May 7th, 2008
05:38 AM ET
15 years ago

Schneider: Did 'Operation Chaos' succeed in Indiana?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Limbaugh’s ‘Operation Chaos’ plan was to have republican voters temporarily cross over to vote in the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton."]
(CNN) - How big of an impact did Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Operation Chaos’ have in Indiana? Did GOP voters really cross over to create havoc in the Democratic primary by voting for Hillary Clinton, as he’d asked his listeners to do?

Roughly one in ten of the state’s Democratic primary voters were Republican - and that group did vote for Hillary Clinton, 53 to 47 percent over Barack Obama. But hold on: registered Democrats, who made up two-thirds of Tuesday’s primary voters, gave roughly the same edge to Clinton, 53 to 45 percent. Only Independents - who made up about a quarter of the electorate - voted for Obama, 53 to 47 percent.

For whatever reason, self-identified conservative voters did overwhelmingly support Clinton – two out of three cast their votes for the New York senator.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Viv

    Shame on you republicans playing games, how unamerican! Hillary is just as unamerican, CNN announced today that she was encouraged with the republicans voting for her. How shamless is she to accept their votes knowing they're only doing it because they think she is the weaker candidate to run against. She cares less about the voices of the people. She says "let's hear what the voters ahve to say", she is full of sh– . She doesn't care about the people, she just wants votes, even those that are not really votes.

    May 6, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. Craig A Texas Democrat

    Oh yea its sad that alot of you Non-African Americans believe we are voting for Obama cause he is Black. Thats saying Women vote for Hillary cause she is a woman. Elderly vote for McCain cause he is old. Keep in mind that African Americans have voted for White men forever. I was for Hillary cause i did not Know who the Hell Obama was. After he started winning and the True Hillary came out keep in mind i was going for Hill cause she was a Clinton i thought it would be like Bill. She is no Bill so i turned my money and Support to Obama. Face it all you who slander and attack Obama are just racists and really believe that African Americans are weak. If Condi Rice or Colin Powel was running against John Edwards i would vote for John because they dont represent my views or my Party. AND I AM AFRICAN AMERICAN.

    May 6, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Nathan from Texas

    exit polls: 13% of clinton supporters in indiana would vote against clinton and for McCain if Cliton wins the nomination.

    May 6, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. Herman in LA




    OBAMA 08!!!

    May 6, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. D

    Clinton supporters should be thanking Limbaugh. If that idiot had not pushed his OC, then this race would have been over the day of the Texas/Penn primary. Fortunately for the superdelegates, they can see past the effects of Operation Chaos, and will start throwing thier support to Obama after tonights delegate landslide for Obama.

    May 6, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. ruben


    May 6, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. Change

    JB nailed it!

    May 6, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. Eileen from Portland, Maine

    And these are the first ones that will scream about patriotism? And yet they have no qualms (even boast about muddying an election)? It seems maybe the reason they think patriotism is so important is because of what they, themselves, are lacking. Including Rush Limbaugh and the other talk show hosts who encouraged this type of behavior. I would hope that some eyebrows would go up if any of them ever dare question anybodies patriotism or how American or un-American somebody else is. I would put them on the bottom of the list.

    May 6, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Tjaye

    So basically, she is getting votes from people who won't vote for her in the general any ole way. So much for electability.

    Obama O-8!!

    May 6, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. Robert

    All I know is that I know a bunch of Rush chaos voters in Texas. No way to know that big picture, but there were a lot in the Dallas area.

    May 6, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Shane

    Hold on! in PA you couldn't vote in the democratic primary unless you were a registered democrat, and she won by double digets. This conspiracy theory is a just a way for CNN to take away from the accomplishments of Hillary.

    People who vote for Obama are either 1) african americans and white people like Tom Hanks who are voting for 'symbolic' reasons (i.e. to get a black man in the white house to prove to the world and themselves that America isn't racist), 2) students who have not yet had to deal with the real world and are swept away with the "rock star" appeal of obama, but have no idea what the difference is between a vote for substance and a vote for rhetoric; and 3) white elitists who are not affected by the economy right now.

    The people who are voting for Hillary are those who are fighting for real change, those who are being hit by this economic crisis. What change is a student fighting for? Honestly. What real change is a rich white man fighting for? What change is a person who votes on race alone fight for? The real change that America needs is being felt by those in rural areas. Listen to them.

    May 6, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. D'Anne


    The problem is that with your strategy you are hurting yourself, not the "democrats." We are the people and what they do affects us. So think about what your children, family, and neighbors deserve before choosing revenge tactics because that will only hurt everyday American people.

    May 6, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. 2Nurselady

    We need to see what actually happens when Florida and Michigan enter the equation. If they were punished for holding their primaries too early, hold them now. They are still within their time limits to do so. Even Newt Gingrich has said that both states have elections in August. There is NO REASON that these two states cannot hold new primaries in August. It won't cost the taxpayers a thing and they will NOT have voted "early". So, they should just hold their primaries and let the voices of the people be heard and the votes of the voters be counted. If this happens, there is no one that can say the outcome was not the will of the voters! The DNC, Howard Dean, and the Rules Committee should be ashamed of how they have run this election! INEPTITUDE, in my opinion!

    May 6, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I have to say what everyone else is thinking....INDIANA – ARE YOU RETARDED? Do you not watch the news....or read newspapers?? Do you realize that weeks ago she was making up a story about being attacked by snipers....and that she has taken every position?? and that her most recent gaff would cost us millions and thousands of jobs – and its nothing more than pandering for votes....come to think of it...why am I writing this...I'm 100% sure Clinton supporters are illiterate

    May 6, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. C. Vandendberg, Martha's Vineyard

    Senator Obama is not just geting the African American vote, which is only
    about 12%. He is also getting the white and latino vote. African Americans have voted overwhelmingly for white candidates in the past.
    It is time to stop this nonsense about race being a factor. People of
    all races and common sense want CHANGE from the Bush, Clinton
    monopoly on this country.

    May 6, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. JIM

    Its funny how some Hillary supporters always like to cry about how the they have not projected her the winner in Indiana, but she herself will never admit when she has lost a state and will count it not important to the general election.

    If Hillary wins the nomination we will loose the Presidency because we are playing the old get all the big states and forget the small states, when thats how the Republicans always win. Never forget the little states, because they are the pulse of America. Senator Obama and the Republican Party understand that no matter if the GOP is for BIG business.

    Hillary if you are the nominee and you continue to discount some states, I will surely write-in Colin Powell for Commander in Chief

    May 6, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. Karin

    Why not trying to ask blacks about why they are voting for Obama? Surely you will find that many more are not happy with Hillary's negative campaigning! Her wishy-washy atittude about Barack having or not having experience to lead the country (but he's good enough to be her V.P.) Her "I wouldn't be a member of HIS church" although she and Bill turned to Rev Wright in their hour of need during his impeachment. Her statement of whether or not Barack is or is not a Muslim ( or at least "as far as she knows").

    If Barack does get the nomination and McCain wins, I am sure I will be able to point out the white racism that would be the cause of it.

    Polls say that America is ready for a black President, but most of the mouths out of both the Hillary and McCain camps speak volumes to contradict that!!!

    Now tell me who's racist????

    May 6, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    Even though I hate the pill-popping Rush......I can see that his strategy somewhat worked. can see that the Republican's plan all along was to vote for Hillary to prolong this fight.......HINT HINT.....Ann Coulter and Rush saying they would vote for Clinton instead of McCain......

    The deaf and dumb leading the sad......

    May 6, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. drew

    We keep seeing polling on how many of Hillary's supporters will vote for Obama, but we need polling on how many of Hillary's supporters will vote for Hillary.

    When Rush Limbaugh is your most influential surrogate, you're in trouble.

    May 6, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. Ashley, KS

    No Rush didn't have anything to do with it. Keep in mind the Republicans are hoping to get the white voters that Obama can't win. The sad thing is McCain might just be the next President because the TV news shows bought in a race issue. It didn't start without the News shows, Fox, CNN and MSNBC started it. But they started it to try to start of a fight, now they can watch a Republican be the President for the next 4 years

    May 6, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. amelia

    I doubt if Rush Limbaugh can take credit for Obama's votes. Many Republicans (along with fellow Democrats) have had ENOUGH of the Republican party and their fleecing of American citizens pockets. The Republican rule under George Bush have their hand in the highest oil prices in history, highest deficiet, raising food prices, worst party to so-call take care of the American dream of home ownership by allowing bankers to dry up those dreams with multitude of foreclosures and adjustable morgages, lowering of the American dollar, and the costliest war in terms of lives and money. American voters are simply saying we've had enough and something's must change and that change starts with Obama.

    May 6, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  22. DA

    I think you Republican need to look at the number for the GOP that are coming out of the Primaries.
    The Democratic are coming out in droves!!!
    If you really think this will not be a united party come have a really been fooled!!!
    The Democrats are going to wipe the floor with McCain!!!
    You really think the American people want anything that look like a BUSH for the next four years.....PLEASE!!!!

    May 6, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    RUSH is GARBAGE!!!!!!!! OBAMA '08

    May 6, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  24. Rob

    of course ditto heads have helped Clinton's cause...(which is all they have done, btw).

    It's only a coincidence, and quite the coincidence, that Republican voters would skew similar to Democratic voters...usually these groups do vote differently.

    Obama had been getting a sizeable majority of Republican crossover votes, and the result of the ditto head campaign has been to effectively cancel out that Obama advantage.

    Clinton is running an entirely pro-feminist campaign that has to be laughing long into the night about these idiot men that are propelling her forward. If she ends up winning, you'll live long enough to regret it.

    As a father who would like to see a country where father's get equal time and equal opportunities with their children -completely anathema to Clinton's non-gender equity style of feminism (i.e. a she is simply a proponent of reverse sexism and nothing more)....I find it ridiculous to play these types of games.

    The idea here is that this inflates Rushes ego when idiots do what he says, and if, as he hopes, Clinton wins, then his ratings go up the next 4 to 8 years. Don't believe for a moment that he wants McCain to Win.

    Ann Coulter and Rush made it quite clear that they truly want Clinton to win, rather than McCain...that supposedly 1 or 2 terms of a democratic president is better than generations of shift they foresee happening after a successive Bush-McCain win.

    They have stated these things many times.....but the ditto heads..are not very bright.

    May 6, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. Cyrisse

    Marie – You state that John McCain is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama? Share with us what you believe those qualifications are.

    Eagerly awaiting your response!!

    May 6, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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