RUSH: We have new polling data from CNN. The world is shocked yet again when it comes to Donald Trump. Two sound bites, one here from Ashleigh Banfield.
BANFIELD: Breaking news for you. It may not sound breaking, but Donald Trump’s support is surging. And that is officially breaking because just minutes ago a Monmouth University poll came out showing Trump with a commanding 30% support. That is up four points from before the first debate. That’s nearly one-third of Republicans in this country supporting Donald Trump. Ben Carson is now in second place with 18%, and that is very high for him, followed by Jeb Bush and Senator Ted Cruz tying for the third spot with 8%.
RUSH: I’m playing the CNN sound bites ’cause I don’t have the text of this yet, and they just reported it. Things are flying here and so the data is in these sound bites. Here’s one more from Ashleigh Banfield.
BANFIELD: The poll suggests that the voters’ opinion of Donald Trump have also ticked up in the past four weeks. Now his favorability is at 59% compared to 29% unfavorability. It seems like there’s just nothing that this man can do to upset anyone, at least those people that were answering the phones for these polling questions.
RUSH: And so at CNN they continue to pull their hair out. The Republican establishment continue to pull their hair out. All across the political spectrum people remain perplexed and confused and disbelieving, in utter denial. “It can’t be happening,” they say. “It’s violating everything we’ve ever believed. It’s violating every tenet that we’ve ever known. It’s violating every principle that we have ever employed. None of this is making any sense. You mean to tell me his favorability is rising?”
Now, don’t forget in a different poll, and this is what has shocked so many polling professionals. Back in May, remember, Trump’s unfavorable was at 63%, in May. His favorables were 29%. In that 63% unfavorable poll, Trump is now at 61% favorable, almost a direct reversal, and 29% unfavorable. I mean, it’s just done a 180. And now in the Monmouth University poll, same thing, a total reversal. Trump has gone from something like 30% favorable to 59% favorable and 29% unfavorable.
And the polling professionals will tell you nobody changes their image that fast. Not possible. It takes years of steady media coverage. It takes years of fawning media. It takes years of focused public relations in order to change your public image or public perception even just a little. But a complete reversal like this, and I’ll tell you what has these people gobsmacked. This total reversal has come after Trump has violated everything they hold sacred. Trump was supposed to be out of this race how many times now?
He was supposed to have been out of this race the day he announced because of what he said about Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers and purse snatchers and muggers and stuff. He was supposed to be a laughingstock. And then the comment about McCain, where Trump said (paraphrasing), “you know what, I don’t have a lot of respect for people that get captured. I want people that don’t get captured. Those are the people I have respect for.” Well, the establishment blew gasket number two, predicted that was the end for Trump. There’s no way. You just don’t say that. John McCain, a celebrated war hero? You can’t talk like that as a Republican or anybody. You just can’t.
And then Trump doubled down on the Mexican comment. Rather than apologizing, he doubled down. And the establishment said, “There’s no way. This guy’s dead now. We just know it’s gonna happen. It may not be here, may not be next week, but he’s gonna happen step in it big time. We’re gonna put a bag of excrement out there, he’s gonna step in it, and that’s gonna be the end of it.” Then came the now famous Fox News debate and the kerfuffle with Megyn Kelly when she posed that question to him about things that he supposedly said to women. He comes out with a Rosie O’Donnell joke and then answers it with the fact that he’s not politically correct.
They go to the focus group, the Frank Luntz focus group after that debate and people who originally had supported Trump, apparently in that focus group, “This guy’s horrible. He’s embarrassing. My God, what he said to Megyn Kelly what he said about women, I’ve lost all respect for Trump.” Except he jumped again. And then he doubled down on Megyn Kelly and started calling her a bimbo and whatever else happened there.
The point is that during all of this, when the establishment thinks that Trump is destroying himself, Trump’s favorability is recovering. You have over here the Republican Party which is afraid of its shadow. You have a Republican Party which thinks that in order to survive it has to support the Democrat Party on amnesty. You have a Republican Party that’s afraid for the government to get shut down. You have a Republican Party afraid to tell anybody what they really think for fear the media’s gonna destroy ’em, they’re gonna be called racists or sexists or bigots or whatever.
And they think they’re playing it right and they think they’re reaching out to moderates. They think that they are gaining ground. They’re showing they’re nice. They’re showing that they’re bipartisan. They’re showing that they can cooperate. They’re showing that they can govern. Meanwhile, Trump is doing everything they believe that will destroy them, and he’s winning. Not only winning. His favorabilities are skyrocketing. Then he starts hitting on Jeb. Then he starts hitting on Anthony Weiner, calling him a perv and starts hitting on Huma. Then he starts saying Hillary should be indicted, should be convicted, should be in jail, all of these really impolitic, really rough-edged, coarse, politically incorrect things.
Every one of them, the establishment in both parties, but we’re focusing on the Republican side now, every one of them they’ve been rubbing their hands, “That’s it, that’s it for Trump. He’s done it now. We knew if we were patient.” In the midst of all this we’ve had a number of televised commentaries, a number of published columns all trashing Trump, some of them even insulting Trump supporters, and all of that was designed to humiliate and embarrass Trump’s supporters to the point they would abandon him. They’re being accused of abandoning their conservative principles.
I mean, the party has thrown everything that it knows how to throw. The party has sat back and has assumed that everything Trump has said is a disqualifier, and yet here he is now at 30%, one-third of the vote in a 16-person field. His favorability numbers have gone from 29% to either 59% or 61%, depending on the poll. It’s unheard of, never been done before, this kind of image recovery, while doing things that the political professionals thought would destroy him.
I guarantee you there is… I don’t know if it’s abject panic or what, but I guarantee you that in these rooms where people who think they’re the smartest in the country are gathering, there is total confusion. The book that they live by, the handbook, the manual, none of it matters. It’s all wrong. It doesn’t apply to Trump. So what they’re telling themselves is, “Well, it really isn’t gonna hurt us because everybody knows he’s not a Republican.
“When you get right down to it, everybody knows he’s not a Republican. Yeah, he’s not a Republican; it’s not going to hurt us. He’s not a conservative. Everybody knows he’s not a conservative. He’s not gonna hurt us. Yeah, yeah. He’s just a populist. Trump’s just a populist, and he’s gonna be exposed.” And then on top here, now Trump is gonna sign a pledge today saying not only is he a Republican, but that he will not go third party.
So whatever comfort the Republicans take or whatever game they thought they were winning by getting Trump to sign this thing is also gonna come back and bite ’em because I guarantee you they have been seeking refuge in the idea that Trump’s not really a Republican and therefore won’t really tarnish them. And make no mistake: They think all this is tarnishing them. They think all this is tarnishing the party. The fact that they don’t oppose Obama? No, they don’t think that’s tarnishing the party!
The fact that they will not make an effort to defund Planned Parenthood? No, no, that’s not tarnishing the party. The fact that they will not stop Obama and his Iran deal, the fact that they will not stop Obamacare, the fact that they will not stop all the spending? No, that’s not tarnishing the party at all in their view. That’s showing they can work together. That’s showing independents and moderates how they can govern and so forth.
If there was ever a group of people 180 degrees out of phase with reality, it has to be the modern-day Republican leadership.