November 18, 2009

We Report, You Decide… To Watch

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From 1998 to 2008, the share of Republicans saying they regularly watch Fox News rose 22 percentage points, from 14% to 36%.

Over the past decade, then share of Republicans who regularly watch Fox News has grown substantially. In 2008, 36% of Republicans frequently tuned into the Fox News Channel, an increase of 22 percentage points from 1998 when just 14% regularly watched Fox News. The shares of Republicans and Democrats watching Fox News were relatively equal in 2002, but starting in 2004 a partisan gap emerged in viewership of Fox News, CNN and network news. As more and more Republicans have turned to Fox for their news, a decreasing number have tuned in on other news outlets. In 1998, 25% of Republicans regularly watched CNN, but in 2008 just 17% reported they did. There has also been a substantial drop off in Republicans watching network news. A quarter of Republicans regularly said they watched network news in 2008, down from 40% in 1998. During the same time, Democrats have increasingly turned to Fox News rivals CNN (25% regularly watched in 1998, 33% in 2008) and MSNBC (10% regularly watched in 1998, 18% in 2008). However, the share of Democrats who say they regularly watch the Fox News Channel has remained largely unchanged over the past decade (19% in 1998, 21% in 2008). Read More