Skip to comments.Zogby: Liberals Drive Rush Limbaugh's Ratings
Posted on 11/12/2007 11:34:28 AM PST by rface
BBSNews 2007-11-12 -- (Zogby) UTICA, New York Rush Limbaugh touts himself mostly in jest as having "talent on loan from God" and credits that talent for his huge listenership and dominant perch atop the world of talk radio in America, but an extensive fivemonth polling and research project by Zogby International and the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School shows his popularity may have more to do with preset beliefs in the minds of his listeners than with his presentation skills.
Actually, Limbaugh was ahead of the curve in recognizing the source of his ratings success. He often says it is because he is merely confirming what listeners already believed, not because of his powers of persuasion.
He also says he suspects there is a sizable chunk of his audience who are not conservative like him, but rather are from the other end of the political spectrum. On this point the Zogby/Lear Center Poll shows he is right, er, correct. The extensive interactive survey of deeply held beliefs and behavior patterns conducted June 2629, 2007, including 3,939 adults nationwide and carrying a margin of error of +/ 1.6 percentage points shows that liberals were much more likely than conservatives to listen to commentary and entertainment with which they disagreed philosophically. This could be part of the reason Air America has faltered there are simply fewer potential listeners.
While 22% of conservatives said they "never" enjoy entertainment that reflects values other than their own, just 7% of liberals felt the same way. At the other end of the scale, just 11% of conservatives said they "very often" enjoyed programming that ran counter to their personal philosophies, compared to 20% of liberals and 18% of moderates who said the same thing. In other words, Limbaugh's potential audience is larger than that of liberal competitors because more liberals say they will listen to conservatives than vice versa.
This is just one conclusion from this farreaching survey and research project which was designed to probe the thinking of Americans about the subjects of politics and entertainment. The findings showed that not only is the country sharply divided on the topic of politics, it is also deeply split in the types of entertainment and information that appeal to "Reds" (conservatives) and "Blues" (liberals).
Caught in the middle are moderates, dubbed "Purples" for the sake of this study, who find plenty of entertainment offerings available on the major broadcast television networks. They love "police procedurals" like Law & Order and CSI: Miami, as well as massmarket books like mysteries and thrillers. Basically, anything without a political theme appeals to the "Purples."
So What Makes These "Reds," "Blues," and "Purples" Tick?
At the end of this release is a detailed statistical summary of the research project's findings, but here is a brief summary of the three typologies, which were created as part of a statistical clustering analysis based on respondent answers to a wide range of questions. Reds make up 37% of the nation, while liberals comprise 39% and moderates 24%, the Zogby/Lear Center research shows.
People with a "red" entertainment preference think a lot of programming is in bad taste and doesn't reflect their values. They don't like a lot of things on TV, but their two favorite channels are Fox and Fox News. They like sports, especially football and auto racing, and they watch news and business programming. They don't like most contemporary music and they don't watch VH1 or MTV. They don't much like late-night TV. They like to go to sporting events, and when they do go to the movies which is rarely they seek out action-adventure films. They're not big book readers, but when they do read, they prefer non-fiction. When they read fiction, they often select mysteries and thrillers. They are more likely to listen to country and gospel than other people, but their favorite music is classical. They don't play a lot of video games, but when they do, Madden NFL and Mario are their favorites. They think that fictional TV shows and movies are politically biased, and they believe they can predict a person's politics if they know the person's entertainment preferences.
People with a "blue" entertainment preference like many of different types of programming, even if it doesn't reflect their taste or values. They shy away from a lot of primetime programming, especially game shows and reality TV, but they like comedies, drama, documentaries, news, and arts and educational programming. They love 60 Minutes, PBS, HBO, Comedy Central and The Daily Show. They go to the movies, where they often see comedies, and they like to go to live theater and museums and galleries. They read books more often than most people they prefer fiction to non-fiction, but their favorite genre is politics and current events. They enjoy entertainment with political themes, and they feel like they learn about politics from entertainment. Sports are less interesting to them, but football is their favorite, and they're more likely to follow soccer than other people. They like lots of different kinds of music (except country) and they watch MTV and VH1. They play video games a lot more than other people Mario and The Sims are favorites.
People with "purple" entertainment preferences like all the broadcast networks and a lot of primetime programming, including police procedurals, game shows and reality programming. They watch a lot of Fox News and they like daytime and children's programming more than other people. Moderates like to read non-fiction, including self-help books and biographies, but they like mysteries and thrillers best. Rock music is their favorite they don't like classical or folk music as much as other people. Their favorite video games are Mario, Donkey Kong and Madden NFL. They don't seek out entertainment with political themes and they are far less likely to read books about politics or current events than other people. They are less likely than other people to think that they can predict a person's politics based on their entertainment preferences.
On Oprah and Immigration
Once you know how people of different political philosophies approach entertainment, it is easier to understand why Oprah Winfrey may be just the ticket to help Democrat Barack Obama reach those key liberal voters that are so prized in a Democratic primary contest. Other Zogby polling shows Obama doing well among more liberal Democrats, but Oprah could also appeal to some selfdescribed political moderates that Obama needs to break through the lead now set by Hillary Clinton of New York. That Oprah could offset some of the natural gender appeal Clinton carries among female voters is obvious. Our survey analysis shows moderates tend not to seek out entertainment with a political edge, so when they take a dose of politics, it may go down better when administered by such a nonpolitical bona fide star. It is also important to note that 62% of moderates are women, which could also help intensify the Oprah endorsement.
The survey also shows that women who pay more attention to entertainment programming than news programming are more likely to support Democrats in the voting booth.
On the question of immigration, the survey shows the Reds and Blues are far apart on a core philosophical belief. It is as if half the Reds are suspicious they are split down the middle, as 53.5% believe foreigners immigrate to America for the chance to work for a better life, but 46.5% believe they come to get benefits from the U.S. government. However, almost all Blues (96%) said they think foreigners come for a chance to work for a better life.
Such divergent core beliefs between Reds and Blues may make it impossible to find an acceptable solution to the current problem posed by undocumented immigrants.
Other Key Findings of the Zogby/Lear Center Politics and Entertainment Survey:
The Zogby/Lear Center survey shows that the difference between conservatives and liberals goes much deeper than politics, involving much deeper patterns of thinking and behavior. It's almost like the Reds and the Blues are living in parallel universes. Liberals say they like entertainment with a political flavor, while conservatives eschew such programming out of suspicion that it is tainted with a liberal bias. Instead, they favor news or reality television. And conservatives love sports programming, in part because there's no way to inject liberalism into a football game:
On tv shows:
* More than twice as many liberals say they're very often attracted to programming with political themes, compared to the rest of respondents, and this plays out in their TV show preferences, with 60 Minutes and Brothers and Sisters topping the list of shows most closely associated with liberal viewers. Moderates are more likely than liberals or conservatives to favor daytime programming and children's programming. * Out of 20 top-rated TV programs, the one that conservatives are more likely than others to tune out is 60 Minutes (almost 68% say they never watch it, compared to 27% of all other respondents). * Late-night programming fares poorly with conservatives, with more than 32% saying they never watch nighttime talk shows. Offered a range of nighttime choices, 22% of conservatives picked Jay Leno, while over 54% of liberals selected Jon Stewart.
* Conservatives and liberals are more likely than moderates to read books. * Liberals are almost twice as likely as conservatives to read literary fiction (20% to 11%) and they're also more likely to read science fiction/fantasy than moderates (13% to 8%). * Moderates and conservatives favor mysteries and thrillers while liberals (22%) and conservatives (20%) prefer books about politics and current events. * Liberals like non-fiction and fiction equally. Moderates and conservatives prefer non-fiction. * Moderates are more likely to read self-help books (7%)liberals are the least likely to read them (3%).
On Leisure Activities:
* You're more likely to find conservatives at sporting events than at movie theaters, live theater or museums and galleries. * Twenty-one percent of conservatives say they never go the movies, compared to less than 9% of liberals. When conservatives do go to the cinema, the biggest draw is action-adventure movies (35%) while liberals rank comedies (26%) and drama (25%) highest. * Liberals are much more likely to visit museums and galleries and go to the movies and live theater.
On Mixing Entertainment & Politics:
* Conservatives overwhelmingly (76%) believe that TV shows and movies "very often" contain political messages, but they are the least likely to learn anything about political issues from them. Just 4% say they learn lessons from movies. * While 68% of liberals seek out entertainment that contains political themes and commentary, just 33% of moderates are the least likely to do so. * Not only are moderates much less likely than other groups to seek out entertainment with political themes. Compared to conservatives and liberals, they are three times less likely to read a book on politics or current events. * Nearly two in three conservatives think it is possible to predict a person's politics when they know the person's entertainment preferences, while 55% of liberals and 50% of moderates agree. * Over 80% of liberals admit that they are entertained by material that's in bad taste. Almost 40% of conservatives say they are never entertained by it.
“compared to 20% of liberals and 18% of moderates who said the same thing. In other words, Limbaugh’s potential audience is larger than that of liberal competitors because more liberals say they will listen to conservatives than vice versa.”
Its very simple. Liberals are not entertaining or optimistic. Who wants to sit around and listen to doom and gloom and it’s “Bush’s Fault.” It not inspiring, entertaining or informative. Also, subconciously, those liberal listeners want to change to the dark side, they just won’t admit it. Peer pressure ya know. :)
Well, I suppose liberals like to break away and hear the truth once in awhile.
It helps them separate truth from spin. They get educated, and go on to deny all the truth they discovered.
Zogby has low credibility. You really cannot accept as fact any statement from Zogby.
Oh, right...it's Zogby.
So conservatives don’t enjoy listening to morons and pablum spewing lefties while liberals do enjoy listening to intelligence and common sense.
Hmmmmm . . .
Yeah, but they often don't know it's fiction..
Zogby is a proven liar. Rush’s audience is not drawn from libs.
“...liberals were much more likely than conservatives to listen to commentary and entertainment with which they disagreed philosophically. This could be part of the reason Air America has faltered there are simply fewer potential listeners.”
What a bunch of crap.
Keep listening liberals. Maybe you will see the light and convert.
They’re trying to spin this as “liberals are more open to other points of view” - that’s pure BS. The most intolerant people on earth are “liberals”.
Mr Zogby misread his results. Libs listen to conservative radio and conservatives don’t listen to liberal radio because:
Conservative radio is good.
Liberal radio SUCKS rocks.
Harry Reid listens to Rush as per his tantrum denouncing Rush about the phony soldiers in which Harry was incorrect.
You would think they would learn something while they listened.
I watch CNN, the networks, etc., because I want to know what the other side is doing.
BTW...I’ve seen some research that shows more Democrats watch FoxNews than CNN.
Sorry, Zogby and Gallup, and all the rest...I’ll take two ounces of common sense over fifty gallons of polling data any day when it comes to trying to figure out what is going on around me.
So true, so true.
Liberals can listen to conservative ideas and even like to steal them on occasion, like Bubba Clintoon. Every once in a while they’ll find themselves saying, “hey, that’s a good point.”
But conservatives have trouble listening to liberal idiots for more than 5 seconds before hitting the off button. The last time I heard myself saying “that’s a good point” to a liberal idea was ...
well, let me get back to you.
They kicked me off the Zogby polling...
Keep in mind that the other participant in this garbage was the Norman Lear Center. Norman Lear is a very far left Hollywood guy despite his funny TV shows years ago.
It strikes me that this is Lear's left-wing agitprop with a thin icing of Zogby to make it seem like it's a poll rather than an outright fabrication. As though the two are mutually exclusive ...
Zogby and Norman Lear...yeah sure! I’ll believe anything those 2 have to say about Rush. Sure I will.
and again they assign “red” to the conservative side, to avoid giving it (most appropriately) to the socialist Left.
You are nicer than me. When a lib starts spewing their points, I say “are you freakin’ nuts”? LOL
“his popularity may have more to do with preset beliefs in the minds of his listeners than with his presentation skills.”
Then why don’t other hosts draw identical numbers?
Limbaugh’s show is truly useful.
I now pick up women the Limbaugh way. I ask them their names and then always respond “oh that’s one of my top ten favorite all time female names”
Liberals have to be angry about something to function properly as liberals, and watching FOX helps with that. :^)
100% of conservatives have no problem with being called conservatives.
99.9% of liberals would like to see speech, video, music, radio and television that does not agree with their philosophy censored.
100% of conservatives believe that any speech, video, music, radio and television with which they disagree should be funded only by those who like the content and not with public taxpayer funded money.
99.9% of liberals believe the government should decide what gets broadcast.
100% of conservatives believe the free market should determine what gets air time.
And one conservative radio commentator actually sold a letter of censure from the Democrats in the Senate for $2.1 million dollars on eBay AND matched the funds with his own money.
While a liberal radio network surreptiously took funds from a charity for Boys and Girls.
Media Matters pays their base to “listen in” and take statements out of context. There is no point to quoting (or deliberately misquoting) Herr Amerika.
Let me see...
A man is saturated with leftism from his first Sesame Street episode, through nearly all music, television and movies, throughout his entire education, everywhere he goes, everything he does, and he is supposed to be “closed minded” because he doesn’t actively seek out leftist propaganda?
oh, you KNOW that was on purpose.
I’ve heard, however, that they alternate the color of the incumbent party every couple of election cycles or some such thing. At least this matches the pattern.
Reagan was blue against Carter and Mondale. Bush 41 was Blue vs Clinton. Dole red vs Clinton. Bush red in 2000 & 2004. It’s time to switch again, I think....
Red WAS the color of Democrat election victories until the recent elections when the same media that changed the colors made it clear to us WHICH party was now “Red”.
They keep talking about how conservatives don’t “read”.
Missing from this analysis is reading current events on the internet.
I used to be a huge reader, but since FR, I find that cruising the internet reading news links and articles has replaced a lot of my reading. I also find fiction nowadays sensational, cheap and lot like a liberal movie. It preaches at you most of the time and inbetween that is simply salacious.
Also, I do watch the business channels. They are an education in themselves. When you understand the markets and economics, it’s hard for the tripe on TV to pull the wool over your eyes as far as politics is concerned.
Which explains why his ratings are the not any higher than the myriad of other conservative talk show hosts with nationally syndicated shows........not.
BBSNews - Sources = Big Bull$hitter$ News - Sources = Bunch of crap
My MIL really hates Rush, and I asked her why.
It’s the same complaint she has about my views -
“he’s just so SURE of himself”. (Yes, it’s easy to be sure of yourself when you’re RIGHT.)
Like Rush’s “bombastic” definition in his promos - lefties just CRINGE when someone is RIGHT and KNOWS they’re right.
Why are Republicans in blue and Democrats in red (while most other news organizations have the opposite)?
Elephants have a blue hue and donkeys have a red hue :) (Actually, as a visitor pointed out, elephants are actually gray - but they appear to look more blue than red :) Red and blue are chosen for the maps because they both are primary colors and because they both are incorporated in the flag. The choice of which party is represented by which color was somewhat arbitrary. I was perhaps influenced by maps that I had seen in the distant past (I still remember the solid blue field of Ronald Reagan's re-election in my hometown newspaper in 1984 - I was 14 at the time). Also, internationally, red typically represents parties on the left side of the political spectrum, i.e. the Democrats here in the U.S.
Actually I believe he's rewritten this and when first asked said that he refused to regenerate all of the maps to suit the whims of the media's recent shift.
“They’re not big book readers, but when they do read, they prefer non-fiction. “
Yes, we prefer the truth. And the reason we don’t read as much is because we’re working to support the “Blues.”
So they watch stuff that doesn't match their values by watching MTV, VH1, and prime-time comedies and dramas. Given this, does Zogby have any sense how silly it sounds to paint lefties as willing to watch stuff that "doesn't agree with their values?" MTV, VH1, prime-time comedies and dramas are, by and large, secular-humanist, left-wing values put to a soundtrack. Watching Sex and the City (I think that's its name) and Seinfeld reruns is not a sign of open-mindedness for a leftie.
What this poll probably says is that liberals think of themselves as open-minded and, when asked if they watch programs that do not reflect their values, they say "yes" even if it is total self-delusion.
Ask them how many listen to Rush or Michael Savage or Fox News.
This statement is akin to another I know of:
...Pork bellies, which produce bacon, like you might find on a bacon, lettuce and tomato sanwich.
Liberals more likely to listen to other opinions than their own.
This does not conform to my (admittedly anecdotal) experience. Liberals can’t stand to listen to other opinions.
What liberals say, and what liberals do, are two different things. I know of many liberals. I know of none who read or listen to conservative viewpoints. Liberals have an excessive need to show their questioners that they are open-minded. In the liberal world, it is better to lie than to appear to be close-minded. This is why you get more liberal attempts to censor conservative speech than the other way around. Watch what they do, not what they say. Hillary Clinton has said a lot of things. The problem has always been her deeds, not her words.
Yes, because it’s true.
Leftists can’t fathom the idea that all of our talent is granted by God, and not of our own accomplishment.
LOL. Great line!
So liberals learn from fantasies rather than facts? Who'd a thunk it?
2006 Zogby Results, Senate Races
1. Missouri (McCaskill v. Talent)
Final Zogby Poll: McCaskill 46, Talent 43 (McCaskill +3).
Actual Result: McCaskill 50, Talent 47 (McCaskill +3)
2. Virgina (Webb v. Allen)
Final Zogby Poll: Webb 45, Allen 44 (Webb +1)
Actual Result: Webb 50, Allen 49 (Webb +1)
3. Tennessee (Corker v. Ford)
Final Zogby Poll: Corker 53, Ford 43 (Corker+10)
Actual Result: Corker 51, Ford 48 (Corker +3)
In 2006, Zogby got all the outcomes right and got the spreads right as well, except in Tennessee where he significantly overstated Republican performance. He did screw up in 2004, but he was very good in '02 and '06.