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More people are getting their news about the upcoming election from cable television than any other source, and from Fox News more than any other cable channel, according to a POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll released Monday.
The poll found that 81 percent of those polled get their news about the midterm elections from cable channels, like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or their websites, compared with 71 percent from national network news channels, such as ABC, NBC or CBS, and their websites.
Among cable news channels, Fox was the clear winner, with 42 percent of respondents saying it is their main source, compared with 30 percent who cited CNN and 12 percent who rely on MSNBC.
Get full poll results.
The results show the growing influence that 24-hour cable news has on shaping the political consciousness, despite the fact that network newscasts still draw many multiples of the number of viewers of even the highest-rated cable news shows.
“Because people can tune into cable at any time of day, I think the cumulative audience is probably larger than the cumulative audience for the three network news shows,” said Chris Arterton, dean of the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.
The results of the poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted Sept. 19 to Sept. 22 also reflect a trend that many commentators and media analysts find disconcerting: Voters are turning to media sources that reinforce their political worldviews rather than present them with more objective reporting that might challenge their assumptions.
“As more people get news from cable channels and websites that offer a particular point of view 24/7, it becomes increasingly important for viewers to sample multiple sources in order to best understand the issues and proposed solutions,” said Michael Freedman, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington and executive director of its Global Media Institute. “This trend is only increasing.”
Monday, September 27, 2010
Poll on Media Use