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Majority of voters believe ‘mainstream media’ is ‘threat to democracy’: Poll

A man walks past voting signs displayed outside a polling station.(Joshua Lott/Getty Images/TNS)
October 19, 2022

Most voters believe “the mainstream media” is a threat to democracy, according to the latest New York Times/Siena poll.

Voters were asked whether they believe “American democracy is currently under threat” or the opposite. Then voters who responded in the affirmative were asked where the blame lies.

Seventy-one percent of voters told pollsters they think democracy is in danger. Of those respondents, 84 percent said the mainstream media is contributing to the political system’s peril.

Fifty-nine percent of those voters said the media is a “major threat to democracy,” while 25 percent said it is a “minor threat.”

Voters for both parties came out in high numbers against the media, according to the detailed breakdown. The fourth estate poses no threat to democracy whatsoever in the opinion of only 29 percent of Democrats, 3 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of independent voters.

More than half of Republicans also named Democrats, President Joe Biden, and mail voting as major threats. On the flipside, over 50 percent of Democrats said major threats included Republicans and former President Donald Trump.

Half of Republicans named the federal government as a major threat, while Democrats focused their ire on the Supreme Court and Electoral College.

Seventeen percent of voters who said democracy was under threat also said we would “need to go outside the law” to get it back on track. 

Only 11 percent of those said civil war or other violence was necessary, while most either refused to elaborate or seemed to backpedal, saying laws and processes could be improved “within the system.”

Still, any alleged threat to democracy is apparently a low priority for voters. Only 7 percent told pollsters “the state of democracy” is the most important issue facing the U.S. today. Election integrity was even less of a concern, being a top issue with 1 percent of voters.

Instead, the economy and inflation took first place with most voters across party lines.