When reporting the results of a new Des Moines Register/CNN poll, MSBNC left out 2020 Democratic hopeful Andrew Yang from their on-air reporting. Yang is polling at 3 percent, higher than other candidates they included.
In the graphic, MSNBC included Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, and Tom Steyer — all of whom are polling at the same threshold as Yang. The graphic also included Michael Bloomberg and Michael Bennet, both of whom are polling lower than Yang.
This is not the first example of Yang being excluded from MSNBC’s coverage. In fact, one #YangGang super fan has created a long Twitter thread detailing the countless instances Yang has been left out of the media spotlight. Yet, Yang appears unfazed by this media blackout.
“This is weird. Hey MSNBC 3 > 1,” Yang tweeted. “Good thing we don’t need MSNBC to talk to voters – we just go straight to them. Thank you #YangGang for making that possible.”
— Andrew Yang🧢⬆️🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) November 17, 2019
MSNBC has since apologized for the “inadvertent” mistake. “UP on MSNBC” tweeted:
Earlier on UP, we aired a poll graphic that inadvertently left off Andrew Yang. This was a mistake that we’ve since corrected on air. We apologize to Mr. Yang. Here’s the correct graphic:
Earlier on UP, we aired a poll graphic that inadvertently left off @AndrewYang. This was a mistake that we've since corrected on air. We apologize to Mr. Yang. Here's the correct graphic: pic.twitter.com/SDoqsxdiiD
— Velshi on MSNBC (@VelshiMSNBC) November 17, 2019
Despite the apology, this type of media blackout is consistent for Yang and other candidates that don’t favor the conventional Democratic narrative. An Axios study found Yang and Gabbard receive a disproportionately small media amount of coverage compared to their relatively successful campaigns.
But, it may not be the success of Yang and Gabbard’s campaigns that cause MSNBC, and other media outlets, to ignore these semi-successful polling numbers. Instead, it’s the media overcompensating for their preferred lackluster candidates, like Elizabeth Warren.
Nonconforming Democrats like Yang and Gabbard hold a decent chunk of the electorate in their favor, and newly released Iowa polls solidify that. Six percent of Iowans favor either Yang or Gabbard, and it’s likely the media see this as threat to their favorite, more progressive top-tier candidates.
The media behaves as if non-traditional candidates with unconventional policy proposals exited the race — particularly Yang and Gabbard — that their supporters, with no campaign to call home, would come running to Warren. Potentially, solidifying Warren as the frontrunner and permanently bypassing Biden. MSNBC and mainstream news outlets mitigate the success of non-traditional campaigns because they want to see the grassroots support move towards Warren.
But perhaps the mainstream media gets Yang and Gabbard supporters all wrong in this scenario. Yes, Yang and Gabbard support unconventional policy proposals, such as Universal Basic Income and isolationism, but they are two of the most bi-partisan campaigns in the race. The two constantly appear on conservative media outlets, which is what attracts so many of their supporters, draws respect from conservative pundits, and fuels backlash by mainstream news outlets.
Leaving Yang out from this Iowa polling graphics is just another mainstream media attempt to eradicate non-traditional candidates from the 2020 campaign.