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Monday, July 21, 2008

Plurality Of Americans Believe Journalists Are Trying To Help Barack Obama Win

49 percent of American voters believe that reporters are trying to help Barack Obama win the November elections. That is 5 percentage points higher than the data from the month before.
Added to the data compiled by Rasmussen showing that 49 percent of American voters believe that journalists are actively trying to help Barack Obama win the presidential election, it also shows that 45 percent of voters also feel that reporters will "hide information" if they feel it will hurt the candidate they favor.

30 percent disagree with that assessment and 25 percent are not sure.

Slightly less that a quarter of voters (24 percent) believe that reporters try to be objective.

A plurality of Democrats—37%-- say most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of the campaign. Twenty-seven percent (27%) believe most reporters are trying to help Obama and 21% in Obama’s party think reporters are trying to help McCain.

Among Republicans, 78% believe reporters are trying to help Obama and 10% see most offering unbiased coverage.

As for unaffiliated voters, 50% see a pro-Obama bias and 21% see unbiased coverage. Just 12% of those not affiliated with either major party believe the reporters are trying to help McCain.

In contrast with this, only 14 percent of voters think that reporters are trying to help John McCain.

Half of the Democrats trust the information they read in the media and among Republicans and unaffiliated (neither Democrat or Republicans) the word of family and friends is trusted more than what the media reports.

These results are consistent with earlier surveys finding that large segments of the population believe the media is biased.

A separate survey done by Rasmussen shows that 50 percent of voters believe that the media deliberately tries to make the economy sound worse than it is and that a plurality (41 percent) believe that reporters also try to make the war in Iraq appear "worse that it really is". 26 percent say reporters have made it look better than reality and 25 percent think they’ve portrayed it accurately.

[Update] A CBS report confirms these findings as they show that "the Project For Excellence In Journalism took a weekly look at 300 political stories in newspapers, magazines and television. In 77 percent of the stories, Obama played an important role, and 51 percent featured McCain. "

In looking at the report itself from the Project For Excellence In Journalism, I see the number for McCain has dropped as Obama's coverage has remained the same.

One other trend to emerge last week was that Democrat Obama again received more coverage than Republican McCain. Obama was at least a significant presence in fully 77% of the campaign stories studied, compared with 48% for McCain.

This confirms the Rasmussen findings.