The "Limbaugh Effect"

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The Obama campaign has been pushing what they're calling the Indiana 'Limbaugh effect' pretty hard in the last 24 hours. They put out two memos last night citing the underhanded influence of the right-wing pundit and his quest to prolong the race via 'Operation Chaos,' and John Kerry stressed the idea in this morning's conference call with reporters, saying Limbaugh was 'tampering with the primary.'

Here is the camp's argument:

    According to the latest exit polling data, 17% of voters in the Indiana primary today said they would vote for John McCain in a Clinton/McCain matchup.

    41% of that number is constituted by people who voted Clinton in the primary but also indicated they will vote for McCain in the general election.

    That comes out to just under 7% of the primary electorate the number that may be attributed to a 'Limbaugh Effect.'

The math in this case is a tough nut to crack, as no hard and fast evidence exists to prove how many Republicans came out for Hillary simply because El Rushbo said so. Even with a rabid following, seven percent is rather enormous. But considering the narrowest of margins Clinton won by, Limbaugh's gospel might have been the deciding factor.