Republicans may be consolidating behind President Donald Trump—and against the legacy media—the more the establishment press sensationalize their Russia coverage.
Despite the legacy media’s wall-to-wall coverage of various Russia-related “scandals” involving President Donald Trump’s associates since April, “the number of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who think that the Russians sought to influence the election, and that the Trump team intentionally helped them,” has plummeted from 18 percent in April to nine percent, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post pollreleased on Sunday.
The poll was conducted July 10-13. Partisan divisions in the poll were “35-23-35 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.” Its margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.
On July 11, the second day the poll was in the field, Donald Trump Jr. released his emails with publicist Rob Goldstone regarding a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya that Trump Jr. eventually attended with Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner during the 2016 election.
On July 12, the third day of the poll, CNN’s morning show New Day spent 93 percent of its airtime on the Russia scandal, according to a Media Research Center study. Other networks—along with other CNN shows—devoted a considerable amount of time to the Russia scandal throughout the week.
And yet, the media’s incessant Russia coverage has not even convinced that many more Democrats that Trump’s associates intentionally helped Russia influence the election. According to the poll, the number of Democrats who believe this (64%) went up just four percentage points from April. That, according to ABC, is “not a significant shift.”
ABC points out that “as a combined total, the number of Americans who both think that the Russians tried to influence the campaign, and that Trump aides helped, is 41 percent — very similar to the 40 percent who don’t think Russia was involved, or are unsure about it.”
Reporters who have gone outside of the D.C.-New York media bubbles have found that working-class voters, especially conservatives, are “angry” at the legacy media for overhyping their various Russia stories. An Iowa news director emailed CNN’s Brian Stelter last week and said conservatives in his state were “extremely angry” at the press because they think the legacy media are using Russia stories to “oust” Trump.
“They think the Trump/Russia deal is a coup attempt by the media, and don’t think there is anything to the Russia/ Trump, Jr. emails,” Robert Leonard, the news director, wrote. “They don’t understand why the media is trying to oust our duly elected president. They think there is a double standard — why isn’t anyone investigating the Clinton campaign/Russia connections? They are standing firm behind Trump.”