Rush has huge numbers and a lot of fans, but these are people who have agreed with him for years.
Independents will not be swayed by people like Limbaugh no more than Olbermann. All this means is the same place we were in the 2008 campaign. Unless the republican party gets a strong voice by a real leader in the congress or senate or state government, the only strength they will gain is with people who were all ready at the losing party:
By Eric Kleefeld/ TPM.com
A new Gallup poll explains why Democrats are now so eager to connect the anti-stimulus bill Republicans to Rush Limbaugh, and to set up Rush as the new Leader of the Opposition: Independents hate him, he can galvanize Democrats...and Republican voters actually do like him.
Limbaugh's favorable-unfavorable numbers among Republicans stand at 60%-23%. Among independents, though, he's at just 25%-45%. And Democrats definitely have it in for him at 6%-63%. Multiplying out the partisan subsets in this poll, we get an overall top-line result of 28% favorability for Limbaugh across the country, compared to 45% unfavorable.
So if Limbaugh does become a national issue, the data shows he could be a net plus for the Dems -- though the obvious caveat exists that swing voters could have more important things to worry about than some radio loudmouth.