Many Say Press Coverage of Obama, Romney Has Been Fair

Sep 25, 2012

There is no public consensus when it comes to how the presidential candidates are being covered by the news media. Nearly half (46%) say the coverage of Romney has been fair, while among those who see a bias as many say the press has been too easy on the GOP nominee (20%) as too tough on him (21%). The same percentage (46%) says coverage of Obama has also been fair. However, nearly twice as many say press coverage of the president has been too easy (28%) than too tough (15%).

Four years ago, there was a larger disparity in impressions of how the press was covering the candidates. In October 2008 more thought the press was being too tough on McCain (23%) than too easy (15%). Nearly a third (31%) said the press was being too easy on Obama, while just 7% said it was being too tough. At that time, just 38% said coverage of Sarah Palin was fair; as many (38%) said coverage was too tough.

Republicans generally are more critical of the press than are Democrats. The new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted September 20 – 23, 2012 among 1005 adults, finds, 45% of Republicans think the press has been too tough on Mitt Romney – almost identical to the 44% who said this about coverage of McCain in October 2008. By comparison, 26% of Democrats think the press is too tough on Obama, though this has increased substantially from only 9% four years ago.

Read the full report, Many Say Press Coverage of Obama, Romney Has Been Fair, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.

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