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Measuring the Oprah effect

From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
Radio Iowa reported today that former Gov. Tom Vilsack scoffed at the idea that Oprah would sway Iowans or draw huge crowds in Iowa.  "According to Vilsack, not many Iowa women get to watch daytime television because they're working. Winfrey made her support of Obama public earlier this year and hosted a fundraiser at her home in California, bringing in $3 million for Obama's campaign."

So just how popular is the queen of daytime talk in the Hawkeye State? According to KCCI, the station that airs Oprah in the Des Moines/Ames region which covers central Iowa, about 40,000 people watch her show daily. The Oprah Winfrey Show is more popular than the prime time viewership of either the ABC (39,000) or NBC (38,000) affiliates in the same media market. 

Also, more people watch Oprah than the morning, noon or 5 p.m. newscasts of the NBC affiliate in Des Moines, and more watch her than any of the any of the newscasts on the  ABC affiliate.

Her program is ranked the 12th highest in the country out of the top 100 media markets.

"Hopefully, we can attract some people who might not otherwise be interested in politics, who aren't regular viewers of C-SPAN," Obama said today, per NBC's Abby Livingston, of Oprah's support. "But on the other hand, once they're there, I'm able to talk to them about critical issues like health care, home foreclosures and things that affect their lives on a day-to-day basis. So, I'm very grateful that she's taken the time to do this. I think it'll be fun."