These pundits, more than any other, will be the talking heads who will influence the choice of the GOP's nominee for 2012.
- The list reveals the massive gap between broadcast pundits and newspaper commentators.
- Limbaugh, for example, was named as a favorite by 41% of ConservativeHome's Republican Panel.
- Worryingly, columnists often regarded as among the most thoughtful conservatives did not fare well. David Brooks of the New York Times only mustered a mention from 1.3% of the panel (14 people). Ross Douthat, also at the NYT, won just four votes and Mike Gerson, Washington Post writer and former speechwriter to President Bush, gets just three mentions.
- Another former Bush speechwriter and Rush Limbaugh's leading critic, David Frum, only gets three mentions. Peggy Noonan, however, gets favorited 35 times.
- The ticket to high status is clearly Fox News. One of only two upmarket newspaper columnist to appear in the top ten being Charles Krauthammer, who combines his syndicated Washington Post column with his Fox punditry. He was named by 29% of grassroots Republicans. The other broadsheet columnist, at number ten, is George Will, syndicated Washington Post Op-Ed writer and ABC News veteran.
The total percentages for each of the top ten were*:
- Rush Limbaugh: 41%
- Glenn Beck: 33%
- Charles Krauthammer: 29%
- Bill O'Reilly: 24%
- Sean Hannity: 21%
- Newt Gingrich: 16%
- Michelle Malkin: 16%
- Mike Huckabee: 13%
- Ann Coulter: 13%
- George Will: 13%
* There were two phases to the voting process. Last week Panel members were asked to nominate favorite commentators. This week Panel members were presented with a list, derived from their nominations, and asked to vote for their three favorite.