Thursday, June 22, 2017
Voters are still critical of the news coverage President Trump is getting and continue to believe most reporters are out to get him.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 34% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the media coverage of the president as good or excellent. Forty-four percent (44%) describe the coverage of Trump as poor. Both findings are up slightly from January just before Trump took office and are consistent with views of the media coverage of last year's Clinton. vs. Trump presidential campaign. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Fifty percent (50%) think most reporters are biased against the president, up two points from January. Just four percent (4%) think most reporters are biased in Trump's favor, a 12-point drop from the previous survey. Forty percent (40%) think the majority of reporters try to be fair and balanced, up from 31%.
Given the president's testy relationship with the media, however, it's not surprising that 76% of Republicans and 51% of voters not affiliated with either major political party believe most reporters are biased against the president, a view shared by only 24% of Democrats. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of GOP voters and a plurality (45%) of unaffiliateds think the media coverage of Trump is poor, but 49% of Democrats rate it as good or excellent.
But critics of the coverage of the president think the owners of news organizations also are to blame. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of all voters say most media owners influence the news coverage generated by their reporters. Only 27% believe they allow that coverage to be fair and balanced. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided.
The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 18-19, 2017 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.
Republicans and unaffiliated voters are twice as likely as Democrats to believe the owners of most news organizations influence the coverage generated by their reporters at the expense of fairness and balance.
Nearly 90% of voters who Strongly Approve of the job the president is doing think most reporters are biased against Trump and rate media coverage of him as poor. Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of the president's job performance, 75% say most reporters try to be fair and balanced, and 61% think the coverage of Trump is good or excellent.
Eighty-five percent (85%) of voters who think the media coverage of Trump is poor consider most reporters biased against the president. Roughly 80% of those who give positive marks to the coverage think most reporters try to be fair and balanced.
Forty-four percent (44%) of all voters believe most reporters are trying to block Trump from passing his agenda. By comparison, 48% said most reporters were trying to help President Obama pass his agenda in 2010.
Most voters feel the president is to blame for his bad relationship with the media but also don't think there is anything he can do about it. As with most questions related to Trump, however, there is a sharp partisan difference of opinion.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Republicans and 52% of unaffiliated voters believe the media is more interested in creating controversies than it is in helping the public understand the issues when it comes to Trump and the new Congress. Sixty-six percent (66%) of Democrats think the media is more interested in helping the public understand.
Many of the news stories critical of the president are based on anonymous sources. But just 20% of voters say they believe most stories that are based on anonymous sources.
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