Hint: It’s one of the Democratic presidential candidates who bothered to show up on Fox. That’s not the only eye-catching result from Morning Consult’s latest poll, either. Bernie Sanders’ brand of unvarnished socialism apparently does better with Fox News viewers than the lean-forward audience at MSNBC. He also does slightly better with Wall Street Journal readers than those at the New York Times or the Washington Post, too.
What’s going on with capitalists these days? Is everyone wearing Che chic?
The difference between the print outlets is negligible, but the response from viewers of the three main news cable channels is remarkable. It’s not just that Bernie scores more viewers at Fox than MSNBC, but also more at Fox than CNN, and both outside the margin of error (±4%). He’s the only Democrat to score better on Fox too; even Joe Biden does slightly worse on Fox, although that’s within the MoE.
It’s funny what engagement can do for a politician, eh?
The big takeaway from this, however, is that engagement isn’t an end-all-be-all for Bernie. He’s raking in the small donors, he’s doing the TV town halls, he’s even reaching out across the ideological divide, and yet Bernie’s still trailing Biden in every category — by a lot.
That’s also true on social media, although to a lesser extent. The headline for the Morning Consult report is a peek inside the social-media bubble and how it changes the Democratic race. Biden leads Sanders among daily Twitter users 33/20, but that expands to 44/18 for non-Twitter users. Sanders only gets an edge among “very liberal Twitter users,” getting to a virtual tie at 22/25, but among strong liberals off of Twitter, Bernie falls back to 32/24. Overall, Biden leads well outside the MoE for all daily users of other social-media platforms except for Snapchat, where he drops into a virtual tie at 30/29.
Much like other polling in this race, the Morning Consult report shows that there are two tiers in the Democratic primary: the Biden-Sanders tier, and the Everyone Else tier. Elizabeth Warren might be edging to the top of the latter, but she’s not coming close to joining the former. It may well be that people see Bernie as the more authentic socialist rather than a pretender or a panderer, and that could explain why Fox viewers and WSJ readers like Bernie better, too. They prefer their socialists without sheep’s clothing.