Equal numbers of the public believe the news media has been fair to President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney, but Republicans by a wide margin believe the press continues to go easy on the president, a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
Of those surveyed, 46 percent say coverage of Obama and Romney has been fair. Some 21 percent think the coverage of Romney has been too tough while 20 percent think it too easy. For Obama, 15 percent think coverage has been too tough while 28 percent think it too easy.
The findings are in contrast to four years ago when 23 percent thought the coverage of Sen. John McCain was too tough compared to 15 percent who thought it too easy. Some 7 percent thought the coverage of Obama was too tough compared to 31 percent who thought it too easy.
However, the poll, conducted September 20 through the 23 of 1,005 adults, finds members of the GOP far more critical of press coverage than Democrats.
Some 60 percent of Republicans say coverage of Obama has been too easy while only 29 percent of Democrats believe coverage of Romney has been too easy. The poll also found that 45 percent of Republicans think the press has been too tough on Romney while only 26 percent of Democrats think the press is too tough on Obama.
The number of GOP members who think the press is too tough on Romney is similar to those who felt the press was too tough on McCain when he ran for president in 2008. At that time, 44 percent of Republican thought the press was too hard on McCain.
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