There's little question that the Drudge Report, Matt Drudge's eponymous link blog, is one of the most powerful sites in political media. The site hasn't changed much since the beginning; it looks about the same now as it did in the late 1990s, when Drudge scooped Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. Nor has the site's ability to call attention to political news changed. It's still a powerhouse.
We were curious, then, how much attention each of the 2016 candidates have gotten from Drudge over the course of the year. His ability to turn the spotlight on a candidate can drive the political conversation, good or bad. So where has he been pointing his beam?
To figure it out, we looked at Drudge Report Archives, a site that indexes the front (and only) page of Drudge Report each time it changes. We pulled all of the updates this year and checked to see how many times, on average, the name of any of the candidates appeared. We included only names that were unlikely to return false positives, recognizing, too, that Drudge loves nicknames. So "Sanders" and "Bern" (which would also match "Bernie") or "Hill" and "Clinton" -- which unavoidably matches her husband as well -- although he's usually "Bill."
The result? Eighteen years after his Lewinsky scoop, Drudge is still very much focused on the Clinton family.
Hillary Clinton was mentioned more times on average every day than Donald Trump -- although it was often close.
(Notice the lull for Trump after the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus. Other people were getting attention, for once.)
She was mentioned more than Sanders.
She was mentioned more than any of the other main Republicans, too.
Part of this is that Clinton makes more news: the email server, the campaign and everything in between. There are still a slew of Republicans to talk about, but only two Democrats making headlines, so Clinton, as the front-runner, would naturally come up more often.
Part of it, too, is that Drudge unabashedly would prefer that Clinton not be our next president. He's responsible for unveiling the darkest part of Bill Clinton's presidency. It's safe to assume that part of the attention he lavishes on Hillary is a function of his hoping to be a dark part of her efforts, too.