How ridiculous was Greta Van Susteren’s attempt to persuade Fox News viewers not to believe the numerous polls with dismal results for Donald Trump? Karl Rove was the voice of reason talking her down from that ledge.
On yesterday’s On The Record, Van Susteren called on Karl Rove to discuss Trump’s slump in the polls. She gave us a hint of what was to come in her introduction when she described the plunge as a slipping lead:
VAN SUSTEREN: Donald Trump did get a big bounce coming out of that Republican National Convention but since then, that bounce, his lead, has ben slipping away. Can Trump get back on track? If so, what’s the trick?
Though he argued that Trump can regain his footing, Rove blasted Trump for his numerous missteps of late.
Van Susteren responded by suggesting Rove was wrong because the polls were wrong. Even as she acknowledged that the polls had been accurate during the primaries. What was her “evidence” for this new doubt? The size of the attendance at Trump rallies and a theory that people are embarrassed to admit they support Trump.
Transcript below, via Media Matters, with light edits and my emphases:
VAN SUSTEREN: But here’s what I don’t know. I mean, I see his rallies and they’re big, and I wonder, I see the poll numbers, and he’s slipping in the polls, but I wonder how many people receive a phone call from some stranger saying, 'Who’re you gonna vote for?' and everybody—you probably don’t want to say, well, we’re going to vote for the guy who uses bad language, so they’ll say something else. I’m not so sure how accurate these polls are. I guess that during the primary they give us some indication, but I mean how many people, when they go behind the closed curtain, are they gonna vote for Trump?
Let's not forget that Rove is the guy who famously refused to accept Fox's call that Barack Obama had won re-election in 2012. We should also point out that Rove has so far refused to endorse Trump. But still...
ROVE: Well, look, what you are suggesting, and I’m not saying it’s not worth considering this, but you’re assuming that first of all, the polls are not reliable—all of them—and second of all, that a better test of this is the size of the crowds that he gets at his rallies, which are big and enthusiastic. But I would remind you in the closing days in the 1984 presidential campaign, Walter Mondale was drawing large and enthusiastic rallies as he went on to narrowly win one state. When George McGovern was in the final stages in the 1972 campaign against Richard Nixon, the crowds were unbelievably large and enthusiastic. In 1996, Bob Dole was actually drawing good crowds as he came down the closing stretch, but none of that mattered. None of that mattered at the end of the day. There’s a difference between who shows up at a rally and who turns out to vote and right today I wouldn’t be betting that all of those polls showing—I wouldn’t bet the Fox News poll is wrong that says he’s ten points down.
Van Susteren did allow as how people might show up at a Trump rally just “to see the celebrity” before she ended the discussion.
Nobody considered that Trump could easily goose the attendance, as he did when he paid actors to pose as supporters and attend his announcement as a presidential candidate.
I supposed we ought to feel some sympathy for Van Susteren, given how much we know she loves Trump. But given the lack of character he has shown of late, not to mention his possible treason and his sexist, misogynistic attacks on her colleague, Megyn Kelly, I can’t muster up any.
Watch it below, from the August 4 On The Record.
Ellen, I sent you a pic of Greta, Palin, and Trump at Rev Graham’s B-day party a long time ago. Every time she defends Trump, I think about that picture and wonder about what might have been said behind the scenes.
Greta misses Trump’s unconventional campaign – his claim to fame – is developing voter defections not seen in conventional campaigns. You consolidate your base by the end of your convention then pivot to expand support into independents. Hillary has 80% Democratic support. Trump is 69% with Republicans in the last poll I saw. Oops!
Trumpets like Greta suppose – with some evidence – The Donald’s success is bringing new white bigots into the GOP so none of that matters. All well and good except it appears he’s peaked with the white bigots crowd so his political reality show dependent upon his celebrity and attention grabbing antics is only appealing to folks already turned into rabid fans. Meaning his huge crowds are like a band touring the country. Fans turn out but it doesn’t mean their album sales are rising.
It isn’t over until it’s over but my stress levels are back to normal. ;^)
I hope you’ve got another gig lined up; doing something like that in the wake of the Ailexit could put you on the shortlist to be sent packing, along with the other Gretchen (Carlson) . . . and, unlike her, I don’t know if you have the leg/short skirt combo that will keep you on Fox . . .
He could turn any poll result into a huge plus for the Republican!