Morning Joe Mocks Mike Johnson's Snowstorm 'Spin' on NY Loss, Ignore Rest of His Message

February 15th, 2024 11:14 AM

Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough Willie Geist MSNBC Morning Joe 2-15-24Morning Joe had a grand old time today at the top of the show mocking House Speaker Mike Johnson for in part blaming an Election Day snowstorm for the Republican loss in the New York Third District special election on Tuesday to replace the disgraced and expelled Congressman George Santos.

MSNBC really wants this win to be a "canary in the coal mine," a warning of GOP losses to come in November. 

Willie Geist: Speaker Johnson yesterday didn't look like he believed his own spin while he was talking about this race, saying it snowed, this and that.
Joe Scarborough: You know, it snowed on Democrats, Democratic voters, as much as it snowed on Republican voters.

Sam Stein: Joe, you don't understand. It was strategically targeted snow, down to the district level, knowing the voter locations.

Except . . . Morning Joe conveniently ignored the differences in early voting vs. same-day voting, and mail-in voting, between Democrats and Republicans in this election. As per this Politico article, Democrats enjoyed a 7,000 vote advantage in the nine days of snow-free early voting. Dems also had a mail-in ballot advantage over Republicans. Those factors are a large chunk of Suozzi's winning margin.

That Democrats tend to vote early whereas Republicans prefer same-day voting is a national phenomenon of which Scarborough is surely aware. But he suppressed that factor, choosing instead to mock Johnson on snow.

In fact, in his comments Johnson described several factors accounting for the loss. He actually never even mentioned snow,  only making vague reference, at the end of his comments, to a "weather event" that affected turnout. Here's the whole soundbite they played: 

JOHNSON: The result last night is not something, in my view, that Democrats should celebrate too much. Think about what happened there. They spent about $15 million to win a seat that president Biden won by eight points. They won it by less than eight points. Their candidate ran like a Republican. He sounded like a Republican talking about the border and immigration, because everybody knows that's the top issue that is on the concern -- on the hearts and minds of everybody. You know, there was a weather event that affected turnout. There are a lot of factors there. That is in no way a bellwether of what is going to happen this fall.

And as per Scarborough's claim that we noted yesterday that this was "a district Republicans should have won," that same Politico article noted that Dems enjoy a major, 11%, party-registration advantage over Republicans in the district: 39% vs. 28%. From that perspective, the Republican's 8% loss could be seen as over-performing. And as we mentioned yesterday, voters were in part surely motivated to punish Republicans for the Santos fiasco, and looked at the Dem winner, Tom Suozzi, who previously represented the district in the House, as a comfortable, virtual incumbent.

One thing Scarborough was prevented from mocking Mike Johnson about this morning—in contrast with what we have caught him doing in the past—was regarding Johnson's supposed southern accent. That's because the show ran the clip of Johnson commenting on the race. Rather than relying on Scarborough's phony spin, viewers could hear with their own ears that Johnson sounds more like a Nebraska newsreader than a good ol' boy from the bayou.

Scarborough rejected the notion that some people have expressed to him that he is being "mean" to Republicans. Joe kept a straight face while claiming that he is actually "trying to help" Republicans. So this recently-revealed frequent Biden phone buddy and informal adviser is trying to help Republicans. Riight.