RUSH: Okay, a little detail here in Iowa. This is a Monmouth University telephone poll August 27th through the 30th of 405 Iowans likely to attend the Hawkeye Cauci.
The margin of error is +/- 4.9 points. So margin of error is +/- 5, and it’s astounding. Ben Carson and Donald Trump are tied in this poll, 23% each. “Most Iowa Republicans prefer someone without a traditional political pedigree, according to the analysis at Monmouth University poll. This is now the first time since July 26th that poll in first four nominating states has shown Trump without a nominal lead.” This is the first one. Carly Fiorina is in third place at 10%. So you have three people who are perceived to be outside, way outside the standard political universe.
Trump, of course, is nowhere near it: A white guy paying his own way. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, an African-American. Diversity. Carly Fiorina? Well, she does have some ties to the Republican establishment in that she was, I think, part of the McCain team back in 2008. And then after Fiorina, Ted Cruz at 9%, Scott Walker at 7%, and that’s a dramatic falloff for Scott Walker, down to seven. Jeb Bush at the number he seems to own in every poll: 5%. John Kasich, who the media thought won the Republican debate back in August…
Well, it still is August. It would be August 6 or whenever it was. John Kasich and Rubio at 4%, Rand Paul at 3%, Huckabee and Santorum at 2%. I don’t see Christie’s name here. By the way, did you see Christie’s idea for illegal immigration? Track ’em like we track FedEx packages. Except it wasn’t his idea. The media forgot. Mr. Newt first proposed than back in 2012 as sort of a lighthearted, jocular thing. I was reading my tech blogs yesterday in a brief time-out from show prep.
The technical blogs are more and more becoming show prep, and they had the story on Christie because FedEx and tracking is considered high-tech. So their headline was: “New Jersey Man Suggests Tracking Illegals as We Track FedEx.” New Jersey man. They wouldn’t even put “governor” or “Christie” in the headline on this blog. So, anyway, big news there. Now, Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. A lot of people are reacting to all the polls in Iowa.
This Iowa poll shows just how amazing Trump’s rise has been. This is a different one. This is a Des Moines Register-Bloomberg Politics of Iowa poll. The real story, according to Cillizza, is contained deep in the poll. In May, when the Des Moines Register last polled, 27% of likely Iowa Hawkeye Cauci goers viewed Trump favorably. Sixty-three percent in the Des Moines Register poll regarded Trump unfavorably back in May. His favorable number now is 61%. His unfavorable 35%.
This is almost an exact reversal, and they can’t remember ever having seen this before. Cillizza here at the Washington Post says, “Numbers just don’t reverse themselves like that in the space of a few months (or ever). Especially when the politician in question is totally known by the electorate.” I’ll tell you what. The theory that I have heard that the establishment and Republican Party has about how Trump’s gonna fade away is slowly but surely blowing up on them. Let me repeat that theory for you.
The GOP establishment theory is that Trump’s name recognition is 99% (so he’s got no ground to gain) and his favorable-unfavorable is already established, and you can’t change that dramatically. Certainly not in a period of months. So Trump has peaked. Their theory was that whatever Trump’s numbers in the polling data are peak, and whatever his approval numbers are have peaked. Meanwhile, the other candidates are nowhere near 99% name recognition. The closest might be Jeb, and he’s still not there.
So they have all kinds of room for growth, and they have all kinds of opportunity to change their favorable-unfavorable numbers, whereas Trump is stuck. Well, when this Des Moines Register poll came out that showed Trump did a total reversal from 63 unfavorable to 61 favorable, they are shell-shocked. They have never seen it. They don’t know how to explain it. It’s not possible. Nobody can turn their unfavorable around, especially that big, 63 unfavorable back in May to 61% favorable?
That’s a 60-point-some-odd shift. No number’s ever done that before. They even admit in this poll they have never, ever seen this before. Numbers just don’t reverse themselves like that in a space of a few months or ever, especially when the politician in question is totally known by the electorate. Once you are both totally known and broadly disliked — 63% Trump back in May — you’re doomed.
One hundred times out of 100 times you are doomed. You cannot recover from that, except Trump has. Here’s Cillizza: “In the almost 20 years — gulp — I have spent following politics closer than close, I’ve never seen anything like the total reversal in how Trump is perceived by Republican voters. It is, quite literally, unprecedented.” You know what else bugs ’em about it? A long, long-made point by me.
They haven’t had anything to do with it. Trump goes over their heads. Trump reversing his favorables and unfavorables is totally on Trump. The media hasn’t helped. If anything, the media has been trying to cement unfavorability numbers on Trump. If anything, the media has been trashing and tarring and feathering and ripping him. That makes it, as far as media people are concerned, even more earth-shattering. That this guy, without their help, in fact, with them working against him, has totally reversed in a matter of five months, what people think of him.
They think it isn’t possible, A, and especially it isn’t possible, B, without them helping. And it’s not just the media that are perplexed. The Republican wizards of smart who concocted this theory on how Trump had peaked and it was just a matter of being patient and wait and he’ll blow himself up because he can’t get anymore popular than whatever he is now. That was their theory. He’s too well known. He’s too well known now. There’s no way he can change. And yet he has.
There are three different stories on this. TheHill.com: “Iowa Pollster: We have seen everything with Trump,” and we have seen things we have never seen before. Trump’s favorability rating in Iowa is higher than Jeb’s. It’s an unprecedented turnaround. You know, look, I’ll be the first to admit, I try not to get too hung up on polls, particularly polls this far out. But this is not a horse race poll on who’s gonna win, who’s gonna get the nomination, who’s gonna run, what’s the outcome of the election gonna be. This is strictly a poll on what people think of the candidates favorably or unfavorably.
And here is another version of the same story in TheHill.com. We’ve seen everything. He gets seven people with higher unfavorable ratings than he has, including Jeb Bush. He led, Trump led the unfavorables 63% in May, and now there are seven people with higher unfavorable numbers than Trump has, including Jeb.