So who’s winning the merry little media war? According to a poll released earlier this week by Marist, the better question might be who’s not losing it. Only 37% put a significant amount of trust into the Trump administration, but that’s still better than the 30% who trust the media significantly.
The bad news for the White House? The FBI, the courts, and the intelligence community are beating both handily (via Newsbusters):
In these hyper-polarized times, there is agreement that there is little respect across the partisan divide in Washington, D.C. Although Democrats are most likely to hold this view, 81%, seven in ten independents, 70%, and nearly two-thirds of Republicans, 65%, agree.
“Searching for consensus in Washington?” asks Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “There’s strong consensus across the board that civility in Washington is on the outs.”
With the exception of the Intelligence Community such as the CIA and the FBI, 60%, and the courts, 60%, there is lackluster trust in the nation’s institutions. Americans divide in the trust they have that elections are fair. 50% have confidence in our voting system and 47% do not. Fewer have confidence in the Trump Administration, 37%, public opinion polls, 35%, the media, 30%, and Congress, 29%. These proportions are little changed from a similar survey released in March.
At 37/30 Trump can be said to be beating the media, but (a) it’s not by all that much, and (b) 37% is not exactly a number to promote. Most of the difference comes at the “great deal ” of trust category, with Trump’s administration getting 14% and the media getting 8%, barely more than statistical noise. Trump’s also doing better than Congress, but that’s not exactly a big accomplishment considering the low marks Congress invariably gets — and besides, it’s his party that controls Capitol Hill anyway.
One can figure out the demographics of Trump trust (supporters 86%, GOP 84%), but who trusts the media more and less? They get significant trust from 56% of Democrats, but only 14% of them trust the media “a great deal.” Only 9% of Republicans trust the media to any significant extent, which is hardly surprising, but only 28% of independents trust the media, which puts them more in line with the GOP. Seventy percent of independents split evenly between “not very much” trust in the media and none at all. Even “soft Democrats” wind up mainly mistrusting the media with a 36/60 rating; “strong Democrats” split 57/39 on trust. The only other majority in the demos are self-described liberals (55/44), and none of these majorities are impressive as the mistrusting majorities in most other demos.
Another odd result: people trust polls slightly more than the media (but slightly less than Trump). Given all of the expressed distrust of polling, and its failures in the past several cycles, a 35% trust rating seems surprising. Again, that mainly comes from Democrats and liberals, which seems doubly odd considering how much false hope they have taken from public-opinion polls over the last two cycles only to see their side suffer ostensibly surprising losses. Perhaps that’s the triumph of hope over experience.