‘Can’t ignore Newsmax or OAN’: GOP candidates forced to rethink TV strategy
After a generation as the undisputed king of cable television news among Republican viewers, Fox News is losing audience share to upstart competitors Newsmax and One America News Network in a shift that could profoundly alter how GOP primary candidates woo voters.
For 20 years, Republican candidates for state and federal office flocked to Fox News, the primary destination for GOP voters across the center-right political spectrum interested in news reporting and conservative commentary. But that viewership splintered significantly in November, when President Biden ousted former President Donald Trump. Since then, crucial segments of the broader Republican base that hold particularly high opinions of Trump have migrated to Newsmax and OANN.
Those are the findings of recent surveys conducted by veteran Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, who researched both media preferences and the divisions over Trump among GOP voters that have emerged since the 45th president left office.
Fabrizio said his polling found the Republican electorate divided into five factions, or “tribes,” according to their views of Trump: “Never Trump; Post-Trump GOP; Trump Boosters; Diehard Trumpers; Infowars GOP.” To reach them all, especially the coveted Trump voters now hooked on Newsmax and OANN, Fabrizio is advising Republicans on the ballot in 2022 to diversify television appearances beyond Fox News. This new media landscape is poised to affect the 2024 presidential race.
“You cannot ignore Newsmax or OAN,” Fabrizio told the Washington Examiner Friday. “There are segments of the party that watch them more than other segments of the party.” These networks, which had long struggled to break through, gained viewers as some Republicans rejected Fox News because the network acknowledged Biden’s victory and did not support Trump’s claims that the election was stolen.
Fabrizio polled registered Republicans and voters who affiliate as Republicans in late February and March to determine their support for the party in relation to Trump, who is mulling a third White House bid in 2024. Fabrizio said the Republican electorate breaks down accordingly: