According to a new poll by TIPP, Americans view the media as the number one “opposition party” to President Donald Trump.
Fifty-five percent of the public told TIPP that they are “weary from the media’s persistently negative coverage of President Trump,” and 54 percent say the news media “has assumed the role of the opposition party, constantly opposing the president and his policies at every turn,” according to an article in Investors Business Daily, which sponsored the TIPP poll.
This comes after Bannon, chief strategist, had went out and called the media, the “opposition party” a few months ago. President Trump also often tweets about the media being “fake news” and calling them out for bogus articles.
The mainstream media’s open hostility to President Trump may be starting to backfire, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.
The poll found that 55% of the public says they’ve grown “weary from the media’s persistently negative coverage of President Trump.” A roughly equal share (54%) also believe that the news media “has assumed the role of the opposition party, constantly opposing the president and his policies at every turn.”
Not surprisingly, Republicans overwhelmingly hold these views (88% say they’re tired of the relentless negativity), but the media’s attacks are also turning off independents (55% of whom say they’re weary of the negative coverage) and moderates (54% of whom are weary). Most also believe that the press has assumed the role of the opposition party.
The poll, conducted from Feb. 24 through March 4, included 909 responses who were surveyed using live interviewers on cellphone and landlines. It has a margin of error of +/‐ 3.3 percentage points.
The results are understandable, given the unusually hostile relationship the press has with Trump.
A study by the nonpartisan group Media Tenor found that only 3% of network news stories in the first month of the Trump administration could be described as positive. Of the rest, 43% were deemed negative, and 54% neutral. That’s a stark contrast to the overwhelmingly positive coverage of the early Obama administration, despite the fact that Obama had his own share of early stumbles.
Despite the public’s disdain for it, however, the hostile tenor of news coverage has nevertheless managed to push Trump’s approval ratings to historic lows.
The latest poll finds that just 41% of the public approves of the job Trump is doing (down from 42% last month), while 53% disapprove (up from 48%). Half of independents disapprove of Trump’s job performance, up from 47% last month, as do one in 10 Republicans (up from 6%).
The IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index shows Trump at 44.6, which is down from last month’s 49.2 and below President Obama’s 46.9 average for his second term.
The poll was largely completed before Trump’s well-received address to Congress last Tuesday. But the speech clearly had a positive impact on the public’s view of the president. Of the 653 surveyed before the speech, just 39.5% approved of the job he is doing. Of the 256 polled after the speech, his approval rating climbed to 46.1% — a 6.6 point bump. His disapproval numbers went from 54.5% before to 47.5% after.
Despite Trump’s low approval numbers, the public backs most of his policies.
The poll found that 57% back Trump’s plan to hire 10,000 more immigration agents; 58% support the deportation of illegal immigrants charged with a crime, even if they haven’t been convicted; 53% back Trump’s call to withhold federal aid to “sanctuary cities.”
On Trump’s Supreme Court pick, far more think Congress should approve Neil Gorsuch to fill Justice Scalia’s seat (48%) than say he should be defeated (31%).
Last month’s survey found that a majority backed of Trump’s temporary halt on refugees coming into the U.S. suspension of refugees. It also found high levels of confidence that Trump would fulfill his campaign promises to bring manufacturing jobs back, simplifying the tax code, and building a wall and securing the border.
Meanwhile, 42% say Trump is providing strong leadership for the country, which is higher than the 40% Obama got last October.
The one area of disagreement is on ObamaCare. Only 38% say they back repealing the law, which is down somewhat from last month’s 42%. More now say it should be expanded (39%), which is up from 34% last month. Other polls have shown a recent increase in approval rates for ObamaCare, although a survey of those actually enrolled found a huge drop in satisfaction with their existing ObamaCare plans.