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Cable TV News Named As Most Helpful Source This Election

Members of the media watch a Republican presidential debate on cable channel CNN last December.

So, you know that presidential election you've been hearing so much about?

Well, you're not alone.

A new survey conducted last month found there's a lot of interest in the presidential campaign; nine in 10 American adults had learned something about the election in the past week.

That news came from at least one of 11 different types of media sources asked about by the Pew Research Center. Those sources range from cable TV news to the candidates' own websites.

Most, 24 percent, said they found cable TV news "most helpful." Social media, local TV, news websites (like this one), radio and the TV networks' nightly news programs were deemed "most helpful" for 10 percent to 14 percent of those surveyed.

At the bottom of the list were print newspapers and candidate or campaign websites.

According to Pew, the "high level of learning" in this election cycle "is consistent with recent research that has shown strong interest in this election, even more so than at the same point in the previous two presidential elections."

The survey found that cable TV news was called "most helpful" in all age groups except those 18 to 29.

Not surprisingly among millennials, it was social media that came out on top, followed by news website/apps, cable TV news and radio.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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