The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Fox News is the most trusted national news channel. And it’s not that close.

Fox News Channel beats out CNN for America's most trusted cable or broadcast news coverage, and MSNBC lags far behind, even among Democrats, according to new polling done by Quinnipiac University. The poll found 29 percent of people say they trust Fox News' coverage the most, followed by 22 percent for CNN and 10 percent for NBC News and CBS News.

Fox News' figures are unsurprising considering its ratings. The channel ended 2014 second only to ESPN in total viewers among all ad-supported basic cable networks. Its "America's Newsroom," "The Five," "Special Report with Bret Baier" and "The O'Reilly Factor" were the most-watched shows in their time slots among all cable stations. Put simply: Fox News is a ratings juggernaut.

Yes, FNC's numbers are boosted by the fact that 58 percent of Republicans trust it the most; Fox News also has the most trusted coverage among independents with 25 percent.

While Fox News is bolstered by the right, MSNBC doesn't get the same support from the left. The poll found that more Democrats trust CNN (32 percent) and NBC News (15 percent) than MSNBC (14 percent, tied with CBS News).

Here's the breakdown by political affiliation, gender, and age:

Fox News' dominance puts its frequent complaints about the "mainstream media" into perspective. For millions of Americans, Fox News is the mainstream media.