Survey: Stephen Colbert Alienating Conservatives, Slips to Third in Late Night

Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

According to a survey conducted by The Hollywood Reporter, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has slipped to third place in late night, and its host’s liberal political leanings could be alienating scores of potential viewers.

Working with measurement firm Penn Schoen Berland, THR surveyed 1,000 late-night viewers, ages 18-65, and found that Colbert is not connecting with conservatives like his competitors, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.

Three months into his tenure at CBS, Colbert has taken a more political approach to late night by featuring guests whose politics have often taken center stage.

While Colbert’s September opening week was a huge rating success, and his audience is still twice that of predecessor David Letterman, The Late Show has taken a bit of a slide.

When looking at the numbers, Fallon (27%), Kimmel (30%), and Colbert (31%) all attract a near equal percentage of self-described political independents.

While Fallon’s audience leans Democrat by five points (36%-31%), and Kimmel’s audience leans Democrat by one point (34%-33%), Colbert’s audience is much less politically diverse.

The survey finds that 47 percent of Colbert’s audience is made up of Democrats. In contrast, only 17 percent of his viewers identify as Republican.

Per the survey, which polled equal amounts of men and women, Colbert is also struggling with women. While Jimmy Fallon’s audience is made up chiefly of women, and Kimmel’s is nearly equal, Colbert’s audience is 59 percent male.

Lead pollster Jon Penn said of Jimmy Fallon: “He’s the unpredictable, cool dude you want to be friends with, and his silly, witty and nonoffen­sive humor is connecting with Leno fans and young, married, moderate women.”

Read the full report below, via The Hollywood Reporter:


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