Americans Increasingly Turning Away from Political News as 2024 Election Nears

The American public is focusing less and less on political news in recent months, even as a crucial presidential election draws nearer.

According to Axios, Americans are instead turning back to consumption of non-political content such as sports and entertainment, indicating a decline in political interest that spiked in 2020 ahead of that year’s presidential race. While numerous events in 2020, such as the nationwide race riots and the lockdowns as the result of the Chinese Coronavirus, led to increased political engagement and culminated in record-high voter turnout, there have been fewer major events in the lead-up to 2024.

Several exceptions to this trend of non-political focus include the Israel-Hamas war, which has sparked anti-Semitic protests in America and around the world, primarily consisting of younger participants. Another exception is the series of indictments and other legal attacks against President Trump, which made global headlines last year but have since faded due to the sheer number of them, leading to a decreased interest among the population.

More data on the matter from Similarweb further shows that Americans are engaging with political news articles less than they were in previous years. In addition, cable news ratings have been on the decline at a much greater rate than past presidential election years; for example, the decline in cable viewership from November 2023 to January 2024 was significantly greater than the decline during the same period between November 2019 and January 2020.

NewsWhip further reports that interactions with political debates and town halls on social media have also fallen dramatically, even as more candidates engaged in such events during the Republican primary season.

The televised GOP debates in 2023 drew considerably smaller viewership numbers compared to the 2015-2016 primary season’s debates: The first debate in 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump’s political debut, garnered 24 million viewers. By contrast, the first debate of the 2024 primary, which Trump did not attend, achieved half that amount at 13 million.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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