More than seven in ten Americans think the media are “dividing Americans” and spread “hate and misunderstanding,” according to a new poll.
In a poll conducted November 7-8, Zogby Analytics asked 1,024 likely voters “Do you agree or disagree: The mainstream media has played a major role in dividing Americans along racial, gender and political lines. This has led to a spread of hate and misunderstanding among some people.”
Some 72% said they “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree.” Another 29% said they “somewhat disagree” or “strongly disagree.”
But President Trump didn’t fare too well in the poll, either. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they agreed that he “has played a major role in dividing Americans,” while just one-third disagreed.
“… [M]ajorities of voters in many of the same groups that felt the mainstream media spreads hate and misunderstanding, also felt that President Trump is responsible for the spread of hate and misunderstanding, but more voters overall, and in most sub-groups, blame the media slightly more!” Zogby wrote.
“The intense feelings about the mainstream media, and the political divide they play a role in, were common among many different demographics,” Zogby noted, “but there were instances where some groups agreed or disagreed more or less.
There were also some instances of demographics agreeing with each other, which rarely do, when it comes to politics and social issues. Men (70% agree) and women (73% agree) were very much in agreement (strongly and somewhat agree combined) about the role the mainstream media plays in dividing the public and spreading hate.
While both genders were in agreement, generational age groups had an inverse relationship. Interestingly, younger voters age 18-24 and age 18-29 (81-82% strongly and somewhat agree/18-19% strongly and somewhat disagree) were much more likely to blame the media for spreading hate and misunderstanding than older voters age 65+ (62% strongly and somewhat agree/38% strongly and somewhat disagree) and age 70+ (67% strongly and somewhat agree/33% strongly and somewhat disagree).
Zogby also found that party identification played a role in the views of those surveyed: 94% of Republicans agreed that the media sows division while just 51% of Democrats agreed.
Based on the results of the recent midterm election in the U.S., in which the Democrats took back control of the House and the Republicans regained a majority in the Senate, suffice it to say, Americans are politically divided. The country is also divided as to who should shoulder the blame: There are some people who feel racial, gender, and political issues are made worse by the coverage of the mainstream media, while there are others who feel the divide we currently suffer from is the result of President Trump’s rhetoric.