Thursday the Drudge Report had no less than 13 anti-Gingrich links scattered across the page with somewhere around five “above the fold.” The same day, National Review Online, the American Spectator, and pundit Ann Coulter all published missives railing against the former House Speaker. Drudge compiled all the content on his site late Wednesday night. They, along with Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, have been cheerleading for a Romney candidacy since there were still eight candidates in the running. Conservative media has clearly cast their lot, and not all for the same candidate.
It’s clear that after the blowout in South Carolina and the Gingrich momentum in Florida, Team Romney called for help.
Sites such as Red State have clearly been anti-Romney, but more non-Romney than for a particular candidate, after Perry left the race. Rush Limbaugh hasn’t officially taken a side, but his criticism of Romney as “not a conservative” is definitely noticeable. He also defended Gingrich’s defense of Reagan from the onslaught of oppo published Thursday, as has Dan Riehl, along with Jeffrey Lord.
Do these outlets and personalities have influence over the minds of voters? Sure — to an extent depending on the voting bloc. The soft support Romney has received hasn’t helped one iota with grassroots, and only minimally with independents in Iowa and New Hampshire. Now that the push has strengthened, how will voters — conservative voters who get so much of their news from such sites and programs — react?
AIM discusses the breadth of conservative pushback; is it more than a coordinated oppo dump from pro-Romney media figures? Is this a way for pro-Romney conservative media to neutralize Gingrich’s populist stance against MSM? Perhaps they reason that Gingrich can’t take his stance against corporate media if even conservative media outlets are aligning against him. Or does this simply fuel the fight raging between establishment and grassroots? It seems a gamble.