Study: Trump Received Most Negative Press of Any President on Record

A study of the media’s response to acting presidents shows that Trump had the most negative coverage of any president on record.

Negative stories outnumbered positive ones on a four-to-one ratio. An astounding 62% of stories were negative, the study found.

The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, was centered on Biden’s first 100 days in office. It said that coverage was moderately more negative than positive, focusing on his ideology and policy agenda. 

Meanwhile, Trump’s coverage was focused on his character and leadership.

For Biden, 32 percent of coverage was negative while 23 percent was positive. The majority of coverage was neither, at 45 percent. 

When discussing the Trump administration four years earlier, the study indicated that 74 percent of stories revolved around his character and leadership.

Only a quarter of these belonged to ideology and policy categories. 

The topics most discussed in the early days of Biden and Trump’s presidency were the same. These were healthcare, presidential appointees, immigration and political skills.

The U.S.-Russia relationship were a leading topic in 2017 but not in 2021. This year, the economy has been one of the leading topics covered by the media. 

Both administrations were the main sources cited in media stories.

In 2017, the most cited source was the Trump administration while in 2021 the most cited source is the Biden administration. 

Biden’s reception, meanwhile, has been more positive than any other president over the past three decades.

The negative media coverage for Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama were in the 20 to 30 percentage rate. Trump’s percentage of negative coverage was 62%.

Skewed coverage

“While the media landscape has changed dramatically since Clinton’s presidential inauguration, the Center has been able to conduct a long-term comparison for each of the recent administrations across a smaller subset of outlets and variables,” said the PEW Research Center.

“When it comes to the tone of coverage, both new administrations received more negative assessments than positive assessments of their activities,” Pew wrote. 

“But while the percentage of Biden stories with an overall negative assessment (32%) modestly outnumbered the share with positive assessments (23%), stories with negative assessments of Trump outnumbered those with positive assessments by four-to-one (44% to 11%).”