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Daniel L. Gardner

Polls are why we have elections. Last week’s Rasmussen Report: “Voters Don’t Trust Political News, Say Most Reporters Want To Stop Trump.” The Aug. 22 poll found “32% of Likely U.S. Voters trust the political news they are getting. Most (54%) do not.” The poll also found a new high: “51% of voters now believe most reporters when they write or talk about Trump are trying to block the president from passing his agenda.”

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Apparently, President Donald Trump is winning his battle against those he calls “fake news.” I have watched both Fox News and CNN most days for years. CNN lost nearly 20% of its viewers over the past three months, drawing 761,000 primetime viewers compared with Fox News’ 2.4 million primetime viewers. The comparison lends a lot of credence to Rasmussen’s findings.

Rasmussen first asked this question in 2010 when 48% of voters polled said “most reporters were trying to help President Obama pass his agenda.” A broad range of polls comparing news coverage of President Barack Obama with news coverage of Trump shows a striking disparity with Trump having as much as 92% of negative news coverage over several months, while news coverage of Obama rarely dropped into negative percentages throughout his presidency.

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Oct. 24, 2016, Washington Post said, “Donald Trump’s chances of winning are approaching zero.” Nov. 8, 2016, New York Times gave Hillary Clinton an 85% chance of winning the election. Nowadays one cannot watch a cable news program about national politics without seeing polls comparing 2020 Democrat candidates’ chances against Trump’s chances in next year’s election. This is why we have elections: Elections are more accurate than polls, and have more consequences.

Most of the negative media coverage of Trump had a Russian theme until the Mueller report came out. The Russian collusion story died an agonizingly slow, painful and ugly death. Then Democrats and media retreated to the old race card. But even the race card has lost some of its luster as we end another long hot summer. The latest negative story is recession. Democrats and media predict, and many have said they actually hope for, a recession to dim Trump’s chances of winning in 2020.

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The recession story is not really new either. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman predicted Trump would lead America and the world into recession. On Election Day 2016, Krugman wrote in the New York Times, “It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging.” He continued, “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.” He ended his view of Trump’s winning the election saying, “So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight.”

Surely no one doubts Trump’s trademark unpredictability and stream of tweets are the primary reason American markets are swinging like a glass chandelier under an open patio during a 9.0 earthquake in the middle of a category 5 hurricane. Can one man, the president of the United States of America, single-handedly create a worldwide recession? With the help of more than 90% negative media coverage, Trump will continue to be blamed for everything bad. But what if Rasmussen is accurate and more than half of us don’t believe the negative media?

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Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Mississippi. You may contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com.

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