- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

There is another ratings victory for Fox News Channel, which marks its 18th consecutive week as the No. 1 network across the entire cable TV realm besting such non-news rivals as HGTV or TNT, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox News programs also made up 21 of the top 40 cable telecasts in total viewers with “Hannity,” “The Ingraham Angle,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “The Five” making up four of the top 10 prime time cable telecasts. Fox News has been the top-rated news channel for the last 16 years.

Some significant news for prime time host Laura Ingraham, who has outpaced MSNBC’s flagship host Rachel Maddow for the first time among the all-important 25 to 54 year-old viewer range. Ms. Ingraham garnered 2.8 million total viewers and 556,000 in the age-related demographic, while Ms. Maddow averaged 2.5 million total viewers and 506,000 in the separate demographic. In the media world, this is a big deal.

Fox Business Network, meanwhile, continues to best rival CNBC during business day and “market hours” viewers according to Nielsen. In addition, “Lou Dobbs Tonight” is the most watched news program on business TV programming while “Varney & Company” is now marking 51 consecutive weeks as the most-watched market program on TV.

EMERGING TRUMP APPEAL SHAPES THE POLLS

America is beginning to wake up to a political paradox: Despite unprecedented hostile media coverage, President Trump’s favorability ratings are percolating upward as the public takes in positive developments that many news organizations have either downplayed, neutralized or ignored all together. Mr. Trump certainly sees it.

“Can you believe that with all of the made up, unsourced stories I get from the Fake News Media, together with the $10,000,000 Russian Witch Hunt (there is no Collusion), I now have my best Poll Numbers in a year. Much of the Media may be corrupt, but the People truly get it!” the president tweeted Tuesday, complete with his typical creative use of punctuation.

Yes, the “people” get it.

Gallup, for example, reveals that the approval rating of Congress is 17 percent, while Mr. Trump’s is more than twice that at 43 percent. This phenomenon is also happening the Granite State, an important political barometer. The New Hampshire Institute of Politics has offered muted but definitive proof that Mr. Trump’s increasing favorability is “a broad shift,” not just a hiccup.

“The Saint Anselm College Survey Center shows New Hampshire voters’ strong disapproval in winter softened from 58 percent to 41 percent. Of course, trends are identified over time so we won’t know the answer until we see subsequent polls. However, there is some evidence to suggest that President Trump may be finding some resonance with New Hampshire voters,” writes Neil Levesque, executive director of the non-partisan institute.

“What may be the key to understanding Trump’s improvement as a blip or trend is the answer to this question: Where is Trump’s new support coming from? The answer is pretty much everywhere,” he says, noting that Mr. Trump has picked up support “across the board’ among New Hampshire Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, moderates, independents, males, females, within age and educational levels, state Congressional districts. One of his greatest gains was among voters who answered “other” as a party preference.

“This may suggest Trump is gaining support from voters disenchanted with both parties,” says Mr. Levesque. “Supportive groups such as Republican New Hampshire voters seem to be firming their endorsement for the job Trump is doing, while opposing groups are perhaps softening a bit. The less ideological, for example, independents, are possibly drifting toward Trump. To be sure, these add up to narrow gains but appear to indicate a broad shift.”

THE MIDTERMS: FOX NEWS GEARS UP

The midterm elections are less than 24 weeks off. Ever-prudent Fox News Channel is already gearing up for election night with a new polling system — the “Fox News Voter Analysis,” a partnership between the network and The Associated Press which parses voting trends plus the “actions and attitudes” of Americans during a crucial election. Researchers will track voters on key issues seeking insight on voter sentiment, behavior, opinions and preferences.

Every bit of insight counts on election night, which draws global coverage and plenty of competition. Fox News is ready.

“By combining poll data with timely information on registered voters and actual vote results, the Fox News Voter Analysis will provide the best possible report on American elections. Most important, we will provide in-depth coverage of every statewide election in 2018 and 2020, which will be particularly valuable,” notes Jay Wallace, president of news at Fox News.

IVY-COVERED HALLS

“Emotional support animals proliferate at Yale,” notes Jacob Sweet, a reporter for the Yale Daily News, the nation’s oldest college newspaper.

There was a single “registered support animal” on the campus last year. Now there are 14.

“At Yale, there are emotional support dogs, emotional support cats and even an emotional support hedgehog,” Mr. Sweet says, noting that the college’s Resource Office on Disabilities, expects “a lot more” support critters to arrive.

“Yale and colleges across the country have adopted policies that allow emotional support animals — not necessarily because the science backs it up, but because the schools have to, in order to comply with the Fair Housing Act. The act states that persons with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation for any service animal, including an emotional support animal,” explains Mr. Sweet.

“Violating the laws can be costly. In 2013, Grand Valley State University paid $40,000 in a settlement after a student sued the university for preventing her from keeping an emotional support guinea pig on campus. Two years later, two students received $140,000 in a settlement with the University of Nebraska at Kearney after they were denied ‘reasonable accommodations’ to keep two emotional support dogs. A similar suit at Kent State University cost the school $145,000 the following year,” he writes.

POLL DU JOUR

94 percent of U.S. public school teachers have spent their own money on classroom supplies with no reimbursement.

44 percent spent from zero to $250 in personal funds during the school year.

36 percent spent $251-500.

5 percent spent $501-$750.

8 percent spent $751-$1,000.

7 percent spent more than $1,000.

Source: U.S. Department of Education National Teacher and Principal Survey analysis, 2015-16 school year, released Tuesday. National teacher response to the survey was 68 percent.

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