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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

Former D.C. Guard alleges Army Generals lied about Jan. 6 response

Members of the National Guard and Capitol police keep a small group of pro-Trump demonstrators away from the Capitol following the insurrection on Jan. 6. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A former D.C. National Guard official has alleged that top Army generals "lied" to Congress in their testimony on the U.S. Capitol riot, Politico first reported Monday.

The big picture: Col. Earl Matthews, who was serving on Jan. 6, alleges in a memo that the official version on the military response is "worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist" and that the Pentagon inspector general's November report on it features "myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis."

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress hunts for shortcut to pass defense funding, debt limit combo

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to his office Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The scramble in Congress to pass the National Defense Authorization Act is being complicated by an effort to tie it to a needed hike in the federal debt limit.

Why it matters: The House and Senate are rapidly coming up against a series of deadlines they must address before the end of the year — or risk disrupting crucial military funding and upending the economy. Congressional leaders are now hoping they can knock out both "must-pass" priorities in one, complex swoop.