With the presidential election less than two weeks out, it’s no surprise that more Americans are following election-related news closely. According to recent analysis by the Pew Research Center, Americans are currently paying about as much attention to election news as they are to developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pew’s survey, which examined Americans’ news habits in the weeks leading up to the 2020 U.S. election campaign, found the percentage of Americans who are now paying “very” or “fairly close” attention to news about the election nearly equals the same amount of U.S. adults who said they’re giving similar levels of attention to the coronavirus outbreak (79 percent).
More than half of those polled (57 percent) said they’re currently getting candidate-related news at least “several times a day,” while nearly a quarter (22 percent) reported getting this news “almost all the time.”
Altogether, about half of U.S. adults (48 percent) said they plan to tune in very closely to news coverage after the polls close on election night.
|Americans’ attention to election news is now on par with the COVID-19 pandemic.
When it comes to where Americans plan to watch election results, more than half (60 percent) cited national network TV sources (ABC, CBS, NBC or PBS). Cable TV outlets came in second (55 percent), followed by news websites (54 percent), social media platforms (42 percent) and the candidates or campaigns themselves (28 percent).
Respondents identifying as Biden supporters are far more likely to rely on network TV than Trump supporters (78 percent vs. 49 percent). Trump supporters, meanwhile, are more likely to turn to presidential candidates and campaigns for election night returns than Biden supporters (37 percent vs. 26 percent). About three-quarters of all respondents (74 percent) said they’ll use two or more different news sources for their election news needs.
A vast majority of Americans (82 percent) said they’re confident the news outlets they rely on will make the right call when announcing the winner.
Pew’s analysis was based on a survey of more than 10,000 U.S. adults conducted in early Oct. Pew’s findings were compiled as part of the nonpartisan think tank’s American News Pathways project, a yearlong initiative that has examined how Americans are getting their news in the months leading up to the 2020 election.