"Idol" finalist Taylor Hicks is affecting the Alabama primary
Virtually the entire state of Alabama will be tuning in to "American Idol" tonight and tomorrow night to see if their new favorite son, Taylor Hicks, will beat Katharine McPhee, and Alabama political candidates have bought commercial time on the show to see if they can win a few votes themselves.
The show's rising popularity has resulted in the cost of local 30-second ads quadrupling from $5,000 to $20,000 over the past couple of months, so only candidates with deep pockets (or corporate sponsorship) can afford air time on the show.
It's kind of a perfect storm: American culture + politics + big bucks. And at the center of it all is a chubby, gray-haired guy who is a better harmonica player than he is a singer.