RUSH: Let’s move on to the Trump stuff. We go to the audio sound bites, and first up, Stuart Stevens. This is last night on CNN. The program is The Lead with Jacob Tapper. He spoke with Stuart Stevens, who is a former Mitt Romney campaign strategist. And of course they’re talking about the Trumpster and the Trumpster’s presidential campaign. And Tapper says to Romney’s campaign strategist — and these people know about losing, so they might be the ones to ask. “You don’t think Trump’s gonna make it, eh, Stu?”
STEVENS: I don’t think he’s gonna be on the ballot by February 1. I think he said it tonight, the greatest sin in his value system is to be a loser, and most people who run for president lose. I don’t think he’ll risk it.
RUSH: So the theory there is that using Trump’s own words, the greatest sin in the Trump world is to be a loser. Most people lose who run for president. Trump will get out before he officially loses. Stuart Stevens’ point is, Trump will get out before anybody can say he’s a loser. He will withdraw his candidacy, thereby nobody can ever say he lost or was defeated, he pulled himself out. So now since this has become the conventional wisdom. It’s not just here with Stuart Stevens on CNN last night. It’s been all over the Drive-Bys since the weekend and maybe even towards the tail end oflast week. It’s just one of these things that has taken over. They see a poll or two go by that Trumpdoesn’t gain any ground and maybe loses a half point or a point, “Ah, ah, ah,” they get all excited. “Trump has peaked, is on the downside now,” and it becomes conventional wisdom that Trump’s best days are behind him. So now all they do is ask him about that.
CNN this morning, New Day, Chris Cuomo said, “Look, depending on the poll, people are catching you, Donald. It’s actually making people start speculating about you, when you’ll get out of the race, which I find very unusual. Usually a front-runner isn’t discussed in terms of when they’ll get out. But I read somewhere where you said if you fell behind badly, you would get out. Are you thinking about when you would get out of the race?”
TRUMP: Not even 1% of a thought. Look, it’s a phony deal that was perpetrated on the public. I was asked a simple question by Chuck Todd at Meet the Press, and I gave a very honorable and honest answer. I said, “Sure, if I was doing terribly like some of these people, I wouldn’t stay in.” I mean, who would stay in? But I’m not. I’m leading every single poll. One poll came out the other day, I’m at 35% nationally. Thirty-five percent, I’m 20 points ahead of everybody else. Why would I get out? I’m not going anywhere. I’m leading every poll. I’m gonna win and I’m gonna make our country great again.
RUSH: And they weren’t through. The conversation continued. We just busted it up because I have a rule here, no sound bite goes longer than a minute just because of audience attention spans. Here’s the continuation of the conversation.
CUOMO: You hear people saying that you should get out or you have to change.
TRUMP: I don’t hear that, Chris. I don’t hear that. He asked a question —
CUOMO: Well, you do hear. Romney’s guys went on and said, “I think he’s gonna get out before Iowa –“
TRUMP: It’s so disgusting. I’ll tell you what, the media is so dishonest it’s so disgusting. Let me make it a little bit different. I’m not getting out. I’m gonna win, okay? I gave a very honest answer, but the press takes an answer like that and they make it like, oh, there’s a big story, the big headlines out of it. It’s ridiculous.
RUSH: Well, you know, in a way you have to think that’s gonna happen. When you tell these people that hate your guts and want you to lose and want you out of the race, and these people have an impact on polls, when you tell these people if you start lagging behind in the polls you’ll get out, what do you think they’re gonna do, when they want you out in the first place? They’re gonna make that the narrative. Trump losing ground. Trump says he’ll get out. Will you get out, Donald, are you? And they change the whole frame of reference about the Trump campaign. These people, every one of these people has their own polling unit. CNN’s got their own polling unit, NBC has theirs, ABC has theirs, NBC and the Wall Street Journal have theirs, and the New York Times, CBS have theirs, and I don’t care howaboveboard and honest they are, you can get any result you want in any poll simply by toying with the sample.
Look, even if you monkey with the sample and you are honest about how you’ve monkeyed with the sample, you can still produce a poll that shows Trump losing ground. You can do nothing Democrats or this or that, and you could show Trump losing ground and even if you say, “Yeah, we went out, we got askewed sample here,” but the result is what matters, that’s what gets reported. I’m sure Trump was talking about people like Kasich and Pataki, people at a half percent, you know, Lindsey Grahamnesty, 1%, 2%, or whatever. But that’s all it took, they’re salivating. Can’t wait. And they want to be the reason why, by the way. All these media people, they are in a mad quest for the scalp. They want to be able to say they are the reason Trump was forced out of the campaign. We’ll take a brief time-out here, continue in moments.
RUSH: Gloria Borger next on CNN last night, Situation Room. Wolf Blitzer said to Gloria Borger, “Trump’s lead in New Hampshire’s narrowing out there, Gloria. What do you think of that?”
BORGER: He’s still leading but the air is slowly sort of seeping out of the balloon a bit. I mean, obviously he is the front-runner. But if you look at his polling in New Hampshire, for example, Wolf, he was beating his nearest competitor a month ago by 16 points. That’s a huge lead. Now he’s just ahead of Fiorina by five points. You see the field shifting. Not dramatically, but you can see that Trump is not in the stratosphere anymore.
RUSH: Right. And here’s Megyn Kelly on Fox News last night opening the show, reporting on a new poll.
KELLY: Breaking tonight: Three new polls showing big moves in the Republican field. And for the first time in three months, one national poll showing a new man on top. Welcome to the Kelly File, everyone. I’m Megyn Kelly. Brand-new polling out tonight from Investor’s Business Daily has Dr. Ben Carson in first place at 24% in a national survey. Only the second time Carson has ever been on top, and the first time someone has bested Donald since early July. RUSH: Well, see, they’re all reveling in this. See, they can’t wait.
Now, Jim Geraghty’s National Review Campaign Spot Blog has a post, and I’ll tell you who’s really got bad poll numbers out there, but you’re gonna have to dig really deep to find them. You know who I’m talking about? Hillary Clinton’s polls. I mean, they’re horrible. Hillary Clinton’s polling numbers are just almost in the dirt. But you’re not gonna find that. You’re gonna find in fact the exact opposite. You’re gonna find stories of Hillary’s killing it now. “Hillary’s finally coming back! Hillary’s much better as an underdog than as a front-runner. Hillary’s got her game on. Hillary’s back,” and they’re celebrating out there.
Meanwhile, her poll numbers? You need the Hubble telescope to find them, in many cases. In Iowa, Jeb Bush, who barely shows up in Republican polls… Oh, by the way, speaking of that, The Daily Beast… You know the Daily Beast. Not the Daily Caller. The Daily Beast, that left-wing site that was started by Tina Brown. They’ve got a piece today saying (summarized), “Jeb, get out. “It’s time to get out, Jeb. You’re wasting your donors’ money. You’re not gonna win. You’re embarrassing the Bush family and doing everything else. Just get out now and you’ll be doing so many people so many favors. You’ll spare the country with a Bush-Clinton race, perhaps. You’ll spare your donors a bunch of money,” and they’re dead serious about it. Of course, they would be dead serious being in Iowa… What poll is this? This is numbers. “Republican Jeb Bush leads Hillary by 10 points in a hypothetical general election matchup among registered voters.” You can’t find Jeb on the Republican side. But in a matchup against Hillary, creams her. It’s 50 to 40%. Donald Trump’s ahead of her by seven points, 48 to 41, and that’s unchanged from the same poll amonth ago. Carly Fiorina leads Hillary in Iowa by 14 points, 52 to 38. She beats Hillary better than Bush or Trump. Yeah, that’s a 14-point margin for Carly Fiorina, if we are to believe any of this. Now, when you throw Bernie Sanders in, and you match him up against the same Republicans, his numbers are stronger than Hillary’s. Sanders beats Trump by five points in Iowa, 48-43. Remember, Trump beats Hillary by seven. He narrowly trails Bush 46-44. Bush beats Hillary by 10.
And he barely… He’s narrowly behind Carly Fiorina at 45-42. Carly is just killing Hillary by 14 points. The same dynamic plays out in New Hampshire. Clinton leads Trump in New Hampshire 48-45, but she’s behind Bush and Fiorina. Yet Sanders has the advantage against both Trump and Fiorina and he’s tied against Bush. So Sanders is doing much better than Hillary. Hillary is in really, really bad shape polling wise. And the margin of error for this poll is three points. Now, Geraghty says here, “With numbers that weak, it may be time for Republicans to do everything they can to help save her campaign.” It’s just an attempt at a joke.
Now, same poll, NBC/Wall Street Journal… This is Geraghty writing. Geraghty’s not a fan of Trump. He says, “You’ll see a lot of Trump foes citing the NBC poll and high-fiving, concluding that Trump’s moment has passed. Butdon’t overstate this. The NBC poll in Iowa has him sliding from 29 to 24%. “The NBC poll in New Hampshire has Trump sliding from 28 to 21%, but he’s still leading in both states,” and then there’s this Investor’s Business Daily poll that has Ben Carson at 24%, Trump at 17. But as Geraghty writes here, “Be a little wary of the sample size: 377 registered voters who are Republican or registered independents who lean toward the Republican Party with a margin of error +/- five points.” That’s a small sample, and it’s a big margin of error, and the first Investor’s Business Daily poll of the cycle.
So Geraghty is trying to warn everybody all excited about this, “Hey, hey, hey! It’s this bunch’s first poll, Investor’s Business Daily’s first poll and a very small sample: 377 registered Republicans or registered independents who lean Republican and a margin of error +/- 5.” So, anyway, they got it. It doesn’t matter. Got the polling data, and that’s all they need. Doesn’t matter who, doesn’t matter where, does matter how. They’ve got a poll that shows Trump sliding. And various interested parties such as the media and the Republican establishment are going to run with it.