This poll result is very funny, but it says a lot more about the American media than it does about President Trump:
The media is now less trusted than Donald Trump to provide accurate info about the #coronavirus.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) September 7, 2020
40% of voters trust Trump to give them accurate information about Coronavirus. Only 35% trust the American media. That’s a bit like winning a game of football 2-1 because the other guys have scored twice as many own goals as you did.
The American media, though, have only themselves to blame. It’s impossible to watch or read any of their coverage these days without concluding that their number one priority is not giving you the news, but making sure that you vote for Joe Biden in November. It might work, of course, but it’s completely trashing their credibility in the process, to the extent that lots of American voters – a majority, in fact – simply don’t believe them any more.
Trump can smile at this result, as can his supporters, but the other factor in the poll is that only four in ten American voters trust their own President to give them accurate information. So if you’re a diehard Trump fan, you have a problem: you need the poll to be correct to bash the media, but if it is correct, how is a country where 60% of voters don’t trust the President going to re-elect him?
Well, for starters, maybe they trust him slightly more in Florida:
New NBC News/Marist poll of Florida:
Aug 31-Sept 6 of 766 likely voters, +/- 4.5%
(This is our first 2020 poll of FL)
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) September 8, 2020
Trump pulling into a tie in Florida wouldn’t – in a normal year – be a good sign for him, because simply put, if he doesn’t win Florida, Biden is President. But this particular poll comes after a year where he hasn’t been tied or close to tied in Florida once. If this Trump surge that his supporters are talking about is real, then this may be the first sign of it.
Anyway, another interesting thing in that poll: Support for a vaccine has fallen dramatically. In July, 42% of Americans said they would get a vaccine as soon as it came out. Today that’s fallen to…. 25%:
Part of that is partisan nonsense, of course: 58% of Republicans say they would get a vaccine, but only 23% of Democrats, with the remainder worrying that it was being “rushed through”. If a Democrat was President, those numbers would be reversed.
But either way, it’s bad news for anyone who hopes that the Covid nightmare might swiftly end with a vaccine. If it’s not compulsory, and only about a quarter of people are willing to take it, what are we to do with the other 75%? Keep the restrictions in place, or just decide that if they want to risk death, let them at it?
Let them risk death, is my opinion. But politicians who have to preside over the continued economic impact of Coronavirus because people won’t take a vaccine might come to a different conclusion.
The picture really is very clear, at least in the USA, and probably replicated to some extent here as well: People just aren’t feeling very trusting at the moment. If you don’t trust the media, and you don’t trust the politicians, and you don’t trust a vaccine, who do you trust?
Things are very bad in America at the moment. Irish politicians, and Irish journalists, should be watching carefully, and learning from the mistakes of all involved. It’s very hard to keep a society together when nobody trusts anybody else.
Anyway, the big takeaway here: If Trump does lose in November, he’s got a massive opportunity to set up that “Trump TV” channel he’s been talking about for years. Judging on the polling, it would soon beat CNN in the ratings. He might be happier on TV, too, than in the Oval Office.