Dem pollster: Republicans are following Trump's lead on the media, Russia

Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg said Wednesday that Republicans are following President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis MORE's lead on attitudes toward the news media.

"I wouldn't overestimate people's knowledge. I think they're following the president's lead," Greenberg told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." "You now have on a whole set of measures, this kind of bloc, it's not all Republicans, but a bloc of Republicans that will agree with Trump no matter what."

Greenberg was responding to a recent Ipsos public opinion survey that found 43 percent of Republicans said Trump should have the authority to shut down media outlets that engage in bad behavior. 

Trump frequently slams the news media in campaign rallies and on Twitter, escalating his attacks recently by referring to the press as the "enemy of the people." 

Greenberg said the survey's results point to a bloc of Republicans who are willing to follow Trump's lead on issues, no matter what their own personal stances are.  

"You see for example, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's ratings have gone up with certain Republican voters, which is so ironic in the party of Ronald Reagan that Putin does better among Republicans than Democrats," she continued. 

A Gallup poll conducted last month found that number of Republicans who said Russia was "an ally or friendly" toward the U.S. increased from 22 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2018. 

Republican pollster Jim Hobart said he agreed with Greenberg, noting that loyalty to Trump on the issue among Republicans is indicative of polarization. 

"If you did a poll, and you asked 'should Fox News be shut down?' I wouldn't be surprised if you got 43 percent of Democrats who said yes," he said. 

— Julia Manchester