NOTE: All cable news ratings came from here, except CNN data for February 2016 and 2017, which came from Variety and The Hill, respectively. The data covers Primetime (M-Sn) total viewers and 25-54 (total viewers shown in smooth lines, 25-54 in sharp lines). Seven of twenty-nine entries were not easily accessible for all three networks. Instead of mixing sources, I decided to repeat the previous month. The point of this graph is ratings over time, not discovering a dramatic moment. There are eight “action” entries. Seven were dictated by lack of a ratings result. March of 2016 was included as it was particularly eventful. It included Lewandowski shoving/grabbing a reporter, Trump musing that women should be punished for abortions, Trump abortion “flip-flops”, Trump abandoning his pledge to support the republican nominee and Trump advocating for nuclear proliferation.
NOTE: Two adjustments were made to Trump’s approval rating to improve visibility. First, it starts at 3500. Then, the actual rating was multiplied by ten. So, if Trump’s rating was 30, then the data point would be. 30×10+3500=3800. This way the variation is more apparent. Figure actual rating by excluding first and last numbers and subtracting five from the second number (X80X = 30; X92X = 42). Or subtract 3500 from the displayed number, then divide that result by ten. The approval data is from Gallup.
From inauguration through today, Trump’s approval rating remains unchanged at 42%. There appears to be no correlation between cable news viewership and Trump approval rating, despite over 90% of the coverage from MSNBC and CNN being negative. Shouldn’t our news be capable of persuading us?
And we are not the problem.
FOX started with the most viewers and has gained in viewership over the graph’s time period.
MSNBC has more than doubled in viewership over the graph’s time period, dramatically closing the gap with FOX. And it’s not just those leaving CNN. MSNBC could be creating new viewers.
CNN has lost seven thousand viewers over the graph’s time period.
Note how both FOX and MSNBC made gains in the 25-54 demographic, whereas, once again, CNN lost viewers (six thousand).
What is so different about the Trump-bashing styles of MSNBC and CNN that could cause such disparate results? I suggest that CNN is more hateful. And MSNBC is more conspiratorial. One is straight Trump-bashing and the other is informative, however false. I also believe this results in CNN’s overall picture being less accurate, and MSNBC’s being less complete, and therefore immune to judgment, for now. This allows its viewers to stick around.
Note how all networks’ viewership decreases when psychiatrists enter the picture (this is essentially the low point for all three networks). Apparently, we are not interested in seeing biased and speculative diagnosis.
Note how the same thing happened during Trump’s no good month of March 2016.
Note how all networks’ viewership increases when Trump is nominated.
Note how MSNBC and CNN are currently trending dramatically downward, much more so than FOX. Is this because of the immigration/ICE issue? Is it because of the Putin talk? Is it a repeat of the psychiatrists?
If you consider total viewership in relation to current issue, then it would seem that people tune in when they want to be educated, not to hear Trump being bashed, or victims being sensationalized.
According to Real Clear Politics and The Washington Post, the top pollster for the 2016 election was IBD/TIPP.
Look at the images and consider whether they match-up with what you read and see in the news:
Democrats, how can you change anything by avoiding reality and driving underground all of the people you need to educate? How will you ever find them? Or know what to teach them?
The above chart is from 2017. Note how republicans and independents agree, and democrats are on their own. Would you say the coverage has gotten better or worse in the last sixteen months?
I really wanted to include Trump support by political party on this page, but interesting data along those lines does not exist in contemporary times. If you’re a republican you support. If you’re a democrat you resist. At least publicly.