Edison Study Looks At Talk Radio Effect On Voters
February 13, 2008 at 1:00 PM (PT)
EDISON MEDIA RESEARCH has released a study, "Does Talk Radio Make a Difference?," using data from exit polls at the VIRGINIA and MARYLAND Republican primary conducted for the NATIONAL ELECTION POOL. Among the findings in VIRGINIA, 30% of respondents said they frequently listen to conservative talk radio and 29% said they occassionally listen. Among those saying they listen frequently, MIKE HUCKABEE led the primary's actual winner, JOHN MCCAIN, 51%-36%. In MARYLAND, 26% said they frequently listen and 32% said they occasionally listen, but unlike in VIRGINIA, HUCKABEE did poorly with MARYLAND's frequent listeners, losing to MCCAIN among frequent listeners, 49% to 28%.
The study concludes, "The numbers suggest ... that conservative talk radio simply attracts people with similar attitudes, and successful talk show hosts hold a mirror up to those attitudes to increase empathy (and ratings) and reinforce those attitudes. The beliefs of their listeners, however, are not monolithic, and clearly both states rewarded the candidate with whom they shared beliefs, not attitudes."
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