Despite Fox News’ best efforts, the support for Donald Trump among its most devoted viewers has plunged in the last six months.
In March, Fox viewers were 40 points more likely to view Trump positively than were voters overall. By December, they were only 24 points more likely to do so — even though the numbers for Republicans — with which Fox viewership overlaps to some extent — remained fairly high. (Among those who trust CNN the most, the second-most popular network, Trump’s numbers have been consistently dismal, ticking up only slightly of late.)
As you might expect, the percent of Fox viewers who see Trump unfavorably has climbed. In the most recent poll, more than a third of that group says they view him negatively, twice as high as the percentage of Republicans.
And while Trump’s approval among Republicans was still fairly high, the number of voters who said that they strongly approved of him sunk from 55 percent in March among Fox viewers to only 32 percent in October.
It’s not clear why the most loyal Fox News fans dislike Trump so much more than Republicans. For one thing, it’s hard to imagine that such fans would not be Republicans. Given Fox’s coziness with Trump, it’s just as hard to imagine that a hard-core Fox fan would not have the same warm, fuzzy feelings for him.
So my theory is that viewers who trust Fox the most are independent-minded contrarians, meaning they are prone to mistrust the “mainstream media” but do not necessarily swallow Fox News propaganda unquestioningly.
Whatever the reason, the poll findings are bad news for Trump as well as for those Fox News sycophants whose only job requirements seem to be making him look good and gushing over how good he is.
But the poll could be good news for the rest of us.
What are your theories to explain the discrepancy between Fox News loyalists and Republicans? I’d love to know.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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