John Avlon, on over at The Daily Beast, has a great post showing that, as much as they may garner a huge portion of the national mind share when they make outlandish statements… the ratings show that some of the big names in extremist political commentary are losing a heck of a lot of their viewers:
On January 20th of last year, Olbermann reached an estimated 251,000 people aged 25-to-54 at 8 p.m., according to data kept by TVNewser.com. Exactly one year later, this past Thursday, he reached only 198,000—a decline of nearly 20 percent.
Beck’s collapse was even steeper over the same period. On January 20th of 2010, he was flying high at a point of maximum influence coincident with Tea Party enthusiasm, reaching 965,000 in the 24-to-55 demographic. On 1/20/11, Beck reached roughly one-third that number at 5 p.m.—only 377,000.
To be sure, even at their reduced rates of viewership, both men were leaders at their respective networks. But the trend lines are clear—both hosts were trending down by double digits in the first four months of last year—and comforting from an independent’s perspective.
I couldn’t agree more. Its also comforting to see Sarah Palin’s polling numbers fall, and both parties at near historic lows of public support. The center of the electorate certainly hasn’t won many battles lately (Lincoln Chafee winning the governorship of Rhode Island is a good example of one of them), but there are a number of indicators that point to the possibility that the ideologues may indeed be nearing their high water mark. Avlon’s post lists several other indicators to be hopeful about.
Here’s to hoping he’s right…