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Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Star Tribune via Getty Images

The percentage of Republicans who say they trust national news organizations has been cut in half over the past five years, according to a new study from Pew Research Center.

Why it matters: The party's trust in media starting dropping when President Trump took office, but has plummeted much more dramatically in the Biden era.

Details: Prior to the Trump administration, both parties had a great deal of trust in the national media, according to Pew. But while Democrats' trust in the national, local and social media continues to hold steady, Republicans' trust in those same institutions has sharply declined.

  • Only 35% of Republicans today say that they trust national news organizations, compared to 70% in 2016.
  • Conservative trust in national news organizations has fallen by 14 percentage points since late 2019, compared to single-digit percentage point drops each year during the Trump era.
  • While Republicans tend to have a higher levels of trust in local outlets, they still trust local media far less than their Democratic counterparts.
  • Both parties have little trust in social media platforms, but about half as many Republicans say they trust the information they get from social media compared to Democrats.

Be smart: Pew's findings echo a similar long-term study from Gallup last year, which found that Democrats' trust in mass media had grown to a near-record high during the Trump era, while Republicans' sunk to an all-time low.

The big picture: The polarization of trust in the media presents one of the most clear and troubling signs for American democracy.

  • While the gap has been widening since the early 2000s, the major shift in Republicans' attitudes in the past five years points to increasing levels of partisanship and division in society.

Go deeper

Sep 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats plot debt-limit options

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer leave the U.S. Capitol this week. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democratic leadership in the House and Senate are working on a short-term funding bill — which needs to pass before Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — that includes a debt-limit increase.

Why it matters: The country will default on its debt in October for the first time in U.S. history if Congress doesn't increase the federal debt limit. Republicans and Democrats have entered a standoff — daring the other side to blink.

Sep 15, 2021 - World

Trump officials aim to turn GOP against Afghan refugees

Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice via Getty Images

A handful of former Trump officials are making a concerted effort to amass opposition to Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban, AP reports.

Why it matters: In media appearances, position papers and meetings with GOP lawmakers, they're crafting a narrative that hinges on the anti-immigrant sentiment that defined former President Trump's rise and overall discontent with the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.