Laura Ingraham took on Erick Erickson, a conservative who has sworn never to vote for Donald Trump because he’s not met his right-wing litmus test. In fact, he said he wouldn’t vote for Mr. Trump, the Republican frontrunner, even if Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was the vice presidential nominee.
While I’ll put the transcript below, there are several few points I think are worth making.
The argument made by Mr. Erickson and others in the Never Trump movement, who represent one of the few obstacles keeping Republicans from winning in a landslide in November, is an intellectually and historically feeble argument, at best.
Ms. Ingraham does a very good job at exposing it as such, but it ultimately comes down to whether you believe shaky polls or actual voting results. Erickson and others have focused on a slew of general election polls showing Sen. Cruz performing stronger than Mr. Trump against Hillary Clinton, which whether he knows it or not, is a totally bogus argument for three (among other) reasons.
First, Mr. Trump was beating Mrs. Clinton before the all-out intra-party fight to block the frontrunner began. In other words, it wasn’t until he and others intentionally began poisoning the well did Trump lag behind. Look inside the polls. It’s the whiny bloc of the party that would rather hand the election to Mrs. Clinton than vote for Mr. Trump that accounts for that disparity.
Second, as I’ve repeatedly and correctly argued, pre-Labor Day general election polls have zero predictive value. Mr. Erickson continues to point to his resume as a political consultant to argue the validity of the polls he uses to support his argument. Well, he’s either a complete waste of money or he’s lying. Take your pick because, unlike him, any psephologist worth a dime knows the polls mean nothing.
Former President Ronald Reagan was down by more than 20 points against Jimmy Carter in March prior to the 1980 presidential election.
Third, in case he hasn’t learned the lesson of 2012 yet, national polls are increasingly less reliable than statewide polls when predicting general elections. In the battleground states Ms. Ingraham asked him to cite, Sen. Cruz loses to Mrs. Clinton–Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Looking at the actual voting results, which are far more predictive and valuable than polling, Sen. Cruz has utterly failed to appeal to the necessary demographics that are required to carry these states and win their electoral votes.
As of now, Sen. Cruz is a 47% candidate. Period. Plain and simple.
I’m going to address this bogus argument in far more detail in the upcoming days and weeks. I simply can’t stomach to hear it anymore. For the record, the poll Mr. Erickson cited to suggest Mr. Trump would lose Utah to Mrs. Clinton was wrong. Go back and compare the poll and the actual result. Trump significantly outperformed, even though he got trounced in a caucus where 90% were self-identified Mormon.
P.S. Donald Trump is beginning to significantly outperform his polling average, exhibit A being the Arizona Republican Primary on Tuesday. While the votes haven’t been completely counted, he more than likely won the Election Day vote by a majority.
LAURA INGRAHAM: Phyllis Schlaffly and Pat Buchanan combined probably have eighty years, ninety years in the conservative movement, do you find them to be conservative people?
ERICK ERICKSON: Yep.
LAURA INGRAHAM: Okay, so they’re conservative, do you think Jeff Sessions is a conservative?
ERICK ERICKSON: Yep.
LAURA INGRAHAM: Okay, so the three of them together are conservatives, and they have all either endorsed Trump or been very sympathetic to Trump. Correct?
ERICK ERICKSON: Yep.
LAURA INGRAHAM: So why are they right and you’re wrong? Or why are you right and they’re wrong?
ERICK ERICKSON: Well, because I don’t think that Donald Trump is a conservative. In fact, you go on Fox News, and half the people say he is and half say he isn’t.
I don’t think Trump’s a conservative, I’m certainly not going to support him.
LAURA INGRAHAM: So do you think Phyllis [Schlaffley], and [Pat] Buchanan and [Jeff] Sessions, they do know conservatism, do they not?
ERICK ERICKSON: They do know conservatism, but I think they are wrong.
LAURA INGRAHAM: Do you have more experience in fighting conservative battles than in the most critical moments in our modern history, or do they?
ERICK ERICKSON: I think they have a lot more history than me, they’re a lot older than me.
LAURA INGRAHAM: It is not about age, it is about what you have actually done for the conservative movement. And again… I’ve always liked you, I think you’re a wonderful person, and you’re really sharp and I think you’re a great writer… I just want us to win.
ERICK ERICKSON: Trump is not going to win… He’s losing to Hillary in the latest polling…
LAURA INGRAHAM: Could you write an op-ed for your site, or for another site, about why Hillary Clinton will be a better commander in chief than Donald Trump? And would you pen that?
ERICK ERICKSON: I don’t think either of them are good, why do you want to make it binary? We can run another candidate. It is not a binary choice for me…
LAURA INGRAHAM: My point is, Hillary is gonna win… You want to beat Hillary, correct? I do too…