Roseanne Reboot Draws Bipartisan Audience

The 2018 “Roseanne” reboot was widely expected to be a magnet for President Trump’s supporters, however, a new Ipsos survey reveals that the show draws fairly even viewership across the board.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
Get in touch

Cast of RoseannePhoto: Cast of Roseanne. © ABC

Washington, D.C. — The 2018 “Roseanne” reboot was widely expected to be a magnet for President Trump’s supporters. Fox News even called the show, “ABC’s pro-Trump ‘Roseanne,’” and the show’s eponymous star is a vocal Trump supporter. But the show draws viewers fairly evenly among Democrats, Republicans and Independents, according to new survey of 2,010 American adults by Ipsos.

“Although Roseanne Barr is a staunch Trump supporter, and her character’s decision to vote for Trump was a featured storyline, her show draws viewers from across party lines,” said Mallory Newall, Director, U.S. Ipsos Public Affairs.

While slightly more watchers voted for Trump (39%) than Clinton (34%) in 2016, their political views are complicated and don’t break evenly along party lines. For example, when given a battery of issues that often elicit responses along a party divide, Roseanne watchers tend to answer closer to Independent respondents. Seventy-four percent of Roseanne watchers agree that the mainstream media is more interested in making money than telling the truth, compared to 59% of Democrats, 87% of Republicans and 70% of Independents.

“Across nearly all of these questions examining Americans’ beliefs that the system is broken, Roseanne viewers tend to be more in line with Independents. That, coupled with the party identification of viewers, points to ‘Roseanne’ as more of a bipartisan draw than critics predicted,” said Newall.

However, there are some ways in which Roseanne viewers show clear Republican leanings or believe the show to have partisan roots. When watchers were given several reasons for why they may find the show appealing (see question 2), Republican viewers agreed that Roseanne’s character reflects their politics at nearly twice the rate of Democrat or Independent viewers. Those that watch every episode are also more likely to be Republicans (39%, compared to 30% of Democrats). Lastly, Roseanne viewers get more television news from Fox News, a network considered to skew Republican more than any other network.

A third (34%) of current viewers described themselves as avid viewers of the original series. Among watchers, the show’s humor was listed as the top reason for those tuning in the second time around, followed by a desire to see what happened to the characters. 

About the Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted May 2-4, 2018. For the survey, a sample of roughly 2,010 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 661 Democrats, 638 Republicans, and 430 Independents.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online nonprobability sampling polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=2,010, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=2.5).

The poll also has a credibility interval plus or minus 4.3 percentage points for Democrats, plus or minus 4.4 percentage points for Republicans, and plus or minus 5.5 percentage points for Independents.

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can  download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or 
contact us.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs

More insights about Public Sector