(Newsbusters) – With just two days to go until the polls closed on the midterm elections, Republicans were working hard to get out their base and liberal media were working hard to get out the Democratic Party’s base. During the Sunday edition of ABC’s Good Morning America, they touted President Trump’s job approval rating slipping to 40 percent. Despite that good news to them, co-anchor Dan Harris was seemingly dismayed as he turned to Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos, asking: “why is this not a blowout?”
Stephanopoulos gave Harris a couple of reasons for why Republicans were still in the game this close to Election Day. First, was that “the economy is doing very, very well”. Although, Stephanopoulos downplayed the U.S.’s 3.7 percent unemployment rate, suggesting it was the lowest rate in years rather than decades. He also failed to note the 3.1 percent bump to wages.
The second reason the GOP wasn’t down and out, was because Trump was popular with Republicans and “the Republican base doesn’t appear to be depressed, and they appear to be engaged ready to vote.”
Harris was perplexed by Trump’s strategy of sticking with the issues important to his base. “So, his closing strategy is very much to play to the base, he’s been pretty hard-edged as he likes to say the caravan, Kavanaugh, and law and order, is this strategy though a little bit risky,” he wondered. Stephanopoulos reminded Harris that their poll also showed that people trusted Republicans on border security.
When they first announced the results of their poll at the top of the show, co-anchor Whit Johnson gleefully declared their findings:
Also this morning, there’s a new ABC News/Washington Post poll which finds the President’s approval rating is now at 40 percent, that’s the lowest of any president ahead of his first midterm election since Harry Truman back in 1946.
This pronouncement came three weeks after ABC (on the same show) dismissed Trump’s approval rating being bumped up to 41 percent (that means in three weeks there was a one-point slide). Of course, this time around, ABC didn’t mention that Trump’s approval rating was 36 percent according to their poll back in August.
On top of the network questioning why Republicans still had a fighting chance on Tuesday, national affairs correspondent Tom Llamas took to the set to hype House races Republicans were struggling in:
A couple of early races we’re going to be watching. Names you may be hearing early in the night. Amy McGrath in Kentucky. (…) She’s taking on Congressman Andy Barr, the incumbent here. (…) Another big race we’re watching here, Barbara Comstock, battled tested out of the suburbs of Virginia (…) this is a district that Hillary Clinton won. Democrats feel very confident about this one. And then when we go to South Florida right here, Florida 26, Carlos Curbelo, also battle tested in a district that Hillary Clinton won big.
While Llamas called out struggling Republicans by name for those races, he didn’t call out Democrats struggling in their Senate races: “We’re talking about states like Missouri, states like Montana and North Dakota. Two key races there. And Indiana.” The only Senate race where names were used was the race in Texas between Senator Ted Cruz (R) and liberal heartthrob Beto O’Rourke.
ABC had clear favorites.
The transcript is below:
ABC’s Good Morning America
November 4, 2018
8:02:06 a.m. Eastern
DAN HARRIS: Hey, good morning. After a long, angry, divisive campaign season which has been punctuated by political violence and which will inevitably be seen as a referendum on a polarizing president, we’re now in the final 48 hours.
EVA PILGRIM: President Trump will be working down to the wire. He had two rallies on Saturday. He’s got two more today and then three more tomorrow. Meanwhile, former President Obama will be rallying for Democrats in Chicago today.
WHIT JOHNSON: Also this morning, there’s a new ABC News/Washington Post poll which finds the President’s approval rating is now at 40 percent, that’s the lowest of any president ahead of his first midterm election since Harry Truman back in 1946.
PILGRIM: That poll also says Democratic House candidates lead Republicans by 8 points among likely voters, ahead 52 to 44 percent. However, that lead has actually dropped significantly since August when Democrats were ahead by 14 points.
8:07:02 a.m. Eastern
TOM LLAMAS: Remember, the key number in the House is going to be 23. This is how many seats the Dems have to flip in the House to become the party in power. A couple of early races we’re going to be watching. Names you may be hearing early in the night. Amy McGrath in Kentucky. You think Kentucky, a red state, what’s going on here? She’s a former fighter pilot. Democrats are excited about her. She’s taking on Congressman Andy Barr, the incumbent here. But here’s the key number here, the President won this district big. But Democrats believe in her and they believe they’re going to turn for her.
Another big race we’re watching here, Barbara Comstock, battled tested out of the suburbs of Virginia, this is what she’s up against, this is a district that Hillary Clinton won. Democrats feel very confident about this one. And then when we go to South Florida right here, Florida 26, Carlos Curbelo, also battle tested in a district that Hillary Clinton won big. Carlos has distanced himself from President Trump on immigration and tax issues. We’ll see what happens in Florida.
As we move to the Senate, it’s a much different story. You can see here there’s a lot more blue. Democrats are defending much more seats. And as we go to the map, there are 14 races that we’re watching closely here, these are the key races where we want to see what’s going on as we hit the “key races” button. For the Democrats, these are seats that Democrats currently hold but that Republicans, the president did very well in 2016. We’re talking about states like Missouri, states like Montana and North Dakota. Two key races there. And Indiana. But Republicans are on defense in a couple of seats here. In Texas, we’re talking about that race with Beto O’Rourke. In Texas. Also Tennessee as well a big race there, we’ll see where the night goes.
8:09:57 a.m. Eastern
HARRIS: If President Trump is so unpopular, 40 percent in our new poll, which is historic low in this context, why is this not a blowout?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Few reasons, number one, the economy is doing very, very well. Right now, the lowest unemployment in years. And I think that always helps the incumbent party right there. Number two, even though the President is unpopular overall, he’s very popular among Republicans, and unlike many midterm elections, at least going into the midterms on Tuesday, the Republican base doesn’t appear to be depressed, and they appear to be engaged ready to vote. And that’s holding up the President numbers right now and Republican numbers right now.
HARRIS It also has to do with the map. He’s very popular in the states where there are competitive races. So, his closing strategy is very much to play to the base, he’s been pretty hard-edged as he likes to say the caravan, Kavanaugh, and law and order, is this strategy though a little bit risky?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Also where he has been campaigning in the final days. He’s really been campaigning in those races of those Senate races in those deep red states right now. That could consolidate the Republican base in those states. And one of the things you have seen is that the Republicans are doing better on the issue of border security, right now. The question for the President, for his party, is that going to create a backlash in those suburban districts where Republican House members are in danger? And that’s what they have to worry about.