Politico Magazine published its third annual "Media Issue," complete with polls of reporters who are perhaps the most resistant to being polled, fearing how they might reveal which viewpoint is ideologically dominant in the press.
So, who will these reporters vote for in November? Reporters surveyed were very, very coy. Politico surveyed 82 members of the campaign press corps, and only 12 of them (less than 15 percent) admitted they would vote for Hillary Clinton. Sanders, Trump, Cruz and Kasich drew one reporter apiece. Most of them (48) checked the boxes "don't plan to vote" or "don't know." Color us skeptical. When asked if they were registered with a political party, 21 percent of the campaign reporters said Democrat, 22 percent said independent, 8 percent said Republican and 49 percent said they are not registered.
We should note this sample was not entirely composed of objective outlets, but included some conservative media (the National Review, The Daily Caller and the Washington Examiner) and some tilted hard to the left (The Huffington Post and Al Jazeera).
A separate Politico survey of 72 members of the White House press corps gave the same results: only 12 said they were voting for Clinton, three for Sanders, two for Cruz and one for Trump. Most (41) gave the chicken-out answers. When asked if they registered with a party, 27 percent answered Democrat, 13 percent independent and zero Republican...zero. Sixty percent claimed "not registered."
But the media's true tilt might be implied from the question, "Knowing what you know now, who do think will be the next president?" It wasn't close. Among campaign reporters, 86 percent said Clinton and 10 percent said Trump. Among the White House reporters, 88 percent picked Clinton and 11 percent picked Trump.
The reporters who deny they tilt liberal or vote Democrat overwhelmingly believe the second President Clinton era is approaching. Despite Clinton lurching left to keep primary voters away from Sanders, journalists apparently see liberalism as wildly popular, despite the results of the last two midterm elections.
What's funny is how reporters think Trump has the press eating out of his hand, and not Clinton. When asked if Trump "successfully manipulates the media to his advantage," 94 percent of campaign reporters said "yes," and just 6 percent disagreed. But when asked if Clinton "successfully manipulates the media to her advantage," just 31 percent said "yes," and 69 percent said "no."
That wasn't the only hilarious polling answer. When campaign correspondents were asked which candidate has been treated the most kindly by the press, only 6 percent chose Clinton. Instead, it was split among Trump (34 percent), Sanders (21 percent), Marco Rubio (20 percent) and John Kasich (18 percent).
When Politico asked it the other way -- which candidate has been treated the most harshly? -- 49 percent said Clinton. That's far ahead of Trump (15 percent), Sanders (9 percent), Rubio (8 percent), Cruz (7 percent), Jeb Bush (7 percent) and Ben Carson (3 percent).
These answers suggest reporters aren't actually reading or viewing the actual press coverage. Which front-runner had the adoring press acolytes running joyously after her Scooby van in Ohio last year, cheering her burrito run to Chipotle (to be "fun" and "new")? And which one has been compared in the papers to Hitler and Pol Pot?
Both Trump and Clinton have very high unfavorable ratings. His can be blamed in part on the national media. It's much tougher to prove that Clinton has had her character sullied, or her message mangled, by the very media that overwhelmingly think she is the next president.