New research indicates establishment media sins of omission may have turned the 2020 presidential election tide for former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to survey results released Tuesday by the MRC/Polling Company, 17 percent of Biden supporters polled in the close-call swing states would have reconsidered their vote had they been confronted with establishment media reports on Trump administration success or recent scandals involving the Democratic opposition.
In a virtual news conference on the results, Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, painted a data-drive picture in which opaque coverage of the Burisma controversy, Tara Reade allegations, and national pandemic response robbed President Donald Trump of key Electoral College delegates necessary for a second Oval Office bid.
“The media can talk all day long about Donald Trump and all day long about things that he’s doing wrong but it is absolutely unequivocal, the evidence that it was the national news media that deliberately — and I underscore deliberately — made it a point not to tell the public about these stories that nobody can question were important stories,” Bozell said during the conference on the survey.
“We showed that they covered it up and, now, we’re showing the evidence that it cost Donald Trump the election.”
BREAKING: The media’s refusal to cover basic reports dramatically changed election results.
If voters knew about ANY of these key stories the media failed to cover, @realDonaldTrump would have won with 311 electoral votes.
Full poll and analysis here: https://t.co/y8Zfb5rCx8
— MediaResearchCenter (@theMRC) November 24, 2020
Data collected by various sources at the beginning and end of Trump’s first term reveals media coverage of the president often has taken a negative tone roughly 90 percent of the time, leading many to believe negative public opinions of the president are likely a result of the media narrative.
Few have looked into the impacts of media omission on presidential approval, however.
Tuesday’s MRC news conference represented one of the first major forays into the field of study, with the newly released survey built on the back of an election night poll that found 36 percent of Biden voters were unaware of Hunter Biden’s business dealings in the nation of China.
Surveying 1,000 voters in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the initial MRC/McLaughlin study revealed 13 percent of Biden supporters would have changed their vote had they known about the story, removing 4.6 percent of the former vice president’s total support and flipping four states for the president.
The more refined version of the study polled a larger sample of roughly 1,750 voters later in the month, asking similar questions about voter ignorance on major news breaks from recent memory.
Respondents were polled regarding their knowledge of topics ranging from the Trump economy to foreign relations breakthroughs, vaccine roll-out to the progressive history of 2020 Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
On the topics listed, between 25 and 50 percent of voters reported ignorance. Between 4 and 9.4 percent then suggested knowledge of the story mentioned would have led them to change their vote.
Such results would have led to an election in which Trump secured anywhere between 289 and 311 Electoral College votes.
New: @realDonaldTrump would have won 311 Electoral Votes if media wasn’t biased, 2 surveys say.
Media had a partner in Twitter, which @theMRC @BrentBozell said censored Trump 262 times during the end of the campaign. Biden’s team were never censored.https://t.co/ZEwsKQTgBO pic.twitter.com/P5akSstvX3
— Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) November 24, 2020
With establishment media coverage seemingly zeroed in on palace intrigue and presidential behavior, however, Adam Brandon, of the small government special interest group FreedomWorks, told reporters Tuesday that the election had “basically devolved into a referendum on Trump’s personality,” making it “almost impossible” for conservatives to deliver their top-of-the-ticket message.
Brandon later suggested the evidence was down-ballot, where Republicans claimed a handful of U.S. House seats on a more “issue-based” campaign.
But victories on the substantive political battlefield were a small victory, with MRC leadership later suggesting the survey results did not bode well for future conservative electoral efforts.
Instead, Bozell told reporters, the results were simply another signposting for conservatives to “give up on the national news media” and invest more heavily in information systems. Members of the movement would have to become better “storytellers” in the coming years should conservatives want to remain relevant in the next election cycle.
Such things would be easier said than done, however, with increased social media censorship leading conservative content producers to believe they have been singled out by Silicon Valley leftists in light of Trump’s upset victory in the 2016 presidential election.
Bozell would go on to close the news conference with calls for the Republican Party to seek reform on Section 230 — a move some believe would ensure the social media landscape remained ripe for conservative messaging expansion in the years to come.
“The last three elections before 2020 were all decided on social media,” Bozell told The Western Journal. “Barack Obama won using Facebook. He won re-election using Facebook. Donald Trump won in 2016 using Twitter. I think it became very, very clear after 2016 that Silicon Valley was not going to allow this to happen again, if at all possible.”
“A lot of this comes out of this, a weaponized attitude that the media have,” he later added.
“This is a very, very serious assault on democracy. When you don’t have the freedom of information, when information is being withheld from the voters, do you really have a functioning democracy? I would submit that the entire democratic system in America, the electoral system, is right now in peril.”
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