Once again, it is time for a look at Presidential preferences based on the number and demographics of viewers watching the 2008 political campaign through the eyes of the cable networks. Once again I'm assuming that Fox viewers are Republicans, and the people who watch CNN and MSNBC are Democrats. Obviously, some Democrats watch Fox, some Republicans watch CNN and/or MSNBC, but, based on the assumption that these numbers tend to even out, here's what happened the first week of October.
In primetime, Fox averaged 3,824,000 viewers. CNN and MSNBC between them averaged 3,999,000 viewers--that's Obama ahead by 2.2%.
In total day, Fox averaged 1,653,000 viewers. CNN and MSNBC combined for 1,739,000 viewers, a difference of about 80,000 viewers, again about 2%.
But the demographics show that Obama is far ahead in viewers under 55. CNN and MSNBC averaged 1,510,000 18-49 year old viewers in primetime, while Fox averaged only 812,000. That's an almost 2-1 edge for Democrats in that age group. In 18-34, CNN and MSNBC 680,000, Fox 214,000-- that's better than 3-1 for Obama. Even in the oldest measured demographic, CNN and MSNBC beat Fox 3-2-- 1,570,000 compared to Fox's 1,027,000.
So why is the overall viewing race so close? Republicans must be winning by a large margin in people over 55, which Nielsen doesn't measure. If my polling method indicates anything at all, it's that the Republicans are the party of yesterday.
Ordinarily, I wouldn't think one week's data is sufficiently reliable to use as the basis for a Presidential predictive poll. But, in this case the data largely coincides with last month's numbers and therefore, seems to me, to be reliable enough to post here.
Here are the September numbers: In primetime, total viewing was almost a dead-heat--Fox ahead 51% to 49%, for the CNN and MSNBC combo. But the combo beat Fox 65% to 35% in the 18-49 demographic, 60% to 40% in the 18-34 and 25-54 demographic groups.
September's total day, total viewing audience numbers-- once again resulted in an almost a dead-heat. This time, CNN and MSNBC beat FoxNews 51% to 49%. In the 18-49 category, the Democrats got about 60% of the vote, in the 18-34 they got 65% of the vote, and in the 25-54 demo they got 58% of the viewing by television audiences.
I don't want to make too much of this; maybe all the young conservatives get their news from the internet, but I doubt that since, so far, the Democrats seem to have moved to the digital age faster than their opponents. I'll stick with my title, "Fogies For McCain".
[Once again, I thank Cynthia Turner and her reliable Cynopsis for the numbers above.]
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