Today's Indiana Democratic primary is not only a big test for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
It's also a test for talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, the self-proclaimed commander in chief of "Operation Chaos."
Indiana's primary is open to Republicans and independents, as well as Democrats. Limbaugh is urging Republicans to cross over and vote for Clinton to extend the Democratic nomination fight and, he hopes, further damage the eventual nominee.
UPDATE: The Indianapolis Star reported online today that it appeared that droves of "hard-core" Republicans are crossing over to vote in the Democratic primary in GOP strongholds in Marion County and suburbs.
UPDATE: But according to the exit polling in Indiana, Limbaugh's impact appears muted.
While Republicans made up 11 percent of the primary voters, Clinton won only 52 percent and 58 percent of Republicans said that Obama was more likely to defeat John McCain.
Exit polls suggest that Limbaugh's soldiers could have made a difference March 4 in Texas, where Clinton pulled out a narrow win in the primary, though Obama won the simultaneous caucuses.
Limbaugh told listeners on Monday that Democratic Party officials in Indiana are trying to intimidate Republican voters with monitors at the polls. So he issued these orders: "Flood these precincts. Vote for Mrs. Clinton as an act of defiance against these police-state tactics as a form of protest."
UPDATE: But today on his program, Limbaugh told "operatives and commandos" that he has received emails from GOP voters that they have not been challenged at the polls. He read one email from one who voted for Clinton: "It was tough. I showered twice, I threw up in my mouth, but I did it."
Limbaugh also argued that when independents and Democrats vote for John McCain, it is seen as a sign of the presumptive Republican nominee's broad appeal, but when Republicans vote for Clinton, it is described as "mischief" and "un-American."
"None of that is true," Limbaugh told listeners. "What is un-American and what is mischievous is attempting to intimidate voters as they approach the polling place."
Asked on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday about Limbaugh's efforts, Clinton joked that he had a crush on her for a long time.
He did not respond in a very friendly fashion on Fox News Network on Monday: "The explanation for this, for me, is now I understand why Bill Clinton hit on my date about a year ago at the Kobe Club in New York. I was minding my own business and Clinton came in and the short version is he used the mayor of Los Angeles to distract me while hitting on my date. So I figure he must think it's true too."
"This must be something the Clintons have thought for a long time in their household."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.