Nearly 6 in 10 Americans said President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the vice presidential debate Harris accuses Trump of promoting voter suppression Pence targets Biden over ISIS hostages, brings family of executed aid worker to debate MORE is spreading misinformation about the election, protests and the coronavirus, according to a Gallup/Knight Foundation poll released Thursday.
Trump is one of just two potential sources of misinformation identified by the majority of respondents as spreading a “great deal” of misinformation, the survey found. The other source of misinformation, according to the poll, was social media.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans said Trump is disseminating a “great deal” of misinformation, with 11 percent saying he is spreading a “fair amount.”
Fifty-four percent said social media websites and apps are also spreading a great deal, and 36 percent said those outlets are spreading a fair amount of misinformation.
Fewer respondents said the same about Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the vice presidential debate Harris accuses Trump of promoting voter suppression Pence targets Biden over ISIS hostages, brings family of executed aid worker to debate MORE. Just 30 percent said the former vice president is spreading a great deal of misinformation, and 19 percent said he is spreading a fair amount.
The poll also found that 43 percent of respondents said Republican leaders in Congress are spreading a great deal of misinformation, with 28 percent saying they’re spreading a fair amount. Fewer said the same about Democratic leaders in Congress, with 36 percent saying Democrats are spreading a great deal of misinformation and 22 percent saying they are spreading a fair amount.
The poll revealed partisan divides among respondents.
Nearly all Democrats, 98 percent, said Trump is responsible for at least a fair amount of misinformation and 93 percent said the same about congressional Republicans. Similarly, 85 percent of Republicans said the same of Biden and 94 percent about Democrats in Congress.
Majorities of independents said all four groups bear blame for a great deal or fair amount of misinformation, but were more likely to blame Trump and congressional Republicans, at 74 percent and 77 percent, respectively, compared to Biden and congressional Democrats, at 58 percent and 70 percent, respectively.
Overall, the poll found 4 in 5 Americans said they were concerned that misinformation on social media would impact the election.
Tech companies have faced intense scrutiny over the handling of misinformation on their platforms leading up to the election, and Biden’s campaign has urged platforms to remove posts from Trump that it says spread falsehoods about the election.
Facebook and Twitter at times have placed labels on posts from Trump over baseless claims that mail-in voting leads to widespread voter fraud. Earlier this week, Facebook removed a post by the president that falsely claimed the flu is more lethal than COVID-19, and Twitter labeled a similar post on its site warning about spreading misinformation.
The Gallup/Knight Foundation survey was conducted Sept. 11-24, before the first presidential debate and before Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The poll surveyed 1,269 U.S. adults who are members of Gallup’s probability-based national panel. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.