A new Rasmussen Reports national survey finds that just 28% of Likely U.S. Voters say, when a public figure is accused of sexual wrongdoing, it is more likely that the media will regard him as innocent until proven guilty. Fifty-six percent (56%) believe it’s more likely the media will regard the public figure as guilty until proven innocent. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.
There is little disagreement on this question between men and women. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of men think it’s more likely the media will regard a public figure accused of sexual wrongdoing as guilty until proven innocent, a view shared by 54% of women.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is accused of attempting to sexually assault a girl when he was in high school, but only 33% of all voters believe the California woman who made those allegations. Slightly more (38%) believe Kavanaugh, who has denied those claims.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 19-20, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
Most Republicans (74%) and voters not affiliated with either major political party (55%) think the media is more likely to regard a public figure accused of sexual wrongdoing as guilty until proven innocent. Democrats are evenly divided on this question.
Eighty percent (80%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job President Trump is doing think the media is more likely to regard him as guilty until proven innocent. A plurality (43%) of voters who Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s job performance think the media is more likely to regard that person as innocent until proven guilty.
Voters who view media coverage of the Kavanaugh nomination positively are more likely to believe the media will give public figures accused of sexual wrongdoing a fair shake. Most voters who rate the Kavanaugh coverage as poor disagree.
The wording of the question is here…
National Survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters
Conducted September 19-20, 2018
By Rasmussen Reports
1* When a public figure is accused of sexual wrongdoing, which is more likely – that the media will regard him as innocent until proven guilty or guilty until proven innocent?
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence