Despite the years of hype over how money is the root of all campaigning evil by the press, the respected polling organization reports voters' belief that there is a bigger problem in political campaigns: media bias...
Voters overwhelmingly believe that politicians will “break the rules to help people who give them a lot of money,” but most say there’s a bigger problem in politics today—media bias.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 55% believe media bias is more of a problem than big campaign contributions. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree and think that campaign cash is a bigger problem.
People believe media bias is a bigger problem even though 63% believe most politicians will break the rules to help campaign contributors. Just 14% believe most politicians would refrain from breaking the rules for a donor. Forty-four percent (44%) say that lobbyists and campaign contributors have too much influence on John McCain’s positions. Forty percent (40%) say the same about Barack Obama.
Just 22% believe it would be a good idea to ban all campaign commercials so that voters could receive information on the campaign only from the news media and the internet. Sixty-six percent (66%) disagree and think that, despite the annoyance factor, it’s better to put up with an election-year barrage of advertising rather than rely on the news media.
An earlier survey found that 49% believe most reporters are trying to help Barack Obama win the election this year. Just 14% believe they’re trying to help McCain. Another survey found that the news you watch says a lot about how you will vote.
Not surprisingly, Republicans are the most likely to see media bias as the bigger problem. Eighty-one percent (81%) of the GOP faithful hold that view. Democrats and unaffiliated voters are more evenly divided. Obama’s Party, by a narrow 50% to 41% margin, say that campaign cash is the bigger issue. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 47% say media bias is the problem while 43% hold the opposite view.
Fifty-three percent (53%) of liberals see campaign contributions as a bigger problem than media bias. Seventy-four percent (74%) of conservatives hold the opposite view. Among the moderates, 49% say media bias is the problem while 42% disagree.
Another survey from earlier this year found that most voters say it is not possible to run for the presidency without the help of lobbyists and special interest groups.
Crosstabs are available to Premium Members only.
Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.
The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.
Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.
This national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on August 8, 2008. The margin of sampling error for each survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
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