The Effect of Fox News Channel on U.S. Elections: 2000-2020
40 Pages Posted: 4 May 2021 Last revised: 16 May 2022
Date Written: April 21, 2022
This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of the effect of Fox News Channel (FNC) on elections in the United States. FNC is the highest-rated channel on cable television and has a documented conservative slant. We show that FNC has helped Republican candidates in elections across levels of U.S. government over the past decade. A one standard deviation decrease in FNC’s channel position boosted Republican vote shares by at least .5 percentage points in recent presidential, Senate, House and gubernatorial elections. The effects of FNC increased steadily between 2004 and 2016 and then plateaued. Survey-based evidence suggests that FNC affects elections by shifting the political preferences of Americans to the right. Overall, the findings suggest that FNC has contributed to the nationalization of United States elections.
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