The Limbaugh (Non) Effect


Much has been said about the role of Republicans in Indiana’s primary, where like in many other states, they were allowed to vote. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh had launched what he called “Operation Chaos” to urge his followers to vote for Clinton in order to draw out the primary and hope that the Democrats keep bloodying each other. The Obama camp leapt on this along with exit poll numbers showing that some Clinton voters preferred John McCain in a general election matchup as evidence that 7% of her support came from Republican strategic voting.

From what I could see in Indiana, I sincerely doubt it. It’s a majority GOP state, and wherever I went Republicans came to see Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama campaigning. I spoke to many of them in the crowds and not once did someone say they would vote in the primaries to help McCain. Rather they wanted to influence the outcome of the Democratic campaign in such a way as to ensure that if a Democrat wins the White House in November, it would be the one they preferred. Some told me they planned to vote for Clinton because she had more experience or because they perceived Obama as too liberal. Others said they would vote for Obama because they thought the Clintons were corrupt, or deceitful, or because they were impressed by Obama. Some of them told me they would vote for McCain in November. Others said they weren’t sure about McCain. Some said they would not vote for McCain because of his position on staying in Iraq.  I’m sure that some Republicans engaged in strategic voting, but I really doubt they were the majority. Hard to believe, I know, but a lot of people actually take this democracy business seriously.


The Limbaugh (Non) Effect

  1. Limbaugh had a hugh effect, if you understand his intentions more clearly. He sought to undermine Clinton, the more electable and solid candidate, with his left-handed endorsement of her. (Obama will lose big in November. This almost goes without saying for anybody who understands the electoral map and the fact that the Google/YouTube voter won’t actually come out in droves in November.)

    Yes, that is the real story: the Democratic base voters that Rush manipulated, not the Republicans. I feel the need to expose this because I really dislike McCain, but he is now destined to become our next President.

    Rush seemed to be more of an entertainer earlier in his career, but long ago he crossed over to hard-ball ideology. Which is too bad. At any rate, I hope he’ll go back to shaping opinion rather than manipulating Democratic votes. He is getting way too good and too artsy with the latter.

  2. If Limbaugh had any relevance would McCain be the republican candidate? People who think he had anything to do with the Clinton vote better check and see how many republicans, #1 jumped ship #2 voted for Obama.

    You need to ask Limbaugh that question, which I have tried to do on his show for may days now but keep getting put on hold forever.

    Finally, you need to understand that the dems have had record turnouts for the primaries and if the are as determined for a change as they appear to be it will be a long time before we see another republican president.

  3. “Some of them told me they would vote for McCain in November. Others said they weren’t sure about McCain. ”

    Wow, could you possibly be less scientific. For all we know some (98) would vote for McCain and Others (2) werent sure. Or, jus the opposite proportions. Your anecdotes are meaningless and your point is not supported by them.

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