September 2020 Coronavirus Media Usage Study Update

Political Overview

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TVB commissioned Dynata to do a national COVID-19 study in September 2020. (In April 2020 TVB did a local study in 10 states with high amounts of COVID cases.) Highlighted here, is data from registered voters. In an unusual voting year, where most voters will NOT vote in person, but use other methods and vote earlier than November 3, television is key. The study shows that television reaches 86% of registered voters nationally, which is much more powerful than radio (60%), social media (55%) and video streaming with ads (27%), among other media.

Other highlights from the TVB/Dynata Coronavirus Media Usage Study Update:

  • Among all news sources, local broadcast TV is the most trusted (80%) with registered voters. This also extends to the digital sphere where the websites & apps of local broadcast TV stations (71%) are the most trusted news sources. Social media (39%) was the least trusted news source. 
  • Registered voters also feel that broadcast TV news (61%) gives them the best information and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Cable TV news (26%) was a distant #2 and social media (12%) a distant #3.
  • In the upcoming general election, only 41% of registered voters plan to vote in person on November 3rd; 34% plan to vote by mail, 16% in person and early before November 3 and 8% plan to drop off a ballot at a box or location. 
  • More Democratic registered voters plan to vote by mail compared with Republicans and Independents. More Republicans plan to vote in person on November 3rd compared with Democrats and Independents. 
  • More rural registered voters plan to vote in person on November 3rd than those living in urban & suburban areas.  Just over a third of adults in urban & suburban areas plan to vote by mail.
  • Just as many Hispanic registered voters (38%) plan to vote in person on November 3rd as plan to vote by mail.
  • While 40% of African American registered voters plan to vote in person November 3rd, 33% plan to vote by mail.


Source: TVB/Dynata Coronavirus Media Usage Study Update September 2020 Registered voters N = 4476 hQ3x1 Please indicate the extent to which you agree with this statement, “I trust the news I see/hear on this media source.” Top two boxes shown (agree strongly & agree somewhat)

For more information, please contact Hadassa Gerber, EVP, Chief Research Officer, TVB

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