- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 4, 2016

Americans are divided on their preferred presidential election news sources, but cable television news was at the top of the list when U.S. adults were asked which source they found the most helpful, according to a survey released Thursday.

Ninety-one percent of U.S. adults reported learning about the election in the previous week from at least one of 11 sources, according to a Pew Research Center survey taken last month.

Of those people, 24 percent named cable TV news as the most helpful — a higher percentage than any other choice. Cable was followed by social media and local TV at 14 percent apiece.

News websites and apps were at 13 percent, followed by radio at 11 percent and network nightly news at 10 percent.

Late-night comedy shows and local print papers were at 3 percent. National print papers and websites/apps/emails of issue-based groups were at 2 percent each, followed by candidates’ or campaigns’ websites, apps, or emails at 1 percent.

Among people between the ages of 18 and 29, social media was the favorite, named by 35 percent, followed by news websites or apps at 18 percent and cable TV news at 12 percent.

Cable TV news beat out other sources for people ages 30 and above, but the percentage grew higher the older the respondents were. Twenty-one percent of people ages 30-49 named cable, compared to 25 percent of people ages 50-64 and 43 percent of people ages 65 or older.

Republicans were almost twice as likely to name cable news as Democrats (34 percent to 19 percent, and 24 percent among independents).

Even though cable news was the preferred source for about a quarter of consumers, only 9 percent said they learned about the election from just one source; 80 percent said they got their news from at least three types of sources.

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