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73% Say Media More Interested in Controversy Than Where Candidates Stand on the Issues

Friday, September 09, 2011

Voters overwhelmingly believe the media’s more interested in playing “gotcha” with those running for president than with airing out where they stand on the important issues of the day.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 16% of Likely U.S. Voters think the media is more interested in where prospective presidential candidates stand on the issues. Seventy-three percent (73%) believe the media is more interested in creating controversies about the candidates. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

This view is shared by most voters across the partisan spectrum, but Republicans remain more critical of the media than Democrats and voters not affiliated with either of the major parties.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of the Political Class, however, believe the media is more interested in where the candidates stand on the issues. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Mainstream voters, on the other hand, think the media is more concerned with creating controversies about those running for president.

The overall findings are perhaps not surprising, given that 67% of all voters believe most reporters, when covering a political campaign, try to help the candidate they want to win. Only 21% think most reporters put the emphasis instead on trying to offer unbiased coverage. These views are virtually unchanged in surveys since June 2008

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 4-5, 2011 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.


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