ABC Downplays New Poll Showing Romney Leading, Frets About 'Pep Rally' During Hurricane

The hosts and reporters on Monday's Good Morning America downplayed a new ABC News/Washington Post poll showing Mitt Romney taking the lead over Barack Obama. It wasn't until the 8am hour that news anchor Josh Elliott specifically revealed the numbers: "When it comes to the economy, 50 percent trust Romney to handle it, while just 43 percent favor the President."

The poll has the presumptive Republican nominee at 47 points, Obama at 46 percent. As Hot Air pointed out, "This is the first time that Obama has lost the lead since a brief polling burst for Romney in January." Yet, Diane Sawyer simply told co-anchor George Stephanopoulos that the race was "virtually tied." She vaguely referred to the economic numbers, but spun, "More people trust Romney on the economy, but they think he favors the wealthy over the middle class."

Continuing to describe this as bad news for the now-ahead Romney, Sawyer griped, "So, there's a lot of work to get done here in terms of addressing this issue of the middle class and his relatability."

The former GMA host (now the anchor of World News), worried that the "big problem" facing the Republican convention is "how to have a muted pep rally if people are in harm's way?"

Stephanopoulos lectured, "And they know that even if they are muted in that pep rally, they're going to be sharing the screen all week long with the possibility of a hurricane hitting New Orleans on the anniversary of Katrina."

At the end of May, Romney made "sharp advances" with women voters. Yet, ABC ignored the findings.

A transcript of the 7:10am segment can be found below:


7:10

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's go to Diane Sawyer, now. And, Diane, I'm looking forward to joining you tomorrow. But even though Tampa was spared that direct hit from Isaac, we just saw Jon out there, you still had to make your way through sloppiness this morning.

DIANE SAWYER: We did. I cannot wait to see you, George! It will be great to have you here. It's not getting the delegates here, the 2,000 delegates or even the 20,000 people who will fill this stadium. We came in this morning through a lot of slosh, basically. You could get into puddles up to your ankles. And the gusts of wind would sometimes blow you pretty much against the wall. But, that wasn't the problem. The problem, as Jon just said is this: How to have a muted pep rally if people are in harm's way? I want to show you something right here and up in the ceiling. Those are 120,000 balloons waiting to drop. And they have to make this decision minute by minute with their fingertips. So, it's tough.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And they know that even if they are muted in that pep rally, they're going to be sharing the screen all week long with the possibility of a hurricane hitting New Orleans on the anniversary of Katrina.

SAWYER: You know, George, I just lost your audio. But I'm going assume that you're asking me about the job to be done here. Because I thing one of the big thing they have got to get done here is address some of our new poll numbers coming in. Because our poll numbers show that it's virtually tied coming in. Not unusual. But there's an issue. More people trust Romney on the economy, but they think he favors the wealthy over the middle class. So, there's a lot of work to get done here in terms of addressing this issue of the middle class and his relatability That will be coming up. And by way, I want you the know, George, I'm getting ready to head off and meet with the five Romney sons who are waiting for me upstairs. And I know one of the things they want to address is who their father really is along with Ann Romney, as Jon Karl said.

8:03

JOSH ELLIOTT: And Mitt Romney goes into the convention running neck and neck with President Obama. Our latest ABC News/Washington Post poll out this morning shows Romney with 47 percent of the vote. Compared to 46 for the President. When it comes to the economy, 50 percent trust Romney to handle it, while just 43 percent favor the President.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org