Liberals Say Covington Kids Acted Inappropriately; Conservatives Say The Media Did

Seventy-four percent (74%) of liberal voters believe that the Covington High School students behaved inappropriately during an encounter with a native American elder last week. However, a national survey found that just 31% of conservative voters agree.

The positions are reversed when it comes to the national news media. Seventy-five percent (75%) of conservatives believe the national news media behaved inappropriately while just 31% of liberals agree (see question wording and crosstab results).

These results highlight a reality described in my latest book that only 40% of what we see comes in through our eyes. Sixty percent (60%), the majority, comes from what we expect to see. This, the second survey asking the same questions, was conducted six days after the initial survey. Despite significant volumes of media coverage, there has been little overall change in public opinion.

Ideological differences are found on every aspect of this issue, starting with who’s paying attention to it. Seventy percent (70%) of liberals are following news of the incident along with just 57% of conservatives. And liberals are following it more intensely. Among moderate voters, just 49% are paying attention to it.

Liberals tend to believe the students initiated the encounter while conservatives believe it was the Native American.

Most liberals do not believe the initial short video of the incident was deceptively edited and that the more complete video provided a significantly different understanding of the encounter. Seventy-five percent (75%) of conservatives believe it was true.

Forty-one percent (41%) of all liberal voters believe it is fair to assume that anybody wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ (MAGA) hat is racist. That view is shared by 19% of moderate voters and 10% of conservative voters.

Data released earlier shows that liberals believe the national news media carefully report the facts of an incident. Conservatives believe they simply use incidents their own ideological agenda.

Among all who are following the story, 52% believe the students behaved inappropriately while 49% say the same of the national news media. Those figures are essentially unchanged since the incident first became public. Keep in mind that these figures are based only upon those following the story and that liberal voters are more likely to be following it.

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The national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted January 27-28, 2019 by and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). Results for the full sample have a +/- 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

In this survey, 571 respondents have been following news of the incident involving Covington students. For results based upon that smaller sample, the Margin of Error is +/- 4.2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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