A new Quinnipiac University poll of network trust found that Democrats no longer trust MSNBC. CNN is the most trusted network among Democrats by a margin of 32%-14%.
In the comparison chart, FOX News is definitely the Republican choice as 58 percent of GOP voters say they trust FOX the most, while 13 percent turn to CNN, with 7 percent each for NBC and CBS, 5 percent for ABC and 2 percent for MSNBC.
Only 3 percent of Democrats trust FOX the most, with 32 percent for CNN, 15 percent for NBC, 14 percent each for CBS and MSNBC and 8 percent for ABC.
The level of Democratic mistrust of MSNBC is surprising on the surface, but there has long been a complaint among some MSNBC viewers that the network has developed a taste for Obama bashing. MSNBC boss Phil Griffin’s great “wonk” experiment of building programming around wonkish hosts has been a total bust that pushed viewers away from the network who favor the sort of hard-hitting red meat programming offered up by the likes of former centerpiece Keith Olbermann.
Studies have shown that Democrats and liberals are more likely to split their news network preference than conservatives and Republicans. Fox News will always finish in the top slot as the number one most trusted network for as long as they have no conservative competition. For Republicans, it is Fox News and nothing else. If Democrats could unify around a network, in the same way, that Republicans do, Fox News would not win these most trusted network polls.
The results of this poll demonstrate that MSNBC has a lot of work to do if they want to win back Democratic viewers. One of the main reasons for MSNBC’s ratings struggles is that their target audience (Democrats) no longer trusts them. These feelings are understandable after Democrats who may have been MSNBC viewers have seen their favorite hosts abruptly fired or moved around on the schedule with little rhyme or reason.
MSNBC isn’t in trouble because liberal media has failed. MSNBC is struggling because it has lost the trust of its viewers. If MSNBC is ever going to rise again, management needs to win back the trust of viewers who feel like they have been burned too many times in the past.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association