Oct 1, 2019

America's most polarizing brands: News media companies

News media companies make up 12 of the 15 most polarizing brands in America today, according to a new Morning Consult poll provided to Axios. CNN and Fox News continue to be the most divisive news companies.

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Data: Morning Consult; Table: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: The gap between how Republicans and Democrats view national media brands like CNN and Fox news continues to widen, according to the polling, which points to an increase in polarization of news diets across America.

Be smart: The gap is being driven by substantial decreases in net favorability among Republicans across most media brands other than Fox News.

  • For example, the difference between how the two parties viewed CNN grew from a 66-percentage point gap last year to an 80-point gap this year, due to a 12-point drop in net favorability among Republicans, from -13% to -25%.
  • In total, Republicans held more negative views than Democrats of every media outlet on the list except for Fox News. 

Yes, but: The difference between how the two parties view Fox News grew from a 54-percentage point gap last year to a 74-percentage point gap this year, thanks in part to Democrats decreasing their net favorability of that brand by nearly 20 percentage points.

Between the lines: Even outlets that are generally considered non-partisan, like ABC News and CNBC, rank among the most polarizing brands in America.

  • Some corporate entities have seen shifts as well. The NFL no longer ranks within the top 15 of the most polarizing brands polled out of 3,700 companies. Last year, following its kneeling controversy, the brand ranked 6th.
  • But Nike has seen a decline in Republican favorability, and now ranks number 15 on the list.

Methodology: The poll surveys 3,700 brands that Morning Consult tracks daily, according to 336,370 responses drawn between July 1 and Aug. 8, 2019.

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