Despite Trump being the only candidate remaining in the GOP race, his supporters accounted for only 12 percent of all participants (9 out of 73 total) in roundtable discussions on Sunday shows from May 8 to May 29. A staple of Sunday political shows, the roundtable discussions give a chance for pundits from across the political spectrum to voice their concerns and opinions about the political news of the day.
The difference between liberals and conservatives is still significant when you include anti-Trump GOP guests. While Fox and CNN had equal numbers of Republican and Democratic guests, ABC, CBS and NBC had nearly three times the number of liberal guests (36) compared to either pro or anti-Trump Republicans (13).
The purpose of having four participants is to encourage a wide variety of views in the discussion. By stacking these discussions with liberal journalists in addition to outright Hillary and Sanders surrogates, the networks are steering the narrative in a particular direction.
ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS’s Face the Nation each only had one Trump supporter during that entire time period, meaning that they each had three out of four roundtable discussions with no representative of the presumptive GOP nominee. NBC’s Meet the Press only had two during that time period. This lack of Trump supporters remained unchanged during the Sunday shows on May 29, after Trump had clinched the 1,237 delegates needed to earn the GOP nomination.
In contrast, CNN’s State of the Union hosted by Jake Tapper featured a Clinton Supporter, Sanders supporter, anti-Trump GOP guest and a Trump supporter consistently on all three of his shows which included panels (his show on May 29 consisted of an hour-long interview with Florida Senator Marco Rubio).
Each Sunday show broadcast had a roundtable discussion with four pundits or journalists, adding up to a total of 73 roundtable participants over a four week period between the five shows. The only exceptions were ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on May 8 which had five guests, CBS's Face the Nation on May 8 which had eight guests, and CNN’s State of the Union on May 29 which did not have a roundtable discussion.
Over the course of four Sundays, there were 20 anti-Trump GOP roundtable participants: Alex Castellanos (twice), Rich Lowry, Bill Kristol, Ben Domenech, Jennifer Rubin, Russell Moore, Michael Gerson, Ramesh Ponnuru, Brit Hume (four times), Kimberley Strassel, George Will (twice), Ron Fournier, Amanda Carpenter and S.E. Cupp
During the same four weeks, there were nine pro-Trump participants: Tom Cole, Bill Bennett, Matt Schlapp, Kellyanne Conway (twice), Michael Needham, Jan Brewer, Andre Bauer and Marsha Blackburn
The other 44 participants were either Clinton supporters, Sanders supporters, or “unaffiliated” journalists, including MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid, an outspoken critic of Trump and supporter of Hillary.
Sunday Show Roundtable Guests:
ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos
May 8: Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile, Alex Castellanos, Rich Lowry, Katrina vanden Heuvel
May 15: Dan Balz, Alicia Menendez, Tom Cole, Keith Ellison
May 22: Matthew Dowd, Cokie Roberts, Bill Kristol, Donna Brazile
May 29: Maria Cardona, Kevin Madden, Bill Bennett, Heidi Prsybyla
CBS’s Face the Nation
May 8 First Roundtable: Ruth Marcus, Ben Domenech, Amy Walter, Jonathan Martin
May 8 Second Roundtable: Jennifer Rubin, Russell Moore, Leslie Sanchez, Matt Schlapp
May 15: Susan Page, Jamelle Bouie, Julie Pace, Michael Gerson
May 22: Molly Ball, Ezra Klein, Ramesh Ponnuru, Ed O’Keefe
NBC’s Meet the Press
May 8: Matt Bai, Kellyanne Conway, Andrea Mitchell, Eugene Robinson
May 15: DID NOT AIR
May 22: Alex Castellanos, Helene Cooper, Joy-Ann Reid, Robert Draper
May 29: Robert Costa, Neera Tanden, Kellyanne Conway, Jerry Seib
Fox News Sunday
May 8: Brit Hume, Julie Pace, Kimberley Strassel, Charles Lane
May 15: Brit Hume, Amy Walter, George Will, Bob Woodward
May 22: Brit Hume, Kirsten Powers, Michael Needham, Juan Williams
May 29: Brit Hume, George Will, Susan Page, Ron Fournier
CNN’s State of the Union
May 8: Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Former Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), Amanda Carpenter, Nina Turner
May 15: Donna Brazile, Rep. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), André Bauer, Anna Navarro
May 22: Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Bill Press, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), S. E. Cupp
May 29: Interview with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)