During a 52-hour voting period Tuesday through Thursday, over 250,000 votes were cast by Townhall.com/HotAir.com readers in the largest and most secure digital poll of conservatives ever.
Newt Gingrich won with 36.5% of the vote. Mitt Romney was second with 18.8%. Michele Bachmann received 17.7% and Ron Paul received 17.4%. Rick Perry finished up the pack with 9.5%.
1st place votes
Newt Gingrich: 36.5%
Mitt Romney: 18.8%
Michele Bachmann: 17.7%
Ron Paul: 17.4%
Rick Perry: 9.5%
Townhall.com/HotAir.com readers were also asked for their 2nd choice. Michele Bachmann was the favorite second choice.
2nd place votes:
Michele Bachmann: 25.4%
Newt Gingrich: 20.6%
Mitt Romney: 20.4%
Rick Perry: 18.2%
Ron Paul: 15.4%
Of those that picked Gingrich as their top choice, a plurality picked Romney as their second with Bachmann close behind. Of those that picked Romney as their top choice, nearly half picked Gingrich as their second with Bachman also close behind.
Bachmann voters preferred Rick Perry as their second and Rick Perry voters preferred Michele Bachmann as their second.
The results suggest that while Gingrich is currently the choice of conservatives, this election is far from decided. With 45% of readers sticking to their support of Michele Bachman, Ron Paul and Rick Perry, and with three weeks to go before Iowa, it appears the race hasn't become any more solidified than it was a month ago. I guess we should expect anything different after the summer and Fall we had.
Where Bachmann and Perry voters if their candidate falters may decide this race in the end.
Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman were not included in the primary due to their support in an average of national polls being less than 5%. Polling was conducted among registered readers of Townhall.com and HotAir.com and each email ballot was digitally encrypted to work only once.
One never knows -- maybe we should hold another one of these primaries right before Florida or Super Tuesday to see if conservatives are finally coalescing around a single candidate.
*Editors' note: an earlier version of this article reported switched the results of Bachmann and Paul. This has been corrected.
For the past few years, a lot of us at Salem Communications and Townhall.com have read and admired the work done by Michelle Malkin, Ed Morrissey and the infamous AllahPundit on HotAir.com. In four quick years, they’ve grown the site from the new kid on the block to easily the most popular site in the conservative blogosphere. Salem and Townhall have been in the battle for conservative values for years on radio, in print and on the Web and bringing HotAir.com into the family seemed completely natural.
Thankfully Michelle agreed.
After many conversations with Michelle, Ed and Allah, Salem Communications agreed to acquire HotAir.com last week. HotAir is playing a critical role in the battle for the country’s future and all of us at Salem are tremendously excited by what the future brings. I couldn’t agree more with Tom Perrault, Senior Vice President of SWN who says in the press release, “The addition of Hot Air doubles the size of Salem’s expanding footprint in online conservative commentary. It’s a perfect fit for us, since we can leverage talk radio, print and other online assets to aggressively grow the site, while offering political organizations and advertisers an even more effective way to reach and engage the conservative audience.”
The official press release announcing the acquisition:
Salem Communications Acquires HotAir.com
Blog Site Joins with Townhall to Create Largest Conservative News and Commentary Voice on the Web
WASHINGTON, DC --Salem Communications (Nasdaq:SALM), a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider and magazine publisher targeting audiences interested in faith, family and conservative values, announced today at the Conservative Political Action Conference that it has acquired HotAir.com – the popular right-of-center blog showcasing the news, analysis and commentary of Ed Morrissey and AllahPundit – from Michelle Malkin.
HotAir.com – combined with Townhall.com – creates the largest conservative commentary, analysis, and news network on the Web with more than 3 million unique readers.
Best-selling author, blogger, and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, who started HotAir.com in 2006, said of the acquisition, "Hot Air has experienced phenomenal growth -- beyond our wildest expectations. With its established radio platform and fast-growing Internet brands, Salem is perfectly positioned to take Hot Air to the next level as a conservative multimedia powerhouse."
Jonathan Garthwaite, VP & General Manager of Townhall/Hot Air, commenting on the acquisition said, “I have always respected Michelle Malkin and the insights and opinions presented by Hot Air. I look forward to working with Ed Morrissey and AllahPundit during a critical period in determining our country’s future. The combination of the #1 conservative opinion and news site and the #1 conservative news and commentary blog creates a real force for conservative values in 2010 and beyond,” he added.
Townhall/HotAir is a part of Salem Communications’ Internet division, Salem Web Network (SWN). Tom Perrault, Senior Vice President of SWN said, “The addition of Hot Air doubles the size of Salem’s expanding footprint in online conservative commentary. It’s a perfect fit for us, since we can leverage talk radio, print and other online assets to aggressively grow the site, while offering political organizations and advertisers an even more effective way to reach and engage the conservative audience.”
“The acquisition by Salem Communications is an exciting step for Hot Air. I am looking forward to working with my good friends at Salem with their large radio network and websites,” said HotAir blogger Ed Morrissey. “I have worked for a very good friend and mentor for the last two years, Michelle Malkin. Congratulations to Michelle for her vision and hard work in turning Hot Air into one of the most frequented political websites,” Morrissey added.
"It's an honor to work with a company as respected as Salem and an amazing opportunity to expand Hot Air's reach ahead of the midterm elections,” said AllahPundit, who blogs under a pseudonym. “Eternal thanks to Michelle Malkin, for having taken a chance on me when no one else would. I can never repay her for her kindness."
Began in April 2006 by political commentator Michelle Malkin, HotAir.com has grown into the most popular conservative blog on the web. Bloggers Ed Morrissey and AllahPundit provide round-the-clock breaking news, commentary and insight from a conservative perspective. It is ranked among the top blogs on Technorati.
Townhall.com was launched in 1995 and has grown into the #1 conservative commentary and news site online. Townhall also publishes Townhall Magazine, a print magazine full of investigative reporting, commentary and dynamic photography.
Jonathan Garthwaite, VP & General Manager, Townhall/HotAir
About Salem Communications
Salem Communications (NASDAQ: SALM) is a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider, and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values. In addition to its radio properties, Salem owns Salem Radio Network?, which syndicates talk, news and music programming to approximately 2,000 affiliates; Salem Media Representatives™, a national radio advertising sales force; Salem Web Network™, an Internet provider of Christian content and online streaming; and Salem Publishing™, a publisher of Christian-themed magazines. Upon the close of all announced transactions, the company will own 94 radio stations, including 58 stations in 22 of the top 25 markets. Additional information about Salem may be accessed at the company's website, www.salem.cc.
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