By Emily Gillespie
December 12, 2018

Those who follow U.S. politics have noticed an increasing negativity coming out of Washington D.C. in recent years. Heck, even those who don’t have, too.

In fact, a majority of people agree that since Donald Trump has become president, the civility in our nation’s capital has gotten worse, according to a poll released Tuesday by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist.

Overall, 70% of people agreed with the statement, though 21% thought it had stayed the same, with 5% thinking it had improved and another 5% unsure.

But while there’s general agreement on the mood, who is to blame? The numbers shows a more divided answer.

It turns out that about as many people who say the media is responsible for the decline blame President Donald Trump. Of the 1,075 people polled between Nov. 28 and Dec. 4, 35% said they believed Donald Trump was behind the reason for souring tone, while 37% said the media was at fault.

Eight percent of those polled believed Republicans in Congress were to blame, 13% thought Democrats in Congress were responsible, and 7% were unsure.

Unsurprisingly, the poll also shows that when you break the question down by party lines, Republicans were more likely to blame the media (with 58% doing so), and Democrats were more likely to blame Trump (67% responded this way).

Since taking office, President Trump has had an ongoing public feud with members of the press and the news media at large. Just last month he revoked a CNN reporter’s press credentials, though they were quickly restored by a federal judge. He has been known to call media the “the enemy of the people,” and encouraged violence toward reporters. Trump faces a lawsuit that claims his anti-media rhetoric falls outside of his First Amendment rights.

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