How has voters’ news engagement changed over time?  

Written by

Matt George

Partner, Head of Research

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Written by

Annie Phifer

Research Manager

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Written by

Jessa Scott-Johnson

Senior Director - Research

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Written by

Eunice Yau

Director – Research

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06.13.24

Seven Letter Insight has tracked how much voters engage with local or national news. In 17 surveys from October 2021 to March 2024, we asked national voters how many days per week they read, watch, or listen to local or national news. 

What we’ve found: national political issues continue to capture voters’ attention the most. Over the course of the three years we’ve been tracking this metric, only three of the seventeen surveys reached a mark where 50% or more of respondents reported engaging with news every day of the week.  In each of these cases, significant domestic political events occurred at the same time. 

Case in point:  

  • 53% of voters were tuned into news every day in early November 2021, when the U.S. held off-year elections.  
  • 57% of voters followed news seven days a week – the highest number across all 17 polls – in late April 2023, when former President Trump was arraigned in New York City and Fox News settled a multi-million-dollar defamation lawsuit and ousted Tucker Carlson.  
  • And early August 2023 saw 50% of voters tuning into news every day, when former President Trump was arraigned again in D.C.  

The dynamic nature of these events – and the potential for them to impact significant change at home – keeps voters regularly tuned into news headlines. 

While there wasn’t a uniform correlation in the news that definitively explained drops in news consumption, five of the seven total drops occurred near a long weekend (i.e., MLK Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day). 

Based on voters’ interest in national political issues, we can expect high news engagement to increase in the coming months, as the U.S. presidential election heats up. 

Below, Letter Labs illustrates the impact national and global news has on voters’ news consumption habits: