In the early days of February, 2016, Drudge Report was the political hub that drew over 100 million visitors per month. 38% of its vaunted homepage was election news and nearly all of it was either pro-Trump or anti-everyone else. Fast forward four years and the now-anti-Trump Drudge Report is a different beast altogether. So far in February, 11% of the headlines have been about the election. How much of it was pro-Trump? Zero.
It’s been well-documented that Matt Drudge, the king of American news aggregation, has flipped his tune about President Trump over the last couple of years. Signs of souring to the President were evident within days of his historic victory. Some have speculated he was and still is a Bernie Sanders supporter, that he feigned support for candidate Trump because he was getting massive traffic as a result and didn’t believe he’d actually win. Others take it a step further by saying he wanted Trump to win in 2016 so Bernie would have another shot in 2020. There’s even speculation he’s been bought out or blackmailed into turning against the President. Considering how reclusive he is, we’ll likely never know the truth.
What we do know is the audience that supports the President has been leaving Drudge Report for months. In just the last six, they’ve hemorrhaged nearly 30% of their traffic as over 20 million visitors have sought redder pastures like The Liberty Daily, Whatfinger, 63red, Gab Trends, and Rantingly. Even Fox News contributor Dan Bongino has put out a Drudge competitor, though so far it has been a disappointment as it pulls exclusively from vanilla corporate media sources that one can get from a Republican establishment feedreader.
For now, Drudge Report is only dipping its toe into election politics to promote Sanders or bash his competitors, preferring to focus on offbeat news and conspiracy theories. It will be interesting to see what tune they play if Sanders gets the nomination. Will Matt Drudge reveal himself as a full-blown socialist?
The fact that Drudge still gets millions of conservative visitors every month is odd considering the abundance of quality alternatives. Perhaps Trump supporters are holding out for a return of the MAGA-Drudge. Word of advice: don’t hold your breath.