The Daily Show's Emmy award-winning anchor Jon Stewart's surprise announcement
he'd be leaving the comedy/commentary show sometime this year is hitting Democrats as hard as die-hard Comedy Central fans.
In an email blast Wednesday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was soliciting names to add to its e-card to "thank him for 16 incredible years," aiming to "get 100,000 fans in the next 24 hours."
"The Daily Show set the bar for making politics funny, combining hard-hitting news analysis with a large dose of humor," the email states. "In his nearly two decades on the air, Jon has never been afraid to take hypocritical politicians and their outrageous agendas to task. We’ll miss looking forward to 11 p.m. on weeknights to see how he responds to the day’s news"
The first true-blue fan was Elizabeth Warren, according to the email.
“Washington is rigged for the big guys — and no person has more consistently called them out for it than Jon Stewart," the blast quoted her saying.
CNN notes a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center found
that 39 percent of The Daily Show's regular viewers were between 18 and 29, though that demographic makes up just 23 percent of the public as a whole.
Nevertheless, CNN reports, it's a demographic "politicians kill for."
"And it explains why those running for office — particularly Democrats keen to connect with Stewart's urban, left-leaning audience — brave appearing on his show," CNN reports.
But Bloomberg Politics reports
Stewart's appeal reaches far wider than the young viewers who have turned off network news for The Daily Show.
"Stewart’s audience, and that of his former Comedy Central partner, Stephen Colbert, have been an important segment of reliably left-leaning voters," Bloomberg Politics blogger Joshua Green writes.
In a chart provided by a senior vice president for research at National Media Inc., a Republican ad-burying firm, Stewart's cable show falls in "high voter turnout" territory for Democrats.
"Although this chart is a couple years out of date... you can see that Stewart’s audience is both a) extremely liberal, and b) very likely to turn out to vote," Green writes. "Even more so than the audience of the dearly departed Stephen Colbert. And this data undoubtedly understates the true influence of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report because both shows occupied such a prominent space in the Gen X/Gen Y psyche…"
Stewart's departure from the airwaves, Green concludes, "is rough news for Democrats."
Conservative commentator and popular radio host Rush Limbaugh agrees.
"The Democrats love Jon Stewart," Limbaugh said Wednesday on his radio program. "He was an immense help to them… Jon Stewart was all-in for Barack Obama."
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