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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Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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