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Survey: 73% of Voters Oppose Eliminating Public-Television Funding

A new survey conducted jointly by leading Republican and Democratic pollsters found that 73% of voters — including a majority of Republicans — oppose eliminating federal funding for public television.

Conducted by Republican firm American Viewpoint and Democratic firm Hart Research Associates, the survey also found that 66% of people who voted for President Donald Trump favor increased funding for public television, as do 86% of Hillary Clinton voters. Public television was rated as a good value for tax dollars by 72% of those surveyed.

The survey was commissioned by PBS prior to a report last month by The Hill claiming that the Trump administration is considering a plan to privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — which provides funding for local public-television stations — and eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and its sister organization, the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“These results show that Republican and President Trump voters overwhelmingly support public television and strongly oppose eliminating its federal funding,” said Linda DiVall of American Viewpoint. “The voters that elected the President, including a majority of Republicans, put the taxpayer value delivered by public television on par with building highways, roads and bridges. Both are seen as high-value investments in America and its future.”

“The enormous benefits that public television delivers in terms of public safety and children’s programming are recognized across party lines,” said Geoff Garin of Hart Research Associates. “In a time of deep division in Washington and around the country, the strong bipartisan support for continued federal funding of public television is remarkable.”

American Viewpoint and Hart Research Associates surveyed 1,001 registered voters via telephone Jan. 4-8.

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