Accuracy in Media

A panel on MSNBC’s AM Joy focused on polling heading into the midterm congressional elections, positing that “Democrats have the momentum to create blue wave in south,” but the panel didn’t acknowledge that it relied on the same flawed polling sources as the 2016 election polling that failed to predict the Red Wave that put Republicans in control of the White House and allowed them to maintain both the U.S. House and Senate.

“Democrats have the momentum to create a blue wave in the south, with candidates such as Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Beto O’Rourke in Texas in strong positions to win in red states,” the MSNBC website reads. “Joy Reid and her panel discuss the fact that some areas of ‘red states’ are not as red as many believe.”

MSNBC presents polling about Abrams, the Democrat in the Georgia gubernatorial race at 46 percent, ahead of Republican Brian Kemp’s 44 percent. Abrams has been aided by considerable free, positive coverage by the mainstream media, including a cover of TIME magazine. MSNBC also cited polling in the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee, which has Republican Marsha Blackburn at 40 percent, compared to Democrat Phil Bredesen at 45.5 percent.

MSNBC cited a poll from Texas Lyceum showing Republican Sen. Ted Cruz up by just a margin of 41 percent to Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s 39 percent. Yet polling from the same source in 2016 just ahead of the 2016 presidential election showed that among Texans who were likely voters, Trump led Clinton with 39 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 32 percent, with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson polling at 9 percent and Green Party Candidate Jill Stein polling at 3 percent. The actual results on Election Day showed Trump winning in Texas with 52 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 43 percent and Johnson with just 3 percent, Stein with less than one percent.

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