Gallup Poll Shows How Badly MSNBC Is Lagging In The Cable News Wars

Rachel Maddow MSNBC ratings

A new Gallup poll released Monday confirms Fox News’ status as perhaps the most powerful brand name in news, while also promoting the still-valuable role television plays in how Americans get their news. 

Most Americans (55%) turn to television as their “main source of news about current events in the U.S. and around the world,” and 8% of those say they turn to Fox News. That makes Fox the most popular specific brand name for news. CNN comes in a close second, as 7% of Americans say they turn to the network for their news. MSNBC, meanwhile, sits far down the list and didn’t warrant a further demographic breakdown from Gallup.

Beyond Fox and CNN, brand names no longer dominate the news landscape. No more than 1% of Americans say they get their news from MSNBC, ABC, NBC, BBC, or CBS. The non-specific newspaper (6%) and radio (4%) both also lagged well behind the television category.

A further breakdown of the networks in the poll clearly reveals Fox News’ strength as the conservative and Republican network of choice. 67% of people who turn to Fox News as their primary source identify as Republican, and that number jumps to 94% if Republican “leaners” are included. 

CNN, meanwhile, is where self-described moderates and Democrats turn for news. Of the responders who said CNN was their primary source, 51% were moderate, and 63% at least leaned Democratic. 

MSNBC, though, couldn’t be further broken down demographically because not enough people said they watch it as their primary source of news. 

“With only 1% selecting MSNBC, there weren’t enough cases,” Gallup’s Lauren Kannry said in an email. “However, most of the story focused on the demographics of broad groups – TV, Internet, Radio and Print news consumers – so in that sense all outlets were covered.  Fox and CNN were just the only specific media outlets that had sufficient cases to look at individually.”

Here’s a better look at the demographic breakdown of those who primarily watch Fox News and CNN:

Gallup Fox News CNN

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