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The most 'Drudged' news of 2014

(NATIONALJOURNAL) — Don’t doubt the influence of Matt Drudge. According to Quantcast, the Drudge Report sees a steady stream of more than 2 million unique visitors daily. For publishers, the distribution power of the Drudge Report—just like other content streams such as Facebook and Twitter—is hard to write off as trivial. Those 2 million daily visitors are sent around the Web via the news links that Drudge feels are most worthy of their attention. Get a top link on the Drudge Report, and your site will have a steady stream of thousands of eyeballs.

So we wondered: What is Matt Drudge directing his massive following to read about? To mine the Drudge Report is to take a snapshot of what’s trending in conservative media. National Journal’s product manager and all-around techno-wizard J. Argyl Plath wrote script to pull all the headlines from DrudgeReportArchives.com for the year (for this list, it’s Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 15) and then ranked the popularity of the terms in those headlines.

The results pretty much trend with the biggest stories of the year, although they do appear weighted toward conservative flashpoints—immigration, Obamacare, military issues. In the chart below, we compile the top terms of the year.