Panic on the Phones! Woe Is Us Chorus Fears GOP Voter Complacency

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RUSH: New Jersey, Mark, you’re first. Welcome. Great to have you here.

CALLER: Hello, Mr. Limbaugh. Nice to talk to you, sir. Thank you for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: The reason I called today is I’m hoping to be the 1.4% where you might be wrong. You’re like, what, 98.6% right all the time?

RUSH: No, no, it’s 99.8%.

CALLER: Then I’ve only got two-tenths of a percentage to be right, but I think I am. Rush, I believe it’s us that are being complacent. I do believe it’s the Republicans and the Trumpsters that are being complacent. I think we’re out here fat and happy, excited that our agenda is getting pushed through, even though some pieces of it are slower than others. I agree with you that Trump’s coattails definitely won with a 5-0 record; fantastic.

RUSH: Well, now, wait a minute on that. Hang on. I spent 45 minutes yesterday opening this program telling everybody how important it was to go up and vote in these elections. You know, Trump goes out there, does a rally Saturday, but I did it yesterday. And how come nobody’s talking about that? Huh?

CALLER: I heard you yesterday, Rush. I’m all for it. I’m just saying —

RUSH: Just kidding, folks.

CALLER: — for 30 seconds of your valuable broadcast time, I want to talk to your listeners and say, folks, we gotta get off the couch, we can’t be complacent, we can’t think that it’s going to go well just because Trump’s out there rallying the base. We have to knock on the doors. We have to get energized. We have to be the grassroots to stop a blue wave. I don’t believe there’s going to be a blue wave because I believe that we’re gonna turn out in November like we did two years ago. But we have to get motivated. We cannot let them impeach and stop the —

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: — agenda of President Trump. We can’t let them —

RUSH: Let me ask you a couple questions. Let me ask you a couple questions here, okay? ‘Cause I did not say — you think you’re calling in to correct me. What did I say that made you think I don’t understand what’s going on or that I may have it wrong?

CALLER: Plus 7 is that district. Even in a nonpresidential year, we’re plus 7 Republican in Ohio 12. We spent $5 million to their $1 million, and we win by one percentage point? I do believe that the enthusiasm was on their side. Had the Democrat not made a huge gaffe on MSNBC — maybe we can thank them for this — had he not made a huge gaffe and finally admitted that yes, he would vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House just one week before the election date, he may have had pulled this thing out. And that would have only been because —

RUSH: Wait a minute.

CALLER: — we weren’t motivated.

RUSH: Wait a minute. I do not want you to misunderstand my tone. I’m not being contentious. I’m not trying to be argumentative. I really want to talk to you about this. Again, don’t misunderstand this tone. Do you really think that this Democrat saying on MSNBC would vote for Pelosi had an impact on the vote and the turnout yesterday? And if so, walk me through it.

CALLER: Well, I believe, Rush, that what happened was he had been the wolf in sheep’s clothing, similar to the Georgia candidate where they were running away from the Democrat Party, so to speak, and not talking about, you know, he wouldn’t vote for Nancy, you know, he’s independent, he’s going to think about Ohio 12 and to heck with the national Democratic Party. He was bringing up all the old school playbooks of the Democrats, but he was avoiding going after Trump by name; he was avoiding all the things that you’ve mentioned.

RUSH: Right. But I want to know, pretend that you’re a guy that wants to vote for this guy, okay? You’re in Ohio 12, and you see him on MSNBC, he’s gonna vote for Pelosi. What do you do?

CALLER: You either stay home or you say, “A-ha. He wasn’t really the moderate Democrat,” you know.

RUSH: Why do the Democrats — this is what I’m — I don’t disagree with you on the GOP being plus 7, the turnout was light, but why — here, companion question. Why do you think that Republicans are sitting there fat, dumb, and happy and do not realize what’s at stake? Why do you think they don’t realize they have to get out and vote to protect Trump?

CALLER: I believe that even the numbers that you’ve quoted, Rush, about the generic ballot numbers, the sheer amount, the sheer volume of seats that we have defend, 84 to 13. And a lot of those were in districts that Hillary either won or came close to winning. So we have more to defend right off the bat. And then the tradition that you talked about yesterday of the party in power losing an average of 15 seats. See, I listened to you yesterday, and I’m using all these numbers, and I’m thinking to myself, “Wow. We’ve got a lot to defend.” And we spent five million. We can’t spend $5 million on every local race in every district —

RUSH: Why not? The Democrats want to spend $32 trillion on Medicare for all.

CALLER: We don’t want Democrat policies. That’s why we have to fight, and we have to stand up and say — and, you know, not to throw a total curveball here, Rush, but, you know, it’s not just this. It’s the protests in the street, even though I think they backfire to a large extent, but it’s the same thing that you’ve talked about for as long as you’ve been on the air, 20-some years. It’s that when it’s repeated and beaten into head over and over and over and over and over by the mainstream media that, you know, Trump’s in trouble, the Republicans in trouble, blue wave, blue wave, blue wave, I believe that that psyche gets into the Republicans’ heads, not us Trumpsters. It’s not gonna change us Trumpsters, but those that might be marginal or sitting on the fence I think are affected by it.

RUSH: Okay. Then let me try and here with you, because you’re hitting all my buttons about — you’re giving me not cliches, but you’re giving me the boilerplate default inside-the-Beltway logic and reasons for voter turnout in midterms and specials and presidentials. And all of it relies on the belief that voters of the party in power become stupid two years after their candidate wins the presidency and they don’t realize they have to continue to vote to keep their guy with a majority.

I have trouble pleasing that these are the thought processes that voters go through. So it seems to me that what you’re saying, that Trump has a challenge. He’s got a behavioral challenge. He has to keep his base revved up. But at the same time he’s gotta go out and attract some independents and moderates who are not by any means make America great people, may not like Democrats, but he’s gonna need ’em to be voting Republican. And whatever he does, he cannot turn them off. He cannot frustrate them, make them mad. So he’s gotta find a way every day to behave in ways that please and satisfy his base while at the same time appearing presidential and sophisticated and serious to the moderates and the independents that Republicans need to win in November. Correct?

CALLER: I’m going to go back to what you said. The moderates and independents blow in the wind. What he has to do is keep his keep his base revved up and continue to perform the things that he promised that he was going to accomplish. And I think he really needs to make some more moves on the border wall and border security, keep his based revved up, keep true to his word, and we will help him get over the finish line. If the moderates and independents want to come along for the great economy, they’re more than welcome to join us. But I wouldn’t change a thing if I were Donald Trump.

RUSH: You wouldn’t?

CALLER: No.

RUSH: Well, how does that jive with the first 80% of your call?

CALLER: Well, sir, all I was saying was, for the Republican base, for all of us to go out there, knock on doors, make the phone calls, organize, do the things that the Democrats are doing at the grassroots level. I haven’t seen near as much action even here locally — of course I’m in New Jersey, and we don’t have anything going except the Senate race, and I’m involved in that, but our local race is nothing to be concerned about. But we have to get out —

RUSH: You got a governor that’s gotten out of town so fast when he’s figured out he doesn’t know how to do the job. But, I mean, that’s a pretty good point. I mean, you’re sitting there in New Jersey, which is so blue that it’s practically — there’s no red in the state and you’re worried you’re not seeing any enthusiasm. Of course you’re not gonna see any enthusiasm. It’s New Jersey. You can count the number of Republicans in that state probably in one county. Anyway. Look, I appreciate the call.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Well, you know, I thought by now that I’d be having a little fun bouncing off of sound bites with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Instead, I find myself in the middle of full-fledged panic! So let’s just stick with the phones. People want to talk about this, and I do have questions, and I want to stress again for those of you that are coming up: Do not misunderstand my tone. I know when somebody says, “Do you really believe…?” it can sound like you’re being called stupid. I don’t mean to do that. I’m just expressing my incredulity. I have the utmost respect for all of you and your intelligence or you wouldn’t be listening here in the first place. Up next is Vincent in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Great to have you, sir. How are you doing?

CALLER: I’m doing well, Rush. Thank you. First of all, I’m going to get right to my point; but I do want to just say to you that election night 2016, you were the only program that had not given up on Trump. It seemed like you were the only person anywhere who still had faith he might win, and that was great.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: Now, to my point: What do we do as Republicans to incite somewhat of a riot, if you will, at the polling booth — and I don’t mean a riot, obviously. What I mean is —

RUSH: I know what you mean. I know what you mean.

CALLER: Yeah, to get the people in. You know, I’m looking at the numbers of the votes and everything, the Democrats versus Republicans. The Democrats are coming out in numbers. I agree with what you say. This time of year, eh, it’s kind of a toss-up. But I do know… I mean I’ve been around long enough —

RUSH: Hold on. Let’s stick with one thing at a time here.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: So you’ve put two things on the table. A, we need to somehow light a fire under Republicans to get them to realize how important it is to turn out. I’m sitting here saying, “If they don’t know, then it’s over!” How in the world do you not know? How do they not know? They can see what’s going on every day. They can see what’s being done to the guy they voted for. How can anybody not know what’s at stake? This is boggles my mind. But the second thing is, you cite turnout numbers — and I’ve seen this too. I’ve seen it in a couple places that the Democrat turnout was 90%.

The Drive-Bys are saying, “Wow! Look at that enthusiasm! You never see 90%.” Over here they say the Republican turnout was 40%, maybe 50%, and yet in every race the Republicans won. Does anybody really believe that 90% of Democrats turned out? I mean, come on. Why aren’t they winning in landslides? Do you realize what 90% turnout is? That doesn’t happen in presidential years! Ninety percent turnout would equal landslide no matter what, especially if the Republicans are only 40 or 50. I don’t care how many more Republicans there are. In each of these districts, they were not all so Republican heavy that, despite a 90% Democrat turnout, the Republicans still win? What is this?

CALLER: I agree. I agree. This is the only thing, the only thing that concerns me, and that is I’ve been around long enough voting that I realize when we are in power, that we get complacent.

RUSH: That’s because our candidates disappoint us! That’s not happening this time.

CALLER: I could not agree with you more.

RUSH: Except —

CALLER: That’s absolutely —

RUSH: Wait. Wait, wait. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Maybe I’m wrong here. Maybe individual Republican members of Congress are disappointing voters, particularly those who are not really, really pedal-to-the-metal supporting Trump doing what he wants to do. That could be a factor. We have to admit that.

CALLER: I hope that’s not the case. But, yeah. That, to me, is the biggest concern: How complacent have we become, and, you know, you are right —

RUSH: I don’t think complacency. I don’t… This is where I separate from the field here. I don’t think we’re talking about complacency. Remember, we have this statistic that has been born out. It’s a stat that has been created by actual fact and history, and that is the party that wins the presidency loses 15 seats, on average, in the House in the next election two years later. That’s just the way it is. There are exceptions. Like in 2002 the Republicans won the White House in 2000 and gained seats in 2002 because the Democrats scared the hell out of everybody at the Wellstone memorial.

Now, why aren’t the Democrats scaring the hell out of everybody every day now? The Wellstone memorial happened one night. The Democrat Party ought to be scaring anybody with an IQ over 90 every day. Some of this stuff… What the Democrats are offering, what they’re promoting — this madcap, stupid socialism, trying to make a star out of these people — the anger, the hate. I mean, the raw hatred that this party has become known for, and happily makes it known each and every day? What in the world is attractive about that?

They want us to believe that this country is united in its disgust for Trump, and I just don’t see that. But that’s what they want everybody to believe. So we’re being asked to believe a bunch of SOP, standard operating procedure things that are axiomatic inside the Beltway. But I don’t think it’s lack of enthusiasm. I just can’t believe that people that voted two years ago have not seen the danger that what they voted for is at risk every day.

So if there is a complacency… It isn’t complacency. If there’s an active decision not to vote, then that’s what has to be figured out. Now, look, some people are gonna be complacent. Look, I know that not one description can apply to everybody in a group of millions of people. But I don’t think complacency is the primary reason why they’re predicting a blue wave in the media. But, look, I appreciate the call out there, Vincent, very much.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Look, I’ve got a little bit of a different theory about all this. But if you want, I will join the chorus. I’ll start the “woe is me” chorus. I’ll start leading it if you want, folks. You just gotta let me know. If you want me talking here about how, “Man, it’s looking bleak,” and, “Oh, these elections that they’re winning? Oh, don’t get the wrong idea! This means it’s over.” If that’s what you want me to do, let me know via the email.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, folks, you remember that it was Walter Shapiro at TheHill.com that kind of let the cat out of the bag. He said on Monday — and he represents the thinking of a lot of Drive-Bys — that Trump wants to lose the midterms. Remember? So that it sets him up to win in 2020. If Trump loses the midterms, the Republicans lose the House, and then Trump (the theory goes) will be able to blame Pelosi and Schumer and the Democrats for his agenda being shortstopped and thwarted and not implemented.

The theory is that Trump would much rather run for reelection having to the blame Democrats for standing in his way than Republicans. So the theory is that Trump wants to lose the midterms. Well, the theory kind of got blown to smithereens yesterday, then, didn’t it? (chuckling) Let me tell you a theory I have about this, this turnout business and the enthusiasm. I think many people are making a mistake. Now, this is just me. But I actually think that all of this Democrat enthusiasm and whatever is the reason for it — Trump hatred, frustration at having lost in 2016, frustration at continuing to lose all of these special elections, Trump’s agenda being implemented.

Trump is eight out of nine on these things since he took office. I fully understand Democrat resistance anger, and I fully understand when people say that they may be loaded for bear, that they are motivated; they are enthusiastic. But I believe they will never be more motivated than they are during these special elections. I don’t think that this difference in enthusiasm and motivation is gonna be nearly as big when we get to November, which are normal, regularly scheduled elections.

I think that we may be seeing the maximum resistance, motivation, and energy precisely for these specials, because the special elections like in Ohio 12 or even some of these primaries provide an immediate opportunity for elixir for these Democrats. And I think that they think their chances at winning these things are better than other elections. So I think they do go all-in and I do think they may turn out in above-average numbers. But I don’t believe that this level of enthusiasm is gonna hold in November, and I certainly don’t think it’s gonna be built upon.

I think there’s something unique about the set of circumstances here on the Democrat side leading to all this so-called enthusiasm and motivation and energy. And, remember, with every loss… They’re gonna lose some. It’s not just the Republican side that can go complacent. It’s not just the Republican side that can get down in the dumps. It’s not just the Republican side that can get depressed. These people aren’t winning anything, other than the battle in the media every day. Which is big; don’t misunderstand. But that’s not transferring to victories.

Now, they can try to tell themselves that Ohio 12 with a 1% loss is a moral victory, and they can try to tell themselves that the Republicans have a much larger percentage of voters in the district, and they can tell themselves the Republicans spent all this more money. At the end of the day, they lost. They didn’t pick up the seat! They’re not gonna be going into the November election holding the seat with their guy, O’Connor, running as the incumbent.

They didn’t win any of these where Trump had personally endorsed somebody, and moral victories do not give you votes! Because you don’t pick up a seat in a moral victory. Now, we are to believe that after each of these defeats they get even angrier, and they get even more motivated, and they get even more energized. Well, tell me, how much more energized can they get than 90% turnout? “Well, they can certainly spent a lot more money.” Yeah, they might be raising a little bit more money at this stage too.

But I just… I think the… I use the phrase “dirty little secret,” and I perhaps overdo it, overuse it. But I don’t think you’re gonna… I don’t think they’re gonna be able to ramp up even more motivation or resistance energy or whatever beyond what was there for yesterday. They had everything, and they’ve done this! How many times did they loaded up and put everything they had into it and not won anything? It’s been the history since Trump was elected — and we go through this every election.

The media tells us, “This is the one! This is the election where we’re gonna learn that Trump fatigue has set in, that Trump regret has set in,” whatever, and it hasn’t happened yet. By the time we get to November you are gonna have an entirely different makeup of the Republican base in every one of these districts. A special election in August? It doesn’t make sense that the Republicans would be as wired and motivated and eager as the people more frustrated than anything in life over the fact that they keep losing.

To me it makes total sense the Democrats would be wired here.

I just don’t think they can build on this. Now, I know this makes me a lone voice because the woe-is-us chorus is out there thinking that all of these bare, 1% wins, “Oh-ho-ho. This is bad news! These are Republican-majority districts. Oh, my God! We ought to be smoking these guys.” The special elections where they have these special candidates and they have these special campaigns, they do everything they can that they will not do when we get to a general election in terms of agenda, in terms of campaign tactics, strategy, things that they say they believe in.

I just… I’m thinking that this is apex of this so-called energy and motivation. Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not by any stretch trying to say that this is smooth sailing. I just don’t feel it yet. I don’t feel like joining the woe-is-us chorus. If I did, I’d tell you. If my outlook were dire here, I would tell you! It isn’t yet. But if it ever happens between now and the November elections, I’ll be certain to not hide that from you and share it with you. Anyway, here’s a review of some of the things that happened. “Trump-Backed Candidate Wins Michigan GOP Primary.

African-American “John James, a military veteran who won the endorsement of President Trump, secured the Republican Party’s Senate nomination in Michigan on Tuesday, setting him up to challenge incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow… With 29% of precincts reporting, The Associated Press declared James the winner over 61-year-old financier Sandy Pensler, with 57% of the vote. The race between James and Pensler had been in a dead heat in the weeks before the primary. A poll conducted late last month for the Detroit Free Press…”

Late last month!

Late last month is four days ago, five days ago, six… It’s a week ago. They make it sound like a month ago. Late last month is less than a week ago. The Detroit Free Press said it was a “toss-up,” and the guy ends up winning with 57% of the vote? What happened? Well, what they’ll tell you is, “Trump went in there!” Well, Trump didn’t go in there, but Trump personally endorsed John James. It had to make a huge difference, and it overcame a huge spending deficit. I’m pretty sure that just about every Trump-endorsed candidate won, including in Missouri, Michigan, and Ohio.

Socialist Star Ocasio-Cortez Strikes Out: All Endorsed Candidates Lose Tuesday Primaries,” including, including the No. 1 candidate of the Drive-Bys. Well, CNN. I watch CNN; it’s on here every day. CNN was loaded for bear yesterday for the Democrat candidate for governor of Michigan, Abdul El-Sayed. That was the candidate that Ocasio-Cortez endorsed, and CNN was convinced the guy was gonna win. There were features. There were puff pieces. There were profiles already being written.

The guy got 35% of the vote. And you could make book on it, the Russians are already being blamed for the Republicans winning Ohio 12, and from none other than an actress. Alyssa Milano blamed Russia for the Republican win in Ohio. She tweeted: “You know what sucks? Because of our unwillingness to pass policy that protects our election integrity, I immediately think the Green Party votes tonight are Russian meddling.”

There was a wacko Green Party candidate that got a thousand votes. And many of the Democrats think that the Green Party candidate was a Russian stealth candidate. That the Russians put the Green Party candidate in there to steal votes away from the Democrat. So they’re running around telling themselves — and this is what the Democrat Party and the media have done. You could have made book on this. Every election they lose, the Russians are going to have tampered.

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