Bloomberg thinks this is a big deal but I suspect numbers like that are baked in the cake for any prominent polarizing political personality. Some people on your own side won’t like you but nearly everyone on the other side will hate you, so you’re always starting off in a hole on questions of favorability even if you have millions of adoring fans. In a poll like this, given all the attention lately to his “slut” comments, I’d have guessed that heavy, heavy majorities of Democrats and left-leaning independents would say he should be fired, as would a significant number of Frum-type centrist Republicans who think the GOP would be better off without him. And near as I can tell, that’s basically what we have:
As for Limbaugh’s derogatory comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, men are split over whether the radio host should be let go from his job — 49 percent say so, while 47 percent disagree. Fifty-six percent of women support the move compared with 39 percent who don’t. Almost one in three Republicans, 30 percent, say Limbaugh should be fired for the remarks.
Limbaugh mocked Democrats on the air yesterday for having thought his comments about Fluke were going to work to their advantage, saying they failed to gain significant headway among women voters.
There’s no partisan breakdown but Ed e-mails to say that the sample is probably the same as the one that produced this Bloomberg poll data yesterday, i.e. 35D/34R/27I. If you assume 80 percent of Dems want him fired, 55 percent of indies/centrists, and then the 30 percent of Republicans that Bloomberg claims — all of which is in line with what you’d expect based on normal partisanship — then you get to the overall figure of 53 percent. (If you assume a larger number for independents, you need to assume a smaller one for Dems.) That’s not to say that no one is sincerely offended, but he’s a red-meat conservative provocateur and the left and a good chunk of the center hates red-meat conservative provocateurs and that’s naturally going to guide their judgment, just as the right’s love for him will incline them to cut him some slack. A more interesting poll would have asked how many self-described Rush fans are so offended that even they think Clear Channel should drop him. I’m going to guess not many.
Speaking of which, via the Daily Caller, here he is on today’s show announcing that he just landed four new ads. Read William Jacobson’s post too at Legal Insurrection rounding up news on the conservative counteroffensive to the left’s Rush boycott. If I had to guess, I’d bet that’s what’s driving that 20 percent or so of Dems who don’t think he should be fired. Like Bill Maher, they know where this is heading and it ain’t good.