The Democracy Corps released results of a public survey on Wednesday that underscores just how astute a political strategy it is for Democrats to tie the Republican Party to Rush Limbaugh.
According to the Democratic polling firm, voters view the conservative talk show host "negatively by a two-to-one ratio (53 to 26 percent), with nearly half the country, 45 percent, viewing him very, very negatively. Among independents, the ratio rises to three-to-one."
In short, Limbaugh is toxic for the GOP brand. But the findings only get worse from there. "By a nearly two-to-one ratio (57 to 32 percent) a majority of voters -- and independents -- say Limbaugh does not "share their values," but Republicans are in a different world where, by two-to-one, they believe he shares them."
The study's authors summarize their findings as such:
"On virtually every question the great majority of the mainstream rejects Limbaugh's ideas and vision of the Republican Party, which severely constrains Republican elected leaders. It does not help that some of the key voters in the 2006 and 2008 elections, like younger voters, are particularly uncomfortable with Limbaugh's politics. Conservative Republican voters, however, embrace Limbaugh, giving him a very high favorability rating; they say he shares their values and urge Republican leaders to defend him when he is criticizing President Obama."
Democrats at large and the White House in particular have begun receiving a bit of blowback for keeping Limbaugh in the news. But those working on the issue insist the focus developed organically, not through a closed-door strategy session among the high-ranks of Democratic leadership. That said, the party realizes it has been handed a political goldmine with the brash talk show host, and they seem more than willing to milk it as long as possible.
Here are some other interesting data points:
* 49 percent of respondents said Limbaugh has too much influence over Republican ideas and direction.
* 15 percent said he has too little influence.
* 62 percent of voters said the GOP was embracing the "same old ideas and leaders it has relied on for the past 20 years" rather than seeking out new leaders and fresh ideas.