Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Talk Radio's Limited Impact

A new Pew Research survey shows that conservative talk radio's reach is not as substantial as many might think. The findings provide statistical correlation to arguments I've made on the growing irrelevance of the Malkin-tents and Rush-bots on Republican Party dynamics this year:

Barely a quarter of Americans (27%) are aware that many conservative talk radio hosts are opposing John McCain's campaign for president. Another 7% mistakenly believe hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity support McCain's candidacy.

Even among Republicans, awareness of the arguments against McCain is limited. Only 31% know about the opposition to McCain on talk radio. Even among Republicans who are following the campaign "very closely" only 42% know that these hosts disapprove of McCain.
The survey also found a 46% plurality of Republican-identified respondents rejecting the notion "that McCain is not a strong conservative."

As I've said before, for all their sound and fury, the talk radio mandarins are having less impact on things than their self-importance would suggest.