Mediaite Mini-Study: MSNBC Ignores Poll Showing Nearly 3/4ths of Americans Favor Photo ID to Vote

August 17th, 2012 3:54 PM

A Washington Post poll published on Monday shows that 74 percent of Americans favor requiring photo ID to vote. Significant majorities of African-Americans and the elderly -- two groups liberals claim are likely to be "disenfranchised" by such requirements -- support a photo ID requirement.

But as Mediaite editor Noah Rothman noted yesterday, in the 19 segments on voter ID that the liberal MSNBC cable news network aired on the issue between Monday morning and Thursday evening, none of them noted the results of the poll (my emphasis added):

On Monday, a Washington Post poll that asked Americans to voice their feelings on the issue of voter I.D. sent shockwaves through the political world. The findings of that poll shattered the assumption that voter identification is viewed as a threat to American enfranchisement, but you would not know that from watching MSNBC. The network has devoted a number of segments in the last week to voter identification laws and the threat they pose, but they have conspicuously avoided mentioning this poll which debunks the presumption that Americans are concerned about disenfranchisement resulting from voter identification laws.

The Washington Post poll showed 74 percent of adults support requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls to 23 percent who oppose such measures. 48 percent said they feel voter fraud is a “major problem” and 33 percent said this was a “minor problem.” Only 14 percent said voter fraud was “not a problem.”

Across ideology and demographics, support in the poll for voter I.D. was strong. 86 percent of self-identified Republicans support voter I.D. measures. 67 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats also voiced their support. 78 percent of white adults, 65 percent of African Americans and 64 percent of Hispanics support voter I.D. 75 percent of men and 73 percent of women agree: voter I.D. laws are necessary.

There is some contradictory information in the poll – 41 percent of respondents also said voter suppression is a “major problem.” Also, while 49 percent said voter fraud was a major concern, 44 percent said denying eligible voters the right to vote was their primary concern with voter I.D. But for the most part, the poll showed the anti-voter I.D. messaging is not penetrating the broader public.

These are earth-shattering numbers in a nation that cannot agree on anything – from the Boy Scouts to Baseball – to the tune of 74/23 percent. This newsworthy poll about a heated issue that is a major subject of debate should penetrate the national dialogue. However, if you only watched MSNBC, you could be excused for thinking that voter I.D. represents an existential threat to democracy and amounts to a coup being perpetrated by Republican-dominated state legislatures.

Rothman's piece posted at 7 p.m. last evening, but alas, MSNBC continues to ignore the poll, as anchor Thomas Roberts tag-teamed with colleague Al Sharpton for a biased anti-photo ID segment on this morning's MSNBC Live.

As I noted in that post, Roberts casually mentioned that many Americans are okay with photo ID laws, but failed to cite the poll and insisted that those Americans may be fine with photo ID because they just aren't aware of how much it would suppress votes.