Rush Limbaugh encouraged his listeners in Texas to vote for Clinton as a way to prolong the Democratic primaries.
As Hillary Clinton battles to keep her presidential bid alive, she may be getting help from an unlikely source: conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh has been actively urging his Texas listeners to cross over and vote for Clinton in that state’s open primary Tuesday, arguing it helps the Republicans if the Democratic race remains unsettled for weeks to come.
“I want Hillary to stay in this…this is too good a soap opera,” Limbaugh told fellow conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham on Fox News Friday. He reiterated the comments on his Monday show and replayed the exchange with Ingram.
He also said Clinton is more willing than the Republican National Committee and John McCain’s campaign to criticize Barack Obama.
“We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically. It’s obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it, they don’t have the stomach for it,” Limbaugh continued. “As you probably know we’re getting all kinds of memos from the RNC saying we’re not going to be critical. Mark McKinnon of McCain’s campaign said he’ll quit if they get critical over Obama. This is the presidency of the United States we’re talking about. I want our party to win I want the Democrats to lose.
Did it have an effect?
It’s a similar story in Texas, where Limbaugh has the most listeners of any of these states. Obama won the Republican vote 52-47, but conservatives (22 percent of all voters, up from 15 percent in the Kerry-Edwards primary) went against Obama. For the first time since Super Tuesday, they were Clinton’s best ideological group: She won them 53-43. And Clinton won 13 percent of the people who said Obama was the most electable candidate.
Ohio didn’t wind up being very close, but Clinton won the Texas primary by about 98,000 votes out of 2.8 million cast. If the exits are right, about 252,000 of those voters were Republicans, and about 618,000 were conservatives. Clinton truly might have won the Texas primary on the backs of Rush Limbaugh listeners.
Remember, Limbaugh is highly influential. He has tens of millions of listeners in the US.
Did his endorsement of Hillary in Texas give her the edge?
I don’t know, but it’s worth considering.