A dumb poll, but just quirky enough for me to toss it out there for some crowdsourced analysis. Simple question: Why does Huck lead among regulars while Palin leads among occasional viewers?
Gallup defines “regular viewers” as those who watch four or five nights a week. “Occasional” presumably means one, two, or three nights. Huck likely finishes first simply because he’s on the air more often than anyone else: Besides having his own show on Saturday night, you’ll see him pop up on Cavuto or Hannity or even “Red Eye” on occasion. He’s good on camera, people feel like they know him — voila. Nor should it surprise that the guy who leads among Republicans generally also leads among the most devoted viewers of conservative America’s favorite news channel. And yet … it does surprise, doesn’t it? That’s a byproduct, I think, of realizing that the “conservative base” as represented by blog readers isn’t quite the same as the “conservative base” as represented by FNC’s viewers. Most of our readers adore Palin and seem to hold Huck in various degrees of contempt; she crushes him utterly every time we do a readers poll, and would do the same on virtually any other righty blog, I’d bet. And yet, here’s a poll of Fox News junkies, who see her every week or two on O’Reilly or Hannity, running her third behind Huckabee and Romney(!). As a regular contributor, she’s on more often than Mitt is. One would think she’d be second at least. What happened?
Likewise, why does she lead among “occasional viewers”? My hunch is that there are devoted Palin fans out there who tune in specifically when she’s on but rarely otherwise. There may be Huckabee fans like that too, but no one loves their candidate as much as Palinistas do. Every interview is an “event,” so even those supporters who don’t watch Fox much (or maybe much cable news generally) will make an appointment to watch. Which is to say, I assume the ratings for her segments are higher than any segment with Huck — even though regulars, who presumably watch both of them, prefer him to her. Am I right? All theories welcome.