More than four in 10 Americans think the news media's coverage of President Trump is too critical, a level of dissatisfaction that has remained remarkably consistent since Trump took office, according to an Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Expand chart
Data: SurveyMonkey poll conducted May 1-4, 2018. Poll Methodology; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Why it matters: Partisan polarization about the fairness of media coverage appears to be just as locked in as it was after the 2016 election. Most Republicans (87%) say coverage is "too critical" — exactly the same as in a Feb. 2017 poll asking the same question.

The numbers that matter:

  • Overall, 45% say the way the news media has covered Trump during his time in office has been too critical. 24% say it's not critical enough, and 27% say it has been fair.
    • Those numbers are all within two percentage points of answers in a February 2017 poll, just a few weeks after Trump's inauguration, per SurveyMonkey.
  • While 87% of Republicans now say coverage has been "too critical," about as many Democrats (86% now, compared to 88% in 2017) say coverage has been either fair or not critical enough.
  • Independents have inched up in believing coverage has not been critical enough (31% say so now, versus 25% in 2017).

Trust in media: Americans are also consistent in their trust of major media outlets versus Trump. The results below are all within a single percentage point of the measures taken in a June Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

  • Slightly more Americans trust CNN (49%) than Trump (43%).
  • 52% say they trust the Washington Post and New York Times more than Trump (42%).
  • The major TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) fare exactly the same as they did last year, with 52% trusting them more than Trump (41%).

The Russia story: This is an area showing a slight uptick in Trump's favor since a May/June SurveyMonkey 2017 poll.

  • Slightly more (51%) now say the news media gives too much attention to Trump's relationship with Russia, whereas slightly less (45%) say the media pays too little or the right amount of attention to the situation.
  • Nearly a year ago, Americans were almost evenly divided (48% vs 49%) on this question.

Methodology: This new Axios/SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted May 1-4, 2018 among 2,807 adults in the United States. Respondents were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. Crosstabs available here.

Go deeper

20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.