Sunday, October 23, 2016

Media Trust And The 2016 Presidential Election

The Economist / YouGov Poll asked respondents if they trusted the political media. Their survey was done between October 15th and 18th of a random national sample of 1,300 voters, and has a 3.9 point margin of error.

The least trusted media was Breitbart (a right-wing web site), which had a -11 trust rating. Next was Fox News, which had an even split between those trusting and distrusting it. The most trusted were -- Wall Street Journal (+20), New York Times (+13), Washington Post (+12), CNN (+7), Huffington Post (+6), and MSNBC (+2).

But none of those political news entities was trusted by a majority of Americans (50% or more). None was able to get more than 44% of the people's trust.

Making matters worse for the media is the fact that most people thinking they've done a pretty poor job of covering this year's presidential election. About 55% say they've done a worse job than in past elections, while only 11% say they've done a better job. And that attitude crosses party lines -- with a plurality of Democrats (37%), a majority of Independents (57%), and a majority of Republicans (75%) all saying that.

Oddly enough though, while the public doesn't have a lot of trust in the media and think they've done a poor job of covering the election, most believe the media when they fact-check the statements and claims of politicians (55% of public believes this). It is only the Republicans that don't believe the fact-checkers. That's no surprise, since their presidential candidate tells more lies and makes more outrageous claims than any other candidate in the election.

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