Political Divisions Between Americans Growing Under Trump
President Donald Trump blames the media for fueling a political divide between Americans and, perhaps ironically, Americans are divided in their support for his statement.
American polling company Rasmussen Reports, LLC carried out a national telephone and Internet survey asking Americans if they agreed or disagreed with the statement “If you wanted to discover the source of the division in our country, look no further than the fake news and the crooked media which would rather get ratings and clicks than tell the truth.”
The statement is from President Trump’s recent speech in Arizona, but Rasmussen purposefully left out his name in the survey question. The aim of the survey was to figure out if Americans really believed that the media was to blame for the growing political divide in the country.
It turns out that Americans are divided on whether to blame the media for the divide. Some 43% of the respondents agreed with this statement, while about 51% disagreed.
The division becomes more obvious when Rasmussen brings Trump into the picture. A whopping 92% of the respondents who strongly approve of President Trump believe that the media is responsible for the political polarization in the United States. Meanwhile, 86% of those who strongly disapprove of Trump do not see the “crooked media” as being responsible for politically polarizing America.
Rasmussen also found that the political division became more evident once Americans were asked to reveal their political affiliations. It was found that 69% of Republicans believe that the media is “the source of the division in our country.” On the contrary, 78% of Democrats do not agree with this statement.
Nonetheless, the vast majority of Americans do believe that the media is less diligent than it should be in its reporting. In a separate survey, Rasmussen found that 63% of Americans believe that news organizations are more focused on getting news out first than on getting the facts right.
Regardless of their opinions on whether to blame the media for polarizing the population, the reality is that Americans are more politically divided today than they were under the previous administration.
Rasmussen found in a previous survey that about 59% of Americans thought that America was more divided under Trump in the first few months of his presidency. Meanwhile, about 50% believed the same thing after the eight years of Barrack Obama’s presidency.
“Voters Are Strongly Divided Over Media’s Role in Dividing Us,” Rasmussen Reports, August 29, 2017.