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Excitement is building to a fever pitch on both sides as the final day of voting and the official day of the 2012 presidential election culminate on November 6. Candidates President Obama and Governor Romney are making their last trips to battleground states known for deciding tight elections.
The main stream media, cable media, and social media have been relentless in the pursuit of shaping the election discussion and voter perception. The print and online media pundits have been writing for months highlighting what issues matter most to voters in this election and what advantages and disadvantage each candidate possesses.
Each campaign’s spokespeople and surrogates are confidently predicting their man will be the winner.
Voters are a bit fatigued with what has seemed like the longest election season in decades. They have been bombarded with a non-stop ad war by both candidates. Over seventy million Americans watched the four debates. Many have been watching the results of endless up and down political poll results.
Americans are on the edge of their seats waiting for the vote to uncover who will lead America the next four years in the White House and whether the U.S. Senate will remain in a Democrat majority.
Most of the United States will be glued to television sets or the Internet tomorrow night in great anticipation of the election results of each of the fifty states that determine which Electoral College votes go to Obama or Romney. More than likely, many will watch late into Wednesday early morning hoping to go to bed knowing which candidate reached the victory number of 270.
Which television news source will you be watching for election coverage? According to Public Policy Polling, more than likely it will be Fox News if you are a Republican and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) if you are a Democrat.
PPP conducted a poll of 700 likely voters from January 13th to 16th. The polling was conducted by telephone interviews, and the margin of error is +/- 3.7%. PPP is a Democratic polling company, but the poll was “not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization.”
“PPP's 3rd annual TV news trust poll (2011 version here, 2010 version here) finds that Fox News tops the list for both the source Americans trust the most and the one they trust the least.”
PPP notes, “Fox is the most trusted TV news source for 34% of voters, followed by PBS at 17%, CNN at 12%, ABC News at 11%, CBS News at 8%, MSNBC at 5%, and Comedy Central and NBC each at 4%.”
PPP further details, “This year’s poll finds a year-over-year increase in trust for every news outlet tested in 2011. PBS is up 2 points, NBC +6, CNN and Fox News + 7, and CBS and ABC experiencing a +5 jump in trust from 2011.
“When asked which news outlets they trust the most and least of all on the list, Fox News tops both most trusted and most distrusted at 34% each. PBS came in as second most trusted with 17%, CNN at 12%, ABC at 11% and no other outlets breaking double digits. When asked which outlet they trust the least, voters again cite Fox News at 34%, followed by Comedy Central at 16%, MSNBC at 15%, CNN at 11% and no others breaking double digits.
“Across the ideological spectrum, majorities of liberals and moderates trust ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and PBS. Moderate voters also trust MSNBC (49/27) and even Comedy Central (36/34) by a small margin. “Somewhat conservative” and “very conservative” voters trust only Fox News, with moderates distrusting by a 28-55 margin.”
“Democrats trust everything- except Fox News. NBC does the best with them at +50 (67/17), followed by PBS and CNN at +49 (66/17 and 65/16 respectively), ABC at +38 (57/19), CBS at +35 (58/23), MSNBC at +33 (56/23), and even Comedy Central at +4 (36/32). Fox News comes in at -36 (25/61).”
“Republicans meanwhile don't trust anything except Fox News. PBS comes the closest to breaking even among non-Fox outlets, although not very close, at -30 (26/56). It's followed by CNN at -49 (18/67), MSNBC at -51 (18/69), NBC at -52 (17/69), CBS at -54 (17/71), ABC at -56 (14/70), and Comedy Central at -59 (12/71). But Fox News comes in at a stellar 73/17.”
One thing is for sure, the U.S. appears to be polarized regarding everything the past few years – politics, political parties, the 2012 election, the President, the Federal Reserve, Congress, health care legislation, tax policy, energy policy, environmental regulations, labor unions, the stimulus, the bailouts, government spending, government borrowing, government debt and deficit, fiscal cliff, entitlements, and reform.
With so much division, it is no wonder, which television news voters will be watching for election results on Tuesday night will reflect the political divide and polarization as a whole in the U.S. too.