Since the first GOP presidential debate last August, Fox News Channel seems to have lost its perception mojo with its core right-leaning audience.
By mid February, FNC’s perception by Republican adults 18 and over had reached its lowest point in more than three years, and has declined by approximately 50% since January of this year.
Coinciding with Trump’s rise to front-runner in the GOP presidential race, Fox News Channel has seen its perception by Republicans slide. In early August 2015, right after the first GOP debate aired on Fox News Channel,Trump went on a Twitter war with moderator Megyn Kelly, saying she “bombed” and calling her “a lightweight reporter.”
The picture hasn’t been rosy in terms of the general population either: since last May, Fox News Channel’s perception levels with adults 18+ have uncharacteristically been drawing significantly more negative feedback than positive. At this point, both FNC and CNN are scoring at similar perception levels and they are both negative.
To measure perception of the two networks, YouGov BrandIndex used its Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" A score can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position.
On January 1, 2013, Fox News Channel’s Buzz score with Republican adults 18 and over was 49. By the first GOP debate last August, the score had dropped to 38. The downward momentum accelerated earlier this year when Fox News Channel’s score dropped from 36 on January 18th to 14 on February 12th. Trump declined to participate in FNC’s sanctioned GOP debate on January 28th. Fox News Channel’s current Buzz score is 17.