Over the past few weeks, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Tom Daschle and other leading Democrats have made statements complaining about a conservative media bias. However, just 25% of Americans believe that there really is such a conservative bias. Twice as many, 47%, believe there is a liberal bias "in the nation's major media outlets."
Even self-described liberal voters aren't sure about what they're hearing from national Democratic leaders. Just 37% of liberals see a conservative media bias, 41% do not. Among all Democrats, opinion is split with 35% taking each side.
The opposite view-- that there is a liberal bias in the media-- is held by majorities or pluralities of men, women, young, old, investors, white Americans, those who discuss politics frequently with family and friends, conservatives, moderates, private sector workers, and union members.
Republicans see a liberal bias by 70% to 9% margin. Unaffiliated voters share this view by a 38% to 28% margin. Democrats are divided—33% see a liberal bias and 36% disagree.
Even among core Democratic constituencies, the notion of a conservative media bias is a hard sell.
• When asked if there is a conservative bias, 38% of union members say yes, 42% say no.
• 33% of black Americans see a conservative bias, 25% do not.
• 31% of government employees say there is a conservative bias, 51% disagree.
• Among those who say they will vote for Al Gore in 2004, 35% say there is a conservative bias while 34% disagree.
• Women, by a 40% to 24% margin, say there is no conservative bias.
Moderates reject charges of a conservative bias by a 43% to 24% margin. Only 26% of those who talk about politics at least once a week with family and friends agree with the charges of a conservative bias, 55% disagree.
Charges of a conservative media bias by national Democrats may simply be the result of frustration over the weakness of their party. As described in The GOP Generation, the Democrats are likely to become a permanent minority party if President Bush performs well over the next two years.
Please share your thoughts about media bias.
Data in this article is derived from a national telephone survey of 1,000 adults conducted by Scott Rasmussen Public Opinion Research on December 4 and 5, 2002. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3 percentage points, with a 95% level of confidence.