AP-NORC/USA Facts poll: Americans struggle to ID true facts

In this Nov. 13, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the East Room of the White House in Washington. In a sharply divided country, a new poll finds some things Americans can agree on. There’s widespread consensus on the importance of factual information being transparent and based in data, and Democrats and Republicans alike frequently find the current information environment challenging. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a sharply divided country, here’s something many Americans agree on: It’s hard to know what’s a true and honest fact.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and USA Facts finds that regardless of political belief, many Americans say they have a hard time figuring out if information is true. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they often come across one-sided information and about 6 in 10 say they regularly see conflicting reports about the same set of facts from different sources.

“It is difficult to get facts. You have to read between the lines. You have to have a lot of common sense,” said Leah Williams, 29, of Modesto, California. A Republican, Williams says she relies on like-minded friends and family to help sort through conflicting information. “There are wolves in sheep’s clothing everywhere.”

The poll found that 47% of Americans believe it’s difficult to know if the information they encounter is true, compared with 31% who find it easy to do so. When deciding whether something is factual, there is widespread consensus on the importance of transparency in how the information was gathered and if it is based on data. Democrats and Republicans alike frequently find the process challenging.

But as a president with a history of making false statements and repeating debunked conspiracy theories faces public hearings this week in only the fourth impeachment inquiry in the nation’s history, the poll finds that differing political beliefs led Americans down different paths as they try to determine what’s a unquestionable fact.

Article URL : https://apnews.com/c762f01370ee4bbe8bbd20f5ddf2adbe

%d bloggers like this: