NRL News

NBC Banishes Story on Obama’s Unpopularity on Midterm Campaign Trail to Sunday Night

by | Oct 14, 2014


By Curtis Houck

Obamaapproval431On Sunday, NBC Nightly News took the unusual step of running a story that not only discussed the upcoming midterm elections but also President Obama’s unpopularity on the campaign trail as Democrats struggle to keep control of the Senate.

The problem with the story, however, was that it aired on Sunday night, when millions of Americans are watching football, spending time with family or at church and thus not watching the news.

Weekend anchor Lester Holt started the segment off by stating that while President Obama will be on the campaign trail this week, he “has been largely out of sight on the campaign trail this season.”

NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker said that while “[b]ig name Democrats have been blanketing the campaign trail for weeks,” one person who was “noticeably absent from the main event, Democrats tough fight to keep the Senate: President Obama.”

Welker included a soundbite from The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, who brought up the reality that “[t]he President is not really wanted by Democrats” and “even in states that he carried in 2008 and 2012.”

Next, Welker continued the unusually critical segment on Obama with the observation that Obama will “likely stay away from places like Alaska, Iowa, Colorado and Pennsylvania” ahead of the November 4 elections.

After a near complete network blackout since Thursday, she joined Sunday’s This Week on ABC in covering the refusal of Democratic Senate candidate Allison Lundergan-Grimes in Kentucky to state whether or not she voted for President Obama in 2008 or 2012 during a meeting with the Louisville Courier-Journal’s editorial board.

Also included as another example of a Democrat running in November distancing themselves from Obama was New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who dodged a question from Andrea Mitchell on her MSNBC show on Thursday whether she wants the President to come campaign for her as she faces former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown for reelection.

As the segment wound down, the rare story on the midterm elections didn’t let up and didn’t begin providing cover for Democrats. Welker even mentioned President Obama’s dismal poll ratings and his remarks from October 2 that his policies are on the ballot in November even though his name will not appear on them: “With his approval ratings hovering in the mid-to-low 40s, the President may have given Republicans an opening when he said his policies are on the ballot even though he’s not.”

To top it off, the NBC News White House correspondent said this about Obama’s campaign and fundraising habits: “Once called the campaigner-in-chief, the President is more like a fundraiser-in-chief, attending more than 50 events this year.”

With Election Day three weeks away from Tuesday, it will remain to be seen whether or not ABC, CBS, or NBC will begin covering the midterm elections where Republicans are widely expected to take control of Senate (and retain control of the House) as President Obama’s approval ratings are sinking.

Editor’s note. This appeared at The complete transcript of the October 12 segement can be found there.

Categories: Obama