The Daily Stern: Swinging the election

The Daily Stern: Swinging the election

: TOLD YA: Polls are showing the impact of the Howard Stern voter.

Now, a new poll says Stern – with an estimated weekly audience of 8.5 million – could be Kerry’s key to getting crucial swing voters on his bandwagon.

The New Democratic Network’s poll says (my emphasis):

Potentially offsetting the conservative dominance of the radio waves is Howard Stern. The nationally-syndicated radio host is listened to by 17 percent of likely voters, and nationally, they would support Kerry over Bush by a margin of 53 percent to 43 percent. In the battleground states, their preference for Kerry is even stronger, backing him by a margin of 59 percent to 37 percent. More importantly, one-quarter of all likely voting Stern listeners are swing voters. This means that four percent of likely voters this fall are swing voters who listen to Howard Stern, showing Stern

  • Andy

    Assume that Kerry wins and that the swing voters came from the Stern broadcast demographics. What does political and entertainment landscape look like the following four years? What is response by marketplace and/or political parties during the following election cycles?
    What are the effects by the “Law of Unintended Consequences” of a Stern derived victory?
    If Stern is successful won’t that bring more imitators with greater pushing of the bawdy and shocking? Won’t a Democratic Kerry appointed FCC crack down even more vigorously to enforce community standards? Will Democrats/Kerry stand for re-election on the all-smut, all-the-time platform or run against it?
    Historically, Democrats have pushed through more laws encoding the puritan and staid perspective than Republicans. Isn’t it an old Chinese curse that admonishes “Be careful what you wish for”

  • Chris

    Allow me to spoil the fun here – Howard Stern listeners do not, by and large, vote. And they will hardly get motivated by the boring, bland persona of John Kerry to go to the polls.

  • http://www.thegreatsatan.com Gabriel Chapman

    For years I have enjoyed sterns show, but ever since his FCC “I’m off the air in a week” panic and ratings grap, the show hasn’t been very good. Many I have talked to seem to think that the show has “jumped the shark”.
    My main problem with Howard is that he tends to get 1/5th of the facts straight, and then he harps on that 1/5th instead of the full story. Most of his audience are lemmings, who will buy anything he says, too bad none of them have been listening to what John Kerry has been saying, because as far as the FCC goes nothing would change under Kerry.

  • AndyB

    Gabriel, if nothing changes, then I’m voting Kerry out. Repeat ad nauseum.
    I’m willing to take that chance.

  • Angelos

    “most of his audience are lemmings”
    You mean just like Limbaugh’s? Don’t tell me there are any critical thinkers there.
    Radio is, or at least it should be, entertainment. I find it all pretty bad, and gave up on it years ago.
    The government success and actions (or lack thereof) should be what influences a vote.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    “Chris”: Oh, and I suppose that anonynmous blog commenters all DO vote?
    What a crock of snobbery.
    I listen to Stern. I vote.
    You think Stern’s audience is all 17-year-old slackers? You’re way wrong. What do you think those guys in suits driving to work every morning are listening to? Stern, baby, Stern.
    They have money. They have jobs and houses and families. They vote. We vote.

  • Chris

    Jeff, I don’t have any demographics on Stern, but I’d be very surprised if many of his listeners are active voters. I don’t think you are a typical Stern listener. And even if you are, do you really think there enough of you to change the dynamics of a presidential election? And what is it about John Kerry that will bring the Stern listeners to vote for him? Hatred of Bush ain’t enough. I’d be very wary of the findings of a group like the New Democratic Network – or the LA Times recent blurb about Kerry looking so good (we remember how they thought Gray Davis would survive the recall, rght?)
    There is a very instructive post on Hugh Hewitt today that compares the “terrible” shape both Nixon and Reagan were in during their relection campaigns and we all know what happened in the end: http://hughhewitt.com/#postid529
    Bush in an electoral landslide, at least 350 votes, is my prediction.

  • Sam

    This stuff about “Stern’s audience” not voting is crap. Stern’s audience is not a dozen guys sitting in a van down by the river, it is a massive chunk of the entire country’s population.
    To say that “Stern’s audience” does or doesn’t do this or that is just inaccurate. You’re telling me a group of 8-10 million people “don’t vote”? In reality, the whole country “doesn’t vote” if you want to get technical. I highly doubt the millions and millions of people who listen to Stern, who according to what Jeff quoted today make up 17 PERCENT! of the likely voters in the country, are voting significantly less often than everyone else.
    If the frequent comments here about how dumb Stern’s listeners are and how they don’t vote are actually true, than the other 83% of the country’s voters must be incredibly smart and voting like crazy, just to bring the national averages up despite those idiot/non-voting 17 percent.
    Like Jeff, I listen to Stern, I am a proud member of “Stern’s audience” and I most certainly vote. I know many, many people who wear suits, go to meetings, drive fancy cars and get nice checks every two weeks who also listen to Stern and who, amazingly enough, also vote.

  • Sam

    This stuff about “Stern’s audience” not voting is crap. Stern’s audience is not a dozen guys sitting in a van down by the river, it is a massive chunk of the entire country’s population.
    To say that “Stern’s audience” does or doesn’t do this or that is just inaccurate. You’re telling me a group of 8-10 million people “don’t vote”? In reality, the whole country “doesn’t vote” if you want to get technical. I highly doubt the millions and millions of people who listen to Stern, who according to what Jeff quoted today make up 17 PERCENT! of the likely voters in the country, are voting significantly less often than everyone else.
    If the frequent comments here about how dumb Stern’s listeners are and how they don’t vote are actually true, than the other 83% of the country’s voters must be incredibly smart and voting like crazy, just to bring the national averages up despite those idiot/non-voting 17 percent.
    Like Jeff, I listen to Stern, I am a proud member of “Stern’s audience” and I most certainly vote. I know many, many people who wear suits, go to meetings, drive fancy cars and get nice checks every two weeks who also listen to Stern and who, amazingly enough, also vote.

  • http://leatherpenguin.com/MT TC-LeatherPenguin

    I don’t have the Arbitron breakdowns in front of me, but I would be pretty confident in betting that Stern’s audience demographics tend to bottom out after the 18-34 group. Sure, some of those “guys in suits” may listen, but I’ll bet many–probably more–are listening to 1010WINS to find out what the traffic in front of them is like and what the world was doing while they were asleep, so they could get to the office in a timely fashion and make more of that money to make sure the house and family stay solvent.
    I think you’re projecting a bit too much, Jeff. Really, just ’cause you do it doesn’t mean everybody you see during your morning commute does. And that reply sounded exactly like the kind of snark you’d expect from a former 17 year old slacker who’s now all growed up but yearning for his glory days of rebellious youth.

  • Paul

    Nothing I can think of would prove Howard Stern’s audience a bunch of stupid lemmings than them voting for Kerry en masse because St. Howard tells them to.
    If they are indeed mostly well educated professionals I can’t imagine they would find the single issue that determines their vote to be the proclivities of the FCC, as opposed to ,say, the mortal threat against Western civilization posed by crazed Islamic Jihadists. Get a grip people.

  • AndyB

    Paul, I liked Bush even though Stern didn’t like him back in 2000.
    We are not just lemmings that follow Stern. But this is one issue among many that have caused me to lose faith in the current office of the president.
    Why is Ashcroft worrying about porn when he should be focused on the cells here? Why does Bush spend one iota of effort on banning gay marriages when I could care less.
    Even though I supported the war in Iraq, I could never understand why we had to rush it so much. I can only imagine how different the situation in Afghanistan (with finding Osama) would be if we had committed some of the troops in Iraq there instead.
    If all the troops in Iraq now had been deployed in Afghanistan, even with 10x the casualties, even with twice the cost, even with this FCC issue, Bush would have my vote.
    Fact is, Bush lost my support regardless of what Stern says, but this just strengthens my resolve. And I usually fucking hate the Dems.

  • http://www.thegreatsatan.com Gabriel Chapman

    My biggest beef with Stern is that hes always crying wolf. Really how many times do his predictions need to ring false before people wakeup and realize its schtick, and not truth? I’d be willing to say that a good majority of his bitching is just his act, and it works, it gets ratings. I mean you can only talk to so many strippers and honestly the “wackpack” has gotten really old, theres nothing new with the long running Stern show, but now there is.
    Howards hypocracy is the one thing that has always bothered me. He couldn’t give a shit about free speech, untill it might affect his bankaccount. He ‘s asking where other stars are to defend him, well where was he to defend them? When the greaseman is pushed off the air, or bubba the love sponge, or opie and anthony, or any host of radio types that have been fined or targeted. Why wasn’t it an issue then?
    I really think Sterns fans give themselves far more power than they actually have. We all know the 18-25 year age group doesn’t vote, just look at the primaries, they didn’t vote in any significant number then, they won’t in December. Sterns ego is getting the best of him, yet again. He will always be an insecure ugly kid, thats why he has to surround himself with sychophants.

  • http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/ Seth Finkelstein

    18-24 votes less much than average (~ 32%)
    45+ votes much more than average (~ 66+%)
    Yes, it does balance that way
    http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/voting/p20-542.html
    18-24 male is about the lowest group (~ 30%)

  • David R. Block

    FWIW, I don’t listen to Stern (he’s been all over the dial in this town, where is he now?), and I vote. If I were a single issue voter, and this was the issue, then it would make a significant impact upon my decision. But alas, I am not a single issue voter, and this is somewhere down the list.

  • Paul

    Andy B:
    I guess you reaffirmed my point. You decided not to support Bush regardless of HS’s influence.
    You’re way wrong, imo, because gay marriage, porn, and even catching Osama are not primary issues. The only thing that matters is taking the fight to the enemy and completely draining the ME swamp before the first rogue nuke shows up in an American city. No way are the Dems willing or capable of pursuing such a policy and that guarantees that eventually we will lose a city and the Hobbesian nightmare begins. Bush may not be able to prevent it, but he will proactively and aggressively try.

  • Dexter Westbrook

    The Dems won’t take the steps necessary to prevent nuclear terrorism. But they will take the steps necessary to make sure the Earth is 0.07 degrees cooler when some Islamic fascist detonates the first rogue nuke.

  • Kim

    According to this audience breakdown from Talkers Magazine 72% of listeners voted in 2000 and 27% did not vote. Education and income levels aren’t to shabby and look at the age make up of listeners 35-44 is 26%, 45-54 is 26% and 55-64 at 21%. Look at the political party breakdown reps 24%, dems 13%, libs 5% and independents 54%. You would be crazy to write off or be indifferent about Sterns influence. http://www.talkers.com/talkaud.html
    This is an editorial by Harrison about the FCC.
    http://www.talkers.com/editorial41904.htm
    The Atlantic just put this out.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2004/06/douthat.htm
    Harrison says that Stern has “a gigantic audience of thirty- to fortysomethings, people who have grown up with him, people who are teachers, accountants, lawyers.” Several million of them “would say they lean conservative … but are on the fence” in this race. And the host has tremendous credibility with his listeners. “He may be raunchy, edgy, dirty,” Harrison says, “but he’s compulsively honest, and his main target is hypocrisy.” Also, it’s not hard to imagine that Stern’s relentless screeds against the President would compel some of the previously nonvoting members of his audience

  • anotherKevin

    Whenever I hear of the FCC and “obscenity” laws, I think back to the “contributions” of Al and Tipper.

  • PRIM

    Get a grip. If Howard Stern’s fetid stench can swing an election, we are indeed doomed. To argue forcefully against the FCC for curtailing free speech, even Stern’s corrosive potty-level speech, is one thing. But to crow vindication that his narcissistic sobbing may be inflicting a mortal wound on a war president, is depraved.
    I’m betting the moral uplift that has washed over the electorate over the past few days of Reagan coverage will have a larger impact than Stern’s public self-abuse. The reminder that there are issues more important than the odor of Stern’s stink-finger might just have a disinfectant effect.

  • h0mi

    The numbers don

  • george

    The nationally-syndicated radio host is listened to by 17 percent of likely voters, and nationally, they would support Kerry over Bush by a margin of 53 percent to 43 percent.
    If his entire audience voted it would be closer to 7% than 17% of the vote.
    In the battleground states, their preference for Kerry is even stronger, backing him by a margin of 59 percent to 37 percent. More importantly, one-quarter of all likely voting Stern listeners are swing voters. This means that four percent of likely voters this fall are swing voters who listen to Howard Stern, showing Stern

  • http://www.tonypierce.com tony

    howard is the most popular morning talk radio jock in the country. he has over 8 million listeners and millions who watch him on tv.
    over the years thousands and thousands of advertisers believed that being associated with his show, or showing ads on his show would help get their message across.
    the idea that free publicity for kerry and against bush will have no influence on those very same listeners is laughable.
    suddenly we are to believe that because howard stern surrounds himself with midgets and retards and crack heads and strippers that he has absolutely no political influence.
    despite the fact that when he supported rudy g., christie todd whitman, clinton, bush, and pataki, they all won.
    yes, his listeners vote, and when they vote the candidate that stern supports usually wins.
    only an absolute fool would ignore this very simple fact.
    my advice for the president, go on the show and state your case to howard.
    unless, of course, you have something to hide.
    like your record.

  • Menlo Bob

    Would you suppose that people who don’t listen to Howard Stern, but who also have a negative opinion about him, take that into consideration and vote for the anti-Stern candidate? It would be interesting to poll for the advantage/disadvantage of a Stern endorsement. I suspect John Kerry isn’t interested.

  • Harry

    Whoever said, “consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds” knew what they were talking about when it comes to Howard Stern. If anything Stern is consistent, because if you have ever seen and/or heard one Howard Stern show you have seen and/or heard every Howard Stern show ever done.

  • Harry

    But otoh, there is a lot to be said for Stern’s logic of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ approach to his show. Besides my dog eats the same dogfood every day and he seems perfectly happy.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com tony

    harry,
    it sounds like you dont know anything about the howard stern show.
    tell me the similarities of the episodes when he interviewed jfk jr., paul mccartney, warren beatty, julia roberts, and the many times he interviewed hank the angry drunken dwarf, beetlejuice, or crackhead bob.
    they were all totally different.
    as was his 9/11/01 broadcast which should be in any collection of serious recordings of that infamous day.
    the only consistant thing about howard’s shows are they are consistantly suprising, entertaining, and informative.
    you should listen a little more.

  • http://leatherpenguin.com/MT TC-LeatherPenguin

    So, tony, how’s that psuedo-porn thing going?
    Oh, and here’s a factcheck: Rudy G. won because we (Staten Islanders) hated David Dinkins’ guts and Koch refused to run.

  • h0mi

    I thought I responded to this post but apparantly it got lost in the myriad of computer issues I have… sigh.
    Stern backed Gore, not Bush. Stern backed Lazio, D’amato, and Judge McGinty’s (judge in Cleveland who badmouthed Stern during the trial of a man who cut the live feed during the “funeral” Stern had for some djs there) opponent. All of these politicians Stern backed lost.
    Stern backed Giuliani twice, failing to get Giuliani elected in 1989. I question the wisdom in giving any or all of Giuliani’s victory glory to Stern while ignoring a city that saw life worsen significantly under 4 years of Dinkins and ignoring the national mood at the time which was anti-democratic. That same mood that swept Pataki in over an unpopular incumbant governor who was opposed to the death penalty and Whitman who was going against the very unpopular Florio. Why do I blame this mood instead of a “Stern” effect? Because Stern had no effect in the LA race which was otherwise pretty similar to the NYC mayoral race- a Republican won in a strongly democratic city for the first time in anyone’s recent memory. Stern didn’t endorse Riordan or his opponent but the _mood_ at the time swept Riordan, Pataki, Whitman, Giuliani, 50 or so other Republicans into various federal offices and hundreds of republicans throughout the country into the various state offices, plus the switching of parties by some Democrats to Republican as well.
    This was all at a time when Stern had 12 million, not the 8 million he has now, had more rabid fans and a more reputedly rabid fan base.
    What happened since then?
    Stern changed. The fan base changed to some extent, aside from losing 1/3rd of its size.
    For all of tony’s remarks regarding Stern’s ratings, with his ad rates, this “pull” stern apparantly has with his audience… why is it that in the _story_of_his_life_ he failed to get more than 4 million of those fans to see that movie? The movie was seen by lots of non fans who suddenly “became fans”, but after it was all said and done, he had more fans in 1994 than he has had in the past few years.
    Stern’s advertisement pull has more to do with his large ratings, particularly compared to the competition. With such greater ratings, the larger audience means your ad will be heard by more people. But when advertisers pulled spots out of concerns by the various “family” advocacy groups, who among them was ever hurt by the Stern sponsored boycott? (And a reasonable counter is, who among these were hurt by the “family” groups’ boycott?)

  • syn

    I wonder how the men and women who love listening to Howard Stern would feel if their own childern became objects of Howard Stern’s entertainment.
    From what I have read on this blog, some fathers feel it is amusing to hear Howard Stern ridicule someone elses child, but will enforce censorship to protect one’s own daughter.
    Parents might want to learn the lesson you can’t have your cake and eat it too!
    When I think of censorship I think of Tipper and Al too.

  • Eric Blair

    H0mi is right. Stern’s time is past. I remember when his two books sold tons (literally) of copies in the books stores in the NYC metro area. But that’s his home ground.
    He’s boring now, one note, not funny, and the only reason anybody listens to him is that the alternatives are even dumber, if that can be believed.
    Arbitron ratings are garbage, but the advertisers pay based on them, and that just shows how stupid advertising execs are.

  • h0mi

    And just 1 last comment. The fact that Stern still gets good ratings in spite of how weak his show is (compared to the past) is a testament to the detritus that is radio today (or people’s listening habits), not a testament to the genius that is stern. Even while stern sucked (and was on the air in san diego), I still listened, hoping for glimmers of the genius I remember all too well over the past decade- hoping for another bit about his family, his parents, something that was entertaining. Instead I got bunny rescue stories, Jeff the Drunk, and Benji Bronk or KC Armstrong inspired drivel that sounds like something from the “Mikey” show.
    I don’t know whether the ratings are accurate or not; I have no reason to question their validity or Blair’s comments about them. But what I know is, Limbaugh is down about 8 million listeners and Stern is down about 4 million. Given the fact that after his movie, he gained all sorts of new listeners, this tells me a lot of the older listeners don’t listen anymore.