RUSH: I want to talk about the Christian Science Monitor here.
“Why America Might Elect a President it Doesn’t Like,” as though that’s going to happen. Here’s what they say: “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have among the highest unfavorability ratings of recent presidential candidates. Their success shows how US politics is changing.” The article says: “It is possible, perhaps even probable, that this fall’s election will be contested between two of the three most disliked presidential candidates of at least the past quarter century. And it is possible, perhaps even probable, that this is not a coincidence.
“A Gallup survey released Saturday shows that Donald Trump has the highest unfavorability rating (60%) of any presidential candidate since [Gallup] firm started tracking the figure in 1992.” That’s how recent polling data has actually started tracking unfavorability. It’s not something that’s centuries old. The only dates back to 1992. According to Gallup, Trump comes in with the highest unfavorable number they have ever seen since they began surveying that. “For her part, Hillary Clinton ranks third (52%) with … George H.W. Bush of 1992 at No. 2.”
So the most unfavorable right now is Trump, then H. W. Bush (who is not running, obviously) and Hillary Clinton in third place. “In other words, the 2016 presidential election could be decided between two people that the majority of Americans, according to Gallup, don’t like politically.” Now, does that…? As you hear that stated, does that make any sense to you? How is somebody like Hillary Clinton with 52% unfavorability…? This is nationwide. This is not within parties.
This is voting population at large. How does somebody win with those kinds of numbers…? But the conventional wisdom is that, “Hey, not only is it possible, it looks like it’s pretty likely!” (sigh) I’ve always been curious about unfavorable numbers, like and dislike number. Much as I have been curious about most poll results anyway. But those two numbers do stand out in a profound way.
RUSH: So a raft of e-mail reactions during the break. “Rush, Rush, you’ve often talked about favorable and unfavorable, even yourself, Rush. You’ve talked about how you couldn’t survive without all the people listening to you who don’t like you.”
Yes. And I’ve also — you may not believe this, folks, but over the course of the years many have suggested I run for office. I know that may come as a shock. And what have I always said? There’s no way. I wouldn’t stand a prayer at getting elected to anything. I’m the guy that invented the word feminazi. I mean, all the stuff that’s been collected that I’ve said over the years, imagine the negative ads. And people said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, but Rush you admit that you’ve got so many people in your audience that hate you and they tune in every day to keep hating you.” Yeah, but getting an audience is different than getting votes.
Getting an audience to a program like this and holding an audience is much different than getting votes. And then, on the other hand, high unfavorables are quite natural because everybody in politics is looked at as a suspect now just by virtue of the game. One of the reasons for it — and there are many valid reasons for it. Tucker Carlson writes about this today. I’ve got it somewhere in my Stack here. It’s a point that I have made frequently in the last several months specifically, but for much longer than that.
The notion of how out of touch Washington is, the disconnect between Washington, DC, and the rest of the country, what I call the country, the people that make the country work. And it is this: If you’re in Washington — everything in Washington’s fine. The unemployment rate’s 3%. The per capita income there is way above average. Construction’s going on left and right. Nobody’s in dire straits, not for very long.
There’s all kinds of money floating around Washington, DC. Everybody there knows everybody. You go walking down the street, you don’t worry about crime except in a very small specific area of the actual city. Other than that, it’s idyllic. And the people that live there absolutely love it, and more people are moving there constantly.
If you look at the population of the Maryland and Virginia suburbs outside Washington, they’re growing leaps and bounds. The corporations are putting satellite or even headquarter offices there. In other words, life in Washington has nothing in common with life in most of the rest of the country. Whatever the real estate prices are, you can afford them in Washington. You can either afford to rent, you can either afford to buy, whatever, and it’s a nice place for the most part. It’s totally unlike the rest of the country. And then you add all of the social pressures that exist there and the desire to climb the social ladder as well as the professional ladder, and you have a bunch of people who have no idea.
That’s where, by the way, you find the most avid support for amnesty, correct? Right in Washington, DC. People from both parties, donor class, elected officials, because it’s not gonna affect them. All of the illegal immigration that’s happened up ’til now, they don’t live near it, they’re not impacted by it. They’re not impacted by the unemployment circumstance. They’re not impacted at all by the lack of career opportunities because the people that end up in Washington happen to go through a training program that is nothing more than the Ivy League universities. They get plucked and they are thrust into the system where they get their training and so forth, and they grow up, and everything’s fine.
It’s as fine in Washington today as it was in your little town, neighborhood, city, when you grew up 40, 50 years ago. But it’s not like very much of the rest of the country. And so there’s this huge disconnect. But the people in the rest of the country know full well that the people in Washington are out of touch, that there’s this giant disconnect. So this idea that politicians, people that represent the political status quo would have high unfavorable numbers is totally understandable. And if you look at both parties, the Republican front-runner right now, Donald Trump, also has the highest unfavorables, the Democrat front-runner has the highest unfavorables.
This is polling data. We haven’t actually had a vote cast. That’s why all of this stuff I’m telling you, it’s possible that the polling data is gonna right on the money and there aren’t gonna be very many surprises. But I doubt that. I think it’s just the opposite. And even if the polling data ends up being pretty right on, the fact that there are hard results after tonight is gonna change the dynamic of this in ways that months and months of polling cannot. I’m just telling you so that you can be prepared for it. And you instinctively know this yourself. But the class differences, the economic differences that exist in Washington versus rest of the country are widely known, widely understood.
My point is that this anger in Washington is entirely valid, and people have made jokes about Congress since Congress was formed. Will Rogers made a career out of making fun of Congress and elected officials. But in my lifetime I’ve never seen it as intense. I’ve never seen it as deep and as institutional as it is. The level of distrust, the number of people, the millions of people that are convinced the entire system is corrupt, they think their votes don’t matter. You’ve always had people who think that. It’s record numbers now.
And I think, you know, you get to the Des Moines Register poll, it’s too many numbers here in this story. It’s hard to follow numbers when you’re listening to them, but the bottom line of one of the people now analyzing the Des Moines Register poll is that the projected turnout here is just way, way, way too high. And one of the things uncovered in the analysis is that there hasn’t been a massive increase in brand-new party registration on either side in this contest, despite all this intensity out there.
The media, because was the nature of their business and so forth, tends to make everything they’re interested in the biggest and most important things in the country to everybody else. It’s part of the arrogance and I think relative condescension, that the people in Washington, in the media, whatever they think is fascinating. They think everybody else is fascinated to the same degree, and whatever they think about things from issue to issue they think the majority of Americans agree, and I’m telling you the disconnect is such that that isn’t the case.
I just think there’s a potential here for a few surprises tonight. And not just here. You get into New Hampshire — we’ll find out. It won’t be long now.