Limbaugh May Hold Key to McCain's Fate

Blowhard's influence extends well beyond conservative base
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Sep 29, 2008 2:50 PM CDT
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Rush Limbaugh addresses the National Association of Broadcasters at the convention center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, October 2, 2003.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Rush Limbaugh may be John McCain’s best friend in the fight against Barack Obama, writes Zev Chafets in the LA Times. Vociferously anti-McCain during primary season, Limbaugh is now on board and can't be underestimated. "A lot of Limbaugh's critics dismiss him as a buffoon or a fanatic," Chafets writes. "These are people who don''t listen to his show."

McCain turned things around with Limbaugh, and with the GOP base, by picking Sarah Palin, writes Chafets, adding that the radio titan described his support of the ticket as "balls to the wall" in an email. "This is a very big deal," he writes. "A satisfied Limbaugh means an enthusiastic Limbaugh, and an enthusiastic Limbaugh could be the difference in a close race."