While the discussion on the individual level variables that affect responses to political scandals has focused mainly on variables such as partisan identity or political cynicism, we suggest that media skepticism could also moderate whether and how individuals respond to political scandals. To test this relationship, we rely on panel data from the United States gathered before and after the Trump–Ukraine scandal occurred (Wave 1 in June 2019, Wave 2 in October 2019). Our results show that individuals who rank higher on media skepticism hold comparatively more positive views of Trump after the scandal, even when previous evaluations and alternative explanations are controlled for. Conversely, we find no effect of media skepticism in trust toward the US political system and government. We believe our findings have significant consequences to understanding the relationship between the governed and those governing in times of widespread media skepticism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations