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The Limbaugh Listener-More Informed

March 8, 2009

Limbaugh’s Audience Better Informed Than Those Of Most Media Outlets
By Mark Impomeni
Mar 8th 2009 9:00AM
Filed Under:eDemocrats, Media, Polls, Obama Administration

A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press casts more doubt on the wisdom of the Democrats’ coordinated strategy to tie elected Republicans to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. When it comes to American political knowledge, Limbuagh’s audience is better informed than those of most mainstream media news outlets.

The poll tested the audiences of a host of news magazines, radio and television shows, and newspapers on three basic political questions: the majority party in the House of Representatives; the name of the Secretary of State; and the identity of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. On the American political questions, Limbaugh’s radio audience scored the highest, in a virtual tie with viewers of fellow conservative talker Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Hannity and Colmes audience. Eighty-three percent of Limbaugh listeners correctly identified the Democrats as being in control of the House and seventy-one percent were able to correctly name the Secretary of State. On all three questions combined, readers of The New Yorker and The Atlantic fared best. But Limbaugh’s audience easily outperformed those of all three major networks’ nightly news programs, readers of community and daily newspapers, as well as viewers of the news networks CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN, CNBC, and MSNBC.

As Democrats’ attacks on Rush send his audience size through the roof, more and more people are becoming exposed to his persuasive – and apparently highly informative – message, many for the first time. The danger for the Obama Administration is that a percentage of those new listeners will find agreement with Limbaugh’s arguments against the Administration’s policies. That may be why the Obama Administration admitted this week that it’s attacks on Limbaugh had become, “unproductive.”

Democrats and liberals believe that Limbaugh is a polarizing figure, and by linking Republican opposition to the Administration to him, they will marginalize both the Republicans and Limbaugh. But Limbaugh has held the largest radio audience on the dial for twenty years, and has educated that audience well according to the Pew poll. The Obama Administration had better hope that the new Limbaugh listeners they have created are not quick studies.

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