RUSH: We have yet another guest with us today on Election Day. Time to welcome back to the program the esteemed, highly achieved governor of the state of Florida, Ron DeSantis. Welcome back, Gov. It’s great to have you with us today. How are you doing?
DESANTIS: I’m doing great, Rush. You know, when Thomas Jefferson showed up to France to become ambassador, he was asked if he was “replacing” Benjamin Franklin. He said, “No, no, no. I’m succeeding Dr. Franklin. Nobody can replace him,” and you are irreplaceable. And what you have been doing, knowing what all you’re going through? It’s been fantastic, and people are responding, and they love you out here in Florida, Rush, and it’s making a difference. And I just wanted to say God bless you. You love this country, and you are not gonna see it go down the drain.
RUSH: Well, I really appreciate that. (chuckles) I really do. Thank you very much. Let me run something by you that I’ve been hearing all day, and that is that Republican turnout in Florida today is historic. Marco Rubio tweeted a little bit after noon today that “early turnout reports indicate Florida’s witnessing a Republican voter participation percentage of historic proportions.” Is that accurate? Is that really happening?
DESANTIS: Yeah, it is. You know, we went into Election Day down 108,000 ballots, D over R, which is actually closer than we were when we ran against Hillary in ’16. She was up 1.4%. This is about 1.1%. But what we’ve seen on Election Day turnout is we’re running up two-or-three to one Republican ballots over Democrats. I mean, there’s some areas of the state, you know, where it’s breaking 70-20. Even in places like Palm Beach, Rush, your home, last time I looked at the beginning of the afternoon, 10,000 more Republican ballots cast on Election Day than Democratic ballots.
RUSH: See, this is why I have been telling people, Governor, for the past week: “Election Day turnout is how whatever chicanery the left is planning…” We know that’s where they’re spending their money. They’re not spending their money on the ground game. They don’t have a get-out-the-vote effort. They’re working on lawyers and everything for postelection. This is wait you beat that, right? Election Day turnout?
DESANTIS: It really is. And, you know, one of the things I did when I became governor is I accepted Brenda Snipes’ resignation as Broward supervisor of elections and then removed the Palm Beach supervisor of elections. So we have a new team in there. They’ve been very professional, and so Florida typically has had problems in those two counties.
Everything’s running smoothly. I think it’s gonna be a fair and accurate count, and I think people should have confidence in that. But, yeah, I think the Republican voters, they want to see that ballot go into the box. We’ve historically done pretty good in vote-by-mail, but we’ve seen a huge shift, and not just on Election Day, early vote. We cleaned the Democrats’ clock on in person early vote. They beat us substantially on the vote by mail and a lot of this is, I think, the Democrats have told their voters with COVID, “Do the mail.”
DESANTIS: I think it’s biting them right now, Rush, because we have… You know, they’re not converting 100% of their mail ballots that have gone out. Not even close, and so some of them may decide not to go to the polls, whereas Republicans, you know, they’re guns blazing to get out to vote.
And I think you’re gonna see, you know, some areas really, really be surprising compared to what the media’s been saying about Florida. And as we know, these polls in Florida are usually — these media polls are usually — wrong. They always pick the Democrats. I was supposed to lose. Trump was supposed to lose in ’16.
DESANTIS: And we always end up overperforming. I see that happening now. What I would tell your listeners is, “You’ve still gotta vote. Stay in line.” I think what the media’s gonna start doing is releasing exit polls in the next hour or two that’s gonna say, “Oh, this is gonna be a Biden, Reaganesque landslide.” It’s gonna be garbage but I think it’s gonna be designed to get people not to go vote.
RUSH: Wait a minute. We’re talking to Governor Ron DeSantis Florida. I was talking about exit polls I didn’t recall. With 100 million people already having voted, how can they even pretend that their exit polls are accurate when they will not have access to those 100 million votes to put in their sample?
DESANTIS: Do you think that’s gonna stop them?
DESANTIS: Of course it’s not gonna be accurate, but none of these exit polls — ’cause just think about it. You go back to 2016. How many Trump voters are gonna want to talk to an NBC News exit poll person?
RUSH: I know.
DESANTIS: They’re not gonna want to. They just want to get home. So it’s always kind of skewed. But, yeah, look, I think that there’s kind of a huge problem with that. But they are going to do it, and so people should just understand that. So if you’re in line —
RUSH: I know. They did it in 2004. They declared John Kerry the presidential winner at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, based on exit polling.
DESANTIS: That’s right.
RUSH: So no, you’re exactly right. I was just thinking that they may not even do exit polls. Ah, that’s silly. They will. Because they want to use them exactly as you have described. But one other thing I want to run by you: We’re assuming something that I don’t think is true. I think based on the way they sample people that go to Trump rallies, you know how many Democrats are showing up at these rallies, governor?
DESANTIS: Yeah. Absolutely.
RUSH: Half the people there are Democrats. So who’s to say that some of these Democrat votes in the early voting, in the mail in, are for Trump as well as the Republican-count side?
DESANTIS: No, I agree. I think Trump will you do better with Republicans than Biden will with Democrats, and so if we have a ballot advantage, that ballot advantage is understating the difference. And I’ll tell you this, Rush. And you see it in the rally data about people who didn’t even vote in 2016.
DESANTIS: These are people coming out to a Trump rally, they didn’t even vote for him the first time —
DESANTIS: — and now they’re showing up at rallies. Everywhere I go, I will have someone come up to me — usually 30, 40, 50 years old — and say, “I’ve never voted in my life. I’m gonna vote in 2020,” and that’s something that’s hard to capture in a poll. But I think you’re gonna see that today and I think we already are seeing it, and I think that’s been gonna be really, really huge for the president.
Look, we know the habitual, liberal Democrat voters are gonna vote against the president. We know the habitual Republicans, you know, are gonna be with him. But then you have these other voters who Trump has brought into the process, and it’s not just unique to Florida. I think you see it all over these — all over these places with (crosstalk).
RUSH: I was gonna talk to you about that. Have you talked to any governors elsewhere and gotten the lay of the land in their states today as to how turnout is happening and what they think is going on on the ground?
DESANTIS: So I’ve spoken with some folks from the Trump campaign. I think we’re generally pleased across the country. I mean, obviously we want people to still go out and vote. You know, in Florida, we track this. Basically every 15, 30 minutes, updates are put out.
Most states are not doing it the extent that we are, so it’s a little bit more anecdotal. But, yeah, everything I’ve heard is that you’re in a line in the election in some suburban or exurb or some rural county, and it’s like red hats and American flags and everything. (chuckling) So you can probably figure out which way those voters are gonna go.
RUSH: Right. Well, you know, I really I appreciate your time. Your comments here at the beginning of the phone call were deeply moving. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. And I really appreciate the fact I’ve gotten to know you. He’s a great guy, folks. He’s like so many young Republicans, there’s nothing artificial, there’s nothing phony about Governor DeSantis. Just a real guy and confident.
You know, I remember on your own election where it was looking iffy and your opponent, Gillum, looked like — and you were just calm, “No, no, no, we’ve got the ballots, we’ve got the votes, it’s gonna be working out fine.” You were exactly right about it. There’s no substance for confidence, I don’t think, in inspiring people, motivating people. And you have it. You have it in spades. It’s great. I really appreciate the chance I’ve had to get to know you, sir.
DESANTIS: Well, God bless you, Rush. You’ve had a phenomenal impact. You’ve made a big difference in this election. And you didn’t have to do it. You have a bunch of stuff going on, and you did it. And it’s been very meaningful and everybody really appreciates it.
RUSH: Thank you, Governor, again. I appreciate it. And best of luck. I’m sure we’re gonna be chatting soon about all of this. And I’m envisioning that conversation taking place with gigantic smiles on people’s faces.
DESANTIS: From your lips to God’s ears, my man.
RUSH: Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida.