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Just 29% Think Trump Can Improve Relations With the Media

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters say Trump is more to blame for his troubled relationship with most traditional media outlets. Forty-one percent (41%) think the media is more to blame. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This shows little change from January prior to Trump’s inauguration.

As is generally the case with questions about the president, however, there's a sharp partisan difference of opinion. While 82% of Democrats blame the president for his bad media relations, 66% of Republicans think the media is more to blame. Voters not affiliated with either major party are evenly divided.

In January, 63% of all voters said Trump should try to improve his relationship with the traditional media, but just 29% now believe that's possible. Fifty percent (50%) think it is impossible for Trump to mend his relationship with his media opponents. Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 17-18, 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.

Forty-four percent (44%) of 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.

The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to believe the media is more to blame for Trump's troubled relationship with most traditional media outlets. Senior citizens are the least likely to think the president can do anything about it.

Republicans (35%) are only slightly more optimistic than Democrats (24%) and unaffiliated voters (30%) that it’s possible for Trump to repair his relationship with his media opponents.

Ninety-one percent (91%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job the president is doing blame the media for their troubled relationship. Ninety-five percent (95%) of those who Strongly Disapprove of Trump's job performance blame him.

But no matter whether voters blame the president or the media for their troubled relations, there's general agreement that it's not possible for Trump to fix things.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of GOP voters think the media is more interested in creating controversies when it comes to Trump and the new Congress, while just as many Democrats (66%) believe the media is more interested in helping the public understand the issues.

At the beginning of the year, voters remained critical of the news coverage of Trump and said the media was still showing the same bias against him that it displayed during the presidential campaign.

Critical of the press coverage he has been getting, the president earlier this year called some in the media "enemies of the people." Most Republicans remain angry at the media and strongly support calling out specific members of the press by name, while Democrats and unaffiliated voters are far less critical of the media than they've been in the past.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans believe most major news organizations are more concerned with getting a story first than with getting it right.

A plurality (44%) of voters continues to believe the average reporter is more liberal than they are. Just 17% say that reporter is more conservative, while 24% think the average reporter is about the same as they are ideologically. These perceptions have changed little over the years.

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

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