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New Harris Poll Reveals Americans Love Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper

Last month, Harris Interactive surveyed 2,016 adults, giving them a list of 26 current affairs personalities and asking them to name their three favorites and three least favorites. The results, which were presented along with party affiliation of respondents, were released Monday to the general public.

Coming in first place under the “favorite” umbrella was ABC’s Diane Sawyer, who was beloved by 23% of poll-takers. She was followed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper (19%), NBC’s Brian Williams (19%), Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly (15%), and ABC’s Barbara Walters (15%).

On the other end of the spectrum, Rush Limbaugh had 46% of people ranking him among their least favorite. He was followed by O’Reilly (31%), HLN’s Nancy Grace (23%), Fox News’ Sean Hannity (14%), and Katie Couric (10%).

The numbers get a little more interesting when mixing in political affiliations. O’Reilly was the favorite of Republicans (29%), while Sawyer was the favorite of Democrats (28%) and Independents (25%). Republicans dislike Nancy Grace (25%) more than any other current affairs personality, while Democrats and Independents singled out Limbaugh for their scorn (66% and 49%, respectively).

Some fun tidbits from the poll:

  • While Katie Couric was picked by 10% of respondents as one of the three least favorite personalities, it was an improvement from her 2008 number of 16%.
  • There were four personalities receiving 1% of the “favorite” vote from the Democrats: Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto, Shepard Smith, and Joe Scarborough. Republicans gave that designation to three personalities: Rachel Maddow, Charlie Rose, and Scarborough.
  • While many of the personalities had their favorite/least favorite numbers clearly in step with identification as a Democrat or Republican, a few transcended party lines. Matt Lauer, for instance, was favorited by 11% of Republicans and 14% of Democrats. Nancy Grace had a 6%/7% split. Piers Morgan was 2%/3%, and Scarborough was 1%/1%. On the dislike scale, Grace had a 25%/21% split, Wolf Blitzer was 7%/7%, and Scarborough was 3%/3%.
  • The full results of the Harris Poll can be found here.

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