Poll: Majority of Republicans agree media is ‘enemy of the people’
A majority of Republicans agree with President Trump’s charge that the news media is “the enemy of the American people,” according to a poll released Tuesday.
The Quinnipiac poll shows a deep partisan divide on the issue, with 51 percent of Republicans surveyed agreeing with Trump’s frequent line rather than viewing the media as an important component of a democracy, while just 5 percent of Democratic and 24 percent of independent respondents felt the same way.
A poll from Ipsos asking the same question on Aug. 7 showed a similar result on the Republican side, with 48 percent of Republicans surveyed saying they believed the media is the people’s enemy. Twelve percent of Democrats polled and 26 percent of independents in the sample agreed with the enemy perspective.
Trump’s frequent attacks on the media have drawn fire. Other top administration officials, from White House counselor Kellyanne Conway to daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, both stated in separate interviews earlier this month they they don’t believe the press is the enemy of the people.
The president responded on Aug. 2, after Ivanka Trump’s comment, by stating “fake news,” which is a “large percentage of the media,” from his perspective, is the enemy of the people.
They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2018
The poll also showed that 44 percent of American voters say that Trump’s attacks on the news media will lead to violence against those who work in the industry, with 52 percent saying they aren’t worried. This question again broke down among party lines, with 76 percent of Democrats saying they are concerned abut violence toward the news media and 80 percent of Republicans saying they aren’t.
“The media, so frequently excoriated by the White House, is not considered an enemy of the people. Far from it,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling.
The poll comes one week after 43 percent of Republicans in a poll said the president “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.”
The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,175 voters in the U.S. between Aug. 9 and 13, with a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.