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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Could Beck Overtake Limbaugh As The New "Titular Head"?

I have often asked myself if Glenn Beck's popularity could effectively marginalize some of the conservative Right's most vocal and visible figures. We've all seen that O'Reilly appears to be afraid of Beck rising popularity, as he consistantly aligns himself with Beck and even has a special Beck segment on his program. But, what of Rush Limbaugh.

Nate Silver tackles this one with interesting info.

Buried in the cross-tabs of the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is a question that takes a temperature reading of Glenn Beck. Beck actually makes out pretty well. While just 24 percent of Americans have a favorable view of him (13 percent strongly so), only 19 percent have an unfavorable one (14 percent strongly). That leaves 57 percent who either don't know Beck or are indifferent toward him.

This compares quite favorably to, for example, Rush Limbaugh, who was the subject of a similar question in the NBC/WSJ poll in June. Limbaugh was regarded favorably by 23 percent of Americans, but unfavorably by 50 percent -- including 37 percent who held a strongly negative view. This is not a new problem for Limbaugh, incidentally, who has been roughly this unpopular since at least 1995.

Silver posits that Beck's higher favorability ratings have a bit to do with his particular brand "conservative crazy". Limbaugh is a more status quo man while Beck is wildly unpredictable. After all, the consumerist nature of most American's dictates that we crave something new, somethig that stimulates our sense. And Beck has that in spades.

But, the broader question is this - are we seeing the slow demise of Limbaugh and the old conservative guard? Only time will tell.

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