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Gallup Poll: Americans Fairly Pleased With Media Coverage of Election

Aired November 30, 2000 - 1:47 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The postelection battles are being fought in three arenas: legal, political and popular. And where does popular opinion stand?

Frank Newport is standing by at the Gallup studio in Princeton with some insights for us.

Frank, hello.

FRANK NEWPORT, GALLUP POLL EDITOR IN CHIEF: Well, Natalie, we've been monitoring it and actually, interestingly, it's the Republicans who are more critical of how the media are handling this whole situation than are the Democrats. Let's show you why we say that.

First of all, people still paying a lot of attention. Now, it really peaked back on November the 11th and 12th, the weekend after the election; 87 percent following it closely, one of the highest such numbers we have seen in our Gallup history. Now, as of this last weekend, down to 77 percent, but still a very significant number of Americans who are following this situation.

We gave them a choice of four adjectives to use -- our respondents -- excuse me: interested, fascinated, bored or fed up with the news media coverage of what you're seeing. Most Americans said they were either interested or fed up. Now, notice the red bars are the Bush people; they're negative -- they're much more likely to say they're fed up. We think that's because they're fed up with the situation, rather than simply just fed up with the coverage itself. Very few Americans admit to being fascinated, but the good news is, very few admit to being bored at the same time.

Now, rate the coverage -- we asked this question about Bush and about Gore, so we thought we would ask it about the news media's coverage in Florida. For Bush supporters, it's negative: 61 percent say they disapprove of how the news media are handling the situation. For Gore supporters, a complete mirror opposite: 61 percent approve. The Bush people, apparently, don't like the situation at all, as I mentioned, down there and they're taking it out on the media.

Finally, we did ask the bias question that we've asked at Gallup over a numbers of years: Is the coverage slanted one way or the other? Well, the majority of Americans say, no, it's even-handed. Of those who do think media coverage is slanted -- more slanted to Gore is what the public tells us. And these are some of those same Republicans who are critical of the media coverage.

But, all in all, pretty good report card when you've got 2/3 saying "no bias," given the history of that particular question.

Natalie, Lou, back to you.

Natalie: All right, thanks Frank; Frank Newport.

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