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POLL: 44 Percent of Americans Have Never Heard of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes

Most who have don't like him or don't care

Chris Hayes / YouTube screenshot
• May 18, 2021 4:30 pm

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Few Americans have heard of Chris Hayes, the former editor of the Nation who has hosted his own show on MSNBC since 2011.

According to a Morning Consult poll published Tuesday, 44 percent of respondents said they had never heard of Hayes, the second-highest percentage among the media personalities included in the survey. Only Hayes's MSNBC colleague Lawrence O'Donnell scored higher (48 percent) in terms of national obscurity. Just 19 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of Hayes, compared with 18 percent for O'Donnell.

CNN's Anderson Cooper was the most recognizable primetime host—just 13 percent of poll respondents had never heard of him. CNN's Chris Cuomo, along with Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity of Fox News, was also recognized by about three-quarters of Americans, according to the poll. Cuomo, however, was the only media personality to score a negative favorability rating, with 30 percent of respondents expressing a negative opinion about the CNN host.

The results should come as no surprise. Hayes is one of the lowest-rated primetime hosts on television. His 8 p.m. time slot on MSNBC puts him in competition with both Cooper on CNN and Carlson on Fox News. Last week, All In with Chris Hayes averaged just 164,000 viewers in the coveted 25-54 age demographic, compared with Cooper's 233,000 viewers and Carlson's 474,000 viewers.

Hayes is best known, so to speak, for having conventional left-wing views and for expressing those views in a public forum, whether on television or on Twitter, the popular social networking website. He was criticized in 2012 for saying he was "uncomfortable" with the idea of calling American soldiers "heroes" and has a history of making inflammatory comments on his low-rated TV program.

In March 2020, Hayes declared that black Americans are not allowed to join the Republican Party due to "structural white supremacy." In December, he attacked then-senator Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) for playing Christmas songs on a piano in a Senate office building. Hayes has compared climate change to slavery and praised Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) as one of the "most consistent voices for human rights in the Middle East" despite the congresswoman's history of anti-Semitism.

Hayes, a registered Democrat, attended Brown University. His middle name is Loffredo.

Published under: Chris Hayes, MSNBC