While President-elect Joe Biden garnered more votes than any other presidential candidate in history, it may not have been the voters alone that put Biden over the edge to victory.
Censorship of negative news about Biden played a large factor in voters’ choice when it came down to Biden or President Donald Trump, according to a recent Media Research Center (MRC) study that polled 1,750 Biden voters across seven swing states.
One in six Biden voters said they would not have voted for him if they had been aware of one or more of the news stories presented to them in the poll — a number which could have comfortably altered the outcome in several swing states and secured a second term for Trump, the poll states.
Former Biden staffer Tara Reade accused him in spring 2019 of inappropriately touching her in the 1990s. Reade then came out in March following the initial accusation with a more detailed allegation, claiming the former vice president had sexually assaulted her. Biden also faced a series of other accusations of inappropriate touching.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris publicly stated in April 2019 that she believed Biden accusers, according to Fox News. “I believe them, and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it,” Harris told reporters.
Reade “has a right to tell her story,” Harris said, adding that “women must be able to speak without fear of retaliation.”
Despite Harris publicly acknowledging the serious allegations at the time, more than one-third of Biden voters polled by MRC said they were unaware of the allegations. Nearly 9% told MRC that, had they known about the allegations, they wouldn’t have voted for Biden. MRC noted that this change alone would have flipped Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, securing a victory for Trump.
FiveThirtyEight found that Reade’s allegations against Biden received slow coverage from the mainstream media. While Reade’s allegations came out in March, it wasn’t until April 12 that The New York Times published an investigation into the claims. Starting April 24, a clip from 1993 emerged in which a caller believed to be Reade’s mother describes the allegations.
However, FiveThirtyEight ultimately found that the “volume of coverage of the allegation remained low” and that it was right-leaning outlets that gave it more attention.
Between March 27 and April 27, Biden appeared on ABC, NBC, CNN and MSNBC and was asked 77 questions — none of which addressed Reade’s allegations, according to The Atlantic.
The New York Post broke a story in October alleging that Biden participated in his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings with Ukraine and China, which would contradict Joe Biden’s previous statements on the matter. (RELATED: Twitter Is Using Its ‘Hacked Info’ Policy To Suppress The NYPost Story, But There’s One Big Problem)
Following the publication of the story, Twitter and Facebook immediately censored the story, with the Post getting locked out of their account for more than seven days, despite Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey apologizing over the incident.
— Emma-Jo Morris (@EmmaJoNYC) October 21, 2020
Twitter users were unable to tweet the link to the story, nor send it via private direct message. Twitter Safety later explained that “the images contained in the articles include personal and private information – like email addresses and phone numbers – which violate our rules.”
The images contained in the articles include personal and private information — like email addresses and phone numbers — which violate our rules.https://t.co/plPa5SZ3we
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 14, 2020
Twitter also said they erroneously blocked a link to the official government website for the House Judiciary Committee Republicans that republished the New York Post story.
Biden campaign spokesman Jamal Brown applauded the censorship, saying that Twitter’s censorship “makes clear” that the report is “false” and that he was “glad to, you know, see social media companies like Twitter taking responsibility to limit misinformation.” Just days after the story broke, Biden held a 90-minute town hall on ABC during which not one question was asked regarding the Post’s story.
Nearly half the voters polled by MRC, 45.1%, said they didn’t know about the allegations in the New York Post reports. MRC estimated that full knowledge of the scandal would have shifted 9.4% of Biden voters to abandon the Democratic candidate.
Perhaps one of the most important issues of the 2020 election was the coronavirus pandemic. The media hounded the president and his administration as death tolls rose across the nation and hospitals became overwhelmed. However, the media seemingly failed to cover the Trump administration pandemic successes, a factor that could have changed 5.3% of voters polled by MRC.
MRC found 36.1% of Biden voters didn’t know about the administration’s efforts to deliver a vaccine through Operation Warp Speed. If they had, more than 5% said they would have changed their vote, flipping Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to MRC.
Biden warned people in September not to trust Trump, who Biden claimed was rushing the vaccine out early.
“I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump,” Biden said, according to Reuters. “At this moment, the American people can’t either.”
Trump, who predicted 100 million doses of the vaccine could be distributed by the end of 2020, responded by accusing Biden of stoking doubt about the vaccine.
“They’re recklessly endangering lives. You can’t do that,” Trump said, according to Reuters.
FactCheck.org issued a report in September arguing the president “exaggerates progress” and made “inaccurate” statements about the vaccine. Even Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said that a vaccine wouldn’t be available until spring or summer of 2021. Redfield said Trump “made a mistake” in claiming a vaccine could be ready by the end of the year, suggesting the president was “not aware” of distribution proceedings, according to NPR.
Days after the election, Pfizer — which will use money from Operation Warp Speed for distribution and also benefited from accelerated regulator protocols — announced their vaccine is over 90% effective. Pfizer also tried to claim their success has nothing to do with Operation Warp Speed. (RELATED: ‘You Do The Math’: Vince Coglianese Targets Pfizer’s Timing On COVID-19 Vaccine Announcement)
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) November 9, 2020
However, Trump’s success in likely delivering a vaccine before the end of the year has been hailed an “unmitigated success” from some of his most ferocious critics, like CNN’s Jake Tapper.