[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/03/art.limbaugh.gi.jpg caption=" Limbaugh wants the Democratic race to continue."]
(CNN) - As Hillary Clinton battles to keep her presidential bid alive, she may be getting help from an unlikely source: conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh has been actively urging his Texas listeners to cross over and vote for Clinton in that state's open primary Tuesday, arguing it helps the Republicans if the Democratic race remains unsettled for weeks to come.
"I want Hillary to stay in this…this is too good a soap opera," Limbaugh told fellow conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham on Fox News Friday. He reiterated the comments on his Monday show and replayed the exchange with Ingram.
He also said Clinton is more willing than the Republican National Committee and John McCain's campaign to criticize Barack Obama.
"We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically. It's obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it, they don't have the stomach for it," Limbaugh continued. "As you probably know we're getting all kinds of memos from the RNC saying we're not going to be critical. Mark McKinnon of McCain's campaign said he'll quit if they get critical over Obama. This is the presidency of the United States we're talking about. I want our party to win I want the Democrats to lose.”
In January, liberal Daily Kos blogger Markos Moulitsas urged readers in Michigan to vote for Mitt Romney in the GOP primary for similar reasons. Romney went on to win Michigan, though exit polling showed Democrats who voted in that primary favored McCain.
On his Monday show, several listeners appeared dismayed that Limbaugh was urging them to support the New York senator.
"Wouldn't you love to cream Hillary though…why are you so afraid of her? Look at how ineptly she has campaigned against Obama," Limbaugh responded to one listener who said she wanted to see Clinton out of the race immediately.
"I'm asking people to cross over, and if they can stomach it and I know it's a difficult thing to do, vote for Clinton," he also told Ingraham Friday. "But it will sustain this soap opera, and it's something I think we need and it'll be fun, too."
Several recent polls suggest Clinton is statically tied with Obama in Texas, and the New York senator's campaign has characterized Tuesday's vote as a crucial test of strength.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney