Large majority of GOP voters in new poll say media outlets publish 'fake news' for political purposes

The vast majority of Republican respondents to a new poll say that U.S. media outlets publish “fake news” for political purposes.

According to a poll from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, released Tuesday, 86 percent of Republican voters agree that “our nation’s major news organizations publish fake news stories for political purposes.” And nearly half, 45 percent, of Republican respondents rated their agreement with the statement as 10/10 on a scale.

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Among Democrats polled, nearly 7 in 10 — 69 percent — disagree with that statement, and among pure independents, 63 percent disagree.

Though a majority of all respondents, 57 percent, said they agreed with the statement, a summary from the Wason Center noted that “the crisis of confidence in the media is largely being driven by Republicans.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE has long derided top media outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post as “fake news” for publishing negative coverage of him and his administration.

Last week, he said that those papers should have their Pulitzer Prizes revoked for their coverage of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. According to Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution 5 things to watch as Trump, Dems clash over investigations GOP lawmaker: Trump has engaged in multiple actions that 'meet the threshold for impeachment' MORE, Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to prove criminal collusion.

Wason Center Assistant Director Rachel Bitecofer told Courthouse News in an interview that distrust in the press has increased significantly since Trump took office.

“It’s not because of some nut job on fringe radio,” she said. “It’s because for two years the man in the Oval Office, with the presidential seal, has been telling them it’s so.”

Republicans in the Wason Center poll were also more likely than Democrats to say that the opposing party’s views are dangerous. Seventy-one percent of Republicans in the poll agreed that the views of Democrats “threaten the well-being of the country,” compared to 55 percent of Democrats who said the same about the GOP.

The poll was conducted among 1,001 likely 2020 presidential election voters from Feb. 3 to 17, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.