Poll: Voters say Trump is unfair to the media

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A majority of voters believe that the media treats President Trump fairly and say that it’s the president who is unfair in his attacks against the media, according to a new poll.

The latest Harvard CAPS-Harris survey finds that 54 percent believe that the mainstream media treats Trump fairly. However, there is a big split on political identification.

Nearly 80 percent of Republicans say the media is unfair to Trump, while 84 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents believe the president does get a fair shake from the press.

And 59 percent say Trump treats the mainstream media unfairly, including 62 percent of independents.


“At 54/46, the public is divided on whether the media is fair to President Trump, as these numbers mirror his job approval,” said Harvard CAPS-Harris co-director Mark Penn. “But Trump’s unorthodox blasts at the media prompt most to say he is unfair to them.”

Still, 68 percent of voters say that there is “a lot” of fake news in the mainstream media and 84 percent say it’s difficult to know what online news to believe.

The survey found that Fox News Channel is the go-to source for news for most voters, who were asked to give their top three most-watched or visited programs and outlets.

Thirty percent said Fox News, followed by local news and CNN at 26 percent each. NBC News came in at 21 percent, followed by ABC at 20, CBS at 18 and The New York Times at 10 percent. MSNBC, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and NPR all polled in the single-digits.

Fox News is by far the most popular outlet among Republicans, with 48 percent tapping it as their top source. Local news came in a distant second place among Republicans at 28 percent.

Among Democrats, CNN topped the list at 34 percent, followed by ABC at 26 percent and local news and NBC at 24 percent apiece.

CNN is also tops among independents, with 31 percent saying they go to the network for news. Fox News was the second choice for independents, with 27 percent naming it, while local news came in third, with 25 percent.

“People have become siloed in their news watching and although Fox is number one, the combined strength of the other media outweighs Fox in media consumption,” Penn said.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris online survey of 1,934 registered voters was conducted Feb. 16-19. The partisan breakdown of respondents is 37 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 29 percent independent and 4 percent other.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll throughout 2018. 

The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Fake News Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll media
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