Given that 2010 is an election year, it would be logical to assume that Beck is putting together a mass voter registration and mobilization project. It’s a tricky proposition. For one thing, conservative talk radio audiences — and Fox News viewers — tend to be registered voters and tend to have a pretty good sense of which party they’ll support. Growing the voter rolls has been a growth industry for Democrats, whose demographic base tends to be relatively unregistered as compared to the Republican Party’s. And Beck’s relationship with the official organs of the Republican Party is, to the say the least, strained. He doesn’t care for the national party, and they keep him at arm’s length.
And, of course, Beck claims to be non-partisan. Conservative, yes, but disdainful of the GOP, with no vested interest in seeing Republicans return to power, either. The reality is that, given how burnt-in the two party system is, ginning up enthusiasm among conservatives is going to hurt Democrats and help Republicans…. but maybe Beck will try something more subtle. He’ll have to draw the line carefully between exhortations to hold politicians accountable and support for particular candidates. There can’t be an official “Beck” slate of independent candidates out there. And despite Beck’s plea for Democrats to join him in protest, he’s become sufficiently polarizing so as to significantly increase the social costs of association for anyone with non-conservative sympathies.