Fox News’ controversial coverage of the election fractured its viewership — mainly due to its extremely early call of the presidential race in Arizona for Joe Biden — leading to many supporters of then-President Donald Trump to depart in search for more reliable sources.
Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio said that he is encouraging GOP candidates to expand their television appearances beyond Fox News, so that they might appeal to the broader Republican base.
Fabrizio suspects that the new media sources will affect both the 2022 midterms and the 2024 race.
“You cannot ignore Newsmax or OAN,” Fabrizio said. “There are segments of the party that watch them more than other segments of the party.”
Despite the radical shift in viewership, Fox News still draws the lion’s share of conservative viewers, according to Fabrizio.
He found that 49% of registered Republicans still watch Fox News on a weekly basis, including 55% of those who consider themselves to be “Diehard Trumpers.”
Nevertheless, many Republicans with a favorable opinion of Trump were upset by Fox News’ coverage of the 2020 election and its aftermath, during which the network acknowledged Biden’s victory and failed to take claims of election fraud seriously.
Forty-five percent of “Diehard Trumpers” said that they watch Newsmax, and 35% watch OANN.
Both networks have seen a significant rise in viewership since November.
Fabrizio argued that these alternative news sources cannot be ignored, suggesting that GOP candidates “need to vary” their appearances in order to appeal to the broader conservative base.