RUSH: Back on the Wisconsin primary, the Wall Street Journal today has a story headlined this way: “Donald Trump Faces Great Test Against Wisconsin’s Conservative Political Network.”
And it reminded me — I mentioned this at the top of the program. Scott Walker, the great governor of Wisconsin, faced a number of recall elections plus standard calendar reelections. If I’m not mistaken, in most of these elections, most of these campaigns, preelection polling data made it look very, very bad for Scott Walker, made it look like he was losing. And it turned out that he ended up winning and in most of these instances, won big.
It’s been added to the growing evidence that the conservative movement, for lack of a better term, in Wisconsin is big and it is serious and it is motivated. Walker won these elections, and he won ’em by a lot. The Democrats threw everything they had. They had national fundraising going on. They had Hollywood fundraisers, they had everything. They tried every dirty trick, every standard trick they could think of.
And so the assumption here is that Cruz wins in a landslide tomorrow because of this massive conservative network that has actually been pro-Cruz. Walker has endorsed Cruz. The conservative network movement in Wisconsin is very much behind Cruz, very much opposed to Trump. There have been a number of polls, there are two polls that show Cruz up 10. There is one poll that shows Cruz up by one, margin of error, like 36 to 35. And a new poll out today that shows Trump down by eight, Cruz winning by eight in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is the beginning of this, according to the New York Times, 100-day effort by the GOP take the nomination away from Trump, to deny him from getting it, by preventing him from getting to 1,237. That is what the whole thing depends on. Now, the Politico had stories last week and over the weekend that Paul Ryan’s the chosen one. That whenever you hear Republican people talking about “fresh face” perhaps coming out of the convention, they’re talking about somebody that has not been in the race at all.
Look, I’ve mentioned this three times, and I’m gonna mention it once more, because I really think this is what’s going on. They have admitted, the establishment has admitted that they are attempting to get to an open and contested convention. They have admitted that their preference is for no candidate currently running to get to 1,237 delegates. If they succeed, if neither candidate does, and, by the way, right now the only one with a breathing chance to do it is Trump. But he’s gotta win Wisconsin. If he doesn’t win Wisconsin then it puts all kinds of pressure on him for New York and Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You would think those are great states, but Kasich may take a number delegates in Pennsylvania.
Trump is demanding Kasich get out of the race. Trump wants the Republicans to kick Kasich out and Kasich won’t quit, ’cause Kasich’s taking votes from him, not taking them from Cruz. (imitating Trump) “Does Kasich have a chance? What is this? He’s only in there as a spoiler. He’s hanging around to get the nomination contested convention. That’s sour grapes. The guy doesn’t have a prayer. Get him out of there. Kick him out of there. He should quit.” That’s Trump on Kasich.
RUSH: What the Republican establishment is really aiming at doing is disqualifying Cruz and Trump, and probably Kasich. If neither of them get to 1,237, what is going to be the operating strategy is that none of these candidates can therefore be the nominee because they have already failed to secure the needed support in the democratic process. You wait. I can see this happening. The establishment is gonna say, “Hey, look, we had a primary, we had the democratic process. We had all of these candidates running, and not a single one of them got to 1,237. Therefore, they’ve already been defeated. Nobody wants Trump, nobody wants Cruz, and so that’s why we’re going to choose somebody else.”
Well, then they’d have a tough time choosing Jeb, because Jeb did run and Jeb didn’t get anywhere near it, either. There’s some in the establishment that would love to see Jeb do it. Rubio is not letting go of his delegates. Very, very interesting. The thing goes open, this thing goes contested, you can see Rubio making a move. There’s all kinds of stories about how Cruz is outmaneuvering Trump state by state in delegate selection for the crucial second ballot. The second ballot is where the action is actually focused right now.
I think there are a lot of people more and more convinced that it’s gonna settle in even deeper. If Trump does not win Wisconsin, the operating theory is then gonna be that nobody can get to 1,237. It’s just insurmountable. I’ll tell you what else is gonna happen, the next thing that’s gonna happen. Even if Cruz wins tomorrow, let me tell you what’s gonna happen with him. They’re gonna say (’cause it’s already been reported, I think, in one blog) that by the end of April it will be mathematically impossible for Cruz to get to 1,237.
Unless he wins a hundred percent of the delegates, which nobody can do. So you’re going to see pressure on Cruz to get out at the end of this month, when there won’t be enough delegates left (even if Cruz won them all) to get to 1,237. You’re gonna have powerful forces say, “Senator, for the good of the party, it’s time to admit that you can’t win this and unite behind Trump and go ahead and make this happen to prevent a contested convention.” That pressure is building. I don’t from who, but I know it’s gonna come from somewhere. Because at some point, it’s gonna be true.
Now, the Cruz people know that getting to 1,237 is a long shot, but some of them think they can still do it if Trump becomes a big enough negative. That’s what they’ve always wanted is this one-on-one competition. So don’t misunderstand me. But also the Cruz people are working very hard on the second ballot right now, which Trump is not doing. That’s why Trump is learning he’s losing delegates in Louisiana. He is losing delegates in other states. Tennessee. The Cruz people are going in and making arrangements with these delegates.
I told you last week, the delegates haven’t even been chosen in a lot of these states. It’s an honor to be a delegate. They’re chosen in many different ways, and the candidates are trying to exert whatever power and influence they can over delegate selection. Because once the second ballot comes, delegates can vote their hearts. They don’t have to vote the way the people of the state voted in the primary. First ballot they do. So Trump is now saying, “Hey, hey, they’re taking delegates away from me!”
He’s threatening to sue everybody.
“They’re taking delegates away from me! I won those delegates!”
He made a big deal in his appearance yesterday in Eau Claire. “I won. I went down there, great crowds, great group of people. Louisiana? Won the state! And Lyin’ Ted! Lyin’ Ted, he holds up the Bible, and what does he do? He lies, lies! Lyin’ Ted is trying to steal my delegates.” But that’s what’s happening. It’s the way it happens. So this is nowhere near over. The excitement is gonna continue. The drama is going to continue, and even Kasich is out there saying that. “Oh, man, a contested convention? That would be really cool. Can you imagine all the mail that would happen to be delivered at the convention? It would be so exciting.”