Poll: Democrats view media's coverage of coronavirus outbreak more favorably than Republicans, Independents

Democrats are 12 percent more likely to approve of the way the media has been covering the coronavirus outbreak than Republicans, a new Hill/HarrisX poll finds.

Sixty-two percent of Democratic voters said they approve of the media's coverage while Republican voters are equally split, with 50 percent of Republicans approving of coverage and 50 percent disapproving. 

Only 43 percent of Independent voters approved of the COVID-19 media coverage. 

As a whole, voters were almost equally split on how they viewed media coverage on the virus, with 52 percent of voters approving of the coverage and 47 of voters disapproving. 

Nancy Zdunkewicz, Senior Pollster at Change Research, told The Hill that she was not surprised about the partisan divide that appeared in the polling data. 

"I'm not surprised to see Democrats are more likely to approve of the media's handling of the coronavirus outbreak than Republicans and that independents are even more skeptical, they are more inclined to dislike institutions," she said.  

The survey also found an age gap present.

A majority of younger voters in the poll disapproved of the way the media has been covering the coronavirus outbreak, while older voters viewed the coverage more favorably.

Fifty-eight percent of voters aged 18 to 34 said they disapproved of the media's coverage while voters 35 and older viewed the coverage favorably at over 50 percent support. 

"Similarly in our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus tracker, where young people, specifically those under 30, showed a greater distrust of a variety of media outlets, like cable news, national news networks, cable TV," Mallory Newall, Director of Research at Ipsos Public Affairs told The Hill.

"The one or two areas that young people do seem to trust are the World Health Organization and the CDC. So, what that tells me, both with polling that The Hill has released and our Axils-Ipsos polling, is that young people are first and foremost very concerned about the outbreak but also they want to hear directly from the experts," she added.

Though preliminary studies of the disease found it to be more dangers for older adults, a new study suggests young people could also be at risk for serious illness caused by the virus. 

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 1,001 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Gabriela Schulte