“Fox is terrible!”: Trump rages at network after poll shows him losing to Joe Biden by double digits

Trump's campaign threatened legal action against CNN over a similarly unfavorable poll. Will it do the same to Fox?

By Igor Derysh
June 19, 2020 6:38PM (UTC)
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US President Donald Trump (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Salon)

President Donald Trump lashed out at Fox News after the network's latest national poll showed him trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 12 points.

Biden leads Trump 50-38 in the latest survey after the network found him leading by only eight points last month.

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"For over a year, the portion backing Trump against Biden has stayed between 37-42 percent," Fox News reported. "Biden's support has ranged from 42-52 percent."

Days after his campaign threatened legal action against CNN over a poll which found Biden leading by a similar 14 points, the president alleged that the far more Trump-friendly Fox News had produced a "phony" poll which was "done by the same group of haters that got it even more wrong in 2016."

Despite the right-leaning network's penchant for disseminating pro-Trump misinformation and lobbing softballs in interviews, such as the one he did days earlier with host Sean Hannity, the network's polling has actually been quite reliable. Fox News' polling received an A- grade from election forecaster FiveThirtyEight. Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake noted that the final 2016 Fox poll showed Hillary Clinton leading 48-44 before she won the popular vote 48-46.

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"Fox is terrible!" Trump nonetheless raged on his Twitter feed, which is otherwise filled with Fox News clips parroting his talking points.

The Fox poll shows that voters are unhappy with Trump's response to the weeks of protests over police violence against Black people. About 61% of respondents said they disapproved of Trump's handling of race relations.

Other polls released in recent days do not show Trump faring much better. A Quinnipiac poll released this week shows him down by eight points to Biden. A YouGov poll shows him trailing by nine points. A CNBC poll shows him losing by 10 points.

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OAN, a conservative news network even further to the right of Fox which has been caught spreading even more dubious misinformation, teased a poll last week which would be "in favor" of Trump.

The network released a survey which was not a national poll but rather a poll of Florida conducted by Gravis Marketing, which earned a C grade from FiveThirtyEight.

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The poll showed Trump and Biden in a 50-50 tie in the state, but "soon after it was published . . . the report was pulled," The Washington Post flagged. "A tweet from [OAN CEO Robert] Herring that apparently announced the results was also deleted" after numerous journalists raised red flags about the poll.

A recent poll from TIPP, which earns an A/B grade from FiveThirtyEight, shows Biden leading Trump by 11 points in Florida.

With voters souring over his response to the protests in the wake of his bungled coronavirus response, Trump has instead sought to question the validity of voting itself.

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Trump has repeatedly claimed, without any evidence, that millions of people illegally voted in the last election in an attempt to downplay his popular-vote defeat. After he put together a voter fraud commission to prove the existence of illegal voters, the commission was disbanded when it failed to find any evidence of such fraud.

But Republicans have not dropped the conspiracy theory, recruiting 50,000 volunteers to police voting precincts for voter fraud after a federal court lifted a decades-long consent agreement barring the national Republican Party from poll monitoring after repeated instances of voter intimidation.

Trump and the Republican National Committee have also sued several states over their efforts to expand voting by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic, pushing debunked conspiracy theories that mail-in voting favors Democrats and is rife with fraud. A recent analysis found that 0.0025% of mail votes may be possible instances of double voting or voting on behalf of a deceased resident ,and studies show it does not favor any single party.

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"My biggest risk is that we don't win lawsuits," Trump told Politico on Thursday. "We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don't win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk."

"Trump saying quiet part out loud again, admitting his 'biggest risk' for re-election is more people voting," Ari Berman, the author of "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America," wrote. "If voting didn't matter, Trump & GOP wouldn't be working so hard to prevent you from doing it."


Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is a staff writer at Salon. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

Tips/Email: iderysh@salon.com Twitter: @IgorDerysh

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Aggregate Donald Trump Election 2020 Fox News Joe Biden Mail Voting Oan Politics