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. Patrick

    Good to see the real leader of the party getting it done.

    March 27, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. mary

    It's hard to know if this is really true. Who knows what Limbaugh's ratings are. How are they actually measured? I've seen wildly different figures, so I question any claim of a surge in listeners. He has a limited pool of followers. How many people will want to listen to this insulting man, excluding those who find him sickly amusing but don't agree with anything he says?

    March 27, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. get rid of campbell brown

    this sounds about right, but it's nothing to be concerned about. people only tuned in out of curiousity and the sensible ones would be so offended by what they heard, it will only fuel their distaste for him.

    i constantly turned to Fox during the election just to see their spin and hear what the nut-job republicans were saying. it didn't mean i embraced what they had to say. people listen to rush for different reasons.

    March 27, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Valerie

    you cannot deny his impact. as to whether or not you agree with him, most of the time he speaks the truth, sometimes he goes crazy. Radio is about entertainment too. and his ratings DID go up even if some conservative medica watch group says it. i mean, they cannot just go out there without some proof, right? i wonder why Air America did not survive? oh, because most of America consider themselves center-right to conservative. it's just those few powerful libs who pretend that they're in the majority when they're not.

    March 27, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Cindylee DC

    Check him out in late March/April and tell us if the numbers are still up...smh.

    March 27, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Limbaugh is very bias and need to keep his opinions to himself. He is too verbal about the job our president is doing. He is the best president we have ever had to run the white house. Limbaugh is stupid and is a racist. He need to keep his mouth shut!

    March 27, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Wolf-Woman Palin Charlotte, NC

    Great news for the Dems.

    March 27, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Marty, FL

    As these "conservatives" flock to Limbaugh's nonsense, more moderate/independent Americans are turned away from their divisive approach.

    March 27, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. JimG

    Not really surprising. A lot of people are probably tuning in to catch the spectacle of what the loudmouthed fool will blurt out next.

    March 27, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. mk

    Where is the proof? The evidence? Just coming from the MRC & Bozell it is dubious. There is no way to get actual ratings from an AM radio show. Why not use an actual non-biased source instead of idealoges like Bozell & MRC?

    March 27, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Alex

    Its really sad and scary that people could listen to him and enjoy it.

    March 27, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Regent

    Well yes, he's a demogogue. Continuous scandals are designed to increase his audience.

    March 27, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. dan

    The piece all you people who bash Limbaugh keep forgeting is that when it comes right down to the basics he is an ENTERTAINER not a politician so the more you publicize him it just helps him. He has a following the same way Larry King, Chris Matthews, etc. do. They are entertainers not politicians or news reporters. They offer their own opinions on issues, not news reporting which makes them nothing more than highly paid entertainers.

    March 27, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Sea.gem

    I love reading from the Rush haters...these are the same people who rally for Al Franken (just as divisive but not as popular) but think he should be in the Senate...more proof that if the Left didn't have double-standards, they would have no standards at all...

    March 27, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Matt

    I love watching the democrats go apoplectic every time Rush's name is mentioned. Mega Dittos! Keep up the great work, Rush!

    March 27, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Tim E

    My neighbor has a howling dog outside my bedroom window every night. I listen. I have to. It doesn't mean I take any political advice from either of them.

    March 27, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    If there's a car accident at a major intersection, the number of drivers looking in that direction increases. That doesn't mean that car accidents are becoming more popular, or that the intersection is more appealing. It just means that people are attracted to drama - or gossip, or catfights, or flying invective. Or Limbaugh. I hope Limbaugh fails.

    March 27, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. Not-a-fan

    Ratings aren't necessarily a sign that people are tuning in because they like to hear what he says......

    I know a lot of people (myself included) that want to hear what he says to be informed and be able to laugh when he is being made fun off!!!

    March 27, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. KenS

    Excellent! If his ratings rise, then it can only be because of the far right – which means that the center and independents can see ever clearer what Republicans stand for. Rush gets more money, which is certainly the only thing he cares about, and Democrats stay in power. Win-Win.

    March 27, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Bill

    Glad to heard Obama has done something right.

    March 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. LB

    This is a perfect example of human nature folks. It is just like "rubbernecking" on the highway when there is an accident. People just automatically are curious as to the goings on. This does not mean Limpballs is gaining support and listeners. I for one think if his audience went up in February that is a good thing. More people who may not have ever heard him spew his venom now see how sick he is and may support President Obama even more. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

    March 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. alvino

    Keep Rush thinking he speaks for all republicans.

    March 27, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. banderson

    Most of these new listeners are liberals who hate Limpbaugh and the conservative party. I know because I am one of them.

    March 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Reality Check

    The point is B. Obama elevated Limbaugh just by mentioning him as having an impact on policy. If BO was attempting to marginalize Limbaugh he has failed tactically.

    March 27, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Matthew Lang

    The President didn't declare war on Rush, as the MRC claims.. he promoted him to the head of the Republican Party, much to the terror of the Republican Party, who knows full well that Rush's message of hate and ignorance is even too extreme for them! Its amazing to think of how much good Limbaugh could do in this world if he only knew what he was talking about.... what a waste...

    March 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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