Low popularity seen as reason why media is seen as contributing to partisan rhetoric, says pollster

Pollster Dan Cox said on Monday that the unpopularity of the news media played into why people believe news organizations contribute to partisan rhetoric in the U.S. 

"I think the media is even less popular than Trump," Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

"I think that certainly plays a role in how people are perceiving and assigning responsibility so I think in terms of just putting the blame one place or another, that's part of what's going on there," he continued. 

A new American Barometer survey, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company found that 28 percent of voters said the media is most responsible for lowering the heated rhetoric in the U.S. 

Thirty-nine percent of those polled said Trump was responsible for toning down the rhetoric. 

The poll was conducted amid a series of hate-driven acts last week, including a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Polls show that Americans have negative views of the news media and President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE

Only 14 percent of Americans said they had a "great deal" of confidence in the U.S. media, according to Gallup. 

The Real Clear Politics polling average on Monday showed Trump's disapproval rating at 52.4 percent, while 44.2 percent said they approved of the president. 

— Julia Manchester