A new national poll by Wall Street Journal and NBC News exposes serious problems for the GOP—and for talk radio. On some issues, self-described Republicans express opinions you’d expect, with huge majorities backing traditional marriage, gun rights, and the right to life movement. But respondents were also asked, “Do you enjoy listening to conservative talk radio?” Only 38 percent of Republicans said yes—meaning that 62 percent of the GOP doesn’t like the most important component of conservative media.
This reflects sharp declines in ratings for some of the most prominent talk radio shows: the angry, shrill and pessimistic tone taken by many hosts appeals to barely a third of those who identify with the GOP—only a minority of a minority.
Republicans should recognize that radio rants don’t really speak for the party’s broader base, and radio talkers should provide a more reasoned and welcoming perspective to reach a wider audience.