Yesterday, while reacting to the New Hampshire Primary results during his radio program, Rush Limbaugh made one thing clear: Ron Paul is hurting conservative candidates. And Limbaugh made it clear that Paul isn’t doing this by taking up all the conservative votes, rather, he did it by placing 2nd via the votes of people who have little to no interest in supporting Republicans in general. What this means it that once Paul has run his course and helped Mitt Romney win, the people who voted for Paul in the primaries will then either turn around and vote 3rd party or, in some cases, vote for Obama.
Here’s how Limbaugh put it:
The majority of people that voted for [Ron Paul] were not Republican….And what I’ve been told is that [of these] supporters, 40% say they would vote for the Republican nominee, 23% said they’d vote for Obama, and 31% of Ron Paul voters said they would vote third party. So the Ron Paul voters cannot be counted on [as most of them] were Democrats who walked into the New Hampshire primary, picked up a Republican ballot, [and voted for Paul].
The key figure in this is that only 40% of Paul voters said they would go on to support the eventual Republican nominee. It’s important because it’s exactly half number given by Tea Party voters, 80% of which said they will support the nominee whoever he is. And this is what prompted Limbaugh to say “Ron Paul is a conservative killer.” It’s also why Limbaugh contends that Mitt Romney “wants Ron Paul to stay in” the race.
Everybody [i.e., the establishment, the mainstream media, the Romney campaign] is urging everybody else to get out of this except for Ron Paul. They want Ron Paul to keep pounding away at Santorum and Newt. They want Ron Paul to continue to get big numbers and take away any high second- or third-place finishes from Santorum or Gingrich or Perry or anybody else.
The bottom line, according to Limbaugh, “Ron Paul kills the conservative vote.” He’s drawing voters who cannot be counted on to push the Republicans to victory in 2012. In fact, the only thing Paul’s voters are going to accomplish is to kill Santorum and Gingrich’s chances, and thereby guarantee Romney the nomination.