I’ve been meaning to comment on this for a long time, and never got to it. Enough already.
Hoffenblum divides the electoriate into two groups, the “14%’ers” and the “86%’ers.” The “14%’ers” are actively involved in politics, they participate in local elections, and they keep themselves up-to-date on what is happening in their communities. The other 86% don’t much care about politics and don’t spend any effort informing themselves about what is going on.
The informed “14%’ers” are much more partisan than the uninformed “86%’ers” and get their information from a much more diverse range of sources. The “86%’ers” — when they learn anything — tend to get their information through television and advertising.
I’ve used this info in numerous radio interviews and other opportunities and changed the numbers to 15% and 85% (CPAs like numbers with 0s and 5s :–>), but what Hoffenblum says rings very true, and explains a lot.
It explains why the economy gets a bad rap it doesn’t deserve. It explains why the War in Iraq’s support has deteriorated. It explains any number of items that cause people to answer polls and vote to the left of where they really are philosophically. It happens because 85%-86% of the population gets its news from top-of-hour radio broadcasts, what little local and national evening news they overhear, and the morning infotainment exercises. It’s not exacty a secret which direction those items lean. The only consolation s that the 85%-86% don’t vote as consistently as the active 14%-15%, but those that do (obviously) still outnumber the actives.
Until the center-right side of the blogs and the rest New Media (and that would include talk radio) figure out a way to reach the other 85%-86% that the formerly Mainstream (and more agenda-driven than ever) Media is getting to continually, it’s going to be difficult to have a consistent impact.