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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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