RUSH: Fascinating data here, folks, in the latest Gallup poll that’s out today. The headline of the Gallup poll is somewhat misleading. ‘Romney Edges Palin and Huckabee in Early 2012 GOP Test.’ The subhead is the real story: ‘Palin’s favorable rating stable after announcing her resignation.’ So the numbers are this: The candidate most likely to support for the 2012 Republican nomination for president today based on Republicans and Republican-leaning independents: Romney 26, Sarah Palin 21, Huckabee 19, Newt 14, Tim Pawlenty, 3%. Haley Barbour, 2%. However, when you get to the favorable ratings of current leading contenders, you have Sarah Palin at 72% approval among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents; 56% approve of Romney and 59% approve of Huckabee.
Let me give you the unfavorables, too: 72-21 unfavorable Palin, 56-17 favorable-unfavorable Romney, 59-16 favorable-unfavorable Huckabee. Now. Now, Sarah Palin’s favorable rating among Republicans is the top: 72%. Do you know what this means? I went to dinner the other night. I gotta tell you this. Everywhere I go I run into these Republicans who just spout the Katie Couric version of Palin. ‘Well, she needs to bone up on foreign policy. She’s not very deep, Rush. I think she’s embarrassing. I — I — I don’t know, Rush! I think she’s horrible. We don’t want anything to do with her.’ At the dinner table the other night somebody said something similar to that and I said, ‘No, no, no. I think she’s wonderful.’
‘What do you mean? What do you mean?’
I said, ‘You know what? We have too many people in our party who allow media to influence what they think of our own candidates, and they’re looking at it the wrong way,’ and I said this at the table. ‘If any of you here are waiting for a candidate to come along that gains the favor and the approval of the mainstream media then I guarantee you that candidate is a guaranteed loser.’ I said, ‘All you have to do — all you have to do — is listen to the media. They will tell you. Listen to the Democrats! Sarah Palin, they are trying to destroy. They’ve been trying to destroy her. They filed another ethics investigation into her in Alaska, after she announced her resignation! They are trying to destroy her.’ The liberals, the left, the Drive-By Media, they are telling us who our nomination should be! They are telling us who they are most afraid of.
But we have people who listen to this and look at this and say, ‘Oh, Rush, they don’t like Palin. Well, I don’t like her, either, you know? If the media doesn’t like her she’s this or that.’ Dirty little secret: flying back on the golf trip, flying back cross-country, I had this conversation — the exact conversation — and I got a little mad and I threw my eyeglasses off on the seat in front of me I excused myself and went back to the bathroom at the end of the plane to cool off ’cause I was hearing the same stuff. Now, let me put this 72% in perspective. Name for me any Republican or conservative who has had a 72% approval rating in the party after a year of trashing by the State-Run Media and the Democrat Party. Name for me one Republican candidate who has maintained a 72% approval rating while their life and their career has been under assault for the purpose of destruction, which is the case with Sarah Palin.
She has 72% approval in Palin in the Gallup poll. Political gurus and pundits — these yapping yammerers all over TV; Palin trashers in the Republican Party; the sordid, looking-down-the-nose, low-wattage elitists — you might call the office here to figure out what’s going on. This is not going to sit well with the elites in the Republican Party, the country club, blue-blood, Rockefeller Republicans. They don’t like her nearly as much as the Democrats don’t like her, but I think this is huge: 72% after a year in which she has been a target of literal political destruction. Folks, I’m just telling you: If there are any of you wimpy, wishy-washy Republicans out there who so desperately want to have a candidate that the sophisticates in the media in Washington and New York approve of, you are guaranteed to secure the Republican Party defeat after defeat after defeat. If you’re going to let them pick our nominee — which happened last time, by the way.
They picked our nominee. That would be John Sidney McCain. They picked him, and then after they picked him of course they abandoned him and moved over for Obama. Even Colin Powell. He did the same thing even though McCain is Powell’s ideal Republican. You couple this news with what we mentioned yesterday: 40% of the American people identify themselves as conservative; 21% identify themselves as liberal. Liberals don’t have the guts to tell anybody who they are. Sotomayor is the latest glittering example of that. I think 35% call themselves independents. You might say, ‘Well, you shouldn’t. Those people are liberals, too.’ Eh, I don’t know. In this context, I’m not actually certain. But regardless this cannot be said enough. See, the Gallup poll leads with ‘Romney Edges Palin 26-21’ in, ‘Who you gonna vote for?’ which is three-and-a -half years away. It’s irrelevant. Approval numbers: 72% for Palin after this year she’s had, and 56% for Romney?