It is unclear to me if appearing on “The Daily Show” will have done much for President Barack Obama’s ratings. But it doesn’t seem to have helped Jon Stewart’s much. Nielsen data just in shows last night’s episode attracted 2.8 million viewers (minus TiVo data), compared to the show’s average of roughly 3.6 million an episode. Not sure if it says much about the president, except that people probably watch the Daily Show for Jon Stewart, not for his guests. Or maybe they were just watching the World Series.
That said, I suspect Sarah Palin would draw higher ratings if she ever graced Stewart’s studio. Instead, the former vice presidential candidate will be on air on Entertainment Tonight this evening. Asked bluntly if she planned to run for president, Palin said she would take a look at the lay of the land, to see if there was anyone else with the “common sense, conservative, pro-Constitution passion” she believes in.
If so, they would get her wholehearted support. If not: “if there’s nobody else to do it, then of course I would believe that we should do this.” As our blogger Toby Zakaria observed, it may come down to a definition of “nobody”, because there is of course likely to be a healthy Republican field, many of whom may indeed share that passion.
Finally, an interesting poll from long-time Democratic pollster Doug Schoen via US News and World Report. The highlights: more voters think George W. Bush was a better president than Obama than the other way around. And a majority think the president does not deserve a second term.
Ironically, of course, he might still get one. Half of the voters surveyed wanted a third party in American politics, and, even now, in the depth of his midterm blues, Obama might still win a three-way race. In a contest between Obama, Republican Mitt Romney and Palin, for example, Obama would sneak through with 40 percent of voters, ahead of Romney with 32 percent and Palin with 17.