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tv   Campaign 2022 AEI Discussion on Midterm Elections  CSPAN  November 13, 2021 9:08pm-10:25pm EST

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week. the house returns monday at 2:00 eastern for business. during the week, we expect work on president biden's social spending agenda known as the build back better plan. also on the calendar, a number of bills from the veterans affairs committee on veterans issues like health care, education, and implement. the senate returns monday as well at 3:00 eastern. lawmakers are scheduled to continue debate on the nomination of grand steel to be assistant secretary of the treasury for financial institutions. a vote later in the day to advance the nominee. watch the house live on c-span, the senate on c-span two, or online at our congressional coverage is available on your phone with c-span now, our new video app. >> now, a conversation on the 2022 midterm elections including the elections in virginia and
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new jersey and congressional redistricting, hosted by the american enterprise institute. is about one hour, 15 minutes. >> good afternoon. >> good afternoon, i would like to welcome all of you to election watch 2022 one year out. the bios of all of all of our panelists today are on our web page and the presentation on the governor's contest and the presentation on the senate contest. after that henry will discuss biden and trump strengths and weaknesses as we approach 2022 and norm will look at the democrats. we started the election watch program in 1982 and it's been a
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feature of every off and presidential election since. we will all be a.e.i. emeritus scholars by the end of this year and turning this over to those who may shape it in different ways. we're very proud of this program, not only the lone gif and even though we disagree with policy politics among ourselves, we work to be civil and provide analysis grounded in deep historical understanding of politics, something that's very rare in washington these days. now let's get started. each of our panelists will speak for eight minutes. john, you're on tap first to look at the 2022 governor's contests and redistricting. a quick word about virginia and new jersey is certainly in order. last week henry and our other a.e.i. colleague used the same words terrifying to describe the
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new jersey results for democrats. do you agree? john. john: well, thank you, karlyn. i do want to start with some sense of what midterm elections or what last week's elections or kind of midterm elections were like. the simple point is historically they are not good for the party in power, the party in the white house and, of course, if the party and the president in the white house is not popular, they can be quite bad, some simple notes from the past, really only three times since the civil war where the party in the white house has gained seats. that was in 1934 before we had polling, 1998 and 2002. there in those races president clinton, president bush, 60% or over approval rating, very, very popular, gained a handful of indications, in the other cases, something like 34, they have lost seats and sometimes very large margins when you have lost
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many, many seats. it's true also in the state legislatures where that pattern falls almost exactly, two of those elections have gone for the president in the white house. so i think the obvious point is, with close margin, it's hard to see midterm elections going well for democrats. if the word terrifying is used. what does joe biden look like next year in 2022, that's what i say about the governors and michael about the senate, certainly about the races where if joe biden is where he was today or last week where democrats had a roughly 12% move against them from the 2020 election, that looks like a very bad result. we'll watch how he is doing as the elections come up. the governors races, a big year for governors races, 36 governors up and we have a number of term limited, i'll
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boil it down to this. it looks like there is a relatively even playing field, one seat in maryland, larry hogan has held that as a republican. that's very difficult for republicans to continue to hold. it looks like a seat that favors democrats taking over it. six seats that are competitive, three of each party where you have arizona and georgia, two places where republican governors ran afoul of donald trump where in arizona, it's an open race, but also we can look at kansas, a state where democrats hold the gubernatorial mansion in a republican state as well as a couple of other places like pennsylvania, michigan, and wisconsin all held by democrats where republicans may have some chances to pick up. so it looks like the playing field is relatively even, but again if the wind is blowing at
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a very strong way that it did in this last week, that looks like it would favor republicans. in terms of redistricting, this is a year that is different than most elections because we're going to have a big shake-up in the number of legislative districts, state legislative adds well as congressional districts and because of that, we're likely to see more change. i think the big story is in 2010, republicans had a very, very large advantage in being able to draw those maps. they controlled most of the big states, of the top 10 states, they controlled texas and florida, pennsylvania, michigan, ohio, georgia, and north carolina, all of them where they've had basic control of being able to draw the lines. democrats really only controlled in illinois with california
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having a commission and new york historically had been divided in the legislature. that has changed. it still looks like perhaps a small republican advantage in some ways, but that number seems to be shrinking. now we have democrats in charge of new york, a very large state, also illinois, but a number of other states down the line where they have ability to drought lines, republicans still have a good number. i would look also at apportionment. apportionment, we were first thinking how we were relocating the seats to states, it looked as if it would be more beneficial to republicans than it turned out. last-minute changes in the census figures in the last year or so and actual calculation caused new york, rhode island, other democratic states to not lose as many seats or at all as they were expected to, it still had, apportionment still had a
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slight advantage with trump states gaining five seats or so and two seats to the biden side, a net of three, that's pretty small change. and what i mentioned about the changes between the parties and who controls, we're not there yet, we haven't been able to see all of the results, but there are states where democrats are more active and more drawing maps that are pretty favorable, we expect in new york and maryland and illinois again, we see in smaller places like oregon and maybe new mexico where democrats are using their ability to draw the maps which they didn't have 10 years ago to be able to compete more with the republicans. so a small estimate is, even playing field, relatively small advantage for republicans close to even, but if again the wind is blowing where i think we should realize is that we are creating a bunch of new seats. we are creating seats that some incumbents aren't as comfortable
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in. we are creating some open seats. i do want to make two other notes about redistricting which i think are worthwhile thinking about. in open seats, we certainly have a number of places where majority are looking to shore up the close seats. i think you see that in texas where a number of republicans over the course of 10 years had become much more vulnerable in the suburbs of the bigger cities. they're districts were trending democratic, the plans in place looked like they are going to help those republicans at least through the first 2350u years of the decades. those become safer. i think you see that sometimes on the other side as well. democrats in illinois shoring up some of their incumbents. some of the commissions will create some new seats. i think you should look to california, arizona, iowa which is partial commission state as creating newer competitive seats that others can come in. the last thing i'll say about
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redistricting is this. we had a history going back to the voting rights act of african-americans getting greater representation in congress and seats, many of which were majority minority seats being created for the african-americans to win in large seats, what we see is a good trend that in many places we have african-americans winning in seats that not overwhelming democratic, large number of seats where a small, a white majority or at least not a black majority are electing african-americans. i think what we'll see is three republican nonmajority african-american districts represented by african-american republicans in this next house of representatives, never mind the senate which could have one or two others. there are a number of i think positive trends. i think the court is also
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looking to maybe step back a bit from some of its earlier just prudence. you will see democratic safe african-american members of congress willing to allow their districts to be a little bit more not as densely african-american and still win those seats in places where democrats control the redistricting and that's also contributing to this growth in the number of african-americans but especially in seats that are not dominant majority minority. karlyn: john, thank you very much. there are certainly a number of lawsuits pending. when do you expect redistricting to be finished? john: well, it almost is never finished, the lawsuits continue past the first time we draw the map and they continue all the way through the decade. we are at the beginning in a sense, i think we have seen at least the first drafts of a majority of states and we have some sense of what they're going
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to look like, but our elections are coming up. we have primary elections that have to happen next year, so the real final work of the, however the legislature or the commission going to drought lines are going to happen in the next two months, but you're right, there may be some challenges as well, perhaps some primaries pushed back. we really have to have some lines in place preferably by the spring for those primaries or sometimes there are later primaries going forward. we're within a few months of knowing at least the early outlines of that. again i think we will expect challenges throughout the decade as we have seen in the past. karlyn: thank you so much, john. michael, we'll turn to you, what if anything did the governor's contest tell you about the next senate contest and which of the contested that you are watching look closely? michael: the governor's races in new jersey and virginia which were held this past week and which produced somewhat
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surprising results in both cases, particularly if you're look at them from the perspective of a month or two months ago provided some hint of where public opinion is now. you know, we've got 34 senate races up for re-election. and with a 50-50 split in the senate with republicans and democrats, even a one seat gain gives the possibility of a republican majority or a democratic majority that depends not just on every democratic senator lining up on the same side of a roll call vote. we're looking at increasingly a party line ticket. when you go back to the begins of the election watch which you reference, karlyn "back to the 1980's and 1970's when i was in the polling business, there were lots of split tickets, lot of
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democratic senators elected from republican states, in fact, after the 1984 election in which president reagan carried 49 states, almost every democratic senator was elected from a republican state and there were republicans elected from democratic held states. that's much less true today. so i think that the gubernatorial elections in virginia and new jersey were in the state legislative elections were a pretty good indication that democrats are marginally weaker nationally than they were 12 months ago. they tend to corroborate and go in roughly in tandem with the decline in president pied's job performance rating and with the results that we have seen in two recent polls forgenic vote for house of representatives, seven and eight-point advantages for republicans. i don't remember ever seeing
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polls showing the republicans that far ahead in that question which has tended to favor democrats that they may be outliers and we'll see if later that's the case. that leaves most of our 34 senate races not seriously contested. basically of our 34 senate races, 14 are in states that donald trump carried by double digit margins, 10 are in states in which joe biden carried by double digit par gins. i basically think that there is no sign that any of those races is in significant marginal territory. so that, i would add the state of iowa which is eight-point trump state in which charles grassley is running again, those who have been wagered money against chuck grassley have been winning elections have been losing it for 64 years. he was first elected to the iowa
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legislature in the democratic year of 1958 to the house of representatives in the democratic year of 1974. he is still getting up at 5:00 a.m. and running, doing his daily jogging and he announced his candidacy there, i think he will be tough to beat. i note that some democrats are hoping that a divisive primary or unpopular republican primary winner will put missouri, a 15-point trump state within sta. some republicans hope there will be a spirited challenge against michael bennet in colorado. those look like very long shots. we are seeing a nation that is tilted with the governor races being won by the republican of virginia and coming within three
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points of winning in new jersey, a 16 point biden state. in state races we are liable to see more factors pertaining to the specific candidate or the state issues and the senate races, we are looking at numbers that are going to be very close to the president, as we have seen in the 2016 and 2020 senate races. let's look at the single-digit states, starting with where republicans are defending three or four open seats. in florida, the one open seat where marco rubio is running for reelection was a trump state by three, which is a big margin for florida considering where it has been. he is leading congresswoman valdes in the poll. i think you would have to say
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rubio is favored, but florida is a close race. we have ohio, an eight point trump state. we also have a contentious republican primary there that may result in a republican nominee with significant weaknesses and a democratic nominee from the old blue-collar era, which is probably the best demographic profile for a democratic candidate. in north carolina, a one point trump state, democrats reelected the governor in 2020, republicans elected a senator and have pluralities in the legislative district. that's an open seat that's going to be seriously contested. candidate quality could make a difference as the democratic
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candidate in 2020 lost the race. pennsylvania, a 1.5 state where republicans won the judge races held statewide, that's a possibility. that's also a seat where pat toomey, the republican senator, is not running for reelection. you have the possibility of strong candidates from both parties. finally, the last republican seat in single digits, wisconsin, that was plus zero points for biden, went by a narrow margin. it has been won by less than one point in four of the last six presidential elections. johnson, the upset winner in 2016 and 2010. those are all going to be close
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races. if the current climate continues , you have to say republicans would have an advantage, but there is no guarantee that the current public opinion climate is going to be changing. of course, states with democratic senators, we see some polling. in all the public polls i have seen, incumbents are running below 50%. there is little clarity on most of the republican nominees. we have some close races, closer probably then was assumed at the beginning of the cycle, where there was a widespread assumption that in biden's states, democrats would have no trouble holding those seats. now it looks more iffy. two biden seats that were plus
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zero points, arizona and georgia, democrats won short terms in those races. mark kelly has been leading the state attorney general and other candidates in polls, but the southern border and the big influx in immigrants, it looks like we will get an increase of one million illegal immigrants this year in orlando. might be a problem for the democrats. a lot of republicans see the retiring governor running. he has not indicated much difference -- much interest yet, but that may change. in georgia, we have raphael warnock running. he is one of the instances of a black candidate winning in a might -- a white majority race. a congressman won a white majority district in 1972, 40 years ago, so it is not the
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first time, and that was in georgia as well. he is running even in one poll against a former football player in georgia, who has support from former president trump. that has the potential for being another nailbiter. nevada, that's a biden plus two point state. catherine cortez masto has led in the public full -- public poll over the former attorney general. we will see if that looks like a close race to me. a good test for senator harry reid's organization and getting out the vote. one problem for the democrats is
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the toughest race is in new hampshire, which was a 7.5 state. governor chris sununu has been leading the incumbent senator maggie hassan in multiple polls since august, averaging about 47-41. a bad sign for an incumbent. both of these figures are well-known in a small state. mr. sununu has been elected governor in the last two elections that are held every three years there. his father was governor in the 1980's. maggie hassan was elected in 2012 and 2014, so the fact she is behind in some surveys now is not a good sign for the democrats. it indicates you are looking at a seriously contested race from two candidates who are well
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known and may have had positive impressions over the years, but not clear which one will do so. i think we have a very indeterminate outcome here. we know that small margins for multiple candidates can give one party or another a much bigger advantage. remember when the republicans gained 12 seats in 1980 and won a majority in the senate, you had a lot of astonished faces in washington. when those seats came up six years later, despite president reagan's positive rating, democrats gained eight of those seats and used the majority to harass reagan on iran-contra and push -- small margins in multiple senate races all leaning toward one
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party can produce a big result. i can give you plausible pads on these races to see a senate with 54 democrats. i can give you plausible paths to seeing a senate with 54 republicans, and at this point i am not prepared to wager large sums of money in either direction. karlyn: thank you for that concise summary. now we are going to turn to henry olson, who writes a daily column for the washington post. he has been looking specifically at biden bama and trump approval. what are you seeing and what worries you the most going forward? henry: i think we have to look at president biden's poor ratings, but abysmally poor ratings among independents. what we saw last tuesday was a shift of 12 to 13 points from
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bidens margin, which say if biden won virginia by 10 points, youngkin won by two. that is a 12 point shift of the margin. we saw that in new jersey with a 13 point shift, in bucks county where democrats were ecstatic when they took county offices for the first time in decades. in their 2017 shift, republicans won them all back. in nassau and suffolk county and suburban new york, you saw shifts over 14 points. all these shifts are in line with bidens dropping approval rating. on election day, biden was minus eight points on the real clear politics average, a 12.5 shift from his 4.5 win. the only thing that matters for biden and the democrats is, how do you change that? to change that doesn't mean exciting democrats to vote.
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the partisans -- most partisan democrats voted to the extent there was something that was going on with turnout. it was biden leaning independents or people who voted biden last time but were not motivated enough to turnout. the partisans voted and you still see them getting outpaced. and i think that's because of what is going on with independents. when you look at biden's approval rating among independents, before election day the five polls in the politics average that had crosstabs for independence had biden down between -14 and -25 points. that's landslide territory. the two poles that have been taken since election day are even worse. 25 to 66 among independents in the emerson poll and 28 to 20 --
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28 to 67 among independents in the usa today suffolk paul. you can't say these are the potentially small sample sizes because in each independence are 250 to 350, which is smaller than you might think, but they are not the small 70 to 100% sample sizes that typically produce wide and unpredictable gyrations. the fact is independents really don't like joe biden and christian democrats and joe biden need to ask is why. i think a fundamental problem is that the democratic coalition among voters ranged from people who were moderates but not democrats to the far left. the only thing they agreed on was opposition to donald trump. when you look at the democratic coalition and congress, it significantly to the left. when you look at democratic voter opinion, democratic party voting opinion, it significantly to the left of that and what they have been pursuing for the
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last year are an agenda that caters to the democratic party coalition, not to the wider voter initiative create that's the case when independence say, you don't care about what i care about, therefore i'm going to give the other side the benefit of the doubt. what should scare democrats is that republicans and independents who don't like biting are not describing trump's family to the republican party. we have been seeing democrats try to paint the republican party as the party of insurrection and autocracy, and it's clear that the voters who decide elections are not buying this. they don't see the republican party as tainted by trump. that doesn't mean trump has a lock on the presidency if biden's ratings are down. the polls i talked about where biden was abysmal among independents, richard nixon territory or george w. bush after the great financial crash territory, had trump up by a
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couple of points over biden. some of the first polls that show a 2024 race show that, but with 10% to 11% saying someone else. look at the cross stats and almost all of those come from people who disapprove of joe biden. even now at a point when independence don't like joe biden, they are very leery about giving donald trump another four years in the white house. given that trump leads all republican polls by a wide margin, given that the most recent omnibus poll says more republicans say they are trump supporters first and republican party supporters first, this raises not a prospect of uniting boaters in 2022 against trump -- i don't think that's going to happen for democrats.
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it does raise the prospect, if trump is on the ballot, even an unpopular democratic party can recoup a lot of ground as people decide they may not want the democrats, but they really don't want donald trump. the democrats and president biden have a different calculation to make. the politically sensible thing would be to pivot to the center quickly. the problem with that is it is very difficult to see how to do that without provoking an eternal -- an internal party conflict. to move even more to the center would provoke an intraparty conflict that would include primary challenges to incumbents in 2022 and continue the democrats in disarray narrative. they need to -- they are
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continuing to tell voters in the middle that they are a lesser priority, to me an insoluble problem for the democrats. biden will continue doing what he has been doing, but that has not worked for him. the question is, can that work for him if news gets better? or can work for him once the build back better act is finally behind him? time will tell. the internal contradictions of the democratic party voter coalition vis-à-vis activists and partisan, primary voting coalition, is not one that can be solved easily. how they address it will determine whether 2022 is another republican wave, like tuesday, or something that looks more like the 2020 elections at the top of the ticket and all the way down. karlyn: thank you very much, henry.
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let me remind all of you you can send your questions so we can ask them when everyone is done presenting, using the email social henry raised the suspect of intraparty conflicts. how deep are the divides among the democrats? what historical analogies do you see to the present moment? do you think the infrastructure bill or the social infrastructure part of it can really revive bidens fortunes? norm: one of the things i have learned over our many decades is not to make linear projections about a climate at one point in time and where it might be a year later. i want to emphasize, looking back at tuesday, i think what
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has been underemphasized is the impact of covid. you know, we went through almost two years of turmoil with schools closed in many cases, with jobs in disarray, and just when we thought we were coming out of it, delta hit. if i look at virginia, i think that while the schools and education made a huge impact, and certainly as we saw with non-college-educated white women, that it was the school closings that disrupted their lives enormously. more than critical race theory , that made a difference. and so, i just want to add a caveat. if scott gottlieb, our colleague at aei, is right, and now with 81% of adults vaccinated, we may be moving past this, and with the economic impetus likely to come from the physical
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infrastructure plan, plus what might come ahead, we might see a very different climate and one where independents and democrats , if not republicans, might view the biden administration in a different light. there is no question there is deep divides and some divisions on the democratic side. but i think we also have to keep in mind that with a 50-50 senate and what, for most of this time, has been a three vote margin in the house, they managed to get an almost $2 trillion american rescue package done at the beginning of the biden administration and now have managed, despite losing six democrats -- and i guarantee nancy pelosi had a few in her back pocket if she needed -- they managed to get this additional $1 trillion physical infrastructure plan through. in a nod to our former colleagues jen glassman and kevin hassett, the dow finally
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hit 36,000 with tremendous growth there. obviously there is still tremendous turmoil in the economy. with this narrow margin, the big question that you raised is whether they are going to be able to get, as the progressives who were quite pragmatic in basically saying, we will take this leap of faith and hope that the two in the senate who have been balking at moving forward with the big reconciliation plan -- what would be probably another $1.75 trillion in programs -- will come along and will actually get that done, presumably voting on it by next week or at least the week after. if that happens and it does go through, we are talking about almost $5 trillion and a pretty
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dramatic change in spending. you know, many of my colleagues and others would say that is moving an agenda veering off to the left. but if you look at the approval ratings for things like universal pre-k, childcare, child tax credit, home health care, they are very strong across almost all groupings. think about it in terms of huge federal spending and you are going to get a very different response than if you parse out the individual programs. certainly one of the problems for democrats is that the messaging -- as one of my friends said, the democratic bumper sticker reads, continued on next bumper sticker. they are unable to get those messages across. whether they are able to do that is going to be one of the most important questions. i think it is also important for us to focus on the next element that would be in their plans
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, which is the freedom to vote act and the john lewis voting rights act. we can talk about these elections in 2022 and moving ahead to 2024 as if they would be pretty much in the same territory as the previous elections we have had. but the way in which elections are being reshaped in many states, giving more and more power to partisan actors to be able to get rid of election officials or shape the nature of the vote, could be altered very significantly if they are able to make those things happen. obviously that would require some change in the filibuster rule, which is not out of the question, but is certainly going to be a heavy lift for them. i will mention one other thing before we go which has been, to me, very striking and almost astonishing. we have seen 50-50 senates before. of course, we have seen 50-50 senates change to the other
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party takes over the majority. we saw that happen when jim jeffords moved from independent -- from republican to independent and caucused with the democrats, profoundly altering the trajectory of policy for the bush administration. at any day that could happen for democrats. and also of course with these narrow margins. what has been striking to me is the senate has operated as if it were a typical year, taking its usual recesses, going on recess now, not being much around on weekends, mondays or fridays. it has slowed down the confirmation process. it left them in this position where the endgame on that physical infrastructure bill extended beyond tuesday instead of giving at least enough of a boost that it might have put, in a close race, terry mcauliffe a little over the finish line where we would be talking about today in a different way. i am puzzled that we have not seen either the administration or the chuck schumer led senate
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behaving with a sense of urgency that it would seem to me, given the nature of our overall political climate and the margins they have, absolutely urgent for them to behave with a different timeline. whether that changes or not, i am not sure but frankly, if they can get through the next few weeks and manage to accomplish that $1.75 trillion reconciliation package, put that together and leaving the voting rights issue aside, i don't think they have to do much through the remainder of the year, and just hope the economy and trajectory, including covid, change so it would put them in a more favorable place by next november. karlyn: thank you very much. you and i have talked many times over the years about nancy pelosi. at one point we thought she was a better inside player and now we recognize she is incredibly
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successful inside and outside. talk about her successors. she has said she would step down. norm: i'm not sure. if it looks like they may win another term in the majority, she may decide it is better to stick around. the single most likely successor to pelosi -- and it will be a very difficult pair of shoes to fill -- remember those shoes, very high-heeled ones in which she stood at one point for on nine hours the floor of the house debating. the single most likely is hakeem jeffries, chair of the democratic caucus in the house. a very articulate, savvy and persuasive member of the house from new york. an african-american man. obviously given where we are for democrats, not only will it be a difficult set of shoes to fill , but it is also going to be a
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question with not just minorities and women on the rise as powers in the democratic party -- whether moving from a woman to a man as the leader of the party is going to go over well. there are plenty of other contenders. we actually have a lot of young and attractive members of the house on the democratic sid, but -- democratic side, but you can be attractive and effective as a legislator and not be leadership material. my guess is we are going to see a sizable change in the leadership ladder of the top three leaders. all in their 80's but more than likely it will be hakeem jeffries. karlyn: thank you very much. i wonder if each of you have questions for the others on the panel, and then we will turn to audience questions. don't be silent. well, we are going to turn to audience questions.
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the very first one is from a good friend of the program for many years, the president of northstar opinion research. since the 2024 presidential election is a choice between joe biden and donald trump or kamala harris and donald trump, what are the prospects for a credible third-party candidate? who wants to take that one first? henry: i will jump in on that. i don't think very high right now. with hillary clinton and donald trump, who were the two most unpopular nominees each party has put together in quite some time, you only saw about 20% of americans who had an unfavorable opinion of both. that is the voter pool from which a third candidate would draw. right now trump, according to the real clear politics average, trump and biden have nearly identical favorability ratings,
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roughly 42.5% positive and 50 %-something negative. that means there is only 15% maximum that don't like either and that is not enough ground for a third-party candidate. you would have to see abandonment by party activists or strong, normal voters who are not activists. it would be somewhere in the 30's where you would have enough of a voter pool that a credible third-party challenge could emerge. right now it is just not there. karlyn: any others? michael? michael: i would say henry's citation of 2016 is on point. you had an opening there. i think also the kind of third-party candidate that might
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emerge that is likely to get attention, in particular coverage of the press, is one that will go in the quadrant if -- the quadrant, if you can divide the electorate of conservative on economic issues, liberal on cultural issues. if you divide the electorate into four segments, that is the least heavily populated of the four segments. i don't think there is room for a candidate that is less conservative on economic issues, because donald trump basically occupies that quadrant. i really don't think so. i wrote a book recently about how our political parties have changed and how they've stayed the same. they have been around a long time.
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the democratic party dates to 1832, the first democratic national convention. the republican party dates from 1854. there is a reason -- multiple reasons -- these parties have remained and why you can get voters to say, oh gosh, that sounds like a great idea. they don't act on that assumption very often, and i think we are not going to see a third more significant than -- remember him? -- evan mcmullin in 2016. norm: one key is what kind of primary process do we have? how divisive is it going to be? if it is kamala harris, does she have a series of challenges from inside the democratic party from others who see her either as weak or having a lot of issues that would not work? a divided party makes it more likely you will see a third-party candidate from one wing of that particular party. i would say the same with trump.
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are there going to be other contenders? is there going to be divisiveness? but i would also say that while in 2016 we had clearly the libertarian party and the green party, it was the green party and jill stein who had a huge impact on the results in that election. i guess if we get a third party that might have an impact on the results in 2024, it will be more on the right. it will be an anti-trump party that would have appeal to suburban voters. but i agree with my colleagues that at this point i do not see it if those are the nominees. john cowan we would get michael: we will get a candidate under 78 years old, i suspect. [laughter] karlyn: michael, let me turn to you for the next question. the polls were close in virginia about off by a mile in new jersey.
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patrick murray actually apologized to both candidates and suggested that perhaps election polling should end. i wonder what your thoughts are. you have been in the business and it has changed a lot since you were a pollster. michael: i was in the polling business with peter hart in the 1970's going up through 1981. it turns out polling has been alive longer than it was at the time i joined peter in the polling business. it's been around only 40 years. i think patrick murray does not owe us an apology. i went back and looked back at the numbers in the monmouth polls that he was the supervisor of, and they showed the incumbent governor with 51% of the vote. guess what he got? 51% of the vote, and he got that in a state that has typically had low information because new jersey is stuck between the local news based in new york,
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based in philadelphia, that they get on tv, radio, and so forth. murray was well known for being in office for four years and the republican candidate was a guy who had been a former state legislator. when that campaign started, how many persons on the street could have known anything about jack? one interpretation of the polls is to say, a well-known incumbent governor is going to get about what he is polling. if the opponent is not some kind of fraudster that is exposed before the election, he is going to get pretty much the rest of the votes. and that is pretty much what happened. i don't know if the new jersey polls were actually so wrong. i would say considering the problems we have had with a smaller number of people that respond, with the fact you are trying to deal with cell phone numbers that pollsters have had
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financial incentive not to call, people are primed not to answer with number identification. i think those polls turned out to be pretty much on the mark. we saw the virginia polling numbers change as glenn youngkin made an impression on voters, and as terry mcauliffe made an impression on voters, to the point where they became known pretty well and on substance. those results make sense as well. i would ask mr. murray to withdraw his apology and stand up for his numbers, which i think were entirely defensible. karlyn: norm, john? no thoughts? norm, this is a question for you on the number of house retirements on the democratic side. is it unusual at this point given the number?
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are we a little bit behind what the average is overall and is that spell impending doom? norm: i don't think it necessarily spells impending doom, but when you have a margin this close, every seat matters. and when you get incumbents in races that could be very tight -- with the caveat that redistricting is not done -- i mention ron kind in wisconsin -- you create vulnerability. it is usually the case when you are approaching an election where one party is not likely to do as well as they would like or thinking they might lose the majority or not pick up the majority, you get more retirements. you think about whether you want to continue in this job. it also -- there is a little bit of a contagion effect. when one individual says, i'm going to retire, friends and colleagues look at themselves and ask if this is something they want to continue doing. frankly, neither the house nor senate are particularly warm places for a work environment right now.
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i expect we are going to be seeing more, but we have to remember the number of marginal seats is still relatively small. some of these retirements are not going to matter much in terms of which party will take over a majority. but, you know, it is a canary in the coal mine as we watch and see whether there is a flood of retirements. we certainly saw that in 2018 as one indicator of where the elections might go. karlyn: anyone else have a comment on house or senate retirements? michael: house retirements have been high so far. i think one of the factors is that when you are in the majority party and you have majority of three or four seats and the president's job rating
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is plunging down toward 36 points, it looks like you're going to be in the minority. and the minority is not fun to be, especially when you are used to playing an important part of the majority. i think we are going to see more, and if, and it is always if, the current standings of the parties and thestanding of president biden continue to be in place, i mean, i took a look at the present seats in the house. you have 37 democrats in seats that produced a smaller percentage for joe biden than he won in virginia. you have 23 democratic members in seats that produced a smaller majority for joe biden than he won in the state of new jersey. i think what you are going to see in redistricting, as john
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fortier made clear, as both parties where they have control will try to strengthen their incumbents and produce fewer marginal seats overall, fewer marginal republican seats, fewer marginal democrat seats. but if you get 27 and 23 districts, even if you discount that a lot, as i would, that means there is a lot of vulnerability there for democrats if the current status stays in place. we will see if things go on. we start getting filing deadlines for state elections i think in december. we will see more of those as they come along. as the months go on, states don't have filing dates until the summertime. but we will probably see more
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democrats say, as cheri bustos said, it is time to go. karlyn: this is an interesting question. youngkin did not run a single anti-biden ad. does that suggest that this was local? michael john: i think this was a referendum on the party in power. it was a pretty big margin everywhere. but glenn youngkin did not have to say he was running against joe biden or the party in power and democrats. but he was also trying to play hands off with donald trump, in northern virginia at least. i think by focusing more on democrats are in charge, democratic agenda, things have gone wrong, we feel terrible. i agree with norm that the covid overhang factor was putting
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the electorate in a sour mood, and the party in power takes the blame. i think that is the reason why he didn't have to call out joe biden, in part because he was not calling on donald trump as directly as he might have. michael: norm's point on covid was a cogent one. terry mcauliffe, former chairman terry mcauliffe, former chairman of the committee, and one who's denied the elections of 2004 and 2016 were fairly counted, he has three more in his sights than donald trump -- his guest speaker at his last event, randy weingarten, head of the american federation of teachers, has been fighting to close schools. which has led, as norm made the point, to a lot of discontent on
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the parts of parents. you go to other countries, you go to other states, and you find schools have been running with, you know, basically zero health problems. so the teacher unions may have played a part in this. those were local issues. but i also note that mcauliffe's percentage of the vote looks biden's job rating in virginia polling. karlyn: terry mcauliffe was a student of norm's when he was a professor at catholic university many years ago. but this is a question about the economy. by the way, henry is having technical difficulties, and perhaps we will get him back before the end of the program. any thoughts about the possible red flag effect of the recent gdp and the increasingly
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negative international trade balance reports taken together with the significant tax increases that will be part of the build back better legislative agenda? i would like to add to that concerns about inflation and the potency of inflation as an election issue. thoughts about the general the economy overall, and norm, should we start with you? norm: sure. here we have a question about whether the stimulus that will come with the infrastructure package itself -- which depends on how quickly they can move those programs out, but one of the striking things about this bipartisan infrastructure plan is they streamlined the process enough that it is not going to be quite like the obama stimulus where it took so long because of all the permits required. we get that out there, and i know jim pointed out using mark zandi's figures that we are looking at a gdp moving at a
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3.2% rate or more, which is pretty robust going forward. how quickly that kicks in and what it means for people remains to be seen. and whether it will lead to the continued rise in inflation, some of which is because of supply line problems, whether the supply line issues will be resolved, those are big questions headed toward 2022. still a year to go, but if we have a weak gdp and higher inflation, that would be the worst possible news for democrats looking to this -- next november. john: obviously, we don't know where the economy is going to be next summer, but i think like norm's earlier comment about covid, if you think about the biden presidency, when joe biden came in, it looked like he was
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in the best of worlds. we had a vaccine, we were going to put it in place, he was going to put covid behind us, the economy was going to snap back. that really helped joe biden through the early summer. when people realized it was just not going to happen that way, it was slower, we were having a new wave, the economy was good in some ways but worries about inflation and jobs they had in another way, that put people back in this sour mood. again, it looks like we are going in the right direction and things will be better, but will things be the same or will it be a slow movement in the other direction? i think that is the real question. we don't really understand just from the gdp numbers what people are going to be feeling about the economy after covid or whether we are going to gently get back to where we were rather than a robust recovery which would be helpful to biden. michael: one of the things that
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strikes me as interesting as we seem to have had the same policies at the federal level in terms of masked requirements, all of this sort of stuff, with response to covid after the vaccines have appeared and after the threat of death from this disease has been vastly reduced. we are, you know, in some parts of the country we are masking pre-k kids, whose risk of dying from this disease is basically nil. and so forth. we have alternate policies that have been followed in some states in the federal system, most visibly represented by governor ron desantis of florida, against whom, interestingly enough, the democratic governors campaign outfit has announced it isn't going to spend very much money, in a state where a three-point
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trump win looked like a landslide compared to the others and the other presidential races. i think that to some extent it depends on how we keep treating this. are we going to continue to have school closings? are we going to continue to have a various requirements now that the disease is very much less deadly? with the announcement of new medicines apparently coming on the market, which seem to have efficacy in vastly reducing deaths and hospitalizations among the people who are infected with the disease, it might have the potential of making this disease not much more deadly than influenza has been in any recent decade. that may change the attitude, but there is obviously a feeling
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highly correlated with partisan leanings on the part of democrats to restrict people's activities and on republicans going in the other direction. i don't think we we have seen how that is going to play out. norm: there is an interesting study out today that for this past year deaths are three times greater in red counties, those that supported trump handily, compared to those that supported biden. the alternative policies that michael mentioned have not helped much with covid, but they don't seem to have hurt much politically, and perhaps they won't, as we are seeing in florida. i want to note, michael, the reason you use masks for young children is not because they are
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likely to die from covid, it's that they might transmit it to others with lesser immunity who might be infected. there are other reasons for masks, but the anti-masking movement has clearly been a mobilizer. karlyn: moving forward to our final questions, samantha has been wonderful at organizing the program. we had two terrific interns who really helped us through this semester very much. the final questions, each of you can take the one you like. contrast the impact of a right-wing candidate like winsome sears vs. kamala harris, or marco rubio or nikki haley.
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do you think they can draw crossover votes? i should point out that the kamala harris number this morning was 28% in terms of her overall favorability. any thoughts? michael: i think increasingly voters are evaluating candidates as individuals, at least in the cases where they get to know something about those candidates, rather than it is the black candidate, the white candidate, the ethnic candidate, whatever. we are more open to voting on bases on those individuals. we have seen this in the performance of tim scott in south carolina in a positive way. remember that he won his first big victory that propelled him to congress by winning a republican primary in a large majority white congressional
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district, including against one of the candidates who was the son of strom thurmond. what we have seen also, interestingly enough, and i'm not sure that i protected this or that anybody predicted this, we have seen increased percentages for republican candidates among hispanic voters, at the same time that we have seen increased percentages for democratic candidates among high-income white voters. we have seen that dynamic playing out, and one thing that it isn't is, you know, it is not a matter of just voting on race and so forth. i think we have also seen black voters vote more for slight increases in willingness to vote for republican candidates.
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youngkin in virginia, 13%, which is more than recent republican presidential candidates have raised. and we saw donald trump do slightly better with blacks an substantially better with people were classified as hispanics in the last election. you know, those categories change over time, and people are willing to cross racial lines. one of the things we have seen change in the voting rights act jurisprudence and in the reaction of politicians from both parties is that a lot of the old assumptions of the voting rights act was that white people just won't vote for black candidates. well, as one of the earlier speakers noted, that ain't true no more. lauren underwood, democrat in illinois 14th, burgess owens in
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utah, naples in florida. people are willing to vote for people of different ethnicities in different racial categories and that's obviously a good thing. karlyn: one final question asks all of you to reconcile different points of view between henry and norm. what are the policies between moderate democrats around the reconciliation bill? norm suggests that it is full of policies that pulled well with independents, and henry has argued that it doesn't appeal beyond liberal democrats. we will let john take a shot at that. john: well, they are in a very difficult position, these members of congress. there are not so many of them cannot difficult position. i will say this -- i would say that i think that it is, given the narrow, narrow majorities, it's difficult for most members to ultimately be the ones who would bring down a bill.
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they, even though i think they could pay for votes in moderate districts for the build back america act, they certainly could, they are often better off sticking with their party. the problems of primary challenges, even just the problems of seeming weak. there are very few members -- joe manchin is one of them, whose state is so different than almost any other place democrats represent, a 40-point trump victory in west virginia, that his needs and his changes that he needs to the bill are more connected to the fact that he's from a very different type of place. but for others, it's difficult to be moderate and be seen as going against your party. you may end up going down with the ship if things don't go well, but i think it is a real risk that if you don't vote with
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the party, you will face other types of trouble. karlyn: norm or michael, a final word? norm: if i were giving advice to elissa slotkin or abigail spanberger, two democrats in tough districts that were running again and they had taken a different stance on the larger bill, i would say first what john said. if you are seen as a party in disarray and you don't accomplish things, you will have an uphill battle that becomes even more uphill. i would be delighted to go back home and say that those of you that found you have two parents who have to work and you need childcare and you find that when you get childcare, it uses up all the money you make while working, now you will be able to get that childcare and go to work and limited to 7% of your income. you know how your parents are developing alzheimer's and there is no place to put them and you will have to take care of them meaning you might lose your job?
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now there are now opportunities for home health care, which also will provide jobs. you know how you have been struggling with income? here's that $300 a month in child tax credit to keep you afloat a little bit longer even as it reduces child poverty. i think those are winning things to run on, and if you can make the case in that way where you are not just doing it for poor people, you are doing it for working-class and middle-class people, you will have broad appeal in those districts, and if it happens, you are much more likely to prevail. michael: well, of course, you will get democrats in the moderate-income districts casting a vote around local increasing deductibility of state and local taxes, the benefits of which go primarily to people over $700,000 and so forth. norm: which are being pushed by the moderates. michael: norm, i didn't
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interrupt you, don't interrupt me. no, i mean it's being backed by people in districts who have a lot of high income with high taxes and high public employee unions keeping spending higher in those states. that is a winner for some people like josh gottheimer, it's a real loser for others. i'm not confident in the case that norm has made, which is you know the case i suppose that someone in that position that votes for that bill might want to make, is going to be helpful in the long run, and i think those candidates would be wise to have plans in mind for what they might want to do professionally next year. karlyn: well, i want to thank you all for a wonderful session today. as you can see, you can see we have differences among ourselves, and that's how it is on this election watch program. it's been 40 years, it's been a
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great run, thank you for watching, and you will see a new show going forward and perhaps john will be running it going forward and he will invite the rest of us back. thank you very much. norm [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government funded by these television companies and more including contest -- comcast. >> are you thinking this is just? a community center? ? comcast is partnering with 1000 community centers so students from low income families get what they need to be ready for anything. comcast supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. ♪ ♪ >> c-span's washington journal, every day, taking your calls, live, on the air, on the news of the day, and discussing policy
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issues that impact you. the american society of civil engineers executive director thomas smith discusses implementation of the infrastructure bill and priorities for projects around the u.s. former cdc acting director will be on to talk about covid therapies and covid response findings in the build back better act. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern sunday morning on c-span or on c-span now, our new app. join with your phone because, facebook comments, texts, and tweets. ♪ ♪ >> sunday on q&a, a discussion on the 14th amendment with professors randy barnett of the georgetown university law center and northern illinois university college of law evan burnick on their book on the 14th
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amendment, which day it says has been widely and -- misinterpreted. >> many criticisms are valid and many are overblown. the seeds of liberty were planted by the declaration of independence and harvested eventually but the rest of our constitutional history is about the story of the development of those deeds into a full-blown liberation movement. >> always in our power, he wanted to make the world all over again and that is what the abolitionists and republicans have followed -- that followed in their footsteps did with the 14th amendment. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q and a. you can listen to all of our new app, c-span now. ♪ >> congress is back next week. the house returns monday at 2 p.m. eastern for business. during the week we expect work on president biden's social
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spending agenda, the build back better plan. also on the calendar, a number of bills from the veterans affairs committee on issues like health care, education, and employment. the senate returns monday at 3:00 eastern. lawmakers are scheduled to continue debate on the nomination of graham steele to be assistant secretary of the treasury for financial institutions with a vote later in the day to advance the nominee. watch the house on c-span, the senate on c-span two, are online at and our congressional coverage is available on your phone with c-span now, our new video app. >> jane's kit field, why did you write this book? >> as you know, i have covered these boards as a correspondent going on 20 years for national journal. i covered it from a strategic perspective, talking to generals and senior leaders about what their plans were wh


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