First, here’s the information from Public Policy Polling. In addition to the gender gap discussed below, the poll indicates that few people think Rush Limbaugh should have much influence:

Even if voters are pretty split on whether they like Limbaugh or not, there’s more of a consensus on how much sway they think he should hold in American politics, which is not much. Only 23% of respondents said Limbaugh should have ‘a lot’ of influence and the most common answer, given by 42% of respondents, is that he should have no influence at all.

Even among Republicans only 39% think Limbaugh should have a lot of influence, an indication that some GOP elected officials have perhaps been more eager to stay on his good side than necessary in the early days of the Obama administration.

Now, from Limbaugh’s website re: the gender gap found by PPP:

“The gender gap is one of the largest [Public Policy Polling] has seen on any issue it’s polled in the last year, with [Rush] Limbaugh having a +19 (56/37) net favorability among men, but a -12 (37/49) with women.” I have a 37% approval with women, 49% disapproval.  “Thirty-one-point point gender gaps don’t come along all that often.” Now, ladies and gentlemen, this is an opportunity here, because this takes us to the age-old question: What do women want?  Not even Freud was ultimately able to answer the question.  Women generally, for the most part, can’t answer it, either.  But it has never stopped people from asking the question: What do women want?  Given this massive gender gap in my personal approval numbers, a 31-point gender gap, it seems reasonable for me to convene a summit.

How:

We’ll have a summit of all the women in this audience — or as many of them as we can get into breakout groups — and perhaps devote an hour in an upcoming program to calls only from women who genuinely want to talk to me. They can be liberal, conservative. They could be non-audience members, could be audience members.  But I want some of these women to start telling me what it is I must do to close the gender gap — or, if not what it is I must do to close the gender gap, what it is I’ve done that has caused the gender gap; assuming the gender gap is true and that the poll is true.

Ummm, you know – the women, who aren’t listening – they’re the ones ya probably need to hear from the most, yah?

When:

I don’t know if we’ll do it tomorrow because we got Obama’s big speech tonight, but we might.  So, you ladies be on standby. Be ready at any moment for me to declare the summit officially underway, and we will take calls only from women who want to seriously discuss the proposition of this giant gender gap that I have, and what I could do to close it.  In other words: What could I do to attract a higher favorability rating among more women in America?  I own the men, and what must I do now to own women?  And who better to ask than women?  Including some of those who may agree that that I’m unfavorable.

After the GOP response from Bobby Jindal last night – whom Rush says is the next Ronald Reagan (who was called The Great Communicator – that same Ronald Reagan?), I would like to hear from conservatives: Who are your leaders and icons right now? Who measures up?

Cross-posted from Writes Like She Talks.

JILL MILLER ZIMON
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greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago

There are no GOP leaders. Yet.

I always thought of Limbaugh as an entertainer. It was funny listening to him make fun of Liberals. You know. Like Democrats are making fun of the GOP “cry babies” now.

Its fun. Both parties earned that distinction. However Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are doing more to harm the cause then they are to save it………but then we all know they are after money……..not trying to solve Americas problems.

Jill Miller Zimon
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

Ok – I can work with that.

What would a GOP leader look like, for you? The elements of who matched with what of who else? If you could build one from scratch?

greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago
I really have no clue. A gop leader is not going to emerge from this party until they have something to hang their hat on. Right now the Democrats are new to office. Obama is popular and the economy is hurting and we are in two wars. Most of this is the fault of the GOP and the question is asked “so should the GOP be in power?” Not only NO but HELL no. Until the Democrats prove they can actually solve problems rather then create them or complain that they tried but the GOP just wont play. Until the… Read more »
Jill Miller Zimon
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

That’s all well and good, truly, but I’m asking you – what are the qualities you want in a leader of conservative ideology? What do you want that person to be able to do, and how?

Come on – I can’t ask this any more directly. Can you see I’m not taking “no clue” for an answer? :)

Dream – I promise – I will not make fun of it- that’s not why I’m asking. Let’s figure it out. Dems obviously found someone kinda sorta like what they imagine they want.

What would the GOP voters’ leader possess?

$199537
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$199537
7 years 6 months ago
I agree with greenschemes that right now the GOP does not have an effective leader, and Limbaugh, Hannity, etc all do more harm than good. There was a time where they galvanized what a lot of people were thinking but really didn’t have a public voice for, but unfortunately have become so rigid and out of touch that they offend not only the left, but also a lot of people in the middle who would otherwise be sympathetic to conservatism. I don’t think the lack of an effective leader is necessarily unique to the GOP though. With the exception of… Read more »
Jill Miller Zimon
Guest
7 years 6 months ago
Ok – I think those are all good: good orator comes across as reasonable person comes across as regular, reasonable middle of the road guy someone who can present a controversial issue while avoiding sounding extreme I would agree with all that! So – let me ask you, acknowledging that I come from a left of center place, from that place, it appears to me that the conservative base seems to actually LIKE at least some of the time to have their leaders or the individuals who seem to be most prominent (whether that’s a media thing or not –… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
Good answer, DaGoat. Despite Jindal’s awful debut, I still think he has promise if he can learn to communicate to the national audience as himself instead of the odd character he portrayed last night. I’m also keeping my eye on Cantor, and other governors like Huntsman, Daniels, and to a lesser extent Pawlenty and Sanford. One thing about the governors is that I think the party should probably flex its executive prowess and present that as a contrast to what I see as a potential shortfall in the Obama administration. The types of programs he’s going to be overseeing would… Read more »
Silhouette
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Silhouette
7 years 6 months ago

Looks like Caribou Barbie has been texting Rush and telling him to be a kinder, gentler neocon extremist.

greenschemes
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greenschemes
7 years 6 months ago

Limbaugh is not a Neocon.

I am a neocon.

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
Jill, really that problem is just the age old question of how to straddle between the hardcore base of a party and the middle. It is especially problematic right now for the GOP though for two reasons: 1. The centrist voters have been schooled by media and bloggers to have a severe aversion to right wing extremism (esp social conservatives) even though there’s not the same disdain for the extreme leftwing. There’s a permissiveness that allowed Obama and all of the other Dem candidates to pay lip service to some of the pet causes of the far left and no… Read more »
Jim_Satterfield
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Jim_Satterfield
7 years 6 months ago
Wow, CS, you actually can’t tell the difference between putting the social conservatives in power in the party and having attended a church with a particular pastor. Well, there’s a world of difference but I’m not surprised that a good Republican can’t tell. As far as the center having no aversion to the extreme left, the reason you don’t see it has nothing to do with the MSM and everything to do with how the extremely conservative Republican party has chosen to define anyone outside of their comfort zone as being of the extreme left. The truth is that the… Read more »
Manchester2
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Manchester2
7 years 6 months ago
The obvious answer to this question is Mike Huckabee. He has massive appeal to the middle, as evidenced by his very adept appearances on show like Jon Stewart’s. Stewart hit him hard on his social conservatism — opposition to gay nuptials, abortion — and Huckabee stood his ground while being agreeable about it, a smile on his face. As far as I know, he’s not beholden to Limbaugh, probably doesn’t have a lot of use for him. (Good riddance to that oxycontin popping oaf). I’ve predicted it before, I’ll predict it again: This country isn’t left of center, it’s right… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
Every word you wrote shows which camp you sympathize with. Uh oh, the gig is up…I’ve been outted as a conservative Republican. When did I ever pretend to be other than that, Jim, and why shouldn’t this post reflect my views from that perspective when that was the whole point of Jill’s post (correct me if I’m wrong, Jill!) Wow, CS, you actually can’t tell the difference between putting the social conservatives in power in the party and having attended a church with a particular pastor. Well, there’s a world of difference OK, Jim, so if I’m the one who… Read more »
$199537
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$199537
7 years 6 months ago

I think the definition of extremist should be anybody who starts their comment with “Wow”.

$199537
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$199537
7 years 6 months ago
Anyway I didn’t really answer your second question Jill, namely if the GOP needs a reasonable spokesperson then why do they seem to follow the leaders that come across as extreme. CStanley said it well, but my answer would be that the GOP party is not being driven by a moderate wing, it’s being driven by the far-right base. It’s kind of like when the Democrats were all backing Howard Dean – the primaries were being driven by the MoveOn types and they liked a strong spokesman who said the things they agreed with and got them fired up. After… Read more »
Jim_Satterfield
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Jim_Satterfield
7 years 6 months ago
Actually the camp I was referring to was the religious right as opposed to the conservative fiscal branch. Wright and Ayers are not members of Obama’s campaign or his staff. Ayers is not nearly so close to Obama as the Republicans keep claiming. The political center is bright enough to realize that so they don’t get outraged over them. Right wing extremists are highly influential in the Republican party and truly do affect policy. They see that truth too. Yet Republicans keep harping on two associations that are so different from their Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, John Hagee, Grover Norquist,… Read more »
Jill Miller Zimon
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

I’ve not abandoned this thread, promise – but have been busy with updating news of Rush’s Female Summit! You can read the transcript and the highlights here.

elrod
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elrod
7 years 6 months ago
One of the problems here is that part of the appeal of the GOP to middle-of-the-road voters since the days of Richard Nixon was the way they channeled cultural “anti-elitism” and cultural resentment. Now, sometimes that anti-elitism goes overboard, as in the case of Sarah Palin or the people who burned Dixie Chicks albums. But when couched in very middle-of-the-road language, it is very effective. In fact, that’s what the Bushes did so well (father and son); they could cast whole cities like San Francisco and New York (before 9/11) as somehow un-American places. They drew from politicians in the… Read more »
elrod
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elrod
7 years 6 months ago

BTW, that PPP poll doesn’t pass the smell test. 43% of African Americans have a favorable opinion of Rush Limbaugh? Remember, 97% of blacks voted for Obama. Yet 43% like Limbaugh. I’m not buying it.

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago

The political center is bright enough to realize that so they don’t get outraged over them. Right wing extremists are highly influential in the Republican party and truly do affect policy.
Show your work please. What policies have they actually influenced?

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
I don’t know if I see this exactly the same as CStanley, but in my case I feel that the GOP kicked me out when it became clear they were just as happy to expand government to further their goals as Democrats are. Since I doubt I am alone in this feeling, I suspect the GOP lost many conservatives who might otherwise be able to provide a moderating presence. DaGoat, I’d be interested to know what kind of moderating influence you mean. I don’t know much about your own political preferences, although I’ve agreed with some of your comments (but… Read more »
$199537
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$199537
7 years 6 months ago
CStanley, I don’t want to project too much of my own experience on this issue or write a novel, but I think the problem is both fiscal and social. I think we’d mostly agree that the GOP dropped the ball on fiscal responsibility during the Bush administration.. Two examples would be the Medicare prescription drug program and the growth of earmarks, but spending in general ballooned under Bush. No the Democrats aren’t any better but this is an area where the GOP is supposed to be the responsible alternative. I did not see significant opposition to spending from the GOP… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
OK, that’s pretty much what I expected. What confused me a bit though is that on fiscal policy, if I’m understanding you, you DON’T want more ‘moderate’ policy. I guess what I’m saying is that your previous comment was about how turned off you are due to a lack of moderate forces in the party (or a blacklisting of moderates) but on the fiscal part, you actually are criticizing those who’ve acted less fiscally conservative. On abortion, I disagree not only because I can’t agree with that on principle, but also because I think that’s much too defensive of a… Read more »
$199537
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$199537
7 years 6 months ago
Good discussion, too bad we’re off the front page. Maybe I wasn’t clear, I am OK with deficits and spending to an extent. Wars need to be paid for and the government has to run. If I understand you correctly you feel that the increased GOP spending was in itself a moderate stance. My feeling is it went past moderate and was excessive. Even if I accept that as a moderation then where is the give-and-take? Were any other GOP positions changed? No – in fact the GOP became farther away from me socially. The social conservatives control the party… Read more »
CStanley
Guest
CStanley
7 years 6 months ago
OK, I think I’m more clear on what you meant now. And no, I don’t think necessarily that increased spending is a moderate stance, but generally speaking the farther right opinion on spending would be to reduce it and the farther left (or toward center) opinion would be more permissive on spending levels. I’m probably pretty similar to you on the fiscal issues, but more conservative socially. I’m personally very conservative on those issues but I consider myself more pragmatic than most of the people who share the same personal convictions, because I do understand the need to separate religious… Read more »
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