Fox News poll: Pretty much no one reads blogs regularly

posted at 6:32 pm on March 29, 2007 by Allahpundit

A higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats read dKos daily have read dKos? Can that be right?

fox-poll1.png

The Kossacks will whine that Fox rigged the sample. It’s actually weighted 43/35 in favor of Democrats (which arguably undercounts Dems given how wide the margin is right now in terms of party identification), but even with a bigger Democratic base to draw from, that 4% still breaks out to a smaller number of actual readers than 7% of Republicans. Which simply can’t be right. To be sure, there’s a robust contingent of conservative Kos-watchers (led by Dean Barnett), but no way do they outnumber the Kossacks.

The overall numbers are garbage, too. Does anyone believe that 9% of Republicans are reading blogs every day? Barnett guesstimated a few weeks ago that there are 300,000 or so conservative American blog readers — total. Even that number sounds high, but let’s say he’s right for the sake of argument. 62 million people voted for Bush in 2004. Even if you discount 85% of them as having neither the time nor the interest to follow politics regularly, that still leaves you north of 9 million who do. Nine percent of that is 810,000. Either Dean’s way off or the poll’s way off. Or I’m way off in thinking even 15% of Republicans are all that engaged. Exit question: Which is it?

Update: Whoops. I conflated the two questions re: dKos. The analysis still holds, but I changed the wording of the first sentence.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I must be in a new media blog bubble. Everyone I know reads blogs.

laelaps on March 29, 2007 at 6:37 PM

No matter how you analyze it, it comes down to; only the smart ones read Hot Air daily. And for a good laugh, sometimes they read dKos.

right2bright on March 29, 2007 at 6:39 PM

A higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats read dKos daily? Can that be right?

“Know thy enemy” perhaps?

Can’t say I go to dKos ever let alone daily but I do check here daily, usually at least a couple times.

Yakko77 on March 29, 2007 at 6:39 PM

A higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats read dKos daily?

Where’s “Heartache.”???

RW Wacko on March 29, 2007 at 6:40 PM

I’m no domgraphile statisticon, but the numbers seem reasonable to me. I suspect that left-wing nut-jobs tend to be more likely to POST their wackiness – remember Nixon’s “silent majority”? I think there are more quite but enganged conservatives that lefties.

peski on March 29, 2007 at 6:41 PM

A higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats read dKos daily? Can that be right?

The question is have you ever read?, so I can believe it.

Valiant on March 29, 2007 at 6:41 PM

…than lefties, that is….

peski on March 29, 2007 at 6:42 PM

BTW, nowhere does it say the Republicans read dKos daily, unless I am missing something. Don’t assume causation b/w the two questions.

RW Wacko on March 29, 2007 at 6:43 PM

Gee I guess I am alone………

Mellen on March 29, 2007 at 6:46 PM

I’m with laelaps on this one. Maybe it’s my generation (I’m 25) but most of my friends (and not friends) read blogs…we don’t get our news from the traditional sources as much.

I do believe the question is misleading on dKos…and probably accurate. Look at it this way 7% of Republican have read the blog at least once…do they come back? Probably not that often. 4% of Democrat blog readers read Kos…and then probably continue to read. So out of say 1000 sampled (theory) let’s say 10% of 7% of Repubs regularly read Kos. And 50% of 4% of Democrats Regularly read.

Reg Rep. Kos Readers – 7 of 1000
Reg Dem. Kos Readers – 20 of 1000

That seems right to me.

StoutRepublican on March 29, 2007 at 6:46 PM

BTW, nowhere does it say the Republicans read dKos daily,

Ooh, you’re right. I screwed that up. Let me fix it.

Allahpundit on March 29, 2007 at 6:47 PM

Echoing what other commenters have said, I have been to dKos about 3 or 4 times so my answer to the second question would be yes, but it doesn’t mean I read there regularly.

CorinthianJest on March 29, 2007 at 6:48 PM

laelaps and StoutRepublican have a good point, and I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I’m almost 50, and almost NOBODY I know reads blogs. I am just a wild and crazy hipster, uncommonly cool for such a geezer.

peski on March 29, 2007 at 6:52 PM

This whole thing is odd… However one must remember that the MSM and probably most citizens think that the Drudge Report is a blog. Most people aren’t that engaged, so they don’t understand the difference. (By the way, Drudge hates being called a blogger because his site isn’t a blog, but constantly is referred to as one.)

That said, I skimmed your comments AP, and I’m not sure where I come down on the overall point. But I think you may be making a mistake in assuming that all of those 62 million who voted for Bush are Republicans. I don’t know the percentage that were, and I’m not sure if that even certain that it really matters, as I only really quickly skimmed your comments.

RightWinged on March 29, 2007 at 6:53 PM

Regardless of actual numbers–from a marketing standpoint (marketing ideas), its not how many are reading, but who is reading that is important. Blog readers, from my observations here and at my own blog, tend to be active, engaged, and opinion leaders within their own social groups and families. Many are party/community activists and organizers.

The trickle effect from these regular blog readers is likely to be undercounted in these polls.

elpresidente on March 29, 2007 at 6:53 PM

But I think you may be making a mistake in assuming that all of those 62 million who voted for Bush are Republicans

Good point, but the numbers for independents are almost the same (6% vs. 7%). So the analysis shouldn’t change that much.

Allahpundit on March 29, 2007 at 6:54 PM

Blog are great. The people polled are probably same 70% that doesn’t have a clue on Iraq and watches the first 10 minutes of Katie and turns away in tears that the world is going to end.

tomas on March 29, 2007 at 6:54 PM

And by the way folks, this illustrates my point I always make… That no matter how much good the “new media” has done, it’s still overpowered by the extreme left (and going further left by the day) media, and the result is the shifts we constantly see in polls from the war to the economy to the poll posted on here at HA the other day, showing the secular trends in the country. The liberal MSM still runs this b*tch, and the sad part is they seem more and more like the DailyKos by the day.

RightWinged on March 29, 2007 at 6:55 PM

Peski…What does this word “hipster” mean…I sometimes hear it associated with words like “vinyl” or “beta”…I’ll go out on a limb and say I believe they are made up words…(*grin*)

StoutRepublican on March 29, 2007 at 6:55 PM

I personally don’t know many people who read blogs, and even of those who do, few participate in comments. But I imagine it depends on where you live. Being a reader (and participant in discussion) I can’t imagine life without it anymore. It’s popularity will pick up.

thedecider on March 29, 2007 at 6:57 PM

Peski…What does this word “hipster” mean

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipster_%281940s_subculture%29

Hipster, as used in the 1940s, referred to aficionados of jazz, and it eventually described many members of the Beat Generation.

Well…. maybe not that old.

peski on March 29, 2007 at 6:59 PM

…and this survey comes on the heels of several days of blogger bashing by the MSM? Yes, I question the timing.

(I’m almost 53, YIKES)!

Zorro on March 29, 2007 at 7:12 PM

I do read kos occasionally to check that they really spew such high venom comments as reported and because I can’t believe they somehow manage to top the last bit of venom/insanity.

tormod on March 29, 2007 at 7:13 PM

I’m in my 20s too so I read blogs for info, so its a generational thing.

I think the thing you have to remember is that just because few people actually read blogs, they have splash effect. People who read blogs are usually going to be politically active, and they’ll probably discuss politics, which could be effective in persuading others to see your way.

Rush gets millions of listeners, but how many people do his listeners effect, and how? This is difficult to gauge, but I think before we say blogs are just nerds venting and no one cares or knows, we should consider that potential.

Bad Candy on March 29, 2007 at 7:13 PM

Speaking for myself, I read lots of blogs and comment sometimes also. Some blogs I read more than others, like this one, and for the life of me, I don’t know why I bother to watch the View clips. Probably to watch my blood pressure boil.

Besides, I regularly visit FoxNews on the web. No body Polled me!

Kini on March 29, 2007 at 7:18 PM

And we never comment either. *rolls eyes*

JayHaw Phrenzie on March 29, 2007 at 7:20 PM

Kos probably gets hits from Republicans because many sites cover his loony posts, sending readers his way. LGF has him linked and often posts about the lunacy over there, as well as at the PuffHost.

JammieWearingFool on March 29, 2007 at 7:27 PM

The heart of the matter really was not approached in that poll.

For example, if I even read the local paper, I read all the articles about politcs and foreign policy. I skim local sections. Many people I know exclusively read local sections and pay no interest to national stories.

The real question is not what % of the population reads blogs, it is what % of people that care about politics and worlds events do. Some people focus more on what thier Mayor is doing then the President. The problem with media bias is those people are easily led astray by the healines.

Resolute on March 29, 2007 at 7:31 PM

Nobody I know reads blogs outside of myspace, facebook, or some other regional social networking sites. Just about nobody reads political blogs. Just about nobody watches the Sunday talk shows on the news channels. Just about nobody watches the news at all for that matter. The only news that gets through to people is the 5 minute radio news on the half-hour that SOME people hear during their commute. People who don’t listen to AM during their commute don’t even get that. Their news is limited to what quips the DJ might make about it. More people get their news from Rosie and Oprah than from the network talking heads.

People just don’t care as long as their iPod works, there’s gas at the pump, and the supermarket is open. They can’t be bothered with world events.

crosspatch on March 29, 2007 at 7:35 PM

The yes #s are so small that they are unreliable. I’ll bet almost as many people would say “yes” if they were asked if they had ever read the nonexistent blog “Free Air”. Also, questions 31 asks if people have read “a” blog. It could be a sportswriters’ blog on ESPN.com, or that Jeopardy nerd’s blog. Then question 32 asks specifically about “political” blogs. Makes it impossible to analyze the results of questions 32 using questions 31 as a base.

RW Wacko on March 29, 2007 at 7:51 PM

The sad reality is that if all the bloggers and all the blog readers in the entire US were to band together and vote for Pinnochio, nobody would notice.

What needs to happen is a Rupert Murdoch or someone like him needs to buy a broadcast (not cable) network and a newspaper chain and apply the same standards as that of the Fox News cable TV network. THEN we can get some people informed. Until then, it doesn’t matter because our votes are so far down in the grass that it is just “noise”. Until that AM station and newspaper carry information like Fox does, people are just not going to get it.

I hate listening to Hannity or Hewitt and then at the top of the hour hearing ABC Radio’s broadcast news. It just sucks.

crosspatch on March 29, 2007 at 7:59 PM

I hit the political blogs about 3 times a week. I rarely hit Powerline. I always check out Rushlimbaugh.com though.

Daily Kos? What is that?

DannoJyd on March 29, 2007 at 8:07 PM

I *never* read those stupid blogs /sarc

dalewalt on March 29, 2007 at 8:19 PM

Isn’t it heartwarming to know the very future of our nation and world is in the hands of the clueless, uninformed and misinformed masses…

Patriot33 on March 29, 2007 at 8:26 PM

Is Powerline really as associated with conservatism as DailyKos is with radical liberalism? I almost never end up there for some reason. Anyone know what the most-visited conservative blog is? Just curious.

RW Wacko on March 29, 2007 at 8:30 PM

The overall numbers make sense that more Republicans than Donks read blogs. Speaking as an example, Republicans are turning to blogs to get the “rest of the story” that the MSM won’t give. When I mention to lib friends that I read an item in a blog, they immediately discount it. They trust the MSM, not what is on the blogsphere.

Mallard T. Drake on March 29, 2007 at 8:38 PM

We went from Time magazine Men of the Year to obscurity in fifteen minutes.
Damn you Andy Warhol!

Buck Turgidson on March 29, 2007 at 8:38 PM

Either Dean’s way off or the poll’s way off. Or I’m way off in thinking even 15% of Republicans are all that engaged. Exit question: Which is it?

I’ll go with you being closest (though I noticed that you didn’t take the far side of the blogosphere into account):
- Fox News’ suggested 12 million (give or take a million) that follow blogs is way off because political polls by nature oversample the politically-active. While this doesn’t matter too much for stuff like Presidential popularity, the errors really show up when the pollster asks whether one follows political commentary.
- Similarily, Barnett’s off in suggesting less than 1 million total. I’ll take a slightly-different route than you did though (that’s not 9% of politically-active self-identified Republicans, that’s 9% of all self-identified Pubbies). The baseline of those that are politically active is the number of those that participate in a strictly-local general election. That is roughly 6%, or the 12 million suggested by Fox above. Somewhere around half don’t have regular access to the Internet, so that chops our potential audience to 6 million. I highly doubt that less than 1 in 6 of those regularily read at least 1 blog a day. After all, even my hole-in-the-wall has somewhere north of 35 regular readers (whether or not I post that day).

steveegg on March 29, 2007 at 8:44 PM

Lots of us read blogs to avoid the MSM deceit, and to get the straight scoop. Then why would we read Kos?

petefrt on March 29, 2007 at 9:04 PM

Well I know some of my friends disdain blogs but I made the case to them that blogs can compile various news reports and try to sift through them to discover the truth and they admitted I had a good point. The fact is that the circulation of the NTY and the LAT is declining and blog readership is on the increase. The integrity of Allah, Bryan, Ian and Michelle is significant because that is what people ultimately crave. Ronald Reagan was one of the most significant figures in human history because he told the truth without fear (among other things) which is what the majority of free people really desire.

aengus on March 29, 2007 at 9:31 PM

Every once in awhile, I check FOX’s blog page, but it seems they carry more leftist blogs than right. Hot Air is never listed, although I think I’ve seen Michelle’s regular site on their from time to time.

I do visit kos maybe once a month, but usually spend less than 30 minutes there. They spend more time actually organizing to fight Republicans than we do to fight them. But they are obsessed with finding dirt and if they can’t find any, they make it up. With all the elected reps who read there, they know their efforts will not go unnoticed.

Connie on March 29, 2007 at 9:49 PM

their=there ouch!

Connie on March 29, 2007 at 9:49 PM

People just don’t care as long as their iPod works, there’s gas at the pump, and the supermarket is open. They can’t be bothered with world events.

crosspatch on March 29, 2007 at 7:35 PM

Unfortunately, they vote.

Connie on March 29, 2007 at 10:02 PM

Unless its linked on one of my daily blog reads, I NEVER go to the tinfoil hatted leftist loon sites. This and some other blogs I read keep me up to date on the insanity of the Left profounds. I simply cannot find the inclination or the time to waste on the left. All you have to do is watch television, read a magazine or newspaper or late night shows to get all the left trash you want. I don’t need to wade into the filth the left blogs spew.

sharinlite on March 29, 2007 at 10:05 PM

I’m a news/blog junkie, but I agree with the poll. I work in a building full of high tech geeks and out of around 50 people I’ve specifically asked only one other regularly reads blogs. That’s pretty low for generally geeky people who are on the net as part of their job. It’s one reason I maintained the Obama/Hillary video was being over-hyped in its impact. It had a built-in limited audience. In an albeit small survey of 8 of my neighbors not a single one had even heard of it. But those neighbors range from a fairly liberal lesbian couple to a fundamentalist Christian preacher.

As for Kos, too low of a signal to noise ratio. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve read something there and regretted every instance of it and I’m a regular blog reader. Thing about Kos is you don’t need to read it to know what they are going to say. I can just negate any conservative blog and get the liberal position. They don’t appear to have any original ideas just a knee-jerk reaction to be anti-conservative.

Faith1 on March 29, 2007 at 11:18 PM

So…

Whose the bigger dork? The blogger? Or the blog reader?

lorien1973 on March 29, 2007 at 11:30 PM

Well, I’m 50 and have perused blogs for several years now. My kids do too, but not as much as I do. But hardly anyone else I know does. I still get asked by colleagues (all college educated, many with advanced degrees) what the heck is a blog.

Oh well…their loss.

Bob's Kid on March 29, 2007 at 11:51 PM

So…

Whose the bigger dork? The blogger? Or the blog reader?

lorien1973 on March 29, 2007 at 11:30 PM

The blogger who not only reads, but comments.

Dammit, I have to stop falling for that :-)

Seriously, Socrates and those who listened to his speeches probably got asked the ancient-Greek version of that question.

steveegg on March 30, 2007 at 1:07 AM