What's the best cable news network on television?
According to a recent telephone survey conducted by Poll Position, a company headed by former CNN president and news chief Eason Jordan, it's Fox News.
Of the 1,180 Americans in the survey, 36 percent chose Fox News, while 28 percent selected CNN. MSNBC, with 17 percent, ranked third--meaning the poll more or less fell in line with each network's current position in the cable-ratings sweepstakes.
The survey also mirrored partisan lines. Roughly 62 percent of Republicans surveyed chose Fox News, while 72 percent of Democrats chose either CNN or MSNBC. About 19 percent of Republicans were undecided on the question of which cable news network they preferred, while 18 percent of Democrats were unsure.
Meanwhile, among those identifying themselves as independents, 36 percent chose Fox News, 31 percent selected CNN and 9 percent aligned with MSNBC. Twenty-four percent of independents were undecided.
In terms of age, nearly 40 percent of viewers under 30 surveyed chose CNN; the older along the age spectrum you get, the more people favor Fox News--including nearly half (46.2 percent) of the poll's respondents above the age of 65.
The survey didn't pinpoint any significant divergences along gender lines--except when it came to MSNBC fans. Just 12.8 percent of men surveyed said MSNBC was the best news network on cable, while 20 percent of the women chose the NBCU-owned cable network. It no doubt helps MSNBC's draw within the female demographic that its biggest primetime star is Rachel Maddow.
Among African-Americans, 35.6 percent preferred CNN, the most of any cable news network. But MSNBC is hoping to change that trend with its recent hiring of Al Sharpton.
Eason, who disclosed his ties to CNN in the results, spent 23 years at the network.
You can see the full breakout of the poll's main findings below: