Republicans Who Watch Fox News Are...

According to a new poll by the University of Maryland's Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement for the Washington Post, the way to finish the sentence in the headline is "likely to believe false theories about Jan. 6." How about, likely to be unvaccinated? Or likely to have voted for Trump? Likely to have a subpar IQ? Likely to have a miserable, unfulfilling life? Likely to have not read a book in over a decade? Likely to be filled with grievances, bigotry, hatred and self-loathing? How about all of the above?

How about that the worst thing among all the terrible things Bill Clinton did as president was to smooth the way for Australian Nazi, Rupert Murdoch to own and run a major U.S. media company? If American democracy is about to fall, no single factor is more responsible than Fox News and the whole slimy Murdoch media empire.

Yesterday, Philip Bump looked into that Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement poll. He spoke with University of Oklahoma political scientist Rachel Blum "who described how issues become part of a partisan package. 'Ideology, and then parties as purveyors of ideology, serve this really important role as bundlers or packagers of issue positions,' Blum said. 'And once somebody decides, either via one issue or via a candidate or whatnot, that the Republican Party is the party for them, they will then seek information that is from friendly sources, whoever they see that as, and they will be receptive to information that confirms these biases. They will also sample information that confirms these biases, and then will implicitly pick up on the rest of the packaging.' In other words, speaking specifically about this fraud question, if the party is saying that this happened, members of the party would be expected to look for confirmation of the idea. And many have clearly found it in the coverage provided by Fox News."

Over the weekend, the Washington Post released new polling data, conducted in partnership with the University of Maryland, that looks at how Americans view the violence that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 of last year. What we found was a deep partisan split on the causes of the riot, on culpability and on fraud, the justification used by many of the rioters. But we also asked respondents where they got their news, allowing us to see how Republicans-- generally receptive to Trump’s false framing of the 2020 election results-- might differ in both news sourcing and in beliefs.
Consider, for example, the question of how those who entered the building on that day behaved. Most Americans describe the rioters as “mostly violent,” though Republicans are more likely to say that they were “mostly peaceful.” If we break out those Republicans into those who do or don’t get their news from either Fox News or Fox’s website, we see a significant difference: Fox News Republicans are 15 points more likely to say the rioters were “mostly peaceful” and non-Fox News Republicans 16 points more likely to say they were “mostly violent.”
One of the ways Trump’s allies have sought to redirect concern over the violence that day has been to insist that those detained for their roles have been treated unfairly by the justice system. Here, too, our poll found a significant difference: Fox News-consuming Republicans were 15 points more likely to say that the legal punishments faced by accused rioters have been too harsh.

So imagine you're a Republican voter in Omaha and the surrounding 'burbs... and you love Trump and watch Fox. Even though Trump lost that congressional district (NE-02, which has its own electoral vote) 45.7% to 52.3%, the incumbent Republican congressman, Don Bacon, managed to win it 171,071 (51.0%) to 155,706 (46.2%) against a strong Democratic opponent, Kara Eastman, who had nearly beaten him (51-49%) in the 2018 midterms.

That Bacon, a solid conservative but not really a full on fascist, did so much better than Trump in that district surely enraged the narcissistic sociopath. Trump has been bitter ever since and when Bacon voted for the popular bipartisan infrastructure bill-- which Trump had ordered his congressional puppets to oppose-- that was the final straw. Don Walton of the Lincoln Star Journal reported that a month ago Trump openly groused about Bacon's vote and called on primary opponents for all 13 House Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill. Yesterday he do so on his scammy Save America PAC, this time aimed directly at Bacon: "Anyone want to run for Congress against Don Bacon in Nebraska?"

It will be interesting to see if a credible Trump-Republican jumps into the race now. And it will be interesting to see if the Trump media mouthpieces like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Piro, Dan Bongino, Steve Doocy, Joe Concha, Brian Kilmeade... echo Trump's sentiments enough to elect Democratic state Senator Tony Vargas to the seat. It wouldn't take much. Just some Trump zombies hearing it repeated a few times on their trusted news source.