As Barack Obama travels abroad, Americans seem to think most members of the media are in line with his message, according to the latest FOX News poll.
• Click here to view full results of the poll (pdf).
Nearly 7 in 10 Americans (67 percent) say they believe most in the media want Obama to win the November election—while a scant 11 percent think the media are pulling for John McCain. Moreover, only about 1 in 10 (11 percent) volunteers the belief that the media is neutral on the race to become the 44th President of the United States.
When asked to rate the objectivity of media coverage of the campaigns, Americans feel Obama gets more of a positive spin by a better than 7-to-1 margin (46 percent more positive toward Obama; 6 percent more positive toward McCain). Just under 4 Americans in 10 (36 percent) says both campaigns are being covered objectively.
As Obama traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East, many noted his popularity with the both foreign leaders as well as citizens of the various countries he visited. But does this gain him any electoral benefit among U.S. voters? The results seem mixed, at best.
While nearly one-third of Americans (29 percent) say Obama’s overseas popularity makes them more likely to vote for him, nearly as many say it would make them less likely (27 percent). Moreover, a plurality (41 percent) volunteers the view that the Illinois Senator’s foreign standing makes no difference to them in their assessment of who they will vote for.
Regarding Obama’s trip itself, by a better than 2-to-1 margin, Americans think it’s more of a campaign event (47 percent) than a fact-finding mission (19 percent). And with specific regard to the Iraq portion of the trip, nearly half (47 percent) thinks the Democratic Party nominee had already made his mind up on the conflict before the journey. Less than four in ten (37 percent) believe that the trip could end up changing his mind on Iraq.
Much has been made by both campaigns over whether and how the troop “surge” has impacted the war in Iraq. Most voters believe the increase in troop levels has led to either major (32 percent) or minor (29 percent) improvements. Approximately one third (30 percent) of voters think the surge has not made much of a difference.
The national telephone poll was conducted for FOX News by Opinion Dynamics Corp.among 900 registered voters from July 22 to July 23. During that time Obama was traveling in Jordan, Israel and Palestinian territories. In the days before the poll was taken Obama had been touring Afghanistan and Iraq. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
Ernie Paicopolos is a principal at Opinion Dynamics Corp.