The popularity gap Tucker Carlson enjoys over Fox News among conservatives has widened sharply in the wake of his departure from the network, with a new poll putting Carlson’s net favorability rating a whopping 63 points over Fox.
According to the survey from consulting agency Change Research, Carlson’s net favorability rating among Republicans stands at +59.
By contrast, Fox News’ favorability rating among the same demographic is at -4, with the difference being 63 points in favor of the firebrand former host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which was the most-watched cable news show in the United States.
Carlson parted ways with Fox in late April, with neither side issuing details about why he left, whether he was fired, or if he remains under contract.
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times on the polling numbers.
‘Freedom to Tell the Fullest Truth’
Carlson announced on May 9 that he would bring his show to Twitter, calling it the “last big” remaining nonpartisan platform in the world “where our national conversation incubates and develops.”
His remarks, made in a video on Carlson’s Twitter account, were in part a nod to the efforts of Elon Musk since taking over the social media giant to allow more free speech and eliminate political bias, especially against conservative views.
“The best you can hope for in the news business at this point is the freedom to tell the fullest truth that you can. But there are always limits. And you know that if you bump up against those limits often enough, you will be fired for it,” Carlson said in the video in what could be seen as a hint at the context of his departure from Fox.
In the video, Carlson decried the news media for being misleading “in every story that matters every day of the week, every week of the year.”
‘Bastion of Free Speech’
Nicholas Fondacaro, associate editor of the conservative media watchdog NewsBusters, told The Epoch Times that Carlson’s mission, like Musk’s, is about free speech.
“Carlson seemed earnest in his announcement video that he believes Twitter is the last bastion of free speech, likely because Elon Musk has made it clear that ensuring free speech was his priority when purchasing the platform,” he told The Epoch Times. “Musk has, by most accounts, talked the talk and walked the walk.”
Musk clarified in a Twitter post that Carlson had not signed any contract with Twitter to broadcast his show on the platform and that the former Fox host would need to follow the same rules that apply to all Twitter users.
“On this platform, unlike the one-way street of broadcast, people are able to interact, critique and refute whatever is said,” Musk said. “And, of course, anything misleading will get @CommunityNotes.”
“I also want to be clear that we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators,” he continued.
“Rewards means subscriptions and advertising revenue share (coming soon), which is a function of how many people subscribe and the advertising views associated with the content,” Musk continued.
“I hope that many others, particularly from the left, also choose to be content creators on this platform,” the Twitter chief added.
Musk later called on former CNN anchor Don Lemon to do his show on Twitter in what could be seen as an attempt on Musk’s part to encourage a broad array of views on the platform.
“Have you considered doing your show on this platform?” Musk said in a May 10 reply to Lemon’s April 24 post announcing that CNN had fired him. “Maybe worth a try. Audience is much bigger.”
After Carlson’s exit, Fox News’ 8 p.m. hour suffered a dip in ratings after creating a replacement program for Carlson’s show called “Fox News Tonight.”
Other Fox primetime shows, including the 9 p.m. one currently held by Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham’s programs, have also seen their ratings drop.
“Fox News Tonight” drew 1.3 million total viewers and 136,000 demographic viewers, according to Nielsen ratings.
In March, Carlson averaged more than 3 million viewers each night. Part of Carlson’s popularity, especially among conservatives, was likely bolstered by his coverage of never-before-seen footage from the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol breach that he said challenged mainstream narratives that the incident was a “violent insurrection.”
Fox said that the newly minted show, which the network said was temporary, features a rotating cast of hosts.
Last week, Trump-era press secretary Kayleigh McEnany hosted the show, and this week, Fox’s Will Cain has had the hosting duties.
“No decision has been made on a new primetime line-up and there are multiple scenarios under consideration,” a Fox News spokesperson told The Epoch Times on Wednesday.
Jack Phillips and Jackson Richman contributed to this report.