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RUSH: Here’s John in Dresden, Tennessee. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Semiautomatic dittos, Rush.

RUSH: Oh, thank you, sir. I appreciate that.

CALLER: Army veteran. I just wanted to mention Pearl Harbor Day today and give a mention to all the men and women that served. My question was, I heard the Monmouth poll came out this morning having Cruz up over Trump by about four or five points. I was wondering if you thought all the talking down of Trump done by the establishment and the media had finally taken over.

RUSH: Well, it’s hard to say because Trump hasn’t been leading in Iowa for a while. You know, Carson vaulted ahead of him in Iowa, and so therefore you may not be correct. A lot of people hope that that’s the case. Here is the data on that, by the way. The headline from Bloomberg is: “Cruz Surges to Lead in Iowa Over Trump and Rubio.” This is a Monmouth University poll. “Sen. Ted Cruz takes top spot in Monmouth University Poll of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers released today, his first lead in any early state poll of the 2016 cycle. Ted Cruz earns 24% support among likely caucusgoers, compared to Donald Trump’s 19%, Marco Rubio’s 17%, and Ben Carson’s 13%.” Ben Carson used to lead this poll at 24%.

“Cruz jumped 14ppts since Oct. poll, Rubio up 7 ppts; Carson down 19 ppts; Trump support nearly flat.” So if there’s been any slipping here, it is Carson, 19 points, and whatever you would want to chalk that up to. “Evangelical voters, who make up about half of Iowa GOP caucus electorate, back Cruz over Trump, Monmouth says; in Oct, Carson held advantage with that group. Men prefer Cruz and Trump over Rubio and Carson, according to poll; women support Rubio and Cruz over Carson and Trump. Others receiving support: Jeb Bush stands at 6%, Rand Paul 4%, Carly Fiorina and John Kasich –” who’s father’s a mailman, “– at 3%.” The poll was conducted by telephone from December 3rd through the 6th, which was yesterday, and 425 Iowa voters likely to attend the Hawkeye Cauci.

Now, this Ted Cruz surge is really interesting. Because you would have to say now that Ted Cruz is the favorite in Iowa. Let’s go forward here to February 1st. Let’s pretend that this is January 31st and Hawkeye Cauci are tomorrow, and then let’s pretend that Cruz wins the Hawkeye Cauci. Can you imagine — I mean, that’s gonna be real votes. It’s not gonna be a poll. Now, we’re hypothesizing here, yes. Can you imagine the way that is going to totally change the media narrative? Ted Cruz, of all these Republicans, winning Iowa? I’m telling you, there are gonna be heart attacks and slit wrists in the Republican establishment and in the media.

It would be bad enough if Trump wins, but Cruz in their minds is just as bad, if not worse. Because Cruz is a conservative. Trump, in their minds, is just a pretender fraud maniac. They can deal with that. But Cruz is a conservative, and that they literally fear like Dracula fears the cross. If Cruz wins Iowa, the momentum that he’s gonna come out of there with is going to be overwhelming, and he’s gonna be piling up delegates.

Iowa is an interesting thing. It can kill you or make you. It killed Howard Dean. It destroyed his campaign. When he was presumed to win the thing and didn’t that was the end of Howard Dean, whenever that was. By the same token, if you’re unexpected to win and you do win in Iowa, can totally change the way things go after that. You know, it’s kind of fascinating to imagine that and then look at all of the ramifications and things that could happen.

Now, by the same token, if you lose Iowa, it doesn’t mean you’re finished. If you lose Iowa and New Hampshire, it doesn’t mean you’re finished. But if you win one of the two, you are presumed to be sitting in a catbird seat. I think the real key — that’s hard to say the real key — one of the fascinating indicators is gonna be South Carolina before the SEC primary. Make no mistake about South Carolina. The SEC primary hits after that. And depending on where you read, I’ve read analyses here of Cruz winning Iowa and then going on to win New Hampshire and just totally upsetting every applecart that the establishment has planned here.

Of course, Trump winning both or one would also — here’s the thing about Trump. This Iowa poll, the thing you have to understand about Trump is, he is not fading. This poll launches Cruz in Iowa, but Trump hasn’t led in Iowa for a while. Nationwide, nationwide polls, whatever their value, Trump is not fading. The establishment is convinced that there’s nothing they can do to stop him. But here’s their problem now. The establishment’s biggest fear has come to pass. If they take out Trump, who are they left with? (interruption) Cruz. No, no, no. Rubio’s their hope, but they’re left with Cruz. Cruz is positioned to profit if something happens to Trump. I’m telling you they hate Cruz as much, if not more, because he’s conservative.

So now the establishment, they’re really wringing their hands. “Oh, my, do we really want to get rid of Trump because if we pull that off, that means we gotta deal with Cruz. Oh, no.” If they somehow, if the establishment was able to do something to really damage Trump, it’s only going to redound positively to Cruz. In their minds, they are screwed no matter what. So this takes me to the vaunted Mike Murphy. Mike Murphy is running the Jeb Bush super PAC, which is called Right to Rise. And Mike Murphy announced a strategy the other day that has people quaking in their boots. The Jeb Bush super PAC, which he legally can have nothing to do with, has $75 million in the bank. And Mike Murphy alluded to a possible strategy, and that is carpet bomb everybody but Trump. Take out everybody but Trump, leaving it a Trump-Jeb race.

Mike Murphy is floating the rumor that he will spend the bulk of that $75 million to take out Rubio, Cruz, Carson, and Christie, but not touch Trump, not a dime will be spent on an anti-Trump ad. It’ll all be spent taking out Rubio, Cruz, Carson, Christie, Fiorina, whoever. And the theory is to destroy everybody but Trump and make it a two-person race of Trump and Bush because they think that’s the only way primary voters will ultimately choose Bush, is if there’s nobody left.

Now, Mr. Snerdley, you’re a student of politics. Do you find anything wrong with that strategy? (interruption) Snerdley says, “Yeah, it would backfire and redound even more harshly on –” How would it backfire? What do you mean it would backfire? (interruption) Okay. (interruption) All right. (interruption) Well, I have to say, you’re pretty up to snuff here. I have to give you a gold star on this. If this were to actually happen, I mean, the Republicans look at Cruz and Christie and Carson and they’re good people. Why destroy them?

If Bush or his super PAC is the agent of destroying with negative ads. When I’m talking about carpet bombing I’m talking about oppo research, negative ads, filthy, dirty, stuff. It would destroy them. It would destroy them forever. I mean, why do that? What is the point in that? Well, the point in doing that is to clear the decks so you’ve only got two people left, Trump and Bush. And the theory then is that Republican primary voters are no way gonna choose Trump. But after something like this, whew. Because whether Bush can have any personal contact with his PAC or not doesn’t matter.

The people, voters would know that it’s the Bush super PAC doing this. But what is it that tells Murphy that Bush could beat Trump right now? It’s wishful thinking. I think most of the base looks at this race now as Trump versus the establishment anyway, so this would be the establishment taking itself out, with the exception of one guy, Jeb. Anyway, so that’s being rumored, and Murphy has not totally disavowed it. Most of the smart money says it would never happen. But he’s just floating it as a conversation starter.

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