Yesterday was a terrible day for Joe Biden.
Yesterday’s Quinnipiac poll showed that Biden is, in the words of Nick Arama, “circling to the drain.” With a 33 percent approval rating, Biden’s numbers are worse than any number Trump had during his four-year term as President, and I’m not entirely sure that this is his floor, either.
The Quinnipiac poll, while fair in its findings, is still a farce. Recent polls show him still hovering around the 40s. A couple more start coming out, we won’t know for certain that this is a true read of the voting public. RealClearPolitics has shown that it’s keeping pace with the current trend. There was a bit of an approval spike in mid-December, but it’s been all downhill ever since with no end in sight.
CNN’s Brian Stelter referenced the poll on Twitter yesterday, quoting a portion of it concerning the January 6 riot.
Quinnipiac poll – “Fifty percent believe that the storming at the U.S. Capitol in January 2021 was an attack against democracy that must never be forgotten.” However, 44 percent feel too much has been made about the storming. It’s time for us to make progress. https://t.co/pbusOEQAMf
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 12, 2022
Here’s the issue. Stelter’s tweet focuses on the January 6 riot and the overall number of people who support or oppose it. It’s clear in the following retweet of his that he thinks this number of people is not high enough.
It’s a perfect example of cherry-picking data and using it as your commentary. Stelter has taken one piece of data from a large number of contexts and used it as his commentary.
53 percent of Americans think that it is very likely (19 percent), or slightly probable (34 percent) for another attack to take place in the United States. This follows the attack that took place at the U.S. Capitol, January 6, 2021. It is unlikely (22%) or unfeasible (21%) according to Forty-three per cent.
A Congressional investigation into the storming at the U.S. Capitol, January 6, 2021 has been supported by 61 percent and opposed to it by 33 percent.
Democrats support the investigation 83 – 15 percent, independents support it 65 – 30 percent, while Republicans oppose it 60 – 36 percent.
Fifty percent say the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 was an attack on democracy that should never be forgotten, while 44 percent say too much is being made of the storming of the U.S. Capitol and it’s time to move on. Comparatively, a Quinnipiac university poll on August 4, 2021 found that 57% of respondents said the incident should not be forgotten and 38% thought it was time for us to move forward.
Independents and Republicans have a greater resistance to the Democratic Party’s stance on January 6. It’s a highly partisan issue, and not necessarily just because of the Republican Party. Democrats and media allies want January 6, to be more than a riot.
But what’s even worse here is the implication that if right-wing media is somehow to blame for this set of responses, then it has undue influence on the rest of the poll. If people are watching Fox News or Newsmax and reading RedState or the Daily Wire, they aren’t going to just selectively use that influence for one question. This poll will be affected by their media habits.
That means that Stelter and the people he follows truly believe that right-wing media is the reason Biden’s approval numbers are in the tank, which would be an incredible indictment not on Fox News but the more liberal outlets like CNN and MSNBC being unable to convince more than 33 percent of Americans that everything is actually okay.
Oh, wait. You will be there. aren’tIt is not possible to say that everything is fine. The mainstream news outlets are actually saying that everything continues to be awful and that if you agree with Republicans or think the way they think or believe the things they believe, then you are a racist/bigot/homophobe/etc., that you are upholding white supremacy in America. That everything is garbage and it’s all your fault.
That’s not winning viewers over. Even progressives and liberals prefer Fox News because they aren’t being told that by the network’s general news coverage. It’s evident in the ratings starting 2021.
For one thing, 2021 reiterated that Fox’s audience is far from ideologically homogeneous. A Morning Consult survey from earlier this year, for example, found that more independents watch Fox News than any other network. And it’s not just the audience — the viewpoints of Fox’s own on-air talent sometimes clash with each other, as Response of some Fox personalities to the Carlson special demonstrated.
According to Nielsen MRI Fusion data, it’s also interesting to note that Fox and CNN have a near-identical shareOf the liberal audience for cable TV news (29% and 28% for CNN and Fox, respectively, with 43% going to MSNBC). However, Fox is listened to by 45% of independents, while 31% and 24% respectively go to MSNBC or CNN.
As of today’s writing, the most recent ratings data shows Fox as the #1 cable news network for sixth consecutive year. This year’s average daily viewers were 1.3 million, while MSNBC and CNN did not reach 1 million.
If CNN and others are looking the audience share to Fox News, it’s not because people are going out and searching for misinformation. It’s because they aren’t very interested in being told they’re awful people.
Keep in mind the Forbes article’s last statistic. Fox had an average of 1.3 million users per day. Tucker Carlson is the host of Fox’s most beloved show, with an average audience of over 4,000,000. Carlson is only viewed by 1 percent (329.5million) of America’s population.
Facebook boasts almost 200 million U.S.-based users. However, when you add up the engagements for Fox News and Daily Wire (two of Facebook’s most popular conservative platforms), it only comes to 51 million. Many of these engagements (like liking and commenting on a post) are performed by the same user (someone likes and comments on a post).
So there is no way that right-wing media is capable of swinging that much of the American public against taking January 6 seriously, nor are they capable of being the sole reason only 33 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance.
So what’s really going on here? Maybe it’s the fact that the economy is still dragging along slowly, gas prices are still high, supply chain issues and shortages are leaving barren grocery store shelves, the border is still in chaos, and there are still Americans trapped in Afghanistan. All of these issues are more immediate concerns to voters than January 6, the filibuster, the “voting rights” bill stalling in Congress, etc.
You can’t blame the Biden Administration’s failures on right-wing media. You can’t call what the average American is experiencing “misinformation” and write it off as ignorant people listening to bad sources of information.
Well, I mean, you can if your job is watching Fox News all day in order to talk about what they’re saying while ignoring your own network’s problems. If your job involves carrying water for the Biden Administration, you may be able to.