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This Poll Confirms Fox News Viewers Really Are More Informed

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Posted: May 13, 2021 7:00 PM
This Poll Confirms Fox News Viewers Really Are More Informed

Source: AP Photo/Mark Lenniha

Whenever someone questions how well-informed Fox News viewers are, you can now point them in the direction of a new poll that shows they are quite informed, actually. The Heartland Institute teamed up with Rasmussen Reports to conduct a nationwide survey of 2,000 likely voters, from April 29 to May 3. "There is a strong correlation between a likely voter’s favorite television news outlet and his or her understanding of basic facts about climate change," Justin Haskins included as a take-away in his write-up for the Heartland Institute. These results were released this morning. 

It's helpful when a poll provides the full results. It's even more helpful when those conducting the poll provide the crosstabs and, with original emphasis, "strongly recommend that in addition to considering our summary bullet points below, you download the full results and view the crosstabs for this survey...," as Haskins does here. 

Of the 2,000 likely voters, a plurality, 34 percent, categorized Fox News as their "favorite." Nineteen percent chose "another" network as their "favorite." 

When it comes to the primary cause of climate change, a majority of likely voters, 55 percent, say "human activity" is a contributing factor, while 45 percent chose "long-term planetary trends." 

One question asked, "How many degrees (measured in Fahrenheit) has global temperature increased since the late 1800s? Less than 1 degree, 1 degree to 3 degrees, 3 degrees to 5 degrees, 5 degrees to 10 degrees, 10 degrees to 20 degrees, or more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit?" 

A plurality, at 37 percent, chose the correct answer of 1-3 degrees. A strong plurality, 41 percent of Fox News viewers and 42 percent of other network viewers, chose the correct answer. Pluralities of CNN and MSNBC viewers, however, incorrectly overestimated, choosing 3-5 degrees. 

Similarly, a significant plurality of respondents, 40 percent, who "strongly approve" of Joe Biden overestimated the increase, choosing 3-5 degrees.

Another question asked, "If global carbon-dioxide emissions continue to increase at a rate comparable to what occurred during the past decade, how many years do you think it will take for humans to become completely or nearly extinct due to climate change? 10 to 20 years, 20 to 50 years, 50 to 100 years, or more than 100 years?" 

A majority correctly chose more than 100 years (46 percent) or said they don't think humans will become extinct due to climate change (16 percent). A majority of viewers of Fox News or another network, at 54 and 53 percent respectively, chose more than 100 years. 

A takeaway provided by the Heartland Institute for Townhall noted "Biden supporters, viewers of CNN, MSNBC [are] ignorant of climate facts." These takeaways, with original emphasis, also note: 

  • No scientific study has suggested that humans are at risk of going extinct within the next 100 years due to climate change. But an astonishing 53% of those in the survey who “strongly approve” of Biden think that will happen
  • We also asked which cable news outlet was their favorite, and 58% of MSNBC viewers and 53% of CNN viewers thought humans would go extinct or nearly extinct in the next 100 years. Only 25% of Fox News viewers thought so.

It's always illuminating to see the approval ratings for President Joe Biden. A plurality, 44 percent, "strongly disapprove." The next highest response, 33 percent, "strongly approve."

In this case, those pluralities are even more significant because the poll, like most polls, oversamples Democrats by 38-36 percent. 

The same day that the climate change responses were released, H. Sterling Burnett with the Heartland Institute opined on the findings of other polls to do with the issue, writing that "'CLIMATE CRISIS' CLAIMS AREN’T MOVING PUBLIC OPINION MUCH." 

His piece mentioned: 

A funny thing happened on the way to the climate stampede, however. Public opinion surveys show most people still refuse to enter climate emergency mode. Polls show even those people who think there is a climate apocalypse on the way are willing to pay astonishingly little to prevent it. This fact may limit the range of climate policies politicians can impose without risk of being turned out of office in the next election. 

...

Despite a big push by the Biden administration, Democrats and RINOs in Congress, and even some oil companies to adopt a carbon dioxide tax, only 28 percent of those surveyed by MWR support the idea, and 62 percent reject it outright.

After years of fearmongering and attempted indoctrination, people aren’t really that concerned about climate change when the rubber meets the road with action—or dollars in this case. This message should cause despair among the climate-alarm set, and politicians should heed it as they shape the nation’s energy policies.