Survey: Voters think most reporters are liberal, try to help candidates they favor

Rasmussen Reports
Rasmussen Reports, in a telephone survey conducted earlier this week, found that male voters are more skeptical than women voters of reporters’ integrity and also feel more strongly that the average reporter is more liberal than they are. Younger voters are less likely then their elders to think reporters are more liberal. More findings:

* 67 percent of likely voters believe that most reporters, when covering a politician campaign, try to help the candidate they want to win; 21 percent think most reporters put the emphasis instead on trying to offer unbiased coverage. Twelve percent aren’t sure.

* 48 percent believe that most reporters would hide any damaging information they learned to help the candidate they wanted to win. Twenty-nine percent disagree and 23 percent aren’t sure.

* 46 percent of voters feel that the average reporter is more liberal than they are. Eighteen percent say the average reporter is more conservative than they are, while 22 percent think their views are about the same. Fourteen percent are undecided.

* 78 percent of political conservatives think the average reporter is more liberal than they are. Among liberals, 38 percent think the average reporter is more conservative than they are, while 31 percent believe their views are about the same.

The Washington Post’s Jason Horowitz wrote about the Rasmussen Reports founder last June:

A co-founder of the sports network ESPN and former play-by-play broadcaster, Scott Rasmussen is an articulate and frequent guest on Fox News and other outlets, where his nominally nonpartisan data is often cited to support Republican talking points. In October, he hired his own communications director to handle the daily deluge of press calls.

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  • Elaine Clisham

    RASMUSSEN??? Really? Ever read what a *respected* pollster has to say about them?

  • Anonymous

    You obviously have not been paying much attention to the news lately.  When you have the MSM covering the vacation of Sarah Palin the way they have, including paparazzi-style chasing of her van, and you have the assignment of reporters to the emails released by the state of Alaska, then it is obvious that the MSM is slanted.  Add to that the almost total lack of investigation of the background of the president going back to when he first started running for the office and still ongoing.  In addition add the reporting on Bush during the 2004 election by the major networks which backfired thanks to the bloggers who followed up and proved that it was all a lie.  The public has seen the results of reporting when they have been interviewed and then find that what is reported has almost nothing in common with what went on in the interview.  The result is that the public has seen the bias for themselves to the point that lately the profession of journalism is ranked on about the same level as that of bad used car salesmen and ambulance chasing lawyers and pitchmen on TV.

  • Rod Paul

    LMAO – and you accuse others of monoculture? The only group more hidebound and pig-headed than the post-Vietnam military reporters was the post-Vietnam military staffers, especially PAOs.

    How do I know? Been on both sides for decades, including most of the ’70s and early ’80 on active duty, a couple more decades in the Reserves and almost 30 years as a military reporter, editor and – for a few years now – in a PAO shop myself.

  • Anonymous


    In fact, I spent seven years as an Air Force PIO in the 1970s interacting with media types who clearly regarded me and the institution I represented with naked contempt.

  • Rod Paul

    Never spent five minutes in a newsroom, have you?

  • Rod Paul

    I think overall, your percentage of non-liberals is too low – when you take into account smaller metros and mid-sized and smaller dailies, etc. Philosopihcal (as opposed to party type) libertarians probably outnumber conservatives by a wide margin.

    Most reporters quickly become cynical about government and politicians and their ability to do anything positive, regardless of their political leanings coming into the business.

    And certainly the majority of “fly over country” markets have decidedly conservative, pro-business editorial stances.

    These kinds of polls are skewed by the perceptions of the few Big papers – and even more so, TV news.

  • Anonymous

    Steeped as they are in an ideological monoculture, of course journalists are incapable of recognizing their own cultural and political biases. Isn’t it long past time the profession opened itself up to true “diversity?”

    Consistently and systematically ignoring, or showing open contempt, for the values, experiences and lifestyles of more than half your potential market is not exactly a viable business model for an industry in decline.

  • Anonymous

    Worth noting that Rasmussen conducts automated phone polling and doesn’t appear to have provided respondents any definition of “reporter.” Without one, I’d contend the poll is basically worthless because you have no idea who or what those responding considered to be a  reporter, though it’s highly likely their conception goes far beyond that of conventional journalism reporters to include commentators, TV show hosts, bloggers, etc.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, Rod — except for that bit about being hard on polls they like. A very small minority of reporters go after pols they DON’T like, thus helping the candidates they prefer. I have seen this happen but it is rare and not tolerated when found out. Newsrooms are also no doubt plurality liberal, with independent/no opinion coming in 2nd. I’d say libertarians and conservatives like me account for no more than 8 or 10 percent of the newsroom staffs of the nation.

  • Rod Paul

    Not surprising, but largely off-base. Over a couple decades reporting and editing, my experience has been that reporters tend to be harder on politicians they like, especially if they uncover any kind of damaging information.

    And with very rare exceptions, a front page scoop trumps political leanings – right, left or otherwise.