President Donald Trump is not trusted by large swaths of Americans amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, according to new polling data from Monmouth University. Trump has frequently contradicted key public health sources inside and outside of government when it comes to basic questions of dealing with the Coronavirus crisis, and in a situation in which he contradicted with Fox News specifically, a full 48 percent of Democrats said that they would believe Fox and not Trump. Just 7 percent of Democrats said they’d believe Trump in an instance in which he contradicted Fox, while 39 percent of Democratic respondents said that they’d believe neither Trump nor Fox.
The numbers track roughly with those for voters overall. “If conflicting information was presented by Trump and Fox News, 34% of the public would believe Fox and 33% would believe Trump,” Monmouth reports. In that scenario, 25 percent of voters overall said they’d believe neither Trump nor Fox. When even the infamously partisan Fox News gets higher marks for trustworthiness than the current Republican president, that president clearly has a problem. How exactly does Trump expect to secure re-election if voters don’t even trust what he says?
Patrick Murray, who works as director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, explained:
‘We asked this question because conservative media outlets such as Fox News reinforced key White House talking points during the pandemic’s early days, but they have occasionally differed on some key points more recently. These poll results may be a warning sign when it comes to retaining their core audience. When the facts are in dispute, the president is always right.’
The new Monmouth University polling also measured public perceptions of the trustworthiness of CNN, which the president frequently singles out for criticism. Apparently, that criticism hasn’t actually majorly affected people’s perceptions of the network. When CNN and Trump disagreed, a full 51 percent of Americans said they would opt for trusting the network, while just 38 percent of respondents overall said that they would be more likely to believe Trump. Only 8 percent of respondents said that they would believe neither Trump nor CNN. The significantly higher marks on trustworthiness for CNN aren’t too surprising, considering the network’s reputation for fact-based reporting, in stark contrast to Fox, the home of raging conspiracy theorists like Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson.