One-third of the swing voting, non-ideological, mushy middle of the American electorate believes the established media is unfairly pulling for Hillary Clinton, while one-in-ten say the media is backing Donald Trump, according to a survey of 2,000 voters by Morning Consult.
Overall, 38 percent of voters believe the established media is biased and is trying to get Hillary Clinton into the White House, according to the survey. Twelve percent of those 2,000 voters believe the media is backing Trump. But that overall result will be dismissed by media boosters as merely a reflection of the nation’s partisan affiliations.
That’s why the views of the less-partisan, not-very-political swing-voters can be used to judge the media’s partisanship in the 2016 election. And that group’s answers show a lopsided conclusion that the media is biased for the big-government, progressive, insider candidate over the New York real estate businessman and populist outsider.
Almost one-quarter of the poll described themselves as moderates, rather than liberal or conservative. Ten percent of those 483 voters say the media is biased towards Trump, and 30 percent said the media is biased towards Clinton. That’s a three-to-one result. Thirty-one percent of these people said the media is fair.
Ten percent of the respondents described themselves as neither Democratic nor Republican — and 10 percent of those 189 voters said the media is pro-Trump while 36 percent said the media is pro-Clinton. That’s an almost four-to-one-result. Eighteen percent of these people said the media is fair.
The survey included 340 men who describe themselves as “independent.” Eleven percent said the media is pro-Trump and 40 percent said the media is pro-Clinton. That’s four-to-one. Twenty-five percent said the media is fair.
The survey included 355 “independent” women, of whom 11 percent said the media is pro-Trump, while 30 percent said the media is pro-Clinton. That’s three-to-one. Twenty-two percent said the media is fair.
The four categories of swing voters overlap, so some voters are double-counted as moderate independents, for example. But each group shares roughly similar views, bolstering the negative judgement of media unfairness. Roughly 30 percent of these groups declined to state their views on the media.
The views of Democrat and GOP partisans are very different.
Seventeen percent of people who support President Barack Obama say the media is boosting Trump, and 21 percent say the media is boosting Clinton. Seven percent of Obama opponents say the media is boosting Trump, and 60 percent say the media is boosting Clinton. Only 15 percent of Obama opponents believe the media is fair, while 19 percent of the Obama supporters believe the media is being fair.
The smallest gap is among Clinton’s supporters. They’re almost evenly split — 16 percent believe the media is helping Trump, while only 19 percent believe the media is on Clinton’s side.
The biggest gap is among Trump’s 752 supporters. Nine percent in the survey say the media is helping Trump, while 66 percent say the media is helping Clinton.