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Americans Say Media Identifies With Protesters, Trump With Police

Voters thought President Obama identified more with the protesters in places like Charlotte and Baltimore when they challenged the police. The media sides with the protesters, too, Americans say, but few think President Trump feels that way.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that a plurality (46%) of American Adults believes Trump identifies more with the police in violent protest situations. Only 16% think he sides more with the protesters, while 24% say he’s on the side of both. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But 49% feel that most reporters identify more with the protesters in most violent protest situations. Just nine percent (9%) say they identify more with police. Thirty-four percent (34%) say most reporters are on the side of both.

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Thirty-three percent (33%) of Americans believe most police departments are not aggressive enough in dealing with violent protesters, while 19% say most are too aggressive. Forty-one percent (41%) rate the police response in most cases as about right.

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on August 23-24, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe there is a greater danger of political violence these days compared to past years.

Americans under 40 are more likely than their elders to consider the present police response too aggressive in dealing with violent protesters. Men are more likely than women to say it’s not aggressive enough.

Whites are more likely than blacks and other minority adults to consider current police tactics about right in most cases.

Republicans believe more strongly than Democrats and adults not affiliated with either major party that the police response to violent protesters by most police departments is not aggressive enough.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans and nearly half (48%) of unaffiliated adults say most reporters identify more with the protesters in most violent protest situations, but only 35% of Democrats agree.

Despite calls by protesters, politicians and the media for erasing those connected to slavery from U.S. history, it looks like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are going to be with us awhile longer. Voters strongly believe it’s better to learn from the past than erase it.

Seventy percent (70%) of all Americans rate the performance of the police in the area where they live as good or excellent.

Americans last year at this time strongly believed the media was emphasizing shootings by police officers involving black suspects over ones in which whites are shot and that media coverage was prompting attacks on police.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans believe most major news organizations are more concerned with getting a story first than with getting it right. Seventy-seven percent (77%) say getting it right is more important.

During last year's presidential campaign, 74% of voters said the media was more interested in creating controversies about the presidential candidates than in reporting where they stood on the issues.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on August 23-24, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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