Did Clinton get a Rush vote?

March 6, 2008 4:20:48 AM PST
The Texas primary is in the books, with Hillary Clinton claiming victory late Tuesday night. But it wasn't just Democrats voting for her in the Democratic primary.

Clinton ended up with a victory of just less than 100,000 votes in the Lone Star State. We heard tales Wednesday of many Republicans being asked to vote for Clinton in the primary. Those voters not only secured a win for Clinton, but may have done themselves a disservice in the runoff.

"Here we had about 400,000 Democratic primary voters, I think about 60,000-80,000 were normally Republican voters, possibly as many as 100,000," said KTRK Political Consultant and blogger, Dr. Richard Murray.

Dr. Murray says surveys taken in the days before the primary indicated Senator Barack Obama would be the one to win votes from self-described independents and Republicans 58% to 39%.

"Something turned the vote from Obama in the early voting to Clinton in the late voting and I think Rush Limbaugh had something to do with that switch," Dr. Murray said.

Jared Woodfill is the Harris County GOP chairman and agrees there was Limbaugh factor. The radio talk show host called for Republicans to vote for Clinton because she is seen as beatable.

"I think most people think that if Clinton is on the ticket, that will generate support for Republicans," Woodfill said.

However the chair of the Harris County Democratic Party doesn't think those Republican votes had anything to do with Clinton's win.

"The number the spoilers were less than 1% to 2% at the max," said Harris County Democratic Chairman Gerry Birnberg. "We are talking 4,000 to 8,000 votes."

The one thing everyone seems to agree on, be it Clinton or Obama who gets the nomination, they shouldn't expect to get those Republican votes again.

"This is a unique situation and it's not likely to reoccur," Dr. Murray said.

The only issue Republicans who voted in the Democratic Primary face now, is they will not be able to vote in the runoff election for several highly sought after local seats. A factor they may not have been aware of.

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