The poll, posted after the Wednesday night debate, asked users who had won, offering respondents the choices of Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (who wasn’t even in the debate), “the pesky fly” that alighted on Pence’s head, or “I didn’t watch!” Notably, Vice President Pence’s name was nowhere to be seen.
Think the media has an agenda?
Mike Pence isn’t even listed as an option on their “poll.” pic.twitter.com/ggcnncUCF9
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 8, 2020
Republican Senator Ted Cruz posted an accusatory screenshot of the poll on Thursday morning, accompanied by a snarky “think the media has an agenda?” while others added screenshots of the poll results, showing Harris in the lead – for obvious reasons.
Although the outlet quickly revised the poll, swapping Biden out for Pence, the damage was done, and images of the Pence-less poll were already circulating. The outcry drove Pence fans to the second poll, driving his numbers up.
They fixed within an 1/2 hrs pic.twitter.com/WtBm9PbhW1
— Maddie Adams (@MaddieAdams75) October 8, 2020
USA Today attempted to make light of the mixup with a joke poll, admitting they had “messed up the first one.”
Is this a corrected poll because USA TODAY messed up the first one?
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 8, 2020
But Twitter users weren’t buying it, and many accused the newspaper of overt (or unconscious) bias…
Did childish agenda driven USA Today purposefully omit .@VP Mike Pence from their first poll?
— ƬЄƛƓƛƝ ƦЄƖԼԼƳ🍸Just Say No To #CreepyJoe (@velvethammer) October 8, 2020
We know you're just trying to help Kamala out because she lost. We gotcha
— Mostly peaceful Mandy ☕🦋🇺🇸🎃 (@SpringSteps) October 8, 2020
…suggesting they’d only fixed the poll because they were called out so forcefully.
— mtag 🟧 (@Mgreaze) October 8, 2020
Some tried to make excuses for the national newspaper, calling the omission a “hiccup”, or put the whole thing down to incompetence.
What the fuck is this? Get you shit together. Damn stupid ass digital newsroom.
— Ricky (@Ricky_Flores) October 8, 2020
Harris fans insisted it was the second, Pence-added poll that was wrong, touting poll results from elsewhere.
She even won men. Go figure! pic.twitter.com/TaPW7GRWmE
— Kavin #VoteEarly (@TheOnlyKAVIN) October 8, 2020
The Pence-Harris debate lacked the Jerry Springer-esque antics of the Trump-Biden debate, though the pair still talked over each other and refused to be limited to the speaking times allotted to them by the moderator.
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