Corrections and clarifications: This story has been updated to correct the years that Newsmax and OANN launched.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, most people have missed the shift of Trump voters away from Fox News and into the hands of Newsmax and One America News Network, two news outlets that are only 8 years old but in that short time have managed to greatly improve their standing in conservative circles.
While the average voter may be mostly unaware of these outlets, the Suffolk University/USA TODAY national poll of exclusively 2020 Trump voters offers key data points in what could be a seismic shift in the landscape of trusted news sources for conservatives in the country.
First, I want to make sure we keep the relative size of the shift in perspective, as it’s not a 100% change from Fox to its competitors. Fox News is still, by far, the most trusted news network/media source among previously identified Trump voters from various state and national polls taken in 2020. Among Trump voters, 34% trusted Fox News the most, followed by 17% for Newsmax, 9% for One America News Network, with every other network at 3% or less.
The above numbers, however, also paint a drastically different picture than the numbers four years ago. In late October 2016, Suffolk University and USA TODAY conducted a national poll of likely presidential election voters, and among those who said they would support Trump over Clinton, a whopping 58% trusted Fox News the most. At the time of our October 2016 poll, OANN and Newsmax were barely 4 years old, so they were not offered as options. However, we do not believe that in 2016 they would have been trusted the most by a statistically significant portion of respondents.
Today’s data shows Fox News is losing the most loyal Trump voters. On the issue of whether Trump voters believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected, 73% said Biden was not. Among Trumpers trusting OANN, the number was 90% and among Newsmax Trumpers it was 92% saying Biden was “illegitimately elected.”
In a similar trend, 58% of Trump voters said that the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 was an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters. Among Fox News viewers it was 59%, but notably less than the 73% who watch OANN and Newsmax. The recent Senate impeachment trial had a doubling down effect for 64% of Newsmax viewers who said the trial made them more supportive of Trump. Among OANN, 49% were more supportive, followed by 41% of Fox viewers.
Trump’s loyalty carries into the 2024 presidential election as well, with 62% of Trumpers trusting Fox News, saying that they would like to see Trump run for president in four years. But that high number was less than the 70% and 73% respectively among those who trust Newsmax and OANN. Those who trust either OANN (66%) and Newsmax (64%) the most say history will record Trump as a great president. For…