• Polling

Americans Across Partisanship Are Concerned by the Prevalence of Misinformation

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • Nine in ten Americans say they are “worried” about misinformation, and nearly four in five say they encounter it often.
  • Americans are most likely to say they encounter misinformation from social media outlets like Facebook and on Fox News, and most worry about misinformation on climate change, crime, and issues of gender and sexuality.
  • Americans are split on which party spreads misinformation more often, though a narrow plurality trust Biden and Democrats more than Republicans on stopping the spread of it.

Americans Are Worried About Misinformation and Say They Encounter It Often

Nearly all Democrats are worried about misinformation (95%), as are more than four in five independents (82%) and Republicans (86%).

  • Republicans who watch Fox News* and those who identify as supporters of the MAGA movement** are most likely to say they are “very worried” (55% and 50%, respectively) and claim they encounter misinformation “very often” (39% and 42%).

Personal Consumption Habits Shape Views of Misinformation Sources: Fox News and Social Media Broadly Are Top Culprits

Americans are unlikely to say they see misinformation on the cable news networks they frequently watch: just 23% of frequent Fox News viewers say they see misinformation on the channel, as do just 21% of CNN viewers on CNN and 14% of MSNBC viewers on MSNBC. However, frequent social media users are most likely to say they see misinformation on Facebook (52%).

Americans Split on Which Party Spreads More Misinformation

Four in ten (40%) independents say “both parties share misinformation equally,” while partisans are consolidated behind their party. • Americans who say social media is one of their main sources of news are split on who they hear misinformation from more (38% hear misinformation from Biden and Democrats more, 37% from Republicans more).

Biden and Democrats Are More Trusted on Stopping the Spread of Misinformation, Though Most Independents Are Unsure

More than half of independents (54%) say they “don’t know” who they trust more to handle “stopping the spread of misinformation.”

  • Black Americans (net +46), Hispanic Americans (net +25), and AAPI Americans (net +12) trust Biden and Democrats more.

Americans Most Worried About Misinformation on Climate, Crime, and Gender; Hearing It Most on Race and Gender

Democrats are most worried about the impact of misinformation on issues of race (87% worried) and climate change (85%), while independents worry most about the impact of misinformation on science and medicine (76%) and crime (75%).

  • Americans report hearing the most misinformation about issues of race (83%) and gender and sexuality (82%).

A Range of Arguments on GOP Election Misinformation Are Concerning to Americans

The most concerning argument to independents is that Republicans who promote lies about voter fraud “want to further divide our country, making it impossible for both sides to work together to get anything done” (68% concerning).

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from February 23-February 27, 2023. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 76 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 99 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org