March 27th, 2009
05:41 PM ET
13 years ago

Limbaugh's ratings spike amid Dem attacks

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Limbaugh's ratings are on the rise."](CNN) - A conservative media watchdog group says recent Democratic attacks on Rush Limbaugh may have given a big boost to the talk radio host's ratings.

According to the Media Research Center, stations that carry Limbaugh's day time talk show experienced a "dramatic surge" of listeners in February - the month when congressional Democrats and even President Obama publicly took swipes at the conservative talker.

"President Obama declared war on Rush Limbaugh and his ratings went through the roof," said Media Research Center's Brent Bozell. "If that's not a magnificent backfire, I'm not sure what is."

Democrats have been eager to paint the divisive Limbaugh as the de facto Republican leader, especially after the radio host's controversial statement that he hoped the president's economic policies would fail.

Obama himself warned congressional Democrats in late January that they need to "can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."

Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. donna

    Obama helps EVERYONE so Rush needs to THANK

    March 27, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Eugene Hulbert

    Most tune in out of morbid curiosity, much like rubber neckers on the freeway driving past the site of a terrible accident.

    March 27, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Ray

    This is certainly no surprise. Rush became a national name during the Clinton years and became irrelevant again when Bush won office. My biggest regret about Obama wining the election is that I knew Rush would take full advantage to become a national figure again.

    March 27, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Chut Pata

    It is the very strategy of the Democrats to promote Limbaugh as the face of the Republican Party.

    This strategy serves both Limbaugh and the DNC. Limbaugh's popularity soars while Republican Party sinks!!!

    March 27, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Charles

    I stated to listen because i wanted to know what all the noice was about. I am now hooked! The radio wasnt playing any good songs anyway.

    March 27, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. G

    When was war declare? lol I heard people debate limbaugh on the things he was saying but I guess now that means war has been declare. Nice to know.

    March 27, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Christian

    Either that or people are starting to wake up and come to their senses in leiu of the current policy disasters on the table. I'd say its probably a little of both.

    March 27, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. AnnMM

    I've started watching him... so I can point and mock.

    Know thy enemy.

    March 27, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Mari

    Hmmmmmmmm...... I can't believe this, since when I did some research, I found that radio audiences are difficult and costly to track.

    IF this is true and not some far-right-propaganda, then we, the Sane-Americans, have reason to be concerned that some people are tuning in to a hate-monger.

    Considering that we have a population of 300 million Americans, I wonder exactly what a "dramatic surge" REALLY is?

    March 27, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Alfred E. Neumann

    Sometimes you have to wonder who the entertainer is, the Democratic Party or Rush Limbaugh.

    The answer is that they are both entertainers.

    March 27, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Carolyn in Memphis Tennessee

    I confess I listen to Limbaugh and thank my lucky star's I've got my wits about me. Never again will I confuse intelligence with common sense. Limbaugh makes me want to go back to school."Magnificent backfire" you have got to be joking.

    March 27, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Nick - Torrance CA

    Is anyone actually surprised by this?

    How is this political news?

    March 27, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. E.C.Coleman

    Hard to believe that o's advisors would pick on Limbaugh when one of theirs is the arrogant and nasty press secretary Gibbs.
    Gibbs is really pitiful and is making a fool of himself trying to defend obama.
    Everytime Gibbs opens his mouth, he sticks both feet in it.
    Too bad, Gibbs just doesn't have 'the gift of the english language'
    like the grand master, Limbaugh!

    March 27, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Jack Abramoff

    To a shock jock like Limbaugh it is good to have 5million who like you and 50million who think you are a drug addled loon. However, having that level of disapproval/revulsion is the death knell to the Republican party. So yes, the drug addict's numbers have gone up, while Obama and the Democrats laugh all the way to the electoral bank.

    In sum:

    Winners: the drug addict and the Democratic Party.

    Losers: the Republican Party.

    I think President Obama and his allies will take that equation any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    March 27, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    Just as "Joe the Plumber" became popular.

    Some of it is for comic relief. Ask them if they would trust Rush or elect him to represent them might be a whole different matter. Being curious about should not be translated to mean a fervent supporter. As long as his ratings are strong among the right wing-nuts the Democrats have nothing to fear.

    March 27, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    With The Teleprompter Prez as the democrats' spokesman It is no different than Rush Limbaugh. I do not see Rush taking questions from the Press lwith a teleprompter like Obama does. As a republican I beleive everything Rush saws like I believe everything Obama says. They both use "Lawyer Truth" to lie to Americans.

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Denise

    What is the point? People watch women's basketball at tourney time too. It doesnt mean they are fans of the sport. I would imagine alot of Rush's listeners are those who do so out of anger and/or for comedic purposes. If he is a popular as the "conservative" media watchdo group claims, why is he such a polarizing figure amongst the general public. Why doesn't this so-called "entertainer" put himself out there. away from his neo con ilk, and say, run for public office? We all know what happens when Rush comes out from behind the curtain in dittohead land. He either makes some ridiculous comment or has to apologize for offensive remarks.

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. tom

    Count me in that surge of "new" listeners to Pillboy. I couldn't believe what people would say he had said on his program, too crazy and disjointed. Now I have experienced his "wisdom" first hand. In this case, once is truly enough!

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. jesse

    the ironic thing is that this is exactly what the dems want. they want rush to get more visible and powerful so he can continue to polarize the independents. while "ratings" may look like a backlash to the naked eye, it's really a check mate for the party of nut jobs.

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Texas Mary

    Why doesn't anyone see through this guy! How can he have so many followers when he is so full of hate! Wishing someone to fail is just plain evil. How can anyone get so much pleasure out of seeing our leaders stumble? So maybe people disagree with Obama right now. Maybe people are sceptical. Maybe people didn't vote for him, or maybe they don't like him. But WHY the hate?? He is working his tail off and people just seem to HATE him to the core for some reason! I think Bush will be known as the worst president in history. I truly don't think he's very smart....but that doesn't mean I HATE him!! I'm sure that he's probably a really great guy and is very likable, but he was awful as a president and deep down we ALL know that! When will these political parties stop hating each other?? They are so busy hating, there's no progress in getting our great nation out of this horrible mess! Please, let's all stop letting this hateful man (and others like him) take control of our emotions and actions like a pied piper or puppet player!!

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. skeeve

    This is nor a magnificent backfire. I actually kinda like it. The more people learn what an idiot Rush is firsthand the less will pay him any heed.

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Yeah, but how many people listened and agreed with Limbaugh?

    You can't judge by one instance. If his ratings spike and STAY, that's something. If his ratings spike and then level off again, this could very well be a case of people tuning in to hear what all the fuss is about.

    "Radio personailty heavily publicized, sees increase in audience." What's next in the ticker? "Sky is blue" and "Water is wet"?

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. digger

    SLAMMING,BASHING,ATTACKING keep it up libs. You are only digging your graves deeper. Kudoes to Rush, he's getting through to people. Now let the lib. bloggers that do the bashing begin.

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Chris

    That is so funny, all this time you crazy liberals, led by your savior Obama, have been throwing attacks against Rush. Rush eats it up and his ratings increase which allows his conservative message to be consumed by more. Keeping attacking him, pleaseā€¦

    March 27, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. tee

    now we are quoting a 'conservative media watchdog group' did we expect them to say????

    March 27, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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