Who’s watching? A look at the demographics of cable news channel watchers

Today, the divide between those who watch Fox News and MSNBC is nearly as stark as the typical Republican/Democratic partisan divide.  Fox News watchers give President Trump a 64% approve-34% disapprove rating, while MSNBC viewers disapprove at a rate of 21% approve-78% disapprove.  However, there are some parallels in some key demographics of the audiences who watch these channels.

For one, Fox News viewers (34% of American adults in the January 2018 NBC/WSJ poll) are often typecast as being old and white.  In fact, according to the same January 2018 NBC/WSJ poll, the 21% of Americans who watch MSNBC are also slightly older:

And, MSNBC viewers are nearly as likely to be white as those who watch Fox News:

Additionally, when it comes to their self-described economic circumstance, they are essentially identical:

Differences start to emerge when looking at these cable news viewers by profession and education.  Fox News viewers are a bit more likely to be employed, while MSNBC watchers are more likely to be employed in professional or managerial roles than the Fox News audience:

Further, when looking at education, the differences between the groups expand:

This education demographic is what drives the differences between Fox News and MSNBC viewers.  As 2016 exit polls demonstrated, education level has become the new political divide in America.  President Trump won voters with less than a college education, while Hillary Clinton won among voters with a college degree – and in the two years since the election, their choice for their news source follows this pattern as well.

The biggest differences come, not too surprisingly, along party and ideological lines (some viewers may well be “hate watching” the news on the other side of their political beliefs):

These differences become more apparent when looking at how viewers stand on key issues.  For example, 67% of Fox News viewers support a wall or fence along the Southern border, while 70% of MSNBC watchers oppose this.  And on the Russia investigation, 69% of the MSNBC audience say Robert Mueller’s investigation has given them more doubts about Trump’s presidency; however, just 28% of Fox News viewers say the same.

There is no question that the ideological divide in America is growing and while the audiences of Fox News and MSNBC look the same in some demographic aspects, it is clear that they couldn’t be much different based on their politics.

Polling for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal is conducted by Republican pollster Bill McInturff and Democratic pollster Fred Yang. This analysis is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of NBC, The Wall Street Journal, or Hart Research Associates.

Similar Articles

  • Public Release of Research: Strengthening HCAHPS Patient Experience Surveying
    read more

  • Republicans and the 2020 Election
    read more

  • A New Look At Ideology
    read more

  • Is social media your friend or a frenemy?
    read more

  • Trump’s numbers tied for his peak high as impeachment talk looms
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com