Pew Survey: Press Is Too Easy on Trump, Clinton

Decreasing confidence in media fairness toward candidates

According to a new Pew poll, 27% of those surveyed say the news media have been too easy on GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, while 23% say too tough (Trump has signaled he is in the latter camp), and 37% say he has been fair.

that is in contrast with 2012, when roughly the same number of people thought the media had been too easy on Republican candidate Mitt Romney as thought it had been too tough (20% and 21%, respectively), and 2008, where 15% thought the media had been too easy on John McCain and 23% too tough.

The survey found that people thought Clinton was getting off too easy, too, but that was consistent with past Democratic candidates.

According to the survey, 33% thought the media had been too easy on Hillary Clinton, 16% too tough, and 37% said they had been fair.

In 2012, 28% thought Obama had it too easy, while 15% thought he had it too hard. In 2008, the numbers for Obama were 31% and 7%, respectively.

Not surprisingly, the "too easy on Trump" label for the media is driven mostly by Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, says Pew, while Republicans and leaners are driving the "too easy on Clinton" storyline.

Increasingly fewer Democrats and Republicans are saying the media are treating their candidate fairly. In 2008, eight in ten Dems said the media treatment of their candidate was fair while only six in ten did in 2012 and not quite five in ten do today. Republicans are down from almost seven out of ten in 2008 to four out of ten today.

The survey was conducted Sept. 15-18 among 1,000 U.S. adults 18-plus. for more on the methodology, go here.