What Republicans Think These Days

We have some interesting results from a YouGov poll released last week. First up, here are the number of Republicans who trust Donald Trump more than various news sources:

Republicans trust Trump by enormous margins over mainstream news sources. They trust Trump by enormous margins over conservative news sources. And they even trust Trump by 2:1 over Fox News (54 percent vs. 23 percent).

In other words, reporting what Trump does hardly has any effect. In fact, it probably helps Trump since most Republicans figure it’s just more lies and fake news designed to make their guy look bad. As a result, here are a few thing Republicans believe:

  • 44 percent say Obamacare has been a “complete” failure.
  • 47 percent explicitly say that punishing biased news outlets is more important than protecting freedom of the press.
  • 28 percent approve of creating a single-payer system for the US, even though only 15 percent approve of Obamacare.
  • 54 percent think the FBI investigation of Trump is a politically motivated attempt to embarrass him, and 65 percent approve of Trump’s firing of James Comey.
  • 68 percent think Trump understands important issues “in detail.”

How do you fight stuff like that if the usual news outlets are now almost entirely untrusted by Trump voters? Maybe there’s no way. Maybe all you can do is pick off some of the moderates in the middle and leave the hard core Republicans alone to their fantasies.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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