Chaos? Maybe not

Barack Obama's campaign is sending around a transcript of Rush Limbaugh asking Republicans in Indiana to vote for Hillary Clinton, but did his pleas have any effect?

Alex Koppelman
May 7, 2008 3:55AM (UTC)

Earlier today, we discussed Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" and the question of whether it would have any effect on the primary in Indiana. Clearly, Barack Obama's campaign has been asking that as well, or at least they want to keep the prospect in reporters' minds -- Bill Burton, Obama's campaign press secretary, has just sent reporters a transcript from Limbaugh's Tuesday show, in which the conservative talker discussed examples of his listeners turning out to vote for Hillary Clinton.

But the exit polling out of Indiana thus far might throw some cold water on the notion that Limbaugh had a real effect Tuesday. According to the current results -- and these can change as the night goes on and they're adjusted to fit results from the actual vote -- 11 percent of voters in the Indiana Democratic primary self-identified as Republican. 53 percent of them voted for Hillary Clinton, and 45 percent voted for Barack Obama. Meanwhile, 66 percent of voters self-identified as Democrats. 53 percent of them voted for Hillary Clinton, and 47 percent voted for Barack Obama. (23 percent identified as independent; they went for Obama, 53-47.)


This doesn't definitively put the chaos theory to rest, as there is a chance that Indiana Republicans would have gone for Obama if not for Limbaugh's influence. I'll be keeping an eye out for further analysis of this in the future.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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2008 Elections Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton Rush Limbaugh War Room

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