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RUSH: There’s not as much glee and happiness as I thought there would be with the Democrats winning the special election. Well, it’s still up for grabs. It’s still… They haven’t been officially called. The Democrats are claiming they’ve won it, and the Democrats never really lose these close elections. They’ve got their systems in place; they just don’t lose these. But I tell you, folks, here’s the thing. I know a lot of people are distressed by this, and I’m not gonna try to talk you out of that. Maybe not totally.

But this guy, this Conor Lamb fellow? If you didn’t know any better, he’s a Trump acolyte. He had to run as Donald Trump. So it came down to which is the more attractive of the two candidates. Which did you like better? In fact, you might even be able to say that Conor Lamb did a better job of explaining the Trump agenda than the Republican did, and it shows the power of the Trump Effect.

Even Democrats have to pretend to be like Trump in — and this is Pennsylvania. This is blue-state Pennsylvania, and even this guy is out there running as a quasi-conservative and running as somebody, you know, who agrees with Trump on guns, agrees with Trump on tariffs, agrees with Trump on trade. This is the Democrat. Now, I know the guy wouldn’t vote that way if he got elected, but there’s still a lesson here. And this guy is only gonna serve ’til November.

This election has to be run again. It’s a special election. It will be rerun in November. So we’ll have some more on that here in just a second. Some interesting sound bites. As I say, the Drive-Bys are exuberant, but they’re not over the top with this ’cause they realize this guy did not run on the Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama agenda. This guy ran as Trump Jr., and they’re distressed by that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let’s go to the Pennsylvania election, ladies and gentlemen, the Conor Lamb-Rick Saccone election. Let’s see. The Reuters story on this: “In Warning for Trump, Democrat Claims Too-Close-to-Call Pennsylvania Vote — The Democrat candidate claimed a congressional election in a Republican heartland in Pennsylvania as a vote seen as a referendum on Trump’s performance remained too close to call.”

Well, if it was a referendum on Trump’s performance, let it be said that both candidates ran as Trump acolytes, and there’s a reason the Democrats are not throwing gigantic parties today, ’cause their candidate did not win espousing the ideas and the agenda of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. This guy was right on the same page as Donald Trump. Conor Lamb ran as a Trump Republican. He’s a Marine veteran, ex-prosecutor — and during the campaign, he claimed to be pro-gun.

He claimed to be for tax cuts. He was even in favor of the tariffs! And he said he thought Pelosi should go! There’s a Democrat in the Senate that this guy sounds an awful lot like, and his name is Joe Manchin, who also talks like a Republican. But sometimes in the Senate when it’s time to vote, he goes with Chuck You Schumer. So we have here a close election. There’s no question Trump had an impact here. Whether you like it or not, Trump had a major impact. But this is not the blowout.

And what it tends to indicate is that the Democrats may be testing a new strategy for 2018 and the midterms, and it may well be that they’re going to do what this guy did. If they’re running in a district that voted heavily for Trump, they’re gonna run a candidate (or an incumbent) that all of a sudden magically sounds like Trump on the issues. They may be using Trump hatred to get out the vote, but when it actually comes time to campaign… Like this guy, it really came down in this vote, in this election in Pennsylvania: Which of the two was more likable?

Because on policy they were… Well, it wasn’t quite indistinguishable, but they were very close. Again, a Democrat who said he supports Trump’s tariffs. Oh. He’s pro-life too. A Democrat pro-life. He says he’s gonna vote against Pelosi as speaker. He’s a white male! Not only a white male, he’s a cookie-cutter white male! He’s a Ken Doll white male. He’s the antithesis of what the… In fact, he’s the prototype enemy that the Democrat Party has been seeking to define as the great enemy of America.

This guy believes…

Are you ready for this? As a Democrat, he believes we don’t need any new gun control legislation, and this is the guy that won. So since that’s the case, let’s now go to the media, to the audio sound bites. We’re gonna start at audio sound bite number seven here and go in order. And we’re gonna start with Dana Bash, CNN special election coverage. She said this last night to Jake Tapper…

BASH: We started out this evening talking about how Republicans genuinely didn’t think that they were gonna win. Democrats genuinely thought that they would, and now it feels less certain. I wouldn’t say different but less certain. Jake, I feel like we’ve had… We’ve done this before! (guffawing) Feels like deja vu, don’t you…?”

RUSH: They’re thinking at the point they were gonna lose. Groundhog Day again. Special election, same thing. Ossoff lost, all these other special elections, because their polling data… Another thing’s very important: Their polling data, even the Republican polling data told everybody that this guy, the Democrat Lamb was gonna win by five or six. Even last Friday into last Saturday, polling data had the Republican losing by five or six. So now the Drive-Bys are very concerned that they still can’t find Trump voters in their polling.

They can’t go out… Because how in the world did this race end up as essentially a toss-up when the polling data had the Democrat winning by five or six? It means that people showed up and voted that the pollsters couldn’t find, which has led to something else interesting, and that is there’s beginning to be (and I would sign on to this) some criticism for the Republican consultant class for, once again, botching a campaign they could have won.

But they didn’t put everything into it ’cause they didn’t believe the candidate was any good. They didn’t like the candidate, so they basically didn’t work very hard to get out the vote, do the traditional things. And it ends up… Well, it’s still too close to call now. Democrats always win these close elections, as you know. They find the votes even when they don’t exist when they have to. Ask Al Franken how he got elected to the Senate. They did a recount and they found, “Oh, yeah! There were some votes here in the trunk of the car of the election manager!

“He forgot to turn ’em in from one of the polling places. Yeah, 212 votes were in the trunk of the car there.” You remember that. They found votes a week later that they had missed, that voted for Franken, that had miraculously not been counted. So they don’t lose these things. But this election could have been… Trump went in there and did his job twice. He made it much, much closer than a lot of people thought it was gonna be. Now, here’s Jake Tapper making the point about pollsters and their inability to find the Trump voters.

TAPPER: Pollsters have still not yet figured out how to measure this very volatile electorate.

BASH: Mmm!

TAPPER: They were not able to do so, uh, in 2016, and, uh, they’re not able to do so now. Uh, the problem of voters who are low-frequency voters and no-frequency voters who show up and actually vote at the polls remains a perplexing problem for them. Uh, Conor Lamb, according to a Monmouth University poll was supposed to win by five or six.

BASH: Mmm-hmm!

TAPPER: Both Democrats and Republicans had internal polls showing Conor Lamb —

BASH: Right!

TAPPER: — suggesting Conor Lamb was going to win. All thee of those pollsters wrong. This is an incredibly tight race.

RUSH: They may be acting like they’re happy over this, but they’re not. This was supposed to be a blowout. This was supposed to be an overwhelming rejection of Trump. A victory alone would not do it This had to be at least five points. It had to be six, had to be above the margin of error in the polls, and they didn’t get there, and they’re not happy — and then when they find out how the guy ran as Trump Jr., they’re not happy about this. Here’s Dana Bash admitting that Trump made it close.

BASH: [What] Republicans, especially those from Trump land, are telling me tonight is, as you can imagine, they give the credit to the president for going there on Saturday, for rallying the Republicans who were not excited about getting out. He raised the level of Republican turnout more than it was going to be.

TAPPER: You’re right that Republicans are gonna say that President Trump showing up and not only motivating the base, but telling them the name of the candidate, Rick Saccone —

BASH: Mmm-hmm!

TAPPER: — telling them, “Hey, by the way, there’s an election on Tuesday,” that that information shared by President Trump, bringing the spotlight really helped.

RUSH: (impression) “Yeah, you people Pennsylvania so stupid that you didn’t even know there was gonna be an election Tuesday ’til Trump came to town and told you. So, yeah, we gotta give Trump credit,” says Jake Tapper, “because you people are such dolts. If Trump hadn’t come in and mentioned the guy’s name… He came in, did a rally, said, ‘Rick Saccone! Rick Saccone!’ Had Trump not done that, we might have gotten our five-, six-point win. Damn it! Trump had to show up. Yeah, we have to begrudgingly give Trump credit. He was able to get out the vote, get out a bunch of people, made it close.” There was no rejection of Trumpism in this vote yesterday. Joe Trippi, former Democrat campaign manager. He was on CNN special election night coverage last night.

TRIPPI: I think the thing about these races in a midterm — uh, particularly this cycle for Democrats — is keep it local. The second the race becomes nationalized people go back to their tribe, they become red voters or blue voters, and you can’t win in a red district.

RUSH: That’s code lingo for, “Don’t start sounding like Hillary. Don’t start sounding like Bernie Sanders. Go in there and figure out what your voters want to hear and give it to ’em.” That’s what he means by “keep it local.” Do not nationalize the race, because nationalizing the race helps Trump. Why would nationalizing the race help Trump? They are, despite their best efforts, admitting Trump’s dominance in party politics right now.

I’m telling you, folks, do not doubt me. They had their hopes sky-high. They invested everything. This was the election that meant it all. This was the most important election ever (until the next one), and Trump was supposed to get his butt handed to him in the name of Saccone, and it was gonna be five or six points. Here’s Amanda Carpenter. She’s a former Ted Cruz communications director also on CNN. This is the thinking here dumping on the consultants. Get a load of this…

CARPENTER: There’s one thing that I question walking into this race. Even though Trump went all-in, did the rally, Republican committees spent tons of money, all these consultants had thrown this guy under the bus as hard as they could going into the race. And so, clearly, their projections were off. And I sort of wonder: If he does lose this race, were these Republicans trashing his prospects in the run-up to the vote? That could be the difference.

RUSH: Okay. Who are these people, who we talking about? You know the names, the big names are Mike Murphy and Mike Murphy and Mike Murphy — and Murphy. Some guy named Murphy. These are the people that spent a hundred grand for Jeb and got three delegates, and they didn’t believe in this guy like they didn’t believe in Roy Moore. But this guy’s not even comparable to Roy Moore, but they didn’t believe in him.

Amanda Carpenter is a Never Trumper in many ways. She’s a Ted Cruz communications director. She’s throwing these people under the bus. What she’s saying here is… She came up just short of calling it sabotage. But if “the Republican consultants,” which is the Republican establish… If they don’t think this guy’s gonna win, if they don’t want him to win, it may be the key.

They didn’t want him to win, and don’t doubt that within the Republican establishment and within the Republican Never Trump conservative movement, there’s still a lot of people who wish Trump would have lost by five to six points last night. And there might have been some Republican assistance in helping this guy lose by virtue of not helping him, because she points out, the party threw plenty of money in there.

Gotta take a break. Hang on, my friends. We’ll be back. Still working on the calculations to Mars and whether I can stay alive long enough to be on the first trip.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Brett, Springfield, Illinois. Great to have you, sir. How are you?

CALLER: I’m doing great, Rush. How are you doing?

RUSH: Fine and dandy. Great to have you on the program today.

CALLER: It is an absolute honor to talk to you, sir. I wanted to talk about the special election in Pennsylvania and trying to make sense of it. You know, how Trump won by 20 points and now you have this tight race. I think it’s worth noting, one: It’s obviously a special election. So those are very different. It’s also worth noting that Hillary Clinton was an awful candidate, and Conor Lamb and Hillary Clinton have absolutely nothing the common.

But I also wanted to comment on maybe the effect of Trump and how, you know, he’s telling people to vote and how that really translates. Because, you know, I think some people get confused when Trump…. They think, “Oh, Trump’s going in there. He’s gonna… He’s really gonna boost this candidate,” and I do think he had an effect. But at the same time I was thinking, you know, if Trump told me to vote for somebody, I would assume they were somebody like Trump that — you know, is like his agenda.

But I was thinking, you know, it dawned on me that he has endorsed Mitt Romney, and I would not vote for Mitt Romney at all. Even if he looked me in the face and told me to vote for Mitt Romney, I would not vote for Mitt Romney — and I think, you know, his endorsement of candidates can only go so far. And sometimes I think he endorses people that are not in lockstep with his agenda.

RUSH: Well, yeah, obviously. That’s gonna happen quite a lot when you’re talking about a place that has 435 seats, 435 races. Not every Republican is gonna be a Trumpist. You have some Never Trumpers running. I mean, there are plenty of Never Trump Republicans in the House of Representatives. But what Trump wants is numbers. Trump wants people with an (R) behind them. Get them there and then work on ’em. So this was an effort to prevent the Democrats from taking a seat. There’s a whole bunch of factors rolled into this.

Trump carried this district by 20%, and there’s just the… I don’t know. Call it “The Embarrassment Factor.” If he can go in there and win in this district by 20%, and if he goes back in and is suggesting that there is a candidate running for Congress in the same district and Trump says, “I want you to vote for the guy…” If he doesn’t win big, the media’s gonna say it’s an embarrassment for Trump, or they’re gonna analyze it in some way that doesn’t look good for Trump.

And, by the way, your business about Romney, again, that’s numbers. You know, at the end of the day, you cannot hide the fact that there is an (R) next to Trump’s name. He is a Republican, and in his world, the Democrats are the primary opposition/enemy, and if Romney is the only Republican on the ballot running for the Senate, say, in Utah? Well, Trump’s not gonna sit out, and he’s not gonna endorse the Democrat. Trump has to raise money for the party.

There are certain responsibilities presidents have. You cannot make that clean a break from the establishment. What Trump hopes to do is influence them after they are there to help them move his agenda, but he can’t rely on Democrats to move his agenda. They’re there to stop him. So all of that is understandable to me. But you alluded to something here at the very beginning of your call, and the media is hyping this. The media is trying to say the Republican candidate is almost insignificant here, that Trump was actually the guy on the ballot.

That’s the way they want it to be seen. They want it seen as that Trump lost. Even if it’s narrowly, they want it reported that Trump lost — and they do it because Trump went in there. Trump endorsed the guy. Trump did a couple of rallies, had a big one on Saturday night trying to get out the vote and push it for the Republican, but it didn’t result in Republican victory. In the process, the Republican candidate himself is escaping scrutiny here — and, when you get down to it, he was the one on the ballot.

And it matters who candidates are. Voters are not stupid! Trump voters in particular are not stupid! Now, the media wants everybody to believe that all Trump has to is show up somewhere and tell his voters what he wants, and they’re gonna go do it. They are more sophisticated than that. They’re loyal to Trump, and they will defend Trump until the end of the Earth because Trump is the only chance,the only thing they have standing in the way of the Democrats completing their task of, quote, unquote, “ruining America” via their transformation.

So Trump is gonna be supported no matter what, Stormy Daniels, NBC Access Hollywood, it doesn’t matter. Trump is not going to be abandoned. The media’s already distressed because they thought that the Democrat was gonna win by anywhere from five to six, maybe seven points. And he didn’t, because a bunch of Trump voters actually did show up that the pollsters missed. But this race came down to this Democrat running as a Trumpist. The guy was for tariffs! He’s pro-guns!

The last thing this guy ran as is a modern-day, typical, left-wing radical Democrat. He ran, for all intents and purposes, as a Trump populist or conservative. ‘Cause then it comes down… If that’s the case, and if people believe the guy, and if this guy is a more likable and a better-appearing candidate and sounds like he supports Trump? ‘Cause, believe me, Trump voters are not party loyalists, and that’s what the Republican Party’s gonna have to understand. Trump voters are Trump loyalists. But they’re not party loyalists.

That’s the reason Trump got the nomination. If they were party loyalists, Trump wouldn’t have had a prayer. The party would have been able to organize ’em and manipulate them, influence them into supporting Jeb. But they’re not party people. They’re disgusted with both parties. The two-party system as it works: The two-party system in Washington is a one-party system with the Republicans mopping up, and people voting for Republicans are fed up with this arrangement.

So Trump comes along, and he stands in their eyes above all of that. But this is a House election, not a presidential election, and, if the Democrat gets away with making people think he’s Trump Jr. — and if he’s more likable than the Republican, who may not be able to explain how supportive of Trump he is… Look, there’s any number of explanations for this. The media wants to lay this at the feet of Trump, and, in the process, the candidate is kind of being glossed over here. But you can’t do that. I mean, the candidate’s who’s on the ballot. Trump was not on the ballot, despite what the media wants people to believe.

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