January 2021 Church & State Magazine | People & Events

A new poll shows that Republicans who regularly watch the Fox News Channel believe that Christians in America face more discrimination than Black citizens do.

Conducted by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), the poll asked these Republicans whether certain populations face a lot of discrimination in America. Among so-called “Fox News Republicans,” a whopping 73% said Christians face such discrimination, and 58% asserted that whites in general face it. Only 36% felt that Black people face a lot of discrimination. The numbers who believe that Latinos and Asians deal with high levels of discrimination were 34% and 27% respectively.

As PRRI points out, Republicans who consider Fox News to be a reliable source are much more likely to be evangelicals than the overall population.

“Among television news sources, Fox News holds outsize influence, particularly among Republicans,” PRRI noted. “Currently, 15% of Americans cite Fox News as the television news source they trust the most to provide accurate information about politics and current events, which is roughly equal to the combined influence of broadcast networks like NBC, ABC, and CBS (16%), and larger than that of local television news (12%) and CNN (11%).”

Writing about Fox News Republicans, PRRI observed, “Fox News Republicans are whiter (81% vs. 63% for all Americans), more likely to be male (57% vs. 48% of all Americans), and older (32% are over age 65 vs. 21% of all Americans). Fox News Republicans are more likely than all Americans to identify as white evangelical Protestants (36% vs. 13%), much less likely to identify as religiously unaffiliated (5% vs. 25%), and more likely to say they attend religious services at least once a week (46% vs. 27%).”

PRRI also found that Fox News Republicans overwhelmingly support President Donald Trump, and virtually none of them have a favorable opinion of President-elect Joe Biden.

Members of this demographic, PRRI found, are uncomfortable with recent changes in American society, with 66% of them agreeing that “society as a whole has become too soft and feminine.” Fox News Republicans also tend to believe that a person must be religious to have morals. 60% agreed with the statement “It is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values.”