The results are official – Rush Limbaugh has won the Texas Democratic Party Primary Election. The final exit polls compiled today confirm that Rush’s listeners and other GOP sleaze hopped the fence in the Texas Primary to give Hillary Clinton her winning lead over Barack Obama.
GOP voters had been told by Rush and other talk show demagogues to cast a vote for Clinton so that the more beatable Hill is on the General Election battlefield, and not the unity candidate, Obama. And, dutiful to a fault, no less than 119,000 Republicans cast votes for Hillary, more than enough to provide her the 101,000 vote lead she enjoyed in the Primary Election. This campaign by Limbaugh is covered with the usual wry aplomb on Cameron Fredman’s extraordinary blog.
Fortunately for the side of integrity, not underhanded slime but elbow grease proved to be the real victorious factor in the Texas Primary as a whole, as Obama emerged with a 7 delegate lead over Clinton in that state, thanks to his 11 delegate margin of victory in the Texas caucus. So when a Primary demands dedication, organization and effort, Obama comes out on top.
Unfortunately on the whole, not many Primaries do or have, and the GOP has depended on that to give Hillary a big part of what winning edge she can manage:
For a party that loves to hate the Clintons, Republican voters have cast an awful lot of ballots lately for Senator Hillary Clinton: About 100,000 GOP loyalists voted for her in Ohio, 119,000 in Texas, and about 38,000 in Mississippi, exit polls show.
Since Senator John McCain effectively sewed up the GOP nomination last month, Republicans have begun participating in Democratic primaries specifically to vote for Clinton, a tactic that some voters and local Republican activists think will help their party in November. With every delegate important in the tight Democratic race, this trend could help shape the outcome if it continues in the remaining Democratic primaries open to all voters.
Spurred by conservative talk radio, GOP voters who say they would never back Clinton in a general election are voting for her now for strategic reasons: Some want to prolong her bitter nomination battle with Barack Obama, others believe she would be easier to beat than Obama in the fall, or they simply want to register objections to Obama.
…Conservative radio giant Rush Limbaugh said on Fox News on Feb. 29 that he was urging conservatives to cross over and vote for Clinton, their bête noire nonpareil, “if they can stomach it.”
“I want our party to win. I want the Democrats to lose,” Limbaugh said. “They’re in the midst of tearing themselves apart right now. It is fascinating to watch. And it’s all going to stop if Hillary loses.”
He added, “I know it’s a difficult thing to do to vote for a Clinton, but it will sustain this soap opera, and it’s something I think we need.”
Limbaugh’s exhortations seemed to work. In Ohio and Texas on March 4, Republicans comprised 9 percent of the Democratic primary electorate, more than twice the average GOP share of the turnout in the earlier contests where exit polling was conducted. Clinton ran about even with Obama among Republicans in both states, a far more favorable showing among GOP voters than in the early races.
Meanwhile, Clinton continues to sling as much venom and barbs in Obama’s direction as she can manage, now playing the role of the grieving pot calling the kettle black as her campaign derides Obama’s for its pattern of negativity. She refuses to release her tax returns as is customary of a candidate, divulge where her record-splitting 300+ earmarks went or release the documents from the Clinton presidency. Obama’s campaign has, rightly, brought this unusual secrecy to light. The result was a dressing down from the Clinton campaign about their rival “going negative.”
When asked if the request for tax information is what they are calling personal attacks, Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said: “When you accuse somebody of being disingenuous and question their integrity and their honesty, as they are doing, that constitutes a personal attack.”
It seems, by Wolfson’s logic, that personal attacks are now due. After all, it is disingeunous in and of itself to complain about the other side having a “pattern of negativity” in the same breath you announce a “kitchen sink offense” involving pitching mud at your opponent. But then, that’s just the kind of moral contortionism one could expect out of a candidate Rush Limbaugh supports.