Democrats And Sexual Misconduct, Bill To Eliminate State Air Pollution Laws, Who Trump Supporters Trust

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Heard On Central Time

A national survey from the University of Wisconsin looks at where supporters of President Trump are putting their trust. One of the researchers shares the results and how politicians stacked up against the media and the president himself. We also talk to the author of a bill that would eliminate Wisconsin’s air pollution regulations. Plus, after a Democratic representative stepped down from a key Congressional committee due to sexual assault allegations, we look at the party’s response to misconduct in their own ranks.

Featured in this Show

  • How Democrats Are Handling Accusations Of Sexual Harassment

    U.S. Representative John Conyers stepped down as the ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee on Sunday. The Michigan lawmakers faces sexual harassment accusations from two female staffers. The longest-serving member of Congress denies the allegations. We talk to a Congressional reporter about how Democrats are handling allegations against Conyers and against Senator Al Franken of Minnesota.

  • New GOP Bill Aims To Eliminate State Air Pollution Regulations, Rely On Federal Guidelines

    A new bill introduced in the state legislature would remove all state air pollution regulations by the end of 2018. We speak with one of the bill’s sponsors, Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), about why he and his colleagues are spearheading this legislation.

  • Survey: Trump Supporters Much Less Likely To Trust Media

    President Donald Trump supporters are much less likely than other Americans to trust the media, according to a national survey from the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Respondents were asked who they are more likely to trust when media reports conflict with statements from politicians. Mike Wagner, an associate professor of journalism and mass communication at UW-Madison, said 70 percent of the 2,000 people surveyed said they trusted the news media.

    However, among the Trump voters surveyed, 80 percent said they trusted politicians over the news media.

    To Wagner, this reflects Trump’s election platform, which he says was trust in Trump over all others — whether that was his election rivals or the news media.

    During the campaign and beyond, Trump regularly called mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN “Fake News.”

    Even before he announced his candidacy, Trump had donated to a controversial group known as Project Veritas, which the Washington Post said tried to infiltrate the newspaper for months, in an attempt to show media bias.

    “He regularly made the point that you couldn’t trust other politicians that were running against him during the Republican primaries,” Wagner told WPR’s “Central Time.” “These were accomplished people, folks like Gov. Walker and Gov. Kasich of Ohio, and Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio … And Trump was saying, ‘You can’t trust them, they’re all politicians, they’re all the same. You can’t trust the news media because they say things that aren’t true about me. And you can trust me, because I’m rich, so I can’t be bought.’”

    Wagner said the Elections Research Center wanted to understand people’s attitudes about institutions such as the press, and how those attitudes influenced their opinions about policy decisions.

    “So then we thought, well, if it’s the case that politicians are trusted by Trump voters, maybe those Trump voters would like politicians making decisions about how our government is run,” Wagner said.

    The survey asked voters who should be making the country’s governing decisions: ordinary people, politicians or a mix of both.

    “Trump supporters preferred ordinary people way more than Clinton supporters did, and an equal mix as well, and they really did not prefer the politicians that seconds before in the survey they said they trusted,” Wagner said.

    To Wagner, that was a sign of an anti-establishment attitude among Trump voters, one that unified them with Bernie Sanders supporters.

    “The voters are saying they trusted Trump,” he said. “And so when the question was politicians versus the news media, Trump supporters, I think, are using Trump as a stand in for that question. But then when it came to who should do the governing, they didn’t see Trump as the politician, they saw other folks in Washington, D.C. — ‘the swamp’ that President Trump said he wants to drain.”

    Results from the survey are not yet publicly available.

  • One Year Later, Trump Supporters Trust Politicians Over Media

    A national survey from the UW Elections Research Center finds that while most Americans trust the news media, supporters of President Trump are far more likely to put their faith in the words of politicians. However, many of those same people don’t want those politicians making decisions about running the country. One of the researchers digs into the results with us and talks about where voters are placing their trust one year after the presidential election.

    When the news media and politicians disagree on an issue, who are you more likely to trust? Do you think President Trump’s contentious relationship with the press is smart political strategy? If you support the President, is the party or the candidate most important to you?

    Let us know by emailing

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Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • J. Carlisle Larsen Producer
  • Dean Knetter Producer
  • Heather Caygle Guest
  • Jesse Kremer Guest
  • Mike Wagner Guest