Poll Finds CNN Most Polarizing News Source as Network Pivots

FILE PHOTO: The CNN logo stands outside the venue of the second Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidates debate, in the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
May 9, 2023

A new poll found CNN to be the most polarizing news source despite recent changes at the outlet to fix its partisan reputation. 

There is a 92-point difference between the net trust of Democrats (+55) and of Republicans (-37) in the network, a YouGov poll published Monday found. MSNBC was right behind CNN with a 91-point partisan difference, and the New York Times had an 82-point difference.

The poll comes as CNN makes big changes under CEO Christ Licht, who took over in May 2022. The boss wants the outlet, which is facing record-low ratings, to focus more on objective reporting than the partisan commentary it became known for throughout the Trump administration.

CNN fired longtime anchor Don Lemon in late April. The host was widely criticized as sexist in February when he said Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley "isn't in her prime" because she's in her 50s.

The network may have signaled its moving in a new direction when it announced last week it will broadcast a town hall with Donald Trump. The former president’s team said "CNN executives made a compelling pitch" and that the broadcast can "jumpstart" the relationship that Trump used to have with the network. 

The YouGov poll was conducted among 1,500 U.S. adults from April 3-9 and has a 3-percent margin of error.