Although the results of a new poll may not be surprising to NewsBusters readers, it is nonetheless shocking to actually see it in print: 68 percent of Americans "believe most reporters try to help the candidate that they want to win."
Even more predictable given how obvious it's been, a majority of respondents also felt Barack Obama has gotten the best press coverage so far during the campaign.
Such are the findings of a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey just announced moments ago (emphasis added throughout):
Just 17% of voters nationwide believe that most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of election campaigns. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that four times as many—68%--believe most reporters try to help the candidate that they want to win.
The perception that reporters are advocates rather than observers is held by 82% of Republicans, 56% of Democrats, and 69% of voters not affiliated with either major party. The skepticism about reporters cuts across income, racial, gender, and age barriers.
As for who they're in the tank for:
Voters have little doubt as to who is benefitting from the media coverage this year—Barack Obama. Fifty-four percent (54%) say Obama has gotten the best coverage so far. Twenty-two percent (22%) say McCain has received the most favorable coverage while 14% say that Hillary got the best treatment.
And, respondents seem very concerned about how such bias will impact the upcoming elections:
Looking ahead to the fall campaign, 44% believe most reporters will try to help Obama while only 13% believe that most will try to help McCain. Twenty-four percent (24%) are optimistic enough to believe that most reporters will try to offer unbiased coverage.
Even Democrats tend to believe their candidate will receive better treatment—27% of those in Obama’s party believe most reporters will try to help him win while only 16% believe they will help McCain. A plurality of Democrats—34%--believe most reporters will be unbiased.
Among unaffiliated voters, 44% believe reporters will try to help Obama and 14% believe they will try to help McCain. Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans expect Obama to receive preferential treatment while only 8% believe reporters will try to help McCain.
Press members around the country should be ashamed of these findings...assuming humility is something such folks possess.