Rush Limbaugh Less Popular Than Jeremiah Wright

Max Blumenthal thinks Republicans should think twice about taking advice from Rush Limbaugh.

An October 24, 2008, poll conducted by the Democratic research firm Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner has Rush Limbaugh enjoying a public-approval rating of just 21 percent among likely voters, while 58 percent have “cold” feelings toward the right-wing radio-talk-show host. Limbaugh was the least popular of the all the political figures the firm polled. He polls seven points lower than Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright and eight points below former Weather Underground domestic terrorist William Ayers.

Limbaugh is so unpopular that only 44 percent of Republican voters reported “warm” feelings toward him, ten points less than those who felt the same way about Limbaugh’s top competitor, Fox News’ Sean Hannity, and a full 20 points lower than Fox News itself. Yet in spite of rock-bottom favorable numbers, Limbaugh confidently declared one week after Obama’s inauguration that his power far exceeded that of the Republican Party’s top two leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives. Obama, Limbaugh roared, is “obviously more frightened of me than he is Mitch McConnell. He’s more frightened of me, than he is of, say, John Boehner, which doesn’t say much about our party.”

While amusing, the comparisons here are silly.  Rush has been a controversial public figure for two decades; many people have no idea who Ayers and Wright are.   And Obama probably does have more to fear from the most popular radio host in America than from the leader of a very weak opposition party, since he can more easily drum up phone calls and emails and controversy.

Beyond that, nobody’s seriously suggesting making Limbaugh the head of the GOP or its chief tactician.  Nor would anyone advise adopting the persona of a bombastic talk show host who needs to keep an audience hooked three hours a day, five days a week, year after year in trying to regain majority status.

via memeorandum

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. mike says:

    Let the free market decide – Rush signed a contract not too long ago for what, a couple of hundred million dollars – yeah, he isn’t popular.

  2. DC Loser says:

    nobody’s seriously suggesting making Limbaugh the head of the GOP or its chief tactician

    No, that would be Joe the Plumber.

  3. sam says:

    nobody’s seriously suggesting making Limbaugh the head of the GOP or its chief tactician

    How about eminence gross?

  4. odograph says:

    I think I made a reference a little while back to Value Networks and the danger of listening to your customers. It is very much true that Rush is part of the conservative value network, even if you are loathe to call him a leader.

    If he is powerful within, while enjoying 58% “cold” feelings without, that’s a confirmation that the value network serving the established base.

  5. William d'Inger says:

    Given the level of attention Limbaugh is getting in the media, it is obvious that the Left fears him more than they do the GOP leadership. That shows not only how far the GOP has fallen, but also the weakness of the liberal message. If liberal philosophy can’t stand on its own two feet in the face of a buffoonish radio entertainer’s jibes, then it is a sorry message indeed.

  6. odograph says:

    So William, 58% of likely voters are liberals? Oh, Noes.

  7. JKB says:

    So it is safe to say that Limbaugh won’t be leaving his million dollar radio host job to run for national office?

    Still everyone knows his name and the budding new President of the United States called him out directly in the first two weeks of his administration. Cold feelings or not, Rush Limbaugh was brought in from the cold by Obama and is now back in the front lines. Perhaps calling Rush out was an amateur mistake or maybe it is part of some diabolical Alinsky plan, but it seems like an unnecessary distraction for a foundering administration.

  8. William d'Inger says:

    So William, 58% of likely voters are liberals? Oh, Noes.

    Non sequitur — it is more likely that 58% of likely voters don’t listen to the Rush Limbaugh show and thus haven’t the ability to form an intelligent opinion.

    I listen to an hour or so of the Limbaugh show maybe five or six times a year. I do it strictly to be able to have informed thoughts on the subject.

    What people don’t seem to grasp is the reason for Limbaugh’s success. His show is a hit because he’s an entertainer. He has his shtick, and his delivery is masterful. It’s as simple as that. The subject content of his show is largely irrelevant to his success, and his critics generally display abysmal ignorance of what he does for a living.

  9. Wayne says:

    It is another example of using bogus polling to push an agenda. First off it is a Democratic research firm who doesn’t even give the breakdown of those they poll. Remember the Dems and Obama have been trying to tear down Rush. The statement of “oversample of 441 likely Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters” means squat. They all could be independent for all we now and doesn’t give of the breakdown of the original 1000 or in what areas those 1000 live.

    As for the Rush and Rev Wright comparison, another example of twisting the truth. They took the one number to make Rush look bad. They didn’t mention that only 2% of the total “unknown makeup” polled have a warm feeling toward Wright while 21 % has a warm felling toward Rush. Also that 47% didn’t know or have any opinion on Wright compare to 21% on Rush. So those having an opinion on the two would result in 73% cold toward Rush and 96% cold toward Wright. Not to mention the scale was from 0 to 100 which means one of them could have many of those unspecified poled rating them at a 1 while rating the other one at 87 on the cold scale.

    What a bogus poll. Probably was done in Chicago.

  10. Spoker says:

    This just really continues to beg the questions: If Rush is really this unpopular, why are BHO and the Congressional Dem’s continually pushing him to the front of the discussion? And, are they so scared of him they feel the need to try and diminish his stature or are they just using him as red herring to hide behind as the cracks in their own wall seem to grow?

  11. Franklin says:

    Mr. d’Inger seems to have it correct. Rush is an entertainer, and has bragged in the past about his own ability to manipulate listeners’ feelings. Glenn Beck said something similar about a year ago: that most of these on-air type of personalities, including himself, were entertainers first and foremost.

  12. G.A.Phillips says:

    If liberal philosophy can’t stand on its own two feet in the face of a buffoonish radio entertainer’s jibes, then it is a sorry message indeed.

    lolol Buffoonish?

    He is one of the few people who makes talking anythings worth listing to, he is popular because he tells the truth and has a good time doing it.

    Liberal philosophy can not stand on it’s own two feet without the indoctrinated supporting it as an outright crutch by way of their brainwashed stupidity and is not the reason for anything but why they hate him.

  13. Wayne says:

    Even with these Democratic chosen samples, Rush has a higher warm approval rating than the MSM. As for anyone in the media, I would say they all are entertainers. They are there to put on a show and get ratings. Most of the print media falls under that category too. If it bleeds or is sensational it leads. If the facts are not sensational enough then they find ways to spice it up.

  14. Joe R. says:

    If being unpopular means that I get to make $50 million per year, then I can’t wait to be unpopular. Hell, I’ll settle for 2 months worth.