Matt Drudge's Drudge Report has become the leading conservative media booster of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, promoting him for the Republican presidential nomination and proclaiming him the “clear GOP frontrunner.”
Though it is repeatedly inaccurate, racially inflammatory and a propaganda dumping ground that promotes 9-11 conspiracy theorists, The Drudge Report has continued to exert influence among conservative audiences, with some even dubbing the attempt to woo the website's support as the “Drudge primary.”
Politico reports that Walker is currently “winning the Drudge primary,” which means “the Wisconsin Republican can now take that Drudge love to potential donors and supporters within the GOP and point to this seemingly grass-roots resurgence without having spent a dime.”
After Walker successfully won re-election for governor in November, Drudge promoted a Grover Norquist opinion piece that theorized Walker could become a Republican president in the mold of Calvin Coolidge. Drudge followed that with links promoting Walker's State of the State address.
When Walker spoke to the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, Drudge proclaimed: “WALKER WOWS CROWD IN IOWA.”
Reflecting the ongoing right-wing media angst over Gov. Jeb Bush, Drudge published a post juxtaposing Rupert Murdoch purportedly “sitting with Valerie Jarrett gushing over Jeb, immigration” with an all-caps link saying “SCOTT WALKER GETS READY.”
Despite repeatedly casting aspersions on Bush's immigration positions, which are viewed as too lenient by many on the right, Drudge has yet to bring up Walker's shifting stance on the key issue. Walker has moved from questioning the need for greater border security to now demanding “we need to secure the border.”
Matt Drudge then personally crowned Walker the “clear GOP frontrunner” when reactivating his dormant personal Twitter account, after Walker was the top vote-getter in Drudge's own online poll of Republican presidential candidates.
The Drudge poll was cited by other conservative media outlets as evidence of grassroots support for Walker. Rush Limbaugh cited the fact that Walker is “winning every flash poll” like Drudge's, and that Jeb Bush “is gonna be near the bottom.” Glenn Beck called Drudge's poll “the most accurate poll of Republicans I've seen so far,” while the Washington Times contrasted the poll results with what it described as “the mainstream media” who “has predictably turned upon Mr. Walker like clockwork.”