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46% Want Stephanopoulos Banned From Campaign Coverage

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

George Stephanopoulos, a senior ABC News anchor, was caught last week hiding $75,000 in donations to the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation just after he grilled on air the author of a book critical of the foundation and Mrs. Clinton. He also was scheduled to moderate a presidential campaign debate before the media found out about the donations.

Forty-six percent (46%) of Likely U.S. Voters think ABC should ban Stephanopoulos from any programming related to the presidential campaign since Hillary Clinton is running for president. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 36% disagree and oppose banning him from presidential campaign coverage. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Sixty-six percent (66%) of Republicans and unaffiliated voters by a narrower 45% to 38% margin think the one-time senior Clinton White House official should be banned from presidential campaign coverage. Among Democrats, 30% say Stephanopoulos should be banned from covering the presidential race, but 50% disagree; 20% are undecided.

Thirty-four percent (34%) of all voters say they are less likely to believe the reporting on ABC News because Stephanopoulos failed to disclose this seeming conflict of interest. Sixteen percent (16%) say they are more likely to believe in ABC News’ reporting. Forty-two percent (42%) say the Stephanopoulos incident will have no impact on their confidence in ABC’s reporting.

In February, 40% of Americans said NBC News anchor Brian Williams had to go for being caught in a lie.  Just as many (40%) said they are less likely to believe the reporting on NBC News because Williams didn’t tell the truth.

Thirty-four percent (34%) of voters share a favorable opinion of Stephanopoulos. This is down from 45% in February and includes 11% with a Very Favorable opinion. Thirty-nine percent (39%) view him unfavorably, with 18% who hold a Very Unfavorable view. Twenty-seven percent (27%) don’t know enough about the senior ABC anchor to venture any kind of opinion of him.

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 17-18, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Just 19% of Americans say they get most of their news from one of the three traditional news networks – ABC, CBS and NBC. Sixty-nine percent (69%) regard the news reported by the media as at least somewhat trustworthy, but that includes only 20% who think it is Very Trustworthy.

Democrats have a more favorable opinion of Stephanopoulos than GOP and unaffiliated voters do.

Forty-one percent (41%) of Republicans are less likely now to trust ABC’s reporting, compared to 32% of Democrats and 30% of unaffiliated voters.

Voters have long believed that journalists who serve as debate moderators show bias in their questioning.

Forty-eight percent (48%) think media bias is a bigger problem in politics today than big campaign contributions, but nearly as many (44%) see campaign cash as the larger problem.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Americans believe the average media reporter is more liberal than they are.  Eighteen percent (18%) consider that reporter more conservative.

Sixty-three percent (63%) think it’s likely some actions Hillary Clinton took as secretary of State were influenced by donations made to the Clinton Foundation. This includes 42% who say it’s Very Likely.

As Obama administration officials wrestle with the news media and congressional investigators over releasing Clinton’s e-mail from her days as secretary of State, voters are growing more suspicious that she has something to hide.

Still, 57% say Clinton is likely to be the next president.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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