We reported after Joe Biden’s speech to Congress, many Democrats and those on the left were spreading a CBS News poll that said 85% of their viewers surveyed had approved of Biden’s speech.
As we observed, there were issues with that claim to begin with, since the viewer sample was so heavily weighted with Democrats, which CBS News admitted, even as they tried to push its significance.
New CBS polling shows 85% of viewers approve of President Biden's speech to Congress. @SalvantoCBS says results also show that a majority of viewers believe the proposals Biden made in his address "would directly help them" https://t.co/H9n7JKbYS7 pic.twitter.com/8DH4MVMZEJ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 29, 2021
Of 943 viewers surveyed: 54% were Democrats, 25% were Independents, and only 18% were Republicans. They also seem to have had 3% go missing, without any explanation as to what those folks were, which makes me question all their other numbers.
Many then extrapolated that out to “85% of Americans” approved of the speech, which is not the same thing as 85% of CBS viewers who responded to the survey, who are heavily weighted towards Democrats. It’s not even 85% of CBS viewers.
85% of Americans approved of what President Biden had to say in his address to the Nation. It’s time for Republicans in Congress, who stand for nothing, to get out of the way and let the majority rule.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) April 29, 2021
The propagandist nature of how the CBS poll was used was so bad and so obvious, that even the fact checker Snopes was forced to call out as false the claim that “85% of Americans approved of Biden’s speech.”
Remember that "people who watched the speech" does not mean "all Americans." https://t.co/FGt3AdFeea
— snopes.com (@snopes) April 29, 2021
This stat refers to the approval rating among Americans who watched the speech, not the country as a whole. While 85% of viewers did approve of the speech, according to CBS News, the majority of those viewers were Democrats.
Even that isn’t quite correct, because it’s not “85% of viewers,” but 85% of viewers who responded to the survey.
CBS News later had to issue this tweet, saying that the approval among the general public would likely be much lower, repeating again the viewers who responded were mostly Democrats.
To reiterate, last night's poll was of *speech watchers* not all Americans
As we explained, 85% of those who said they tuned in approved of Biden's speech — % would likely be much lower among entire country, as last night's audience was mostly Democratichttps://t.co/QhqopMGzud
— Kabir Khanna (@kabir_here) April 29, 2021
Additionally what was funny was they initially reached out to 10,420 U.S. adults. Only 4,211 of that 10,420 planned on watching. But it ended up that only 943 watched and responded to the survey. So, it doesn’t sound like too many people of the folks they reached out to were even interested in watching and/or responding to the survey. People are not exactly enthralled with the idea of watching Joe Biden for any length of time and commenting.