Misinformation voters 3: Living in different realities

A mid-December poll from The Economist / YouGov highlights how differently Clinton and Trump voters view the world. As with any poll one can raise questions about methodology and how accurately the sample of people surveyed reflect voters. But we're talking about some pretty big numbers and big differences here.

For example:

  • 46 percent of Trump voters rated as at least “probably true” that “emails from some of Hillary Clinton’s campaign staffers contained code words for pedophilia, human trafficking, and satanic ritual abuse -- what some people refer to as ‘pizzagate,’”
  • 52 percent thought Obama was born in Kenya, though even Trump himself now admits the well-documented fact that Obama was born in Hawaii,
  • 62 percent believe that millions of illegal votes were cast in the election, and
  • only 26 percent of Trump voters realized that the number of Americans without health insurance has gone down (significantly down, in fact) over the past five year, and 37 percent even thought that it had gone up.

The misconceptions weren't limited to Trump supporters. The same survey found that half of Clinton voters surveyed said it’s definitely or probably true that Russia tampered with voting tabulation (and vote totals) in the 2016 general election, something that’s technically implausible, unsupported by evidence, and contradicted by a full recount in Wisconsin and a partial one in Michigan.

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