Did Rush help Hillary in Indiana?
DALLAS – Has Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton improbably emerged as the favorite of the “Guns and God” crowd?
The U.S. media and blogosphere has been ablaze with speculation that conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh may have contributed to Clinton’s narrow victory in Tuesday’s Indiana primary over Barack Obama by urging Republicans to vote for the former first lady.
The speculation is that the “Rush for Hillary” is seen as a way to extend the Democratic nomination battle and further damage the eventual winner.
Limbaugh has also said in the past that he thought Obama needed to be “bloodied up politically, and it’s obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it and don’t have the stomach for it.”
Obama chief strategist David Axelrod, speaking to reporters on Obama’s plane on the way to Chicago from his rally on Tuesday night in North Carolina, said he saw a Rush factor at play in Clinton’s win.
He said Clinton ought to “call a press conference and thank Rush Limbaugh for the victory.” He said the margin of victory for Clinton was so narrow, there is a good chance Limbaugh might have tipped the scales for her.
“Eleven percent of the total electorate were Republicans. She got 52 percent of those. A large percentage of them said they would favor McCain in a race against Clinton.”
Indiana has one of the more open primaries which allows independents and Republicans to also request a Democratic ballot on the day they vote.
Do political bedfellows get any stranger than this?
(With additional reporting by Caren Bohan)