Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute have put together a poll of respondents, categorizing them by which network cable news channel they watch, and them asking them a series of questions on a topic. As I covered last week, Fox News viewers were much more informed on climate change than their liberal counterparts. I addressed last night how they were also more likely to accurately estimate the amount of unarmed Blacks fatally shot by police and the amount of knife attacks in a year. A final round of polling issues confirms Fox News viewers are better informed on other topics as well.
As a refresher about the poll, which was conducted April 29-May 3:
Of the 2,000 likely voters, a plurality, 34 percent, categorized Fox News as their “favorite.” Nineteen percent chose “another” network as their “favorite.”
It’s always illuminating to see the approval ratings for President Joe Biden. A plurality, 44 percent, “strongly disapprove.” The next highest response, 33 percent, “strongly approve.”
In this case, those pluralities are even more significant because the poll, like most polls, oversamples Democrats by 38-36 percent.
This round of polling questions addresses the debt, taxes, and uninsured Americans.
One question asked “how large is the U.S. national debt,” with a plurality, at 28 percent, correctly choosing between $20-$30 trillion. As of May 20, it’s at $28.31 trillion. While a strong plurality, at 35 percent, of Fox News viewers chose the correct answer, a plurality of CNN and MSNBC viewers significantly underestimated, with 22 percent of viewers of each networking thinking it was $1-$5 trillion.
Only 16 percent of CNN viewers and 20 percent of MSNBC viewers chose the correct answer.
Oh, to be able to live in that fantasy world where there’s so much less debt.
“What is the top marginal federal income tax rate (the highest rate one can pay in federal income taxes) for Americans who earn at the top income bracket,” another question asked. “This does not include state income taxes or payroll taxes like Social Security.” A plurality underestimated, with 33 percent choosing 20%-30% percent, though a close 31 percent correctly answered it’s 30%-40%, with the rate being 37 percent.
This is a question where Fox News viewers performed much better than their liberal counterparts. A plurality of them, at 36 percent, chose the correct answer. The 20%-30% estimate is the winning option because so many CNN and MSNBC viewers underestimated and chose that figure. A significant plurality, at 34 percent, of CNN viewers chose this response, and even more MSNBC viewers did, to the tune of 38 percent of them.
Only 23 percent of CNN viewers and 22 percent of MSNBC viewers chose the correct response, which is too nearly identical to the 21 percent of CNN viewers and the 20 percent of MSNBC viewers who underestimated even further and chose 10%-20%.
The last question truly stumped respondents. “What percent of the U.S. population did not have private health insurance or government-provided health insurance coverage in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” it asked, with the correct answer being 8.8 percent of the population. Only 13 percent of respondents answered correctly, which was the 0%-10% response. A plurality of respondents, at 35 percent, overestimated to answer 10%-20%. In fact, the correct option was only chosen more than incorrect option of “More than 40%,” which 8 percent chose.
Nevertheless, 18 percent of Fox News viewers chose the correct answer, while only 7 percent of CNN and 6 percent of MSNBC viewers chose correctly. In fact, the correct answer was the least chosen response for viewers of these two networks. Double the amount of MSNBC viewers overestimated the amount of uninsured to include “More than 40 percent,” at 12 percent compared to the 6 percent who chose correctly. For Fox News viewers, the correct answer was their third most chosen answer.
It appears here, then, that Fox News viewers may have even made their liberal counterparts look good, as the results would have been even more embarrassing had Fox viewers not performed so much better.
A take-away provided to Townhall from the Heartland Institute noted that “Consumers of left-leaning legacy media have no grasp of the national debt, federal tax rate, and the percentage of uninsured Americans.”
You can say that again.