NRL News

Trick Question: Guess How Many Journalists Voted for Trump This Year?

by | Dec 11, 2020

By Rich Noyes

Editor’s note. This is excerted from a Newsbusters post and is reposted with permission.

Every four years since 2000, the online opinion site Slate lets readers see how their staff has voted in the presidential election. It’s a commendable exercise in transparency, especially in a profession where many journalists invariably promote liberal politicians and liberal viewpoints, only to deny their work is influenced by their opinions.

This year, the survey found, not a single Slate staffer voted for President Trump, even though more than 74,200,000 other Americans did — a record haul for a Republican nominee. That compares with 56 staffers who said they voted for Joe Biden (98%), one who picked Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins (2%), and one intern who as of November 2 still hadn’t made up her mind between Hawkins and Biden.

Four years ago, the staff poll showed a similar tilt: 59 votes (97%) for Democrat Hillary Clinton, one for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, one write-in vote for independent candidate Evan McMullin, and none for Donald Trump.

According to this year’s post, “The last time any Slate staffer voted Republican in this survey was for Romney in 2012. Will that be the last time ever? That’s kind of up to the Republican Party more than it’s up to Slate.”

The question is whether Slate is indicative of the broader liberal media establishment. Looking at their coverage, it’s hard to imagine anyone at the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC or any of the broadcast networks voting for Trump, ever. And let’s not forget that Joe Biden won 93% of this year’s newspaper endorsements, vs. just seven percent for Trump.

We can also compare Slate’s tally with surveys of journalists conducted by a variety of scholars and organizations over the past several decades. While some surveyed elite journalists, and others looked at a wider sample that included small-town newspapers, these polls invariably found a massive gap between the media and the public.

The Media Elite surveys in the early 1980s, for example, found 94% of top journalists for Lyndon Johnson in 1964; 86% for Hubert Humphrey in 1968; 81% for George McGovern in 1972 and 81% for Jimmy Carter in 1976. A 1985 Los Angeles Times poll of journalists working at more than 600 newspapers would have handed Walter Mondale a 58%-26% landslide victory over Ronald Reagan, even as the country gave Reagan a 59%-41% landslide over Mondale.

Another survey (Rothman & Black) found 76% of elite journalists voted for Michael Dukakis in 1988, while 91% voted for Bill Clinton. And after George W. Bush won re-election in 2004, the University of Connecticut found journalists working around the country preferred John Kerry over Bush by a wide margin, 52% to 19%.

Those lopsided margins seem only slightly less extreme than earlier Slate surveys showing the magazine’s staff picked Al Gore over Bush in 2000, 76% to 11%; Kerry over Bush in 2004, 87% to 9%; Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008, 96% to 2%; and Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012, 85% to 5%.

This year’s Slate survey also makes it clear that their staff wanted a far more left-wing nominee than Biden, with 77% saying they voted for either Elizabeth Warren (20 votes) or Bernie Sanders (seven votes) in the Democratic primary, vs. 20% for Biden (seven votes) and three percent (just one vote) for former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Categories: Media Bias