Fox News is continuing to struggle with the former bedrock of its audience. That comes according to a new Morning Consult poll. As RedState reported previously, MSNBC’s Morning Joe beat Fox and Friends for the first time in 20 years in the ratings, another ominous bit of data pointing to a shift for the news giant.
Per The Daily Caller, Republican attitudes toward Fox News shifted negative by double digits a week after the election.
POLL: Republicans Increasingly Negative Towards Fox News https://t.co/vDF8KYRk11
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 21, 2020
Prior to the Nov. 3 elections 67 percent of individuals who are professing Republicans had a favorable disposition towards Fox News. This plummeted to 54 percent just one week after the election according to a morning consult survey. There are several circumstances that could cause such a shift. One such factor is President Donald Trump’s criticism for the network as reported by the Miami Herald.
I tend to think that these moves are less a result of Donald Trump saying things on Twitter and more a result of viewers having eyes and ears. The tone on Fox News has been increasingly hostile to its core viewership for some time now, with multiple instances happening that would have made you think you were watching CNN. While that’s not an issue with the prime-time opinion hosts, it has been an issue when it comes to hard news anchors like Chris Wallace, Sandra Smith, Leland Vittert, and Neil Cavuto. Shepard Smith was an especially egregious example, though he departed the network during the latter part of the Trump administration.
Fox News’ response has been to insist everything is fine. Yet, it’s hard to ignore the lowered ratings among the hard news side of the channel. Shows that formerly bested both MSNBC and CNN for years are now falling into 3rd place in some cases. The collapse, arguments about the extent of it aside, is real.
How this will play out with Trump out of office, an increasingly likely outcome given all the new certifications of elections by states, will be interesting. Does a true, well-funded competitor network arise? Or do things calm down enough for Fox News to regain the audience it has lost? We’ll find out.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)