Rich Galen

Among the many very nice comments I got for Wednesday's MULLINGS (Our Talking Points Society) was a reader who asked (in essence) "If Fox News Channel is so far ahead of MSNBC and CNN why did the GOP lose the Presidential election last Fall?"

The answer is: The number of people who watch cable news is a tiny percentage of the voting population.

According to the total number of people who tuned into any of the four major cable news channels (CNN, CNN Headline, Fox, or MSNBC) at any point between 4 PM and 11 PM totaled 23,430,000 viewers

It was split this way:

Fox: 12,907,000
MSNBC: 4,516,000
CNN: 2,659,000
CNN Headline: 3,348,000

Among all of those, Bill O'Reilly drew 2,883,000 in his 8 PM show. That's more than watched CNN throughout their entire seven hours of programming.

Just to give you a sense of context, the highest rated shows anywhere on cable on Monday night drew 13,850,000 viewers just in the three hours between 8 and 11. They were all the same show and all on the same network: Monday Night Raw (professional wrestling) on USA.

And the top broadcast network shows on Monday totaled 41,040,000 viewers just in the 8 o'clock hour; 75 percent more viewers for shows like "The Voice" and "Dancing with the Stars" than all of cable news for the entire afternoon and evening.

More data.

There are (as of last night) 315,572,776 people in the United States according to the U.S. Census bureau's "population clock." Most of them didn't watch a cable news show last night.

More, still? According to Wikipedia, 126,838,980 Americans voted in the 2012 Presidential election. That means 80 percent of voters (I know this is really stretching the point, but bear with me) probably are not regular viewers of Fox or MSNBC, or CNN.

In fact they are FAR more likely to have been viewers of "Dancing with the Stars" or "The Voice."

Ok. So, most voters are not glued to a cable news station at night.

That leads us to the absolutely ridiculous mini-burst of excitement over Ashley Judd running for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky.

The reason these two subjects are so closely related is because Ms. Judd got it into her head that she should be a United States Senator and would run against Senator Mitch McConnell who happens to be the Republican Leader.

I only know Ms. Judd because I have seen her as a pretty cute, modestly talented actress in some not-too-memorable movies. No one would confuse her with, for instance, Meryl Streep in terms of acting power.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at