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Study Shows That Most Americans Are Concerned With Fake News in the 2024 Elections

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
14th June 2024
Study Shows That Most Americans Are Concerned With Fake News in the 2024 Elections
Americans expect fake news to impact the 2024 elections (X)

A recent Project Liberty/Ipsos poll of 1,020 American adults reveals that most Americans believe false or fabricated news and information will pose a significant or somewhat significant issue in the upcoming 2024 U.S. presidential election.

Poll: Majority of Americans Expect Fake News to Impact 2024 Elections

Ipsos is a leading global market research and polling firm, active in 90 markets worldwide, with a workforce of more than 18,000 employees. 
Ipsos conducted a new Project Liberty poll, surveying a nationally representative sample of 1,020 Americans aged 18 and older.

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A screenshot of the Ipsos’ study.

The poll also reveals that only one in four Americans closely follows the news, with the lowest engagement levels among younger individuals, Black, and Hispanic Americans. To verify information, most Americans turn to other news sources or conduct a web search, with few relying on social media or AI models like ChatGPT or Bard.

About a third of Americans report encountering news they initially believed to be true but later discovered was fake or incorrect. A plurality believes that news outlets, journalists, and reporters should take responsibility for reducing the spread of fake news or false information about candidates and elections in 2024, while fewer think this responsibility lies with the government.

Ipsos Poll's Findings

The study finds that one in four Americans (27%) reports paying very close attention to the upcoming U.S. presidential election, while 35% say they are paying somewhat close attention.

Older Americans are the most engaged, with 82% of those aged 65 and older and 72% of those aged 50–64 following the election closely or somewhat closely. In contrast, younger Americans, including 47% of those aged 18–34 and 51% of those aged 35–49, are among the least likely to be paying attention.

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A chart shows how closely Americans are following the upcoming election news.

There are notable disparities by race and gender: White respondents (70%) and males (68%) are more likely to closely follow news about the election compared to Black (46%), Hispanic (48%), and female (56%) respondents. Party affiliation shows no significant differences: 66% of Republicans, 68% of Democrats, and 61% of independents are paying attention to election news.

Among those following the election closely or somewhat closely, common news sources include TV broadcast news (55%), local newspapers or TV news (48%), newspapers or news websites (41%), and social media (41%).

Americans aged 18–34 rely most on social media for political news (62%), less on TV broadcast news (44%), and local newspapers or TV news (38%), compared to older age groups. Republicans are more likely to turn to conservative media (60%) compared to Democrats (12%) and independents (23%), while Democrats favor cable news (53%) more than Republicans (28%) and independents (36%).

The Study’s Methodology

The Ipsos poll conducted for Project Liberty from March 1 to 3, 2024, interviewed 1,020 U.S. adults aged 18 and older through the probability-based KnowledgePanel. Ipsos says that the margin of error for the entire sample is ±3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, adjusting for design effects. 

The survey utilized KnowledgePanel, a well-established online panel representing the broader U.S. adult population, employing rigorous sampling methods.

Data were adjusted for gender by age, race/ethnicity, Census region, education, household income, metropolitan status, and political party identification, using demographic benchmarks from the 2023 Current Population Survey and political identification data from 2023 ABC telephone polls.

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A screenshot of the study’s methodology. 

The 2024 Presidential Election

On November 5, Americans will head to the polls to choose their next president. The race will feature familiar contenders: Joe Biden, who faced no serious challengers for the Democratic nomination, and former President Donald Trump, who easily navigated a crowded Republican primary.

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A screenshot of the New York Times’ article.

Biden's presidency has been marked by significant inflation, major industrial policy initiatives, and international turmoil. Trump's tenure has been overshadowed by efforts from his supporters to overturn the 2020 election results, resulting in federal charges against him for alleged involvement in those actions. He has also been convicted of a felony related to his 2016 campaign.

The upcoming election is expected to be more of a referendum on which candidate Americans perceive as the lesser of two evils than a straightforward popularity contest.

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