville would say, a lot of Democratic bedwetting right now over a CNN poll that has he and Donald Trump tied at 46%. Your thoughts on the talk that continues to go around, not only about the president, but also the state of democracy and the risks that that democracy faces over the next 18 months.
JON MEACHAM: [As CNN poll displays on screen] Well, it [democracy] is the most fragile form of government. If it were easy, everybody would do it. We wouldn’t be the longest functioning one, ringing in at almost 250 years. But we haven’t gotten there yet.
And it’s fragile because it’s human. It’s up to us. It’s about our appetites. It’s about our polarization.
. . .
And so, I think this is a moral question. I think this is about how we are with each other.
I don’t, I don’t believe these polls, honestly. I think, basically, the model is pretty hard to figure out. I don’t know if you get called up, if you’re going to tell the truth to somebody. I think there’s a lot of trolling on the Republican side.
MEACHAM: But it’s always going to be hugely close. And that’s why it’s up to every one of us to do it.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Historian Jon Meacham —
SCARBOROUGH: Well, Mara, talking about the skepticism, Mara, really quickly. I’m so sorry, Mika. Talking about the skepticism really quickly, about polling.
I said that to a reporter a, a, a couple of days ago. Like, I just — you know what? Just, I don’t want to hear the polls. I don’t want to hear ’em. Because we heard that Joe Biden wa going to win in a landslide in 2020. He didn’t. We heard that Republicans were going to win in a massive red wave in 2022. Even when we didn’t feel it, but we heard it, and everybody told us. And everybody talked about it, and then it didn’t happen.
I just, again, I just — again, I really do wonder, Mara, what voter in suburban Atlanta that didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2020 is going to say, “well, you know what? I didn’t vote for him in 2020, but now, after January the 6th, and after he stole nuclear secrets, and after he tried to get his own people to destroy his tapes, and after everybody that’s testified against him in all these cases are people that he hired himself, and after he said he was going to terminate the Constitution, yeah, yeah, I think my friends in Alpharetta and I, we’re going to go knock on doors for Donald Trump.” I don’t see it happening.
MARA GAY: Yeah. I actually, I totally agree. I think we like to think of polls as, as though they’re biblical in some way, or they’re perfectly scientific. It’s really more of an art in many ways. It’s just a snapshot in time of people you happen to catch on a certain day, who may or may not honestly tell you what they’re feeling is.
And then you have to put it in the context of, you know, there is a choice. And there will be a choice between two individuals. And on that day, the question is always, which voters are the most motivated to show up? How many of them are there? And of course, campaigning matters.
Getting out the vote matters.
And all of this is to say that there are probably many Americans who may not be feeling that excited or enthusiastic about voting for President Biden. But on the day of, I think many of them will show up anyway, because they certainly don’t want the alternative in Donald Trump. I think we’ve seen that consistently in those polls.
And so this is about turnout as much as it is about polls that are up and down on a specific candidate. So I think it’s early, and you don’t want to take polls just by their word and move on.
This is about something bigger than that. There’s a context here.