Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: I’m sure you’ve seen the poll from USA Today and Gallup. ‘Significant Drops in Support for Clinton and Giuliani –‘National support for [Hillary and Rudy] significantly eroded over the past month,’ USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page writes. Meanwhile, Republican Mike Huckabee’s standing in the national poll has shot up — to the point where he leads a group of four GOP contenders basically tied for second place behind front-runner Giuliani. Susan adds that results of the latest … poll underscore the volatile nature of both the Democratic and Republican nomination battles with just one month to go before the Jan. 3 Iowa presidential caucuses. The national telephone poll was taken Friday through Sunday. There were 425 Republicans and ‘leaning’ Republicans surveyed, and 494 Democrats and ‘leaning Democrats.’ Each number has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points,’ and then there’s this interesting story. This is from Reuters. Get the headline: ‘Timing of Polls Matters in Politics: Experts.’ Oh, really? Interesting that this story comes out just as Hillary is tanking. ‘Republican Rudy Giuliani has a strong lead in national presidential polls but runs a distant second in early voting New Hampshire.

‘Mike Huckabee has an edge among Republicans in Iowa, but places fifth in nationwide surveys. What’s a voter to think?’ Well, if a voter is going to vote based on polls, then the voter is totally confused! ‘With such disparate results, opinion polls would seem to hold little value. But read properly…’ (laughter) Yeah, and by whom? (laughter) ‘…and at the right time, political polls offer plenty of insight, experts say. Most national polls reflect what issues are important to voters, but they provide little information as to who is winning, the analysts said. Early state polls are handier for judging the horse race of…’ So, in the midst of Hillary beginning to tank here, we get a story from Reuters, from pollsters, saying, hey, these national polls don’t matter. We got a USA Today poll out saying, hey, Hillary and Rudy both tanking; Obama and Huckabee are rising, but pay no attention to it, says Reuters, because ‘national polls only reflect what issues are important to voters but provide little information as to who is really winning.’ Isn’t this just peachy keen? Folks, I really would caution you on paying attention to these daily polls and trying to take a lot of out of them, because they’re meaningless. Yes. You heard me right, Mr. Snerdley! These polls are meaningless. Just as they were meaningless six months ago, they are meaningless today. If the polls had been useful six months ago, guess who would be the Republican nominee?

Rudy! He’d be the nominee. He was leading the pack by what? Or Romney, take your pick. And now it’s Huckabee? Huckabee wouldn’t have had a chance anywhere if the polls six months ago were accurate. McCain was also dead in the water, and McCain’s starting to resurface. They’re meaningless. Let me give you an analogy. Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots. (Boy, what a game that was last night, Brian. What a game. They got the Steelers on Sunday afternoon, 4:15 p.m. CBS in Foxboro.) Bill Belichick in, I guess it was a Super Bowl game against the Rams in the Superdome. The years run together. But during the week leading up to the game, you know, coaches do whatever they can to motivate their players, and Belichick thought he’d get a videotape of a horse race from the Breeders Cup from two or three years ago that nobody would remember, and at the starting line, before the shotgun, before the shotgun start, he told the players, ‘Pick a winner.’ So the players all picked the horse that they thought was going to win. A quarter through the race, quarter way, first turn, he stops tape. ‘Who do you think is going to win now’? The players changed their mind, picked the racehorses because their horses had lost ground. Some horses had pulled ahead. Players changed their mind.

Halfway, he stops the tape. ‘Okay, who’s going to win now?’ Players change their mind and pick winners again, different from the winners that they had picked at first. Some stuff with their original guesses. Three-quarters of the way through the race, he stops the tape, says, ‘Who’s going to win this horse race now, based on what you see?’ And they made their choices. So Belichick says, ‘It doesn’t matter what’s happening right now. There’s no way you know who’s going to win this race a quarter of the way into it, halfway into it or three-quarters of the way into it. You don’t know. It’s silly to be picking winners here. You don’t know who’s going to win the race ’til the race is over, and the horse that wins the race is going to be the horse that finishes it first. So when we get to Sunday, guys, play all four quarters and finish strong.’ He used it as a motivational tool. When I heard that story, I liken it to these polls: All of this is meaningless right now other than to provide the Drive-Bys a chance to shape your opinion of what’s going to happen, and to shape your perceptions of what’s going to happen.

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