The opinion of Fox News among President Donald Trump’s Republican supporters shifted dramatically in the aftermath of the Nov. 3 elections, largely due to what many viewers perceived as increasingly negative and biased coverage of the president and the Republican Party.
The shift in opinion has now been confirmed by both polling and ratings, The Daily Caller reported.
To be sure, polling itself has also been revealed as being suspect following the elections, but with that said, it still retains some measure of value in gauging public opinion on a variety of matters.
Negative perception grows
According to Morning Consult and its Brand Intelligence polls that track public opinion regarding thousands of different name brands, the perception of Fox News has moved in a decidedly negative direction since the election.
Throughout 2020, up until the election on Nov. 3, Fox News was viewed favorably by roughly 67 percent of self-described Republicans and unfavorably by about 16 percent. Those numbers reflect the combined percentages of those who viewed the network “very” or “somewhat” favorably or unfavorably.
In the two weeks following the election, however, the combined favorable view of Fox News among those same Republicans has dropped 13 percent to 54 percent overall. Meanwhile, the percentage of Republicans with a combined unfavorable view of the network nearly doubled to 30 percent.
The shift in perception was also reflected in the ratings for Fox News and its competitors in the wake of the Nov. 3 elections, according to The Wrap.
The once-formidable Fox and its flagship morning program “Fox & Friends,” which has dominated the ratings since 2001, was surpassed for the first time in 19 years by its MSNBC rival “Morning Joe” by about a quarter-million viewers for the week of Nov. 9 through Nov. 13.
Likewise, MSNBC’s mid-morning to late-afternoon programming similarly bested Fox News’ daytime lineup by approximately 120,000 viewers during that same week, again for the first time in 19 years.
However, at least as of now, Fox’s primetime lineup, which has tended to remain more pro-Trump than the daytime or morning shows, has continued to remain atop the ratings over its rivals at MSNBC and CNN.
Can’t blame it all on Trump
Many in the media have pointed to President Trump’s increasingly caustic pre- and post-election comments regarding Fox’s change in tone in coverage as the reason for the shifted opinion and declining ratings, but the president’s supporters didn’t need to be told. The changes had already become evident even before the elections had taken place and Trump started speaking negatively about the network.
Whether it be the biased coverage and moderation of the debates, calling states early for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and refusing to call states until way late for Trump on election night, or declaring that Democrats would expand their majority in the House — while people were still voting — when they actually nearly lost the House, there are ample reasons for Republican viewers to have become disgusted with Fox News, and that perception likely won’t change back to the good for some time.