Since the National Election Pool, on whose behalf we conduct the Exit Polls, put the question of listening to ‘conservative talk radio’ onto their surveys of Republican voters last week in Virginia and Maryland, much discussion has ensued. Indeed, McCain got his worst percentages in both states among those who listen frequently to conservative talk radio. Also, many talk radio listeners don’t find McCain ‘conservative enough’ on the issues.
But another look inside the numbers shows that while McCain might not be the perfect candidate for the most frequent conservative-talk listeners, he might not be the disaster some people make him out to be. We also asked this question: “No matter how you voted today, how would you feel if John McCain wins the nomination: Very Satisfied, Somewhat Satisfied, Somewhat Dissatisfied, or Very Dissatisfied?” And while conservative talk listeners may have preferred other candidates, they are pretty strong in their satisfaction with McCain.
As the nearby graph shows, fully 67% of frequent talk listeners in Maryland said they would be satisfied to some degree with McCain winning the nomination. While this is a tad lower than the 77% overall who said they would be satisfied, it is still an overwhelming majority.
In Virginia, an even higher 74% of frequent talk listeners will be satisfied by McCain, only a spot less than the 77% overall there expressing satisfaction.
So when you listen to talk radio, and hear callers who say they would ‘never vote for McCain’, understand that they seem to represent only a small minority of even the frequent talk listeners.