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Nearly a quarter of Republican supporters say Donald Trump’s campaign messages are ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ based in fact. That compares to one in ten Democratic voters who would say the same about Biden.
Those figures come from a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Opinion Research and USAFacts survey about political information. More than 8 in 10 rated the spread of misinformation about government a “major problem” in the US today.
The deluge in political misinformation and conspiracy theories has fueled distrust in institutions and threatens to undermine confidence in elections, democracy and the nation itself, according to Cindy Otis, a former CIA officer, author and disinformation expert.
“We are living today in the biggest period of false information in history, and we Americans are largely doing it to ourselves,” Otis said last week during a hearing focused on election-related misinformation.
“Americans are losing trust in what they read and see online. We are desperate for information, but certain groups feel they cannot trust the traditional institutions upon which they used to rely.”
The poll found the candidates and their campaigns are themselves seen as not credible by many Americans, with less than a third of Americans saying campaign messages from either Biden or Trump are often or always based on facts.
“The misinformation, it’s just blossomed to the point where it’s unmanageable,” nurse Liana Price, 34, of Tampa Bay, Florida, told the AP’s David Klepper. “You try to explain and provide facts and actual research, but people don’t believe it.”
While partisan disagreement is nothing new, the battles used to be more about policies or ideas rather than disagreements about fundamental facts or whether the other side is even telling the truth.
“I’ve voted for 40 years, and I’ve never seen it like this,” said 60-year-old Kevin Wollersheim, of St. Paul, Minnesota, who supports Biden for president. “There are no alternative facts. There’s the truth, and the truth is important.”
“I think somewhere between 95 and 98% of the press are what I would call deep state liars,” said 75-year-old Trump supporter Colleen McDonald, of San Diego. “They make stuff up. I wouldn’t believe anything that they said.”
The good news in the survey? On the whole voters say it’s pretty easy to find accurate information about the voting process itself. Not, perhaps, that Colleen is going to believe me on that.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Trump cuts short pre-election interview as Covid stimulus bill moves closer – live | US news