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Will Talk-Radio Yappers Push Tancredo Over the Top?

06/13/2014 11:59 am ET | Updated Aug 13, 2014
  • Jason Salzman Former media critic at the Rocky Mountain News; Blogger, www.bigmedia.org.

I've been too busy listening to talk radio to notice news reports that talk radio anchored tea-party candidate David Brat's defeat of GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Politico reported Wednesday:

Brat's surprise victory is a powerful reminder, as if any were needed, of the immense influence talk radio has over conservative politics -- it was not only [syndicated talk radio host Laura Ingraham] boosting but also Glenn Beck and Mark Levin bringing their considerable influence with the right to bear as well. Since well before the rise of the tea party, establishment Republicans have feared the medium's command over the conservative base.

National talk-radio hosts not only endorsed Brat, but had him on their radio shows, broadcast in Virginia, numerous times leading up to his primary victory, according to Politico.

Will these national yappers now take aim at Colorado, possibly boosting Tom Tancredo over his more establishment-supported rivals? So far I haven't seen Laura Ingraham, broadcast locally on KLZ 560-AM, or Mark Levin, on KNUS 710-AM, getting involved in our gubernatorial primary, and I have no idea of their GOP audience compares to Virginia's. Closest thing was Michelle Malkin's battle-cry tweet after Cantor's loss, saying Colorado is next.

But if anyone hears anything about Tanc from Ingraham, Levin, et al. please let me know.

In Virginia, it looks like Ingraham in particular took a high profile stance for Brat, as reported by Politico.

"She wasn't just a talk radio host who simply used her program to promote Brat. She took it to another level," said Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director and senior White House correspondent. "I think she does deserve credit in giving credibility to Brat."

Of the local radio hosts, KNUS' Peter Boyles is certainly doing his best for his buddy Tancredo, but god knows if Boyles does anything in the real world but excite electrons.

Colorado Springs talker Jimmy Lakey, who was once a Republican congressional candidate for CD 7 and doubles as Tancredo's press secretary, posted his ballot on his Facebook page, with "Tancredo" bubble filled in. See below.

Though both Tancredo and his chief rival Bob Beauprez are arguably tea-party conservatives, Tancredo lets his tea-party flag fly more openly.

In the past, despite his tea-party record, Bob Beauprez has ducked the question in different ways. In one instance, on KOA's Mike Rosen show, he said:

Caller Doug: My question for Rep Beauprez: Is he more aligned with the traditional Republican Party or more aligned with the tea p?

Beauprez: I'm more aligned with, some people would call them, conservative values, traditional values. I think both of the groups that you highlight, in general, adhere to the same.

On the other hand, Tom Tancredo told KNUS' Steve Kelley Wednesday:

Tancredo: I love the tea party. I believe they have been a very healthy force inside this body politic, especially for Republicans. I believe it has helped move the party to the right, although it's been done begrudgingly on the part the party itself. A lot of people resent it and resist it. No, I think they've been helpful.

Listen to Tancredo discusses the tea party on KNUS Kelley and Company 06-11-14

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