Americans widely agree that talk radio commentators influence the Republican Party, but are sharply divided over whether that is a good or bad thing.
The largely conservative world of talk radio came under discussion last week, with news that the second largest radio network in the country is set to drop two of the top-rated conservative talk radio figures. Cumulus media will stop carrying Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity on its radio stations, after the company's CEO Lew Dickey blamed losses at the firm in part on an advertiser boycott of Rush Limbaugh's show. The influence of talk radio on the Republican Party has become an object of discussion within the party with some saying that it ensures Republican leaders adhere to core principles, while others say it denies them the pragmatic flexibility needed to beat Democrats in elections.
The latest YouGov research shows that Americans widely believe talk radio commentators to have influence over the Republican Party. 62% say that talk radio commentators have 'a lot' or 'some' influence on the Republican Party, while only 19% say they have 'none' or 'very little'.
Overall, Americans are more likely to say that this influence is a bad thing, though this differs according to political identification. 48% of Democrats say that the influence of talk radio on Republican politicians is a bad thing, while among Republicans 36% say that it is a good thing and 27% say it is neither good nor bad.
When asked about their views towards Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, the American public is notably more hostile towards Rush Limbaugh. 53% of Americans have a negative view of Rush Limbaugh, while 30% have a positive view. 31% of people have a positive view of Sean Hannity, while 34% have a negative impression. Much of this difference is accounted for by the attitudes of Democrats. 77% of Democrats dislike Limbaugh, compared to 43% who dislike Hannity.
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