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The Winner of the 1st Annual Fake News Trophy Is …

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Voters agree with President Trump that so-called “fake news” is a serious problem in America today. If a Fake News Trophy were to be awarded this year, the winners should be Fox News or CNN depending on which political party you’re in. 

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters consider fake news a big problem, with 42% who say it’s a Very Big one. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree, but that includes only 16% who believe fake news is not a big problem at all. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Trump suggested earlier this week that the media should award an annual Fake News Award for the worst coverage of his presidency but left Fox News out of the running since it is the only network the president and his supporters believe gives him fair coverage. But 40% of all voters think Fox News should be the winner of the first annual Fake News Trophy.

CNN is in second place with 25% support, followed by MSNBC (9%), ABC (4%), CBS (3%) and NBC (2%). Six percent (6%) say the award should go to someone else, and 11% are undecided.

A closer look finds that while 53% of Democrats and a plurality (42%) of voters not affiliated with either major party declare Fox News the winner, just 24% of Republicans agree. Forty percent (40%) of GOP voters opt instead for CNN, a view shared by just 13% of Democrats and 24% of unaffiliateds.

Republicans and unaffiliated voters are more critical of MSNBC than Democrats are, too. Views of the other networks are more comparable among the three groups.

Little changed from earlier this year are the 51% of all voters who think the current media coverage of political issues and events is worse than it has been in the past. Just 19% say the coverage is better, while 27% rate it as about the same.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 28-29, 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.  

Voters admit America is a more divided place these days, and Trump supporters overwhelmingly agree with the president that the media is to blame. But Trump opponents just as strongly disagree.

Most voters in nearly every demographic category consider fake news a big problem. But Democratic constituencies – women, blacks, those under 40 – are less likely than GOP constituencies like men, whites and older voters  to see it as a Very Big problem.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of Republicans view fake news as a Very Big problem, compared to only 26% of Democrats and 41% of unaffiliated voters. But then GOP voters are also far more likely than the others to believe that current media coverage of political issues and events is worse than it has been in the past.

Voters who view political coverage as worse are a lot more likely than the others to see fake news as a big problem.

Among voters who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing, 85% say fake news is a Very Big problem; 53% think CNN should win the first annual Fake News Trophy, while 23% say that honor should go to MSNBC. Just 21% of voters who Strongly Disapprove of the president’s job performance regard fake news as a Very Big problem. Among these voters, 67% say Fox News should take home the fake news honors, and no one else is even close.

Nearly half of all voters think the media is actively trying to block Trump’s agenda, while just as many said in 2010 that most reporters were trying to help Obama pass his agenda.

Most voters feel Trump is to blame for his bad relationship with the media, but they also don't think there is anything he can do about it. 

Forty-eight percent (48%) of all voters – and 63% of Republicans – don’t think it is possible for the president to ever do anything the media will approve of

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

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