RUSH: I’m sorry. I don’t know what to tell you. If I knew what to tell you I’d tell you. I just don’t know what it means. And there’s no way of knowing what it means. Too often I have said that poll is crazy. Last time that I have thrown out poll results to my regret was the 2012 presidential race. I thought there’s no way Romney was down six or eight points. I thought those polls had to be full of it. I thought they were using incorrect turnout sample, and those polls were right on the money. So I don’t think it’s a safe bet to just reject polls that apparently don’t make sense to you.
I’m being flooded with e-mails from people who are in, not a panic, but, I mean, they’re curious. Okay, so we have this polling data out here. Voter opposition to Obama at 16-year high. It’s a Gallup poll. These are people who say specifically that the reason they’re gonna vote is to register opposition to Obama’s policies. It’s a record high for that poll in Gallup. It’s a big number. It’s huge, the number of people who say in a poll the reason they’re gonna vote is to send a message to Obama that they hate what the hell he’s doing.
Okay, so there’s that. And then over here in North Carolina, Kay Hagan, I gotta be very careful here. But that’s one example where she’s leading. NBC has a poll, she’s ahead of Thom Tillis. It doesn’t make any sense. People say, “Rush, what does this mean?” I don’t know, folks. In the past, my instinctive reaction would be that the polls have been doctored to keep you dispirited, to keep you depressed, and to counter what the Drive-Bys and their polling units know is gonna be a bad year for Democrats. But as I say, the last time that I actually thought that was the 2012 presidential polls, and I was dead wrong. I’ll tell you the mistake I made.
By the way, welcome back. Great to have you, El Rushbo here at 800-282-2882.
I was looking at the 2010 midterms, which was the closest election to 2012, and I was thinking, why in the world are the pollsters not using that as a model, ’cause that was a Tea Party turnout, it was an anti-Obamacare turnout. And the pollsters all said because a presidential turnout is different from midterm. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the midterm. And you’ve gotta compare polls from 2008 to 2012, not 2010. You have to have a poll that’s got the same turnout size, same basic makeup. And the polls that did that show an Obama win by anywhere from four to eight points.
I was stubbornly stuck here saying, “How in the world can there be a 2010 turnout that gave the Republicans the House, that lifted the Tea Party to vast stages of relevance be ignored?” And the pollsters all said, “It’s not the same turnout, Mr. Limbaugh.” Dick Morris was on Fox basically saying the same thing, that these polls were all miscalculating, they were using a skewed sample that was not relative to the current circumstances, and they were hearkening back to the 2008 turnout using that as a model. And they turned out to be right.
So, much as I would love to tell you that while you have a poll here that shows a tremendous number of people can’t wait to go vote to register their anger and disgust with Obama, over here your senator, your incumbent Democrat in the midst of all that is still leading. I would love to tell you that I think it’s a skewed poll, but I don’t dare anymore. And it may well be, not just Kay Hagan, but Landrieu. Landrieu’s aren’t great, but you’re looking at a runoff there.
That’s another thing. Obama’s not gonna do amnesty ’til after that runoff is over. He’s not gonna do it before the Senate is finished being shaped. He is not gonna do amnesty ’til that runoff with Landrieu is over and that race decided. He’s not gonna do anything that’s gonna harm the Democrats’ chances. The only way he’s gonna do amnesty is if he can figure out a way to blame it on the Republicans. And I don’t doubt they’re gonna continue to try.
How do you do that? Somehow you finagle it so that the Republicans are out there publicly advocating it, which they have been. Well, they’ve gone silent on it — well, not silent, they’ve dialed it back, their support for amnesty right now. But not that long ago, a month, six weeks ago, everybody knew they were all for it. So I’ve always felt that when it comes to amnesty, Obama’s never gonna do that. There’s no credit. Whoever does that, whoever’s seen as responsible for it is not gonna get any credit. It’s nowhere near a majority support issue.
I mean, amnesty is gonna be the biggest flying finger in our face that there has ever been in politics. Amnesty is going to be, “Take this.” It does not have majority support; it’s not even close. It is going to be the epitome, the essence of governing against the will of the people. And because of that, Obama’s not going to do it ’til after all these Senate races are over and have been determined. And the last runoff would be Landrieu’s in late November, early December, I forget. I think it’s early December.
Folks, I wish I could help you. I wish I could explain to you why apparent empty suits are not suffering, Democrat incumbents, why they are not suffering at the same time the whole country’s down on Obama. All I could tell you is all politics is local, that old adage, the old theory, but I think this is where the reality that the Republicans are not presenting an agenda, or if not an agenda, a set of things that they’re gonna do to fix things, this is where it might be coming back to haunt them.
It’s being left up to individual candidates to do, and depending how good they are, depending how good their advisors are. Let’s face the facts. Something that I have gleaned in listening and watching sporadically, I must add, Republican campaigns, be they for the House or the Senate, one of the things I note is a common belief that they must somehow persuade the media of something. And that, to me, is a guaranteed loser because it’s not possible. The media is never gonna see the light.
If you do a candidate’s debate with the idea of changing the media coverage, never gonna happen. If you do a campaign appearance or if you have a program or whatever that’s designed to change media coverage, isn’t gonna happen. The media’s not gonna end up supporting a Republican challenger to a Democrat incumbent. It’s not gonna happen.
Remember that orientation I went to in 1994, I told them, “You think you’ve won and the media in this town’s gonna love you? They’re gonna resent the hell out of you and they’re gonna try to trip you up and they’re gonna be mad at you for winning. They are gonna wish Tony Coelho still ran the show, not Newt. They’re not your friends,” and I even said, “If Cokie Roberts comes up and bats those big eyebrows at you and tries to seduce you into thinking she’s on your team, don’t fall for it.”
When I finished that speech, a bunch of reporters from the Washington Post and others in the room, they came up, I assumed my seat at the circular dinner table after I finished speaking, “Do you really think all of that you just said?” I said, “Damn right I do. I know full well you resent being in this room tonight. Here you are covering the Republican freshmen orientation, the guys that are gonna be running the House, Saturday night, I know damn well you don’t even want to be here. You’d rather be out partying with Ted Kennedy.” And they’re writing furiously my remarks and comments.
I think it’s a waste of time, and when I hear candidates say, sometimes to me or another, “Yeah, we had a really good debate, you know, I think the media’s starting to –” Wrong focus. The media’s not, but the Republicans can’t get past it. They can’t get past the notion that they can’t win unless the media’s on their side. And it’s never gonna happen. Well, I don’t know about never, but certainly not in the anywhere near future. Focus has always got to be on the people. You gotta try to relate, build a bond of connection to people and how they’re thinking and feeling. And when the subject of immigration comes up in a debate, how hard is it to say you support jobs for Americans? How hard is it to say that you don’t understand why, all of a sudden, in this current Obama economy — or, if you don’t want to say Obama, “in this current economy.” Why you want to flood the market with low-skill, low-wage workers doesn’t make any sense when there are plenty of Americans looking for work. How hard is that to say? The media’s gonna beat you over the head for it. They’re gonna call you bigots and anti-this, but you’re gonna resonate with voters. To me this is where I have to be very careful.
I want to phrase this correctly. This is where, for some reason, there isn’t a lot of helpful tutelage from consultants on how to build a bond, how to connect with voters and let them know that you’re on their side and you understand where they are and that you, like them, think we’ve got a mess that needs to be fixed, and pretty damn fast. But that’s just me, and I always have to issue this caveat: I’m not in politics. I’m in broadcasting.
It’s an entirely different proposition. Getting an audience is a much different thing than getting votes, and I will be the first to acknowledge it. So I say all these things with the caveat that I could very well be wrong about how to get votes. (interruption) No. It’s not my business. There are people whose business is getting votes, and they… (interruption) Well, I know they haven’t been doing well, but it’s just…
I understand the frustration. You see the polling that shows a nationwide rising tide of disgust with Democrats, and you wonder, “Well, why isn’t the Democrat in my state paying the price?” (interruption) How did…? How…? (interruption) What…? (interruption) Now, now wait a second. Snerdley is asking me: How did I know that McCain wasn’t gonna win before the election? That wasn’t hard. That didn’t… (interruption) Well, the consultants said that McCain was gonna win.
Well, look… (interruption) The McCain loss… I mean, that I don’t want to rehash. But that was easy to spot. It was easy to spot. That was easy to spot. I’ll tell you when the first realization happened. When I saw McCain for the two years, even before he got the nomination, I thought, “If he gets it, he’s in for the biggest shock,” because all he did… He was on MSNBC every night, courting Chris Matthews and at the time Tim Russert.
He was courting all these people and he really thought the media was his “base.” He really did. That was what he did. That was his strategy. He was joking about it. That was his strategy. The media was gonna elect him. Well, sorry. It was the easiest prediction in the world to make. “Whenever the Democrats got a candidate, McCain becomes the enemy and all this fun and friendly back-and-forth on MSNBC is gonna end. He’s gonna become enemy number one, and he’s not gonna know what hit him.