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Fox News is the most-watched news outlet in roughly 70 percent of United States congressional districts, and is a favorite of independent voters, according to a new study.
Morning Consult gathered data from over 1.1 million people from Nov. 1, 2018, through Oct. 31, 2019, to determine weekly viewership of CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC. The study looked at adult-aged Democrats, independents and Republicans in every U.S. congressional district to determine who watched each cable news station at least once per week.
“Fox News is the most-watched cable news outlet in 299 of the country’s 436 districts by a margin of at least 2 percentage points,” Morning Consult wrote.
Florida’s 21st district had the highest concentration of viewers watching FNC at least once per week, with 47 percent of participants tuning in, while California’s 27th district had the smallest number of regular FNC viewers with 18.8 percent.
“Independents, who according to the data consume the three cable news networks at a lower rate than Republicans or Democrats and are often a decisive voting bloc, are slightly more likely to consume Fox News,” Morning Consult wrote. “It’s the most-watched cable channel among independents in 306 districts by a 2-point margin, while independents in 56 districts watch CNN the most. MSNBC was not the most-watched cable news outlet among independents in any district.”
Morning Consult found there was “no correlation between concentration in Fox News viewership and the political leanings of a district,” noting that liberal networks MSNBC and CNN didn’t see the same results.
“The political leanings of districts with large shares of weekly CNN and MSNBC viewers tended to be blue,” Morning Consult wrote.
Fox News Channel recently finished November atop all of basic cable, earning the most total viewers for the 41st straight month, while “Hannity” remained the highest-rated show on cable news and boasted its best month in program history.
Fox News averaged 1.6 million total-day viewers, followed by MSNBC’s 1.2 million. No other networks cracked the one-million viewer plateau as ESPN, Hallmark Channel and liberal CNN rounded out the top five. In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.8 million viewers compared to MSNBC’s 2 million and only 999,000 for troubled CNN.