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Fox News Still the Champ Among Conservatives, Survey Finds

A new Pew survey refutes the notion that conservative viewers are jumping ship from Fox News in droves.

(CN) --- A recent survey from the Pew Research Center revealed the majority of Republicans and even some Democrats still prefer Fox News over newer rivals Newsmax and One America News (OAN), both of which gained in popularity during the Trump era.

As the elder statesman of the group, Fox News continues to maintain the widest reach across party lines, age groups and racial groups, according to the survey of 12,045 American adults conducted March 8-14.

The survey found 43% of U.S. adults polled say they watched Fox News at some point during the week prior, while Newsmax and OAN garnered only 10% and 7%, respectively.

About 3 in 10 left-leaning respondents acknowledged tuning in to Fox, while nearly none watched Newsmax or OAN. White, Black and Hispanic Americans from both sides of the aisle also turn to Fox News in roughly the same proportions. Newsmax and OAN viewers, however, tend to skew older, whiter and more conservative.

Far from the behemoth that is Fox News, Newsmax and OAN rank closer in overall viewership to smaller outlets like HuffPost, The Hill and Sean Hannity’s radio show, with between 7% and 9% of respondents as viewers.

Many conservative viewers were believed to have jumped ship to less-mainstream outlets like Newsmax and OAN, especially among ardent Trump devotees, after Fox News called the state of Arizona for Joe Biden even before many left-leaning outlets in the last election. The survey shows that wasn’t the case despite a number of Republicans on Twitter denigrating Fox for its “disloyalty” to the former president.

Despite that vocal minority, Fox News continues to captures the lion’s share of viewers across the Republican spectrum. Among conservative survey participants, 66% tuned into Fox in the week preceding the survey, while Newsmax and OAN captured only 27% and 19%, respectively.

The two smaller networks fared even more poorly with moderate Republicans, capturing only 10% and 7% of those viewers, respectively, while over half of them tuned into Fox at some point.

Far from being abandoned, 77% of U.S. adults who watched Newsmax during the survey period also tuned into Fox News in that time, as did 69% of OAN viewers. Only 23% and 31% of their respective audiences viewed Newsmax and OAN exclusively in the week leading up to the survey.

Newsmax and OAN also share a significant overlap in their audiences. The survey found 43% of Newsmax viewers also tuned into OAN, while 62% of OAN’s audience tuned into Newsmax.

Fox News also retains the largest proportion of viewers across demographics compared to its smaller rivals. Republicans across the spectrum tend to favor Fox News, but moderate Republicans were especially likely to remain loyal. Meanwhile older, white, conservative viewers made up the bulk of Newsmax and OAN viewership --- many of whom turned on Fox News after what they deemed to be the network’s unfavorable coverage of former President Trump.

Newsmax and OAN combined accounted for nearly 30% of all viewers polled over the age of 50. To contrast that with younger generations, only 6% of viewers between 30 and 49 years of age tuned in to those outlets, and for individuals between 18 and 29 that number drops to 4%. Meanwhile, nearly half of viewers under age 50 tuned into Fox News during the survey period.

Fox News enjoys a nearly even spread of viewers across racial lines, with 44% of white viewers, 47% Black viewers and 41% Hispanic viewers tuning in. Only 29% of Asian Americans said they watched Fox News ahead of the survey, however. And Newsmax and OAN fared especially poorly among minorities, garnering only 5% and 4% of Hispanic American viewers, respectively, and just 2% and 1%, respectively, for Black Americans.

Broken down by education level, Fox News also commands the majority of viewers without a college degree, with 52% from that group tuning in. Viewership drops as education level rises, with 36% of college graduates surveyed and only 31% of postgrads copping to watching the network. Those differences are less pronounced for Newsmax and OAN, ranging from 7-11% for Newsmax and 4-8% for OAN.

Follow @dmanduff
Categories / Consumers, Media, Politics

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