A majority of Republicans said they believed the news media is “the enemy of the people” rather than “an important part of democracy” in a poll released Tuesday.
The poll from Quinnipiac University showed 51% of GOP respondents identified with President Donald Trump’s “enemy of the people” line – a result that reflected an ongoing partisan breakdown on the validity of the press.
Tuesday’s poll showed 36% of GOP respondents called the news media “an important part of democracy,” a much smaller share than any other group listed out by Quinnipiac. Only 5% of Democrats and 24% of independents called the news media “the enemy of the people” compared to 91% of Democrats and 65% of independents who said it was “an important part of democracy.”
Overall, Tuesday’s poll showed 26% of respondents said the news media is “the enemy of the people” and 65% said it is “an important part of democracy,” with the remaining 10% saying neither or “don’t know.”
Quinnipiac took its poll of 1,175 voters from August 9-13 and said the results have a margin of error plus/minus 3.4 percentage points.
The overall numbers have held somewhat steady over the past few months of Quinnipiac asking the same question about the news media, mirroring Trump’s frequent declarations about “fake news” as the enemy of the people.
A July release from Quinnipiac had GOP respondents split with 45% saying “enemy of the people” and 44% saying “part of democracy,” while a June poll had 42% of Republicans saying “enemy of the people” and 35% saying “part of democracy.”
An April poll showed GOP respondents at roughly the same position as Tuesday’s release, with 51% of Republicans saying “enemy of the people” and 37% saying “part of democracy.”
A Quinnipiac poll from March 2017 used different phrasing, asking respondents if they agreed or disagreed with Trump’s “statement that certain news organizations are the enemy of the American people.” This alternative phrasing solicited largely similar responses overall as well as among partisan and demographic breakdowns, but its support among Republicans was much higher than the question used in Tuesday’s poll, with 81% of Republicans saying they agreed with Trump and only 17% saying they disagreed.