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Voters Say Media Still Anti-Trump

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Voters remain critical of the news coverage of Donald Trump and think the media is still showing the same bias against him that it displayed during the presidential campaign.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that nearly half (48%) of all Likely U.S. Voters believe most reporters are biased against the president-elect. Only 12% think they are biased for Trump, while 31% feel most reporters try to be fair and balanced.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

A closer look finds that 74% of Republicans and a plurality (47%) of voters not affiliated with either major political party think most reporters are biased against Trump.  Even Democrats think most reporters are more likely to be biased against Trump (26%) than biased for him (16%).

But 47% of voters in President Obama’s party believe most reporters try to be fair and balanced, a view shared by 29% of unaffiliateds and only 15% of GOP voters.

Among all voters, just 28% rate the media coverage of Trump as good or excellent. Forty-one percent (41%) consider the news coverage of the president-elect to be poor. This is comparable to attitudes about the coverage of the presidential contest between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Fifty percent (50%) of voters said in July that they expected most reporters to help Clinton. Just 11% thought they were more likely to help Trump.

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The national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on January 2, 2017. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Most voters turn to cable news for political coverage, and Fox News remains the top channel for these viewers. But voters in general still remain dubious about much of the political news they are getting.

Among voters who don’t trust the political news they are getting, 55% think most reporters are biased against Trump. Forty-five percent (45%) of voters who do trust political news feel that way, too, but nearly as many (40%) say that most reporters are fair and balanced.

Forty-six percent (46%) of both Republican and unaffiliated voters rate the media coverage of the president-elect as poor, compared to 32% of Democrats.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job Obama is doing think most reporters try to be fair and balanced. Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of the job the president is doing, 89% feel most reporters are biased against Trump.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of voters who turn to Fox News for political coverage think most reporters are biased against the president-elect. Forty-six percent (46%) of CNN watchers and 60% of those who prefer MSNBC for political news believe most reporters try to be fair and balanced.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of all voters say the media, not the candidates, set the agenda in the presidential campaign, and 74% believe the media was more interested in controversy than in the issues.

Most also didn’t trust media fact-checking during the campaign.

After Clinton alleged in the second presidential debate that Russian hackers were trying to influence the election, 56% of voters said it was more likely that many in the media were working to get Clinton elected than that the Russian government was working to get Trump elected.

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

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