Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Voters' Cable News Preferences

By Katherine Rumbaugh, PPP Spring Fellow

This week, we tested the favorability of the big three of cable news networks with North Carolinians: CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC.

CNN: 57/25
FOX News: 52/31
MSNBC: 42/28

We also tested which network voters trust the most for fair and accurate reporting of political news and found that voters are more or less split between conservative-leaning FOX News (42%) and the more moderate CNN (39%). MSNBC, the most liberal-leaning of the three, ranked third at 16%.

Among liberals, 78% have a favorable opinion of CNN, compared to 68% percent for MSNBC. 73% of conservatives view FOX News favorably.

Unsurprisingly, 72% of Republicans trust FOX News for their political coverage, and 54% of Democrats prefer CNN. Independents are about equally split between FOX (39%) and CNN (40%).

For financial news, CNN edges FOX News 34% to 30%. Overall, 19% of voters prefer MSNBC for business news, but among the 18-29 age group, 45% prefer its financial coverage - well over CNN (15%) and FOX (25%).

So overall, CNN is winning among liberals and FOX News gets the conservative viewership. Up til now, MSNBC is lagging behind among North Carolina voters, but if it keeps up with its coverage of the economy and young people keep watching, MSNBC could increase viewership in the state.

Full results here.

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