Rush Limbaugh says that he only asked listeners to call Capitol Hill once before, back in the 90s, just to show he could do it. That is until now – he has asked his listeners to call Congress in opposition to health care reform, and they are responding in a big way.
Reports say about 40K phone calls are being handled by switchboard operators on an hourly basis. Further, it is possible that as many as another 40K are being stopped by a busy signal. The Hill says there have been 500K calls so far.
As of Thursday morning, 10:45 AM Eastern time 3/18/20, the top item on Limbaugh’s website is entitled “Keep Up the Pressure, America: Flood Congress with Calls, E-Mails.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Limbaugh’s followers are nothing if not loyal to him, which makes advertising on the show particularly effective. And you have to give him credit — not just anybody can bring Capitol Hill wireline communication to a screeching halt. That doesn’t necessarily indicate playing to the callers’ politics, however, for somebody in elective office.
Politics is a 50% + 1 game – anything less than that, you better hope that a third party candidate diluted the vote in your favor.
On the other hand, radio programs that pull 4% are often doing just fine. If they pull 10% they are doing fabulously, and 25% puts them off the charts. But even that top number is a death knell for a politician.
The calculation has to be whether Limbaugh’s fans are part of the majority or the minority in your district or state – that determines whether you use Limbaugh as a source of inspiration or a punching bag.