Timothy Egan writes in the New York Times that “fewer and fewer” voters are taking cues from “kooks with microphones” in the conservative media:
Yes, the pyramid of political dissemination is still in place: from Drudge, to Rush, to Fox, to Republican politicians in green rooms, trickling down to all the lesser Drudges and Rushes in the wacko-sphere.
They wheeze and whiff and hyperventilate. They claim there is a war on this, and a war on that (Christmas, God, golf pros). They have one mode: outrage, designed to get the pulse up, to generate a flight or fight reaction. But for all their huffing and puffing, the bloviators of the far right can no longer blow any houses down; most Americans couldn’t care less. …
So yes, Fox and friends can still crush their own… But that only drives the Republican Party further to the fringes. Virtually everything the broadcast bullies are against — sensible gun measures, immigration reform, raising taxes on the rich — are favored by a majority of Americans.
The only way to know if this is true is to know if voters ever took cues from conservative media in the first place. Other than a study that says Fox News…, when first launched, may have influenced less than 1 percent of the vote in the 2000 presidential election, evidence to support the theory is scant.