Updated Jun 27, 2018

92% of Republicans think media intentionally reports fake news

Nearly all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (92%) say that traditional news outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll. Democrats and non-leaning independents also feel this way, but not nearly to the same extent.

Expand chart
Data: SurveyMonkey poll conducted June 15-19, 2018. Poll methodology; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: The data shows that trust in the media is heavily influenced by partisan politics, with Republicans more skeptical of mainstream media than their Democratic and independent counterparts. Other studies from Gallup and Pew Research Center have drawn similar conclusions.

Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily morning newsletter, Axios AM. 

Across the board, trust in traditional news outlets continues to sink, with the overwhelming majority of Americans (70%) saying that "traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading."

  • President Trump has exacerbated the skepticism amongst hard-line conservatives with polarizing language (and tweets) about the mainstream media being "fake news."

Bad intentions: Among those who think traditional news outlets report false news, most think they do so intentionally.

  • More than two-thirds (65%) say fake news is usually reported because “people have an agenda.”
  • Roughly one-third (30%) believe such information is shared due to laziness or “poor fact-checking.”
  • Hardly anyone (3%) thinks that fake news makes headlines by accident.  

Most people say they can spot a fake piece of news. And while Republicans are much less likely to trust that traditional news sources publish real news, they and Democrats are both mostly confident, 78% and 73%, respectively, in their ability to identify whether a piece of news as fake.

When it comes to vetting news sources, roughly half of both parties say they “stick to news sources they trust.” However, Democrats are more likely to take additional steps to verify what they’ve read than Republicans, according to survey responses.

  • More than half of Democrats (57%) say they use Google search to verify facts compared to 48% of Republicans and 55% of independents.
  • Nearly half of Democrats (43%) say they use a fact-checking website (e.g., FactCheck.org or Snopes.com) to verify facts compared to 30% of Republicans and 29% of independents.
  • Nearly half of Democrats (44%) say they check a website URL to verify its validity compared to 29% of Republicans and 36% of independents.

Go Deeper: A breakdown of which outlets Republicans and Democrats view as biased and unbiased from the Neiman Lab.

Methodology: This SurveyMonkey/Axios online poll was conducted June 15–19 among a total sample of 3,936 adults, selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The full breakdown by demographics is located here.

Go deeper

Trump slams Dems as GOP sues California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,383,582 — Total deaths: 344,077 — Total recoveries — 2,158,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,640,972 — Total deaths: 97,679 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.