Rush Limbaugh has his grip on the GOP microphone
|Limbaugh's listening audience is relatively narrow -- it is predominantly white, male and politically conservative -- but highly motivated. Many of the 20 million or so who tune in each week are willing, even eager, to pummel their opponents with letters, phone calls and e-mails to make their voices heard....Limbaugh has plenty of critics, not all of them liberal or Democrats. Some Republicans worry that the 58-year-old AM radio icon, highly effective at rallying disenchanted conservatives, may be turning off the less ideological voters whom Republicans need if they hope to again become a majority party.
"The question is: Are we going to have an all-white-man litmus test under the Republican Party? Or is there room for diverse opinion on environmental issues, on the issue of right to life, the issue of taxes and spending?" said Rich Bond, a GOP strategist and former chairman of the Republican National Committee. "There must be room for dissent in the Republican Party. It must be sincere. It must have comity."