The Impact of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Politics Count On late-night TV a candidate can be branded and rebranded as a flip-flopper or stiff (see Sen. John Kerry in 2004) or reckless and foolish (frequently part of the jabs at former President George W. Bush).

But not all late-night shows are the same. For some, politics is more than just the stuff of monologue one-liners; it’s a critical element to the program. Take, for instance, the late-night shows on Comedy Central, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. They thrive on politics. And when you look at who watches those shows through Patchwork Nation’s demographic/geographic county breakdown an interesting pattern emerges.

Both shows do well in places where the vote is solidly Democratic, collegiate Campus and Careers and big city Industrial Metropolis counties. And both shows underperform in reliably Republican counties like the small-town Service Worker Centers and the socially conservative Evangelical Epicenters.

But the Daily Show and the Colbert Report also have strong followings in the politically crucial, swing-voting Monied Burbs. In fact, viewership numbers in those 286 counties mirror the numbers from those more liberal counties, according to data from Experian Simmons.

The Impact of Late Night Television on Politics

Full Article: The Wall Street Journal.

(Thanks to Peter for the Tip!)

  • CN Helper

    This article is so cool, in that you can verify the influence that Jon and Stephen have just by looking at the numbers. Although their ratings aren’t as high Leno’s and Letterman’s, they have the creme of the crop of educated viewers. Or maybe I am just flattering myself. I shoulda got my GED when I had the chance…