Jimmy LaSalvia at Salon writes that the Republican Party’s audience at the South Carolina GOP debate is like Drudge’s polls–unscientific and meant to embarrass the opposite wing of the base–but unlike Drudge’s “army,” it was pitifully small.
Well, that was brutal. Wasn’t it? The Republican presidential debate in South Carolina on Saturday night was a real knife fight, and it was cheered on by a vocal audience that made us feel like it was held in the Colosseum. It was unbelievable, like a work of fiction, but it wasn’t. The story of last night’s debate can be told as a Tale of Two Audiences.
I’ve written before about influence of Matt Drudge and his online poll, and it continues to help paint a picture of the political reality inside the GOP. Drudge has carefully curated the news content on his site to build a massive anti-establishment army that is much bigger than the loyal GOP establishment. Size matters in 2016, and Matt Drudge’s audience is bigger than Reince Preibus’s.
The problem for Preibus and the Republican establishment is that there just aren’t that many of them left anymore. Their numbers have dwindled over the years as more and more longtime Republicans, like me, have left the party. Honestly, the 1,500 establishment loyalists in the debate audience versus the hundreds of thousands of Drudge poll voters is probably a pretty good proportional representation of the breakdown of the reality in the Republican Party today.
Read the rest of the article here.