A surprising jog to the right
Some of the new conservative success is due to the rise of a large crop of commentators the left has not been able to match. Mostly young and often very funny, they include Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, Michelle Malkin, and Jeff Jacoby. But most of the conservative gains have been in new media. Fox News's large audience skews young, and half its viewers are either liberal or centrist. So Fox isn't just preaching to the choir. It's exposing nonconservatives to conservative ideas.
As mentioned here several times, the "blogosphere"--the world of Internet commentators--tilts strongly to the right. Bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, Mickey Kaus, and Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit have a heavy impact. No excess of the liberal media seems to escape their attention. Among other things, they have mercilessly attacked Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist and idol of America's angriest liberals. It has been an amazing and, I think, largely successful campaign of informed detraction.
It was obvious that the democratization of the media would bring new voices into the field, but who knew that so many of those voices would be conservative, libertarian, or just cantankerously opposed to entrenched liberal doctrine? The conservative side is far from winning the culture wars, but the debate is broader and fairer now. The near monopoly is over.