Trump’s Fox News fan base seems to be fading fast

December 20, 2017

President Donald Trump has an affinity for Fox News—and its viewers have been reputed to be among his most fanatic followers. But that prevailing wisdom increasingly is becoming “fake news,” according to a December 14 report by the Washington Post—which reveals that Trump’s  Fox News fan base is waning. In December it stood at just 58%, compared to 90% last June.

“Trump likes what he sees on Fox, which means that what he sees depicts him favorably,” the Washington Post said. And yet, according to new polling from Suffolk University, those voters who have the most trust in Fox’s reporting have increasingly begun to view Trump unfavorably.

Over the course of Trump’s presidency, the Post reports, Suffolk has asked people to weigh in on their views of the POTUS multiple times. In March, 45% of all Americans viewed Trump favorably, but fully 86% of those who identified Fox as their most-trusted news network said they did. By June, that number had grown to 90%.

All of that changed in the October and December polls: Trump’s favorability with Fox News viewers has plunged from nearly 20 percentage points to over 30 percentage points–slipping from that 90% strong majority to 74% in October and 58% in December.

In March, Fox viewers were 40 points more likely to view Trump positively than were voters overall. By December, they were only 24 points more likely to do so — even though the numbers for Republicans — with which Fox viewership overlaps to some extent — remained fairly high. (Among those who trust CNN the most, the second-most popular network, Trump’s numbers have been consistently dismal, ticking up only slightly of late.)

As you might expect, the percent of Fox viewers who see Trump unfavorably has climbed. In the most recent poll, more than a third of that group says they view him negatively, twice as high as the percentage of Republicans.

Suffolk didn’t ask about approval ratings in its poll, but a similar trend was emerging there, too. And while Trump’s approval among Republicans was still fairly high, the number of voters who said that they strongly approved of him sank from 55% in March among Fox viewers to only 32% in October.

What’s interesting, the Post points out, is that Trump’s favorability dipped despite people’s opinions of the state of the country turning around. Between October and December, Fox News viewers were slightly more likely to say that the country was headed in the right direction — and quite a bit more likely to view Trump unfavorably.

Research contact: supolls@suffolk.edu

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