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tv   Campaign 2022 Discussion on 2022 Midterm Elections  CSPAN  August 19, 2022 5:44am-7:00am EDT

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institute. it is about an hour 15. >> i am thrilled to be joined by some great collaborators. joining us is bill crystal, political analyst and founder of the weekly standard and editor
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others at boric. we also have barbara comstock, kathryn miller, the founder at table 81 and janet rodriguez, currently head of internal communications asked -- and a former white house correspondent. differing opinions, differing perspectives, differing backgrounds, but the common thread that may be is the most important for all of you is sign institute fellows. i am so appreciative of you joining us again. you are so well-liked and respected, it is great to have you with us today. we are at the precipice of another midterm election. 82 days out. we had in the senate, 14 democratic seats, 21 republican. 32 of the 34 seats were up in 2016. it is amazing how this is the class of the senate we are looking at and what will be the
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control of that narrow margin. the u.s. house is going to be a big topic of conversation today as all seats are up and several of them are targeted. the primaries have pushed what kind of election we are looking at in terms of gubernatorial races. in the state legislatures, if you can believe, eth chambers in 46 states are up. all of these individuals voting soon to determine what our leaders to -- leadership structure is. we want to hear your perspectives. i want to encourage anybody who is joining us today to ask questions throughout. we are not waiting until the end. if you have questions specifically as the conversation is going. to my colleagues, this is a conversation. we will ask questions and if you want to have follow-ups between individuals and peers, let's
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talk this through. i guess the first thing i would like to do is give you a few minutes to get a general perspective of what you are paying attention to. we would love to start with you, barbara. as somebody who has been in the seat, and many members who are up for reelection, what are you thinking? what are you focused on? >> we know the majority -- majorities are made in swing states. while the focus has largely been on primaries to date -- republicans trump vengeance or trump trying to pick extreme election deniers, we now move into the fall where being a trump extremist is less valuable. particularly in these swing states.
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as i look at it, you can get a primary but if you are christine o'donnell or richard murdoch or todd akin, republicans who lost in republican states. winning the nomination did not make them a senator. we already have candidates like dr. oz who has been failing spectacularly. he is a trump-endorsed first-time candidate, not even living in pennsylvania. john fetterman, his liberal opponent has trolled him excessively for not being pennsylvanian. so he is failing in the polls, he is failing in money. blake masters in arizona and j.d. vance are both candidates
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that peter thiel, a trump millionaire, decided he wants to buy. these are two he has brought in -- retail candidates. mcmaster is double digits down. very extreme candidate -- talk about that and i think mark kelly is sitting on the kind of money he is, a lot happier these days. although the whole ticket in arizona is an election denying ticket, which i oppose. j.d. vance. tim robbins doing much better than expected. herschel walker. donald trump, who lost, the gift that keeps on giving for georgia democrats. rachel record now about his former wife -- [indiscernible]
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-- a terrible candidate. on the state front, brad raffensperger and governor kemp. there's four seats there that are not looking great. [no audio] [please stand by] >> people were talking about the huge red blowout. the number one reason is instead of having your number one issue
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being the economy, biden's poor ratings, trump is back in the front seat, driving the clown car for summary republicans. if you are in a swing state, that is a nightmare. i have been in a swing state when trump was in power and it didn't matter what your numbers were. trump's numbers. after the 2018 election but whatever trump's negative numbers were -- what the democrats got. almost to a tee. >> right. >> that was the gift that keeps on giving. the policies are doing better, you have seen democrat candidates outrun biden's numbers largely because of this reappearance of trump.
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the fact that while trump's problems are increasing -- liz cheney -- vengeance tour -- increasing legal problems. [indiscernible] trump does very poorly in court where truth and facts matter. he is now entering the factual, legal portion of his problems. today, he had guilty pleas from his lawyer. i expect see indictments, lawyers and people coming soon and perhaps even for trump himself. that is going to have an impact in swing districts. much more so than the senate -- todd young in indiana. he's out running around talking
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about trump -- chips act, infrastructure bill, compromise. [indiscernible] he is a great republican candidate. for a house republican [indiscernible] [indiscernible] -- everything stupid trump does. if the democrats are not totally asleep, that is going to be wrapped around your neck. because that is how house republicans play. cheney is going to be opposing election deniers. and then you have abortion looming, particularly in michigan. i do not think the gubernatorial candidate will do well. peter meyer, if the democrats are not totally asleep committee should be able to take him out. other candidates like that who
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won these swing districts are going to be big money sucks. -- because they have less money because donald trump is sucking all the money. you heard how he -- all this money, that is money that is not going to republican candidates. people protesting in mar-a-lago are not getting a single vote in a swing district. -- reappearing at this time is -- both financially and though twice to the -- house as well as the senate. >> as always, you gave a really great overview. i have to say, if you look at past lives, we've got a battle amongst research directors. you led the research team for president bush's campaign in 2000. i first met catherine miller, and everyone knows her so well
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for her work in food policy and everything she has done, but she also wore the head of research director at the d triple c where editor -- where i met her. we are going to have you go next and give you an overview. >> i don't have much to disagree with. [laughter] >> we are already building consensus. >> jokingly, i say we should all be eating crudites and not with sulci. the ability for democrats to capitalize on some of foibles of the republican party and the missteps, the personal problems, the challenges and the ties to an extremist arm that sometimes does not believe the world is round. it is, i think, going to pay dividends.
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that's to say on the senate side, we are always looking at voter protection efforts. i also designed the voter protection efforts for dccc for several cycles. we will look at policy conversations and think it is going well. and there are always efforts to prevent people from voting legitimately. we saw the strengths of the indigenous population in alaska, a democrat made that runoff. that was largely on the strength of a native population. we can look optimistically at the changing momentum for democrats, but we have to keep a strong eye, especially in those roles based on native and indigenous population voter suppression efforts and make sure that is a priority at the committee right now. and at the white house. on the house side, a little more
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pessimistic. going all the way back precolonial, all politics is local. i look at some of these places i cannot imagine voting for some of these candidates. yet, it is happening. i am from rural north florida. republicans in the first district invited -- to speak at the high school like, come, talk to us. why would you bring this into a high school? i think the thing that i watched as a policy person, especially related to food and as we move into farm bill season where we're going to write the largest piece of legislation that employs farmers and feeds americans who controls the house and senate agriculture committees. there's no bigger question right now in my mind. and so i'm looking at places like georgia.
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i'm looking at places like michigan. i'm looking at places like arizona. mark kelly, the senate race and the house races there. i'm looking to see what happens. chuck grassley is gonna hang on, you know, with dear life to that senate seat. but you know what iowa and the redistricting in iowa means for the houses house races there. i think the next 82 days are going to be really interesting. we always say that, but there's a lot at play here and it is national momentum related to issues. the challenge is localized efforts and then we're really gonna have to pay attention to voter suppression and voter protection efforts across the country. and then we should all be voting on the issues that we care about. and we see this with, you know, abortion taking a front row on the supreme court. they're really motivated. a lot of voters on the democratic side and on the republican side. so issues are going to take a play in this in this election cycle, but wow, it's going to be a ride.
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>> yeah. and i think in a great way, katherine, you bring up elections have consequences. right? so many of the decisions that we're making in november affect decisions that will be happening at the beginning of the year around policy. i'm gonna go to you now, bill, because i think when i started this job, if any of my democratic friends knew that one of my favorite things is to go have coffee with you at compass coffee, they'd be shocked. but it is. and i've learned a lot from you. so i really want to know your perspective. you've been writing certainly a lot about the elections and what you're seeing, but you've also a veteran of these campaigns and looking from different perspectives. what are you seeing and what is really standing out to you? >> well, thanks, amy. and it's good to be with everyone and i enjoy the coffees too. i myself have always been more open minded and therefore happy to have coffee with sensible democrats. but that's okay. i'm sure it does shock some people. i guess i just pick up maybe on really what katherine sort of implied, but didn't quite say, which is we are really in uncharted waters. and one reason, i think
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incidentally everyone's like, oh, it was very surprising what's happening in the generic congressional poll because it's so different from biden. well, yeah, but you know, this is not 2010, it's not 2014, it's not 1994. we have had the trump presidency, which was unprecedented in many ways. and i'm not even making a judgment here. i'm just saying analytically empirically, we've not quite gone through this before. two impeachments, never been in politics before, becomes president. everything that happened, of course, we've had a post presidency that's unprecedented with him wanting to stay ahead of the party, staying ahead of the party. being investigated by the fbi, being impeached, but not convicted. the very, very end of his presidency, january 6. i will stress is unprecedented. and the after effects of that very unpredictable. and i'd say the after effects unprecedented in the sense that many of us expected. well, that might be the moment. and finally, the party liberates from trump. and in a sense, we get back to a more normal situation and that didn't happen, which is kind of, we now take that for granted, but it's really if you step back and think, well, what we would
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have all said on january 7th, it's pretty astonishing. so it's a very astonishing and unpredictable moment. and then roe v wade, a 49 year old precedent that everyone thinks of it originally and so forth, overturned on a purely partisan. let's call it a decision that's handed down by judges entirely appointed by presidents of one party. that was not the case, of course. originally with roe v. wade. 5-4 decision, 6-3 on the judgment because roberts would have sustained the upheld the mississippi law, but would not have overturned roe nationally. so 5-4 on that, three of the five being appointed by trump, one of the most controversial presidents in our history. we have not had this experience. there is zero historical precedent for this. we've had the court be controversial. obviously, in fact, brown was extremely controversial. roe was controversial. republicans ran against the war in court and with some success in the sixties and seventies. but we have just not had an election season where this has been central and it really is an issue. it's not just symbolically interesting.
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i mean, actual governors are gonna make a difference in michigan and wisconsin and elsewhere as to what the actual laws on the subject that's actual importance to a lot of americans. it's gonna be, you know, so it's not like people, i remember talking to my friends, many of them old friends, pro life friends very much minimizing the alito draft opinion came out in the spring. oh, well, you know what? never, everyone always says it's gonna be a big political issue. there's diehards, especially in the pro life side, it never really matters. it's not gonna affect, just gonna lance the boil, it's gonna settle down. i mean, it could have happened, it could still happen incidentally, four years from now. we could look back and say, well, settle down, we have different laws in different states and so forth. no federal legislation perhaps, but for now it's the boil, it's alive and political issue. and again, so you put all this together and we don't know, i mean, honestly, we don't know, i will say i was early in saying that the fact that biden was unpopular did not necessarily mean there would be a huge republican wave. i've been through these races as
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we all have, where there is a popular popularity, the president does drive things. and you could argue that that's even more the case with the nationalizing of elections. on the other hand, certainly, senate races can separate and voters are also capable of saying, i'm not crazy about biden. but let's look at the two parties that are competing for control of the senate and the house or what their agendas are and what their leadership is and trump is now as part of a sort of suggested as much on the ballot, at least for now, i'd say is biden. i mean, you know, neither is on the ballot, but therefore let's say figuratively on the ballot. i think i was early and just looking and seeing in the polls that the congressional, the generic congressional ballot that for people who aren't following the stuff obsessively is, you know, opposed to simply ask a national poll. usually who would you prefer controls congress in the next session and the republicans or democrats and that's been pretty close. and the republicans were ahead by three points or so. now democrats have probably a tiny bit ahead, biden managed to sink from -8 to -15 and this year in 2022.
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i just looked this up the other day and the generic ballot has gone in the other direction by a couple of points. so all the conventional now, maybe it will ultimately work out the way it has in the past. presidents approval dominates. this is a temporary bear market rally for democrats. the house, you can't really separate yourself. there'll be tens of millions of dollars republican ads attaching democratic house candidates to reasonably unpopular president, maybe it'll revert, but maybe it won't, you know, and anyway, but for now, at least we're seeing pretty unprecedented decoupling of presidential in generic. and i'm very dubious of all the conventional wisdom, even that some of these senators as safe as people think or house members? i don't know, we are utterly confident that it's inconceivable that voters in iowa will just decide 87 years old for a six year term is kind of a problem. and incidentally, for all that they, like grassley personally has been to every county 5000 times. you know, he is a vote for, i think at least nominally a vote for a legal national legislation
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to have very strict restrictions on abortion. i don't know quite what he's certainly pro life and i believe he's probably endorsed that at least nominally. and i don't know, is it crazy that, you know, you can, the state, uh, does have a democratic, has had democrats elected, you know, in modern times. i think grassley probably wins, but, you know, but a lot of these states that people are sort of very cavalier about dismissing people have over, i'll say one thing to students, to things to students, people have over learned a lesson, which is a true lesson of politics is nationalized. politics is polarized, demography is destiny. you can look at the presidential vote in the last couple of cycles to predict every house and senate race. and that has been more true in the last decade or two. that it was true when i first came to washington and there was a huge disconnect between presidential vote and senate and house vote in the olden days. that has gradually been removed because of a million different things going on in the country. economic, sociologically, economically, culturally,
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geographically, politically, the character of the party's nationalization of elections and media and everything else. these trends continue until they don't continue, right? i think people choose too quick to say, oh florida, that was 2020 republican, inconceivable that democrats would win an election, statewide election, in florida. like really in 2018, which was not ancient history, the democrats came within one point of winning two statewide, the governor and senate races in florida. so, i don't know what's going to happen there, but people are just too quick to assume that trends that have been, have gone in certain states that have moved red or blue in the last four or eight years or just like there forever? and that's why nevada could go the opposite way of where it's been and florida in my opinion, or states like that could go in the opposite direction. when you're in uncharted waters, some of these trends don't necessarily continue in the same direction and students should be, i think they should learn the history and learn the political science and the
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teaching stuff. and it's usually a pretty good guide until it's not a good guy. but this is any time, it's not gonna be a good guy, it's going to be this year final which just to look ahead of it. i mean, katherine's point about policy, but it's going to be such a crazy year. who knows what that looks like? let's say republicans in the house. and democrats in the senate. what does it look like when they have hearings on hunter biden and try to impeach joe biden. and mccarthy is looking over his shoulder, whatever trump is saying. if mccarthy's even speaker. all these other people who will have been elected or reelected, who are, you know, screaming and yelling that he has to advance this, what do they do? do they pass even nominally restriction on abortion? what does that do nationally? does that republican vote for that? i'm not so sure does the party start to fracture in all kinds of ways that it has in the past in the house? what does biden do biden ran for re election? what does trump do is he already
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does he announced in the next couple of weeks for reelection and there's so many variable and does trump get indicted. what's the popular reaction to that? it's not gonna be a normal, okay, we've been through this, you know, you lose the house or congress in your first off year and you cut a deal like obama did in 2011 with john boehner or clinton and gingrich did in 1995. and we kind of know what the next two years following the look like and it's interesting and important to work out and there will be a lot of politics as usual. and like katherine says, it's important to work out what the farm bill will look like and that matters who controls each house and the chair the chairs of the relevant committees are. but there could be such craziness and in both parties, especially the republican party? but a lot of uncertainty in the democratic party, especially if biden doesn't run again and all the kind of polarization and the legal investigations and post
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january 6th committee sort of developments. and liz cheney is a very unusual wildcard. so people should pay close attention but be very open minded, i guess, is the way i would put it about how things are going to play out. >> i think it's it's so important to bring that up because i always caution candidates when i'm talking to them. you lose when you look at when you're running the race and back at you not rather than the race in front of you. sure there's these indicators, there's these things that traditionally we've seen losses in midterms, you know, for the for the presidential party in power, but any one of those things would affect this race and in a unique way, the fact that all these are swirling around is unbelievable. that's why i'm going to go right to you, janet, there's nobody who has like seen it all firsthand during, you know, the trump white house as well and and follow that along as a journalist as somebody who's, you know, definitely covered, trump's impact when he was
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president? it's interesting in this midterm after post presidency. what impacts you having him love to hear your perspective and also how news is being disseminated? this cycle as well. so welcome, janet, it's good to see you. i can't hear you.
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there is no way to predict anything that the media has right before the election. i am watching what will happen with the january 6 committee and where will they be right before the election. investigations? we were talking about all the legal troubles that trump may all the legal troubles trump may incur in the future. the only thing we should be watching closely. they have to adjust to the new
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cycle that they see coming. will react and voters do react to to what happens as we saw specifically. i'm thinking of hillary clinton and the emails and and everything that happened in the last election. so we know that the prettiest election, so we definitely need to watch. and i think one thing, if i if i had to say for journalists, one thing that we also pay attention to is the local races, because historically, we know that if we do have a link on session, as it seems that it will be for the next two years, local elections have real consequences and very consequential in what happens in the next two years in our country. so, local laws will happen. whoever gets elected and the legislatures will kind of shape those states for the next two years and for many, many years ahead, because those laws could have real, you know, consequences in the population there and then those people get elected to congress at a later time and so on and so forth. so definitely keeping a very, very close eye into what happens
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in the states. as we look at how that shapes the next two years of applause with our country and one race that i'm really interested in just because there is an anchor involved in the katie hubs in arizona, which is really wild. as you guys, know, i used to work in arizona. i was a colleague on kari lake. we didn't work at the same station, but seeing her now possibly would, could win the gubernatorial race in arizona would be really crazy in my mind, but really while it really possible, so that comes to show you that anything could happen in this upcoming elections. and we should be as bill said, very open minded that, that things are not going to be conventional, that things are just gonna switch and back and forth. we kind of can see the picture on the wall and how things may shape up. but i think we hold it until the
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last minute, just like we did with the trump election. >> here's a wild card that people are talking about. carrie lake loses by one point, let's just say in arizona and it's a little uncertain what election because they have a lot of of course their vote is very highly early and by mail. and so we're not sure that you don't know until does carry. like just accept that. does she not go on tv tuesday night and say it's being stolen? does she have no support for that in the arizona legislature? does she have no support for that among certain election officials in some of the counties in arizona and some of them refused to certify the degree of chaos we could have. and i say this with no pleasure because this would be very bad obviously for the country. but people focused and i focused a lot and i think a lot of people have focused on 2020 for and how do we fix the electoral college kind of, you know, problems and ways to build strengthen those guard rails
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against 2020 happening again from november 3rd to january 6th, so to speak. but in 2022 we could have this kind of thing happening now. i think ultimately, maybe, you know, governor ducey doesn't doesn't put up with it. and then the election secretary of state doesn't put up with it and so forth. but what if a republican has won? the secretary of state in the end and the incumbent secretary of state says no, but the person who just got elected says no, i think gary lakes right, we need to have about who knows what right? a new accounting and audits and fraud. it's i mean, i think i mentioned that this lake is so particularly extreme on this, but we could have much more chaos than we're used to. i say this with no pleasure, you know, on november nine and in the following weeks and even months after the election. >> that's one of the things about these republican candidates that i actually think democrats are ignoring to their detriment. these are largely unvetted candidates, usually in a normal
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republican process. republicans would bet each other and you find out what's wrong with them. you know all of dr oz problems, not in the general. that has not happened with a lot of these candidates because everyone was just vying for trump's attention. democrats should be looking at, i mean, it's a little late in the game to get enough, but i think there's going to be a lot of the unknowns of the surprises that are going to be right there in front of us that people never that republicans didn't go after. it has been the best example of doing that. i have to say it was negligent in not finding all these things in the fetterman campaign because they were spending millions of dollars.
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they were all trying to just say i'm more trump, i'm more trump who has been like a d horror movie person with selena is out there and in the extreme things she had said. so these candidates that are now being vetted in primetime general are going to make things much more uncertain. and i think the house races, the crowds are kind of ignoring that in many cases, assuming like, oh, somebody already checked that out and given that i'm from virginia where i didn't find, you know, the, remember the uh kkk and blackface picture until after the election to anybody out there. you know, if you're not doing your basic bread and butter stuff right now, shame on you because candidates that have come up in the trump world are totally unvetted. they're not just extreme and bad
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candidates. they are vetted personally and that is not good. >> i don't know if you had something to add, is this another place that you're in in consensus with with barbara here? >> yeah, and i want to let you i think there's two things, i in here too. mean, i think arizona is actually the state that i am going to pay in somewhat the most attention to in this cycle. you have the competitive senate race. i mean, mark kelly, there's so much money going in there to protect that seat. on the democratic side, you've got open seats on the house side, you've got the governor's race and the secretary of state and you have eggs exactly what bill said, which is election deniers. and you also have a native population, the navajo nation, they're delivered 12 to 13% of biden's vote in the presidential race. and that is going to be a place where people are going to try and discredit that vote. they're going to try and prevent that vote. and so that is going to play right into the election
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denier. so i think, you know, if this is, i don't even think it's one point, i think she'd go goes on if it is, if it's three or five points, she goes on and says it's all bs right. and she contests it just because it is so right there. i think barbra's absolutely right on the side that i wish that, you know more, we're doing opposition research in that bread and better way i am the person who's hugely skeptical about whether voters care about that anymore, we've lived through two impeachments. we've lived through multiple impeachments all the way back to the clinton era, we've lived through fraud, financial fraud. we've lived through, you know, we've lived through so much from a personal foible perspective that i do, i do question or ask the question about whether american voters really just like, sure you're gonna tell me that and i'm gonna tell you he's a nice guy or sure you're gonna tell me that, but i'm gonna tell you, i go to church with her. so, you know, i wish they were doing it. um, and i think it does take something like finding a candidate in blackface to to break through that, which is unfortunate. letterman's doing
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that basic stuff. yeah, but he's a trump person. he's just saying he's odd, he's kooky stuff and he owns 12 houses. >> i certainly think that i just, you know, there's some question in my mind, but i think, you know, this is, as bill said, this is unprecedented. everybody should be doing, you know, the committees and the voters and students should be doing everything they can to sort of organize and get involved because this is, wow. >> i just wanted to add to that point that this is where i think local journalism is so important in this day and age because yes, well, people may not be swayed or persuaded as much anymore. i think it's up to those local reporters to do that digging, opposition research, but to really go after those unvetted candidates to really do the homework to put it in front of
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the readers and for the readers to decide right, but you have to be able to get them in the press. and yes, there's a lot of people that are not being vetted and there is a lot of suffering right now with local newspapers and local stations not having the resources to do this. but it's in i think if one advice for the students would be, is to go and read your local newspaper every day and really get to know those candidates and have your local reporters go after them and press your your local tv stations to do more in terms of doing that vetting if nobody else's. >> it's interesting because i think so many candidates are probably looking for ways to localize the race. either they're a democrat and don't want to necessarily follow some of the biden numbers or there's concerns there. i think the liz cheney race is a good example of a nationalized race and i looked on websites did research there. i didn't see, you know, her opponent talking that much about what she's gonna do for wyoming or those wyoming issues. it was such a nationalized race. i will one of our our students had a
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question. i'll go to you on this because it's something you brought up about whether or not the dems are, looking better, you know, in the senate's right now. he wants to know if they are looking better, you know, in the first democratic senate candidates, how and will this translate to house races? and on the local races janet as you mentioned, it's it's a good question. >> i mean very briefly, just on the point you made which is reporting. i think we all talk about what's caused the current moment, you know, and there are a million different things, as i say, sociological, cultural media, social media, but i do think the decline of the local dress which is mostly an economically driven thing. but it has to do with obviously the internet and the fact that people don't need it the way they used to has really had a big effect on our politics and it is underrated. there's a million things that you could talk about that have
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had a big effect and they all have, you know, it's like you cannot disentangle them. they all happened at the same time, but the decline of the local press now, there are local websites, i mean it was a local, i'm not mistaken, it was a web, it was a website, reporter, writer in florida who wrote the news about the trump about the search. i mean about the fbi search of trump. it wasn't, you know, the new york times, it wasn't a p. and it wasn't even the miami paper and so forth. so anyway, it's it's very important i mean, people need to point. do their own research locally and there are places to do that. i mean, generally what a political scientist, which i would say about the question is, senate races can separate themselves from a national trend. barbara sort of alluded to this earlier in a way that house races can't i mean, people just don't know house race, especially as an open seat. they don't know a challenger in the house race. they don't have the money to advertise if it's near a big city and they have to buy the whole media thing. there has changed a little bit of digital, but not totally. uh and if the
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senators incumbent, they probably know him, he's been there six years, you know, being having press conferences about how he's delivering infrastructure for that state. even if he voted against the bill and they see him the house person just has a much tougher time. getting, you know, gets a little bit swamped by the national and statewide news and trends. so typically, and this is historically true in 2010 when there was a massive wave, it swept the house, uh, from democratic to republican and a massive number of seats. but the democrats held held on in the senate. partly because senators can distinguish themselves more from their states.
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it really is more nationalized and polarized. that has been true in the senate. i think 26 states had senators. half the states had it really is more nationalized and polarized. that has been true in the senate. i think 26 states had senators. half the states had democratic delegations and half had republican. now i think the numbers are 44 states have senators from one party.
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only six states have one of each. what that does to our politics, it just changes the whole flavor of what politics is like and what politics is like in the united states senate. the polarization has had a fundamental effect on our politics. it has trended that way in senate races. could beck change a little bit this cycle? i kind of think it could little bit.
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the senate has gotten more like the house with election results over the last 20 or 30 years. >> i appreciate that perspective. going to go to another student question. but i'm going to direct this question at first and would love other people's comments to catherine. you have served on the board of the national abortion rights action league. what happened with roe and the supreme court. but then what happened with the vote in kansas? right, i mean, you see this, you know, that had a big, what are these both going to have as an impact. what is the impact and what you see especially with your experience working with an
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organization that's dedicated to looking at a state-by-state? >> yeah, i mean, i hate to say it, but we told people this was gonna happen for 30 years in every election cycle. we said the at gabriel and emily's list and planned parenthood, listen like this is the supreme court's on the line and when the supreme court goes, so does roe v. wade. i mean the chicken was the sky was falling, we told everybody and nobody believed us. i truly don't think people believed us until the decision was leaked. i have seen more money flowing into third party groups and independent expenditures on both sides, probably than never before. i believe kansas is a harbinger only for the fact that we're about to have 50 state laws um and 50 different state policies.
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there's no national momentum for, especially even with even if we retain that, even if democrats retain the senate and it's a narrow, a much more narrow majority in the house, there's this is a 50 year strategy. we're back to rebuilding this from a federal level level. and so there's a lot of work being done to figure out the eyes for -- that ties for republican candidates right now, two different aspects of different personal aspects, business foibles missteps, all that kind of stuff. and also tying that to their votes on abortion rates in this country. i just think that kansas was a great example of community based organizing, community based. i mean it was so under the radar, if people, if any political prognosticator had said that that was going to turn out that way, i would have just said you have no idea.
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because it was under the radar, it was locally driven. it probably means that we have 50 state policies, um 50 state ballot initiatives and we are going to have this fight now um to protect the lives and health of women around this country for another 50 years. i do think that the plus side for kansas, especially for democrats in this world is local organizing, local community, empowering local organizations, works. you don't have to run this from a suite in washington dc. turn the money over to the states, turn the money over to the people who know the community's turn the money over to the people who have the faith and trust of their next door neighbor and will be listened to. and maybe that helps turn the tide because that's what worked in kansas. >> anybody else on the those issues?
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one of the issues that i think strategically, people want to is is there evidence or enough evidence that trump backed candidates are turning off more moderate republicans? i don't know if we've seen anything anybody reporting on that. are these candidates that making it through the primary, do they win in a general election with more moderate republicans and independents? >> i think that's the problem why you're seeing the problem in the senate with those key races? doug ducey running in the senate against mark kelly, i think it would be far more competitive and probably advantage republicans. rob portman would've been sailing to re election and, you know, or a portman like
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candidate. so, i think the evidence is very, very much in the senate races. i think with the redistricting, a lot of the states that some of the seats that may have been closer before aren't as close as they were, but, and i think maybe with kansas as an example as others, you know, when you have too extreme, you can go right off the cliff, you know, you can be, well, i can be with glenn youngkin is my friend. i voted for him. i'm not voting for election deniers, so, you know, so in virginia, who replaced denver reblooming? i think for a lot of republicans, i think you see that evidence in the know, unfortunately, that district got
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a little bit more republican, so it's not a problem for bob good, but the quality that's gonna make next year, you're gonna have a lot more marjorie, greene's a lot more crazy people, you know, like miller from illinois, beat out rocky, um, rodney davis, sensible, pretty mainstream guy. so we got a kook instead, you know, we got downgrades and a lot of these seats. but that means when you're the republican leadership and you need to have a budget passed, you need to have something done, you can't shut down the government all the time. you have nobody to go to anymore. and then if, say you have, like an elise stefanik who's already running for vice president, you know, with trump, she's gonna have to say no to everything. so then you're going to get nothing done in the house and have all
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these extreme, when we were there, the freedom caucus is dominated, you're going to have more of those types there. i mean, if donald trump calls up harriet hagman and says, hey, mike lindell here, and he wants to have a hearing on this, you know, they're going to have to go get in the clown car with mike lindell in trump. a real problem to manage in a caucus. >>'s democracy on the ballot? this is the first election after, you know, the the attack on the capitol on january six. >> i would think so, and the more we talk about january 6th closer to the elections and the more development there is, and like i said, if the department of justice gets involved, i think that would definitely play a major role in in the elections for sure, and people will vote, like we've seen it, we've seen
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it, we saw it in the primaries where january 6th was a talking point for the media for the candidates, for the voters, and they definitely went to the ballots thinking about january 6th and how those candidates thought are reacting to it, and i also want to take it back and kind of flip the moderate democrats and how they many and and this is happening. i've seen it happen along the us border with many districts. they're having turned um turning republican and those moderate or liberal democrats who would have easily won those races are now having to turn more moderate democrats and more right winning to be able to stay to stay in the race. i'm thinking of representative gonzalez, for example, who even had to switch districts because he knew that he could no longer hold his district and the previous district that he had. so he's running another district altogether trying to survive there. so it's not only the republicans, crazy republicans turning off moderate
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republicans, but also liberal democrats going to the right to be able to survive the midterm elections. and really knowing that if they don't do that, the their, you know, their lives and and their house seats are at stake. well, >> well, it's interesting too, because you bring up this is a redistricting, you know, election as well. we have members running against members in certain districts there, there's been an influence about how are they these being drawn that will affect the long term. what are see there? >> i think the consensus is that the district registering solidified republican democratic districts as opposed to throwing more up in the air, which has not always been the case.
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we'll see what new york has a kind of colorful race with to a long term incumbent democrats next week. some of them got knocked off and some of them are in tougher races because the districts isn't entirely people who voted for. the reason a change, redistricting changes the partisan leans of different districts and be people sort of forget this. incumbents sometimes have to run in districts where they only had half of before two thirds, one third, and then a lot of the voters aren't their voters, so to speak and voted for them before and they lose the advantage of incumbency for the new voters, so to speak. and this is happening to me, i'm not in the same district, i was before the redistricting. you know, this kind and this is
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a big challenge for allison spanberger, let's abigail spanberger here in virginia democrat who is running in a district where 80% of her voters aren't people who voted for before, so she has to spend a lot of money reintroducing herself, which normally if you're an incumbent you'd spend just kind of taking credit for things and then attacking your extreme opponents. i think on the whole, people are a little too obsessed with gerrymandering and redistricting. i'm not happy about gerrymandering would prefer neutral commissions and so forth. but it doesn't explain quite as much of the changes in our politics as you would think, since the senate hasn't been gerrymandering in 60 years and it hasn't changed the state lines have not changed. so a lot of it is d deeper socio economic things and media nationalization polarization and so forth. >> well, it's interesting, i did not think of it from the senate perspective. we talked to congressman will
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hurd. his point was we are solidifying these d. n. r. districts, there's less competitive districts and this is why we're getting these challenges, you know, in elections, whether it is vote turnout, whether it's the candidates that are coming through the primary, but what do you, i can't even remember the number of competitive districts we had when we were there. you know. what are your thoughts on that? i think he was pretty serious about this is why we are where we are because there is not just as much competition. >> on the house side, we're looking at a playing field that's really fighting over
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about 25 seats. it is pretty precarious. if you look at some of the models from last month, you know, the prediction of 230 republican seats after election day 2, 205 democrats were gonna, you know, the idea that we would lose that many seats and it's all playing out in those 2025 maybe 30 districts and all playing out with, you know, localized agendas, localized pieces, some national stuff, i definitely think, you know, there's some question, but you know, i don't, i mean this is really a question for, you know, janet and barbara and bill like that the intensity of the trump vote is what's so scary, right? we all think maybe they're a little nutty or we wish there was a different thing, but like my family are believers. they are in a red district.
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>> it's overemphasized because because they scream louder. it's probably 20%, which means it's a big part of the republican party. if you're 20% of the country who believes this stuff, the nuts, you know, a big cancer on the republican party. they are voting no matter what. so the idea that whatever new happens between now and november changes that they're voting, i think the unknowns are what happens to get the democrat vote are coming out and what candidates out there are genuinely good candidates. >> i tend to be a pessimist and think that we are actually a country like sort of governed by the tyranny of the vocal minority, not the silent majority.
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the suppression of voters whether, you know, direct the idea that, you know, people our -- are disenchanted, so they do not vote. i definitely think that we probably provide too much over emphasis to these super loud, but at the same time they are on both sides. the people that heavily invested on the left will come out and, on the hot side too. we have 25, 30 seats that we're gonna play in on the house side. both parties pretty dramatically and the intensity by which we play and what that does in terms of our people mobilized? >> the news cycles in the next
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82 days. when you're in these 82 days -- going back to 2016. i opposed donald trump. i assumed he would lose and i would lose. what changed was instead of the news cycle every day being when thank you jim comey, he comes out and with hillary clinton stuff at the end of october um, that changed the new cycle. hillary blames the fbi for losing. donald trump blames the fbi for losing. i think they are both wrong. i think they are both lousy candidates and they just happened to lose.
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but when you're in these very precarious situations with kind of a lot of bad candidates, i guess this cycle for the next 82 days, is more precarious for republicans than it is for democrats. it is going to be harder for republicans and swing seats than democrats. >> i think that is right. politics and history is very more contingent than people think and more path dependent if you want to use a social science term. i do think actually hillary ran a primary campaign, but probably wins without jim comey. jim comey makes a slightly random decision that he has to make this letter public in october 28 because he got attacked for, you know, making other things, doing other things and i agree with barbara the underlying and should have been
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had by eight points, so it shouldn't have mattered. but still it did matter in the real world. it was a very big deal that that the republicans picked up 12 how seats in 2020. people like me were wanted to say, trump's disaster, trump's disaster. you got trump at the top of the ticket, you're finished, you cannot win anything. they eventually lose georgia, but on election night they are up in the senate. it was very hard afterwards for people like me to make the case, honestly, and it would have been honest to say trump has just destroyed the republican party, really. and they've recruited even more women and minorities. it's a big mistake for anti
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trump people to say inevitably it is all going to fail. i think ultimately, i do think republicans will get punished this year for various things and democrats will outperform the traditional midyear election. if republicans had not lost 10 seats, which is totally than what people expected. everyone ridiculed trump for saying we're gonna win the house gained house seats and whatever, he did not quite when it but they came close. if republicans lose 10 house seats in 2020 and lose a couple of these senate seats, they thought were in play that they end up that ended up reverting at the end. i think the effect of january six is totally different. i don't think kevin mccarthy, i don't think they rallied it. they did not think republicans in the house do not think donald trump is a disaster for them. kevin mccarthy is 3 to 1 odds to become speaker of the house in
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2022. and they're probably going to reelect republican governors will become more and more trumpy and much trumpy er, than their predecessors. one of the biggest things students i think people really need to think hard about is, i mean, i hope there's a political price to be paid. until there's a much more evident political price to be paid for being a trumpy republican and it's t just in rather few swing districts, but it is across the nation. i think very hard to change the party now. i think maybe pennsylvania and ohio and wisconsin and michigan this year will make a big difference. and that will be an interesting question. does it affect the presidential, you know, raises in 23 4 doesn't really strengthen those on the republican side, who said we
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can't do trump again? it is an underreported fact that republicans felt ok about their own party in 2021. half of them work happy to get rid of trump. i think this was kippered's point -- katherine's point. >> well, listen, we i'm cognizant of time to hear, i we've covered policy, we've covered politics. am going to go to predictions. i would love to ask for all of you and i'll start with you janet, like, can you envision, what does, what does the congress look like after november 8 jack --?
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what is going to happen at the start of a major presidential election in 2024? >> i think we've all failed at that recently. i will regroup after november 8. i think the house goes to republicans, the senate holds. >> let's go to you next barbara. >> i think the senate stays democrat, down two or three. those will be trump candidates.
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how those swing seats are determined may be impacted by some of these bad senate candidates. that could have an impact then how things are going forward. one of the leadership races will be tom amber. he is very popular. he is a more collegial person and less, more practical. elise stefanik now announcing that she is going to run. who wins the race could determine if there's any success at all in the house. >> catherine?
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i think you are muted. why don't we go to build. -- bill. >> i'll just revert to my original point, i think surprising things will happen and it will be more chaotic than we expect. are we confident that trump doesn't try to depose him with stefanik or somebody else? are we confident that i assume if they lose the house speaker, pelosi steps down as leader and probably just resigns from the house, maybe not if it's really close, but she thinks she could really affect things, but maybe she does. i guess we think hakeem jeffries is next in line, but we're not certain we don't know about that. does mcconnell stay incidentally as minority leader for another
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maybe he does. i just think the degree of and and right away the question becomes both trump assuming he's running. how strong is he? and does biden run again? which imes kept to bilbao. -- which i am skeptical about. i don't think harris is a lay down to be the nominee as well. >> i keep my money in mitch mcconnell. >> ok. i am writing all these down. >> i think the senate stays in democratic hands, the house is in republican hands, but much more narrowly than many are
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predicting. we see probably 4 to 5 high profile recount election four or five high profile, not decided on election night races. it will make the landscape of the 2024 election even mourn president did. i also do not think that harris is issuing. -- a shoe in. >> so many factors to determine that. >> to finish it out, what is your advice to all the students
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on here? there is so much at stake. there is so much going on. there's so many factors. what would you advise them? >> i think regardless of party get involved with candidates that you believe in. people who are principled and that you want to work with. particularly in these 50-50 districts. you can really make a difference in do not be did scourged. -- discouraged. if you are up in pennsylvania, jumped in and there are a lot of races to play in there. you can make a big difference in arizona.
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engaging in those races and getting election deniers. we can all agree on that. >> like i said, read your local paper, stay on top of your local issues. make sure you read the you know the national news and cnn and the washington post of the world, but really stay on top of your local issues because those will dominate your lives and will have real impact on on your house and households in in the next few years. >> go work on a campaign. i try not to hire anybody who hasn't worked on a political >> zones really matter in the next two years so make sure put in an effort. on cnn and washington was the world stay of those because those will dominate your lives and will have a effect on your house and tells for the nex
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few years for sure. we are maybe 100 miles from a competitive district. i very much agree about the campaign experience. especially young people, they have opportunities to make a difference, being involved with campaigns. >> we have been able to answer some of the questions from our students. i cannot thank you enough for your time. you are all incredibly busy people. the impact you have made to
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american university, what you have done so far would have been enough. to come back and do this, you are always welcome on this campus. the institute will ask you again and again to bring your voices to this. we will all get together afterward and i will bring my piece of paper with those predictions. i am sure there will be a lot of discussions about this election. i will close by saying with catherine's point about the farm bill, elections have consequences. these are not just competition for competition's sake. government should be about consensus. we will bring you all back and talk about what is the new landscape and how are we going to navigate that as a country.
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i appreciate all of you. i look forward to talking to you between now and election day. to everyone on, students are coming back to campus and we are excited to have you here. we have incredible fall programming and will get you more information about the elections. you cannot get better advice from these individuals about how you can have an impact. enjoy the rest of your date and we will be in touch soon. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> coming up today on c-span, california representative katie porter and others. at 4 p.m., medical experts look at how sweden's response to the covid-19 pandemic was different from other countries trying to slow the spread of the virus. those events streaming on the c-span now video app along with a discussion about nuclear
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energy and how the industry might benefit from legislation recently passed by congress at 11 a.m. eastern. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including media,. >> the world changed in an n instant, but mediacom was ready, because we are built to keep you ahead. >> mediacom supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front-row seat to democracy. >> this morning on washington journal, katherine keneally from the institute for strategic dialogue talks about the increase in domestic terror threats


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