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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  May 20, 2014 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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legacies always matter. thank you, chuck todd, john f he eherty, cynthia tucker and ed rendell. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. join me in two hours for all the results announced live at 10:00 eastern. we'll have everything including all the victory and concession speeches, the best drama of the night at 10:00. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. the bluegrass state is in the spotlight because it is election night in america. with big races in six states and polls have already closed now in georgia and kentucky where there are two big marquee races. voters decisions this evening will have huge consequences for whether republicans take the senate this fall, and we have it all covered for you tonight. plus, we have another installment in our weeklong series "all in america" going back to the heartland to look at education and the great author thomas frank is here.
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first in georgia the polls have closed in the crowded republican primary with seven contenders battling to get into the run-off against a democrat, michelle nunn, who is actually one of the democratic party's best two shots at taking away a republican senate seat. and in kentucky the other state where a democrat has a the shot at taking out the incumbent republican senator, polls have closed. the and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell has prevailed against his primary challenger matt bevin as has mcconnell's democratic challenger kentucky secretary of state alison lundergan grimes in her primary. much more on the tough mcconnell/grimes face-off so many will be watching in this election. we'll be covering all the results as they roll in. in pennsylvania a hotly contested primary to be the democratic nominee to take on a man who may very well be the worst governor in america, tom corbett who after pushing through a right-wing agenda is
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under water in the eyes of wednesday voters who disapprove of his job performance by a whopping 25% -- 25-point margin in arkansas, another vitally important senate face-off, voters are expected to nominate tom cotton to face off against the expected democratic nominee, the incumbent senator mark pryor. meanwhile the republican gubernatorial candidate hutchinson who supports voter i.d. forgot his own and had to dispatch a staffer to retrieve it. in oregon are where polls close late they are evening the republican battle to take on senator jeff merkley has been a bizarre, ugly contest with 911 tapes released and accusations of stalking. and, of course, the most entertaining primary in all of america in idaho where this man is on the ballot as we speak. >> as it says on my motorcycle club, hey diddle diddle, right up the middle. that's my style. >> the marquee race of this evening centers on had this man, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell who, in his fifth term
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as senator, is in peril. mcconnell is the man who represents the state that four years ago gave us the tea party senator ron paul, a man in mitch mcconnell who has presided over scores of minority led filibuster who filibustered his own bill. the man who famously and infamously said this about president barack obama. he is trying to avoid becoming the first minority leader in the long history of this great republican to lose his race while his party is occupying the white house. . that is what mitch mcconnell finds himself desperately trying to avoid. tonight he survived the very first test against his primary challenger matt bevin the. mcconnell will go on to endure the most difficult election he's faced in a state that president
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barack obama lost by 23 points and elected rand paul. a state mitch mcconnell knows every inch of and should win walking away. a state that has expand ed medicate implementing obamacare more than any conservative state in the country. mitch mcconnell faces the fight of his political life against the young, charismatic, very well-funded democratic challenger kentucky secretary of state alison lundergan grimes. the politics are more fascina fascinating than almost anywhere else in the country, completely upside-down and lundergan grimes will be fascinating down the stretch. a democrat from kentucky joins me and jeff mcintosh, communications director. and there was a lot of talk early on about the senate conservative fund and big tea party money flowing into matt bevin who would take on mitch mcconnell who was a symbol of
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the establishment the tea party hated and not much came of that challenge. >> no, i think you're right, chris. matt bevin made mistakes early on. he appeared at a cockfighting rally and appeared to endorse cockfighting. made some very tactical mistakes and turned out not to be the great candidate that a lot of people thought he would be. in a major poll released over the weekend 39% of matt bevin's voters said they would not vote for mitch mcconnell in november. 25% said they would vote for alison grimes. and i think the critical factor is mitch mcconnell spent $12 million of his money, has not budged his poll numbers at all. he's still in the low 40s against alison grimes and hasn't been able to do anything to enhance his standings. so it's going to be a very, very competitive race with 56% job disapproval that he has. i think he will have a very tough sledding in the fall.
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>> just so folks know that was matt bevin there offering his concession. he was the tea party challenger who has come up short this evening in his challenge of senate minority leader mitch mcconnell in the state of kentucky. do you buy that polling that says that folks -- a certain significant percentage of the bevin voters are so disgusted with mitch mcconnell they will not vote for him in the general particularly when you look at the kind of falling in line you're seeing very early on from some of the big tea party voices in the right-wing media tonight. >> look, mitch mcconnell is one of the least liked senators in the country. you don't get to just a 29% approval rating if only the members of the opposite party dislike you, you have to have some real discontent within your own party in order to reach numbers that low. so i think he has a lot of work to do to pull republicans together and i think that 12 million number is really important. that is three times the average a republican senator spends before the general. the last senator to spend more
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than $10 million before his general race was senator scott brown who lost in massachusetts. mitch mcconnell is not going into the general in a strong position, and he's against someone who is going to be the strongest candidate he's ever been up against. >> why is that the case? i've been looking at lundergan grimes. she has deep roots in the state, good family connections, raising money, she's won statewide. that is her right there that you're seeing. this is just file footage we're showing. this is not live. but why is she going to be such a strong canndidate aside from the fact she can raise a lot of money? >> she is runninging one of the best campaigns in the country right now. she is working as hard as anybody out there, and she is just kentucky through and through. like the contrast that she provides with mitch mcconnell who is such a creature of washington, he actually resembles the capitol dome, it's something that i think really appeals to voters.
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she's a new face, and she cares with about kentucky. she is speaking about kentucky jobs. mitch mcconnell has actually said that it is not his job to create jobs. so contrast couldn't be any clearer and i think that's why people are responding to her. >> congressman, it was striking to me that mcconnell actually department seem to make much of the bevin challenge because if you look at his had ads even in the primary season they have been very targeted at a kind of general election audience and very much about how much mitch mcconnell cares about the voters of kentucky, very kitchen table, almost, to be honest, if you looked at them you would think it was a senate candidate, frankly, talking about how he's helped the people of kentucky. that makes -- leads me to believe mitch mcconnell understands that the people of kentucky, however they vote in the presidential election, are hurting and are looking for some help. >> i think from basically a year ago everything that mitch mcconnell has done has shown that he understands very well where he is vulnerable whether it's bringing his wife, elaine, with him to events.
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he understands he's vulnerable with women. all of these pandering ads talking about his sensitivities even though he's voted against policies, voted against raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits, talk about repealing the affordable care act which he somewhat moderated now. he understands where he's vulnerable. he's a very smart guy. i've known him a long time. the problem is those vulnerabilities are real. alison lundergan grimes represents a vivid contrast to him and the most important thing about alison as a candidate is she is tough. she will not be bullied by mitch mcconnell which has been his m.o. for his entire career. it's going to be a very fascinating campaign. i look forward to the debate. she will destroy him because he cannot defend his record. >> kinect, the name for obama
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care in the name of kentucky which is popular there will be on the ballot in a way. john yarmouth, thank you for joining me tonight. >> thanks. >> the tea party has come a long way in the past five years. >> that big a difference between what you call the tea party and your average conservative republican. >> the definition for tea party candidate has it all wrong next. avo: waves don't care what age you are. take them on the way you always have. live healthy and take one a day men's 50+. a complete multivitamin with 7 antioxidants to support cell health. age? who cares. if you have a business idea, we have a personalized legal solution that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom. we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality.
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you are looking at live coverage of the headquarters for alison lundergan grimes, the kentucky secretary of state who win wins the nomination for the democrats tonight to take on mitch mcconnell who won his primary. the republican party in the state of kentucky in what is set up as one of the biggest, most ferocious battles of this entire election season. coming up, we expect to hear from both of them hopefully. our primary night coverage will continue. plus, the second installment of our special series "all in
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america" on the road in the conservative heartland. tonight we're taking you to a small town called marquette. our thanks in part to republican governor sam brownback's education cuts. today was the last day of school there ever. ♪ [ male announcer ] since we began, mercedes-benz has pioneered many breakthroughs. ♪ breakthroughs in design... breakthroughs in safety... in engineering... and technology. and now our latest creation breaks one more barrier. presenting the cla. starting at $29,900. ♪ but add brand new belongings from nationwide insurance... ...and we'll replace destroyed or stolen items with brand-new versions. we take care of the heat, so you don't get burned.
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just another way we put members first, because we don't have shareholders. join the nation. ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪ polls closed in georgia a little over an hour ago. we're awaiting results in a freewheeling, hotly contested, very expensive, crowded primary field. trying to replace retiring u.s. senator republican saxby chambliss. on the democratic side the race is less crowded and competitive
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with michelle nunn, the daughter of sam nunn, the clear favorite. georgia is one of two states democrats the have a good chance at taking back a senate seat. it will greatly determine how good after chance they have a. poll conduct ed earlier this month by "the atlanta journal constitution" stated michelle nunn leads all of the five main republican u.s. senate hope itfuls in a ballot test though the strongest republican battles nunn to a near tie. in other words all goes according to plan for democrats if nunn gets the right opponent. let's keep in mind who will be selecting the right opponent tonight. this is what the math looks like. around 10 million people in the peach state. about one-fifth of them will vote in tonight's contest. with none of the the gop candidates likely to reach the vote needed to avoid a run-off, the top two vote getters could finish with 25% of the vote each
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which means around 600,000 people will decide who will be in the run-off to face michelle nunn called mid-term democracy. joining me now state representative and house minority leader stacy abrams. and representative abrams if you or michelle nunn, and we haven't declared her the victor yet, but if you were michelle nunn, who would you want to see in this run-off among her possible republican opponents? >> thank you for having me tonight, chris. i actually don't think it matters what paul broun has managed to do is drag every s g single l one of those candidates so hard to the right, they all come out of the primary looking very extreme. and it's only going to get worse during the two-month run-off. >> paul broun and phil gingrey, two conservative republican members of congress in the primary have not, accord iing t the latest polling, fared particularly well. how do you make sense of that? how do you make sense of the fact these, quote, so-called
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establishment candidates, jack kingston, a longtime member of congress, david perdue, a businessman and brother, i believe, of the former governor and karen handel, the three of them have emerged at the front of the pack. >> i think the fact is they've spent the most money. this is a primary that's going to spend a lot per voter and i think your numbers say about 600,000 republicans will vote and roughly $5 million to $7 million spent to buy each one of those votes. and so i think the reality is paul broun you, while having a grassroots appeal, didn't have the cash. david perdue could self-fund. kingston was supported by the u.s. chamber of commerce and karen handel was able to capitalize on very strong support from sarah palin and other tea party groups. >> when you look at this math there's a contested primary you have to be thinking to yourself, okay, what does turnout look li like? i imagine you're up in the fall as your fellow members in the legislature. the what democrats will be coming out to georgia?
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what number of them, what percentage do you need to come out for someone like michelle nunn or perhaps jason carter or anyone else to have a shot statewide or even in con 0 tested races in the state legislature? >> i think what we need is the highest turnout we can generate which is certainly 52% of the electorate is democratic, that's fantastic. i don't think we need a plurality of democrats to win. i think the republican extremism will convert a number of moderate leaning republicans in michelle's favor. i think on top of that, you have excitement at the top of the ticket with michelle nunn, with jason carter, with contested races where we're going to run really strong candidates. what you're going to find is renewed optimism among democrats. what it takes to win is a belief it's possible. and i think 2014 has turned into one of those years for democrats. >> michelle nunn has been asked a number of times about whether she would have voted for the affordable care act. she hasn't given a straightforward yes or no answer. it is a counter factual
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question. is she being too cute by half where she stands with respect to obamacare, the affordable care act? >> absolutely not. michelle has been very clear that she believes we have to solve our health care crisis. she believes we need to expand medicaid. but like every reasonable democrat the, she understands that no law is perfect when it's passed and what she would do as u.s. senator is fix the pieces that aren't working but keep pursuing the pieces that are sharp. what she has defensemmonstrated willingness to be thoughtful to not give a pandering answer on one side or the other but to really say she is wanting -- she is going there to fix the problems for georgia, and i think that's the kind of senator that we want. >> jack kingston and david purdue, karen handel and the rest of the field, anyone in that primary that might emerge that favors medicare expansion for the hundreds of thousands of georgians that would benefit from it? >> i think it's a sad day but absolutely not. although i think david perdue has said on -- he said prior to
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becoming a candidate he believed there was a federal solution to health care. i think jack kingston despite representing most of the military bases in georgia and knowing better and despite having karen handel who served one of the poorest communities in the state when she was the head of fulton county, they each understand the working poor, the veterans, that georgia requires health care expansion. that rural hospitals are going to fail without this money. but i think none of them will have the political courage to say that the truth is we need to accept the money georgians have paid into the system and get that money back so we can grow georgia and put georgia back to work. >> the issue of medicaid ex packs was treated by political football by nathan deal who voluntarily gave up the power to do it himself giving it to the legislature so he wouldn't have to take a position ultimately on whether he wanted to or not, which suggestses to me there's an opportunity running on precisely that in a statewide race. >> absolutely. what i favor about michelle and jason they have stood foursquare
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in favor of medicare expansion, that we have 25,000 veterans in georgia that will lose access to health care, they understand that we have 15 hospitals that could possibly shut down. and those hospitals represent up to 30% of the workforce in the county. >> georgia state representative -- >> and so i believe what we will know at the end of the day, and on july 22, is democrats will win 2014, and that we're going to win no matter who comes out of the primary. >> always a pleasure. the thank you. more primary news ahead. the second night of our special se series "all in america." we're on the road in kansas. the tonight we tell the story of the final day of school in a small town and how the state's republican governor and legislators brought that final day about. all across america battles are waged in the states. laws are passed and the impact of these policy decisions affects us all. many of these stories go untold until now. join us as we take "all in" on the road capturing the small-town stories that make up our bigger picture.
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mitch mcconnell is trying to bully and intimidate conservatives just lake the irs is. mitch mcconnell tried to silence conservatives, all but calling them traitors who he wants to punch in the nose for criticizing his liberal vote. don't try to fool conservatives by pretending you're one of us, senator mcconnell. you are not. >> you are not. meant to be the big scourge of senator mitch mcconnell, the republican establishment this election year, so much so that a private lunch mcconnell and several other senate republicans berated texas senator ted cruz after he refused to disavow the group's efforts. at this hour, however, the group's efforts against senate minority leader have fizzled. we're going to hear his victory speech any moment now as the associated press called the race
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for mitch mcconnell just minutes after polls close this had evening raising the question what does the scoreboard look like this year for tea party challengers? has the tea party won so much it doesn't matter if they actually win anymore? joining me now the publisher of "the federalist" l. why did the matt bevin challenge never take flight? >> i think one of the things we know about politics, and this is true even before, chris, the power of money on their side, you have to be a really good candidate. you have to run a campaign that doesn't have a lot of mistakes, and you have to be able to tap into, i think, a lot of grassroot support. >> let me stop you there. that was not true in 2010. i mean, christine o'donnell exists. >> christine o'donnell didn't have to go up against the kind of establishment incumbency on the other side to beat somebody within the primary system that
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way. i think what you really find when you look at these candidates is that typically the more talented candidate wins unless the other guy in the race has a lot more money or a lot more backing in terms of the power side of things. you see the real talent sort of emerge within these situations and that's true whether you're looking at nebraska or looking at georgia in the current sh showdown that you see there. i think within the context of mcconnell, though, it's really interesting to me the way it this race played out. going forward from here, and you were talking earlier about the role grimes is going to play, within this cycle, mitch mcconnell always made the calculation this was going to be a wave election year and he wanted to make sure that his own re-election was prioritized within that context. he's going to be spending a heck of a lot of money within kentucky, a state that really ought to be sending a republican, if you look at all the other demographics, money that will come away from other potential senate races. it's going to be really interesting how much money ends up spent in kentucky that might have been spent elsewhere if
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they had a candidate who didn't have the approval ratings mitch mcconnell has. >> that's a really good point. you have to zoom out and look at this as a chess match, right, and there's a limited amount of moves you can make. and so every time you're deciding whether to deploy national funds particularly some of the resources get sucked into the kentucky race. i was saying something last night, we have our eyes on the alison lundergan grimes headquarters there, that in some ways the primary challenge strategy from the tea party in these three successive elections, 2010, 2012, and 2014 is a success even if the challenger is not successful. the percentage of incouple you bents facing challengers, 26% of democrats, 41% of republicans. even if the challenger loses, the kind of accountability and from an ideological perspective stays, right? >> it really does. what you see in the end of political movements often is that their priorities, policy
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priorities and their language becomes a part of that existing party. that's the way that they end. so they end up at the table as part of the number of other republican factions. on thursday mitch mcconnell is going to talk at aei with a challenger, mike lee, at the same event talking about policy priorities. mitch mcconnell wants to sound like a tea partier, someone who has prioritized their issues because he knows that it plays. and so to a certain extent i think you're right. the impact to pull the republican party in their direction whether they actually get their guys elected or not. >> and i think we're seeing that born out if this this race in which we're not seeing them, quote, get their guys elected but it becomes a moot point at a certain point although in mississippi, a race i am very curious about, we'll see whether that happens. >> i just wanted to say i think it's really just a question whether it's lip service or whether they actually will try to pass this agenda if they get the senate. >> ben, thank you so much. coming up, our primary night
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coverage continues. first our special series "all in the states" continues with our trip to kansas and a story that shows what happens when education fund youing is decimated. is a daily game of "what if's". what if my abdominal pain and cramps come back? what if the plane gets delayed? what if i can't hide my symptoms? what if? but what if the most important question is the one you're not asking? what if the underlying cause of your symptoms is damaging inflammation? for help getting the answers you need, talk to your doctor and visit to get your complimentary q&a book, with information from experts on your condition.
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the polls have closed in arkansas and kentucky. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell handily beating his opponent there. because they advocate for things like more education spending and collective bargaining rights, you will find teachers unions are the top of the newly elected or running candidate of republican enemies list. >> the largest contributors to the democratic party are the federal teachers unions. it's an extraordinary conflict of interest. >> a problem for republicans. while it may be a political enemy, teachers themselves do not make very good villains. most people like teachers. having your state capitol packed full of angry public schoolteachers like what happened in wisconsin is not the best way to win over the hearts
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and minds of the voting public. so in kansas when the opportunity arose for conservative lawmakers backed by groups like the coke funded americans for prosperity to take away a teacher's right to due process, the right for dismiss teacher to know why they were fired, the bill was passed overnight on a weekend. >> they were brought up as four amendments literally in the dead of night. >> the due process repeal was never heard in committee. it came up as a floor amendment jammed in there and then rushed through. poof. >> like that. that happened in early april. teachers and advocates trailed paul brownback from event to event. he signed the bill into law in late april and teachers are vowing to make him pay for that in november's election. >> now we have our members really engaged in this this effort. they're going around. they're picketing the governor's appearances. what they're hearing is making them understand they need to be politically involved. they need to get involved in this election. >> it's not just issues of due
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process that teachers and other voters are upset with governor brownback and their leapian-led legislator, it's what happened in kansas. in march the supreme court of kansas ruled that the level of public funding was so low it violated the state's own constitution. and that lack of funding combined with the general population to rural communities is threatening an entire way of life in small towns like marquette, kansas. today was the last day of school ever in marquette. the elementary school, the last school open in town, just closed. the school's district and superintendent tells "all in" they no longer have the budget to keep the school open thanks to brownback's cuts. the town is trying to come to terms with what that loss means for the kids and everyone else that lives there. >> when a town loses its school, you lose the town. it's just like you're losing a part of your family, like a part of your family is being torn away from you. >> the heart of the community is
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its school and for many communities across had america from neighborhoods in detroit and chicago to small towns in west virginia and kansas that school is not only its heart but its life force. when funding for education gets cut, schools end up on the chopping block. >> schools slated to close at the end of the school year. >> 44 detroit schools will close at the end of the year. >> philadelphia is closing 23 schools. washington, d.c., 15. >> when a school shuts down, it doesn't just affect the students. it can devastate the community. marquette, kansas, is a town of around 650 people in the central part of the state. it has a post office. >> library, and an elementary school. today that school shut its doors for the last time. >> we're kind of the heart of the community. we're one of the largerer employers in town.
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everyone participates in school but participates in activities and groups in town, so it's just part of what makes a small town tick. >> darryl talbott has worked in the area school district for 30 years. he's been the principal of marquette for the last seven. he's also the school's phys. ed. teacher. >> everybody start over. new game. >> now that the school is closed, he's retiring from public education. >> a lot of our families have been here for four or five generations, it really hurts the school they went to and loved and one of the reasons they moved back here their children won't be able to experience the same thing. >> the decision by the smoky valley school board to shutter marquette elementary was made to close a budget gap, closing the school will save the district over $400,000 and cut 12 jobs. . the superintendent blames marquette's closure on governor sam brownback and the republican-led legislature. together they cut budgets for schools so much the kansas
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supreme court declared school funding levels unconstitutional earlier this year. >> of course teachers aren't being paid as well. we're cutting programs. i fear for a lot of small town schools in kansas. >> but raising children in a small community was what brought many children back to their hometown of marquette. >> it's very heartbreaking, and so many emotions trying to deal with all of it because it is so close to your heart to have your kids go to school at the same school you went to. so it's very difficult. >> the move is equally heart wren pg for marquette students who will now be attending different schools in the area. >> it's like my life. my school is my second family really. >> if you drive just a few miles west of here you'll see town after town that lost their school and the towns deteriorate. that's the way it is. it's such a huge heart of the community, schools are.
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it attracts young kids and young families, and it's a tough thing to lose. >> drive three hours southwest of the town of bloom, kansas, and you can see firsthand what the closing of a school does to a community. bloom was once small yet vibrant. its school closed in the 1960s. this is all that is left. what happens to marquette after its elementary school closes weighs heavily on people's minds. >> it's so much a part of us that it's even hard to talk about. >> somebody compared it the other day to having a tornado come through and take your home away and you can't do anything about it. >> it takes a little bit of time to recover. it's like a child being lost and so you have to grieve a little bit. i think we will do whatever we can to try and keep this community going. >> in this country we talk about the value of education for our children, but little by little through legislation, budget cuts, in cities and towns across
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america, that value is chipped away. communities lose not only their center but everything that comes with it. >> we've had a tremendous blow but marquette has always been a survivor, and we're going to survive this not because we want to but because we have to. >> joining me now thomas frank for, author of "what's the matter with kansas." we are awaiting mitch mccome's possible victory speech this evening. tom, what is it with about -- and mitch mcconnell is a good example of someone who if he's animated by one thing in politics it's going after unions. what is it about teachers and teachers unions -- there is mitch mcconnell. hold on 0 one moment. with his wife who was secretary of labor. >> i was going to point that out. >> and not particularly an awesome one from the standpoint of actual labor. what is it about unions and teachers unions in particular
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that draws the ire of republican candidates. >> come on now. you know why unions. unions -- you have to pay people more. it's expensive. it's money out of their rich benefactor's pockets. >> here is mcconnell, standing up to the challenge from matt bevin. he is about to address his supporters. >> thank you very much. something must have happened today. i'm not sure what it is. my friends, tonight we begin the process of putting kentucky first again. [ applause ] for five and a half years the powers that be in washington have treated the people of this state with contempt. and tonight i have a simple message for all of them, those days are numbered.
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a little while ago i spoke with matt bevin and congratulated him on a hard fought campaign. matt brought a lot of passion and tenacity to this race, and he made me a stronger candidate. a tough race is behind us. it's time to unite. to my opponent's supporters, i hope you'll join me in the months ahead and know that your fight is my fight. let's have a big hand form matt bevin. the reason we need to be together, of course, is because this race has always been much bigger than one candidate. it's about the kind of state we want. it's about the kind of country we want. it's about restoring america, and it starts tonight.
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>> mitch mcconnell telling the supporters it's time to put kentucky first again despite the fact he's been in the senate for i believe 30 years. if kentucky is not being put first, there's a reason. so mcconnell has been animated in his political life by i would say two things and one is going after unions. the other free speech for billionaires and getting rid of campaign finance restrictions and it strikes me mcconnell and the relationship to bevin is a perfect little microcosm of the thesis of what's the matter with kansas, what played out in your home state, the way that the republican sort of establishment channels the energy of an enraged grassroots. >> populism. mitch mcconnell doesn't seem like the most wonderful populist in the world but he said he will stop the contempt coming from washington, d.c. >> he is the least likely and
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those pointy headed know it alls in washington where i live. >> it always comes back to this. this is the only card -- the only ace they have and they'll play it again and again and again until the day the democrats stop them. >> and why is it effective even now? when i think about what's going on in the sort of post-2010 political landscape, what's happened in kansas which ten years ago you were saying had gone to the right and is now even more right wing, how do you understand the tea party in the framework of that analysis that was so famous, you made so famous in 2004? >> the tea party is also a populous movement. when i started researching the tea party movement they were determined to never talk about the culture wars. all they wanted to talk about was economics or -- their understanding of economics is a little curious. what it is is market populism. it's the same stuff as the
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culture wars only transposed. the market, right, is supposed to be the perfect expression of the will of the people. did i ever tell you i went to the very first tea party rally? >> you did tell me that. >> it looked completely fake. it was like here is grover norquist's group, newt gingrich's group, lobbyists all waving signs and pretending to be protesters. it was a complete hoax. but it caught on. >> right, because it successfully challenged the populism. this is what you have to remember, when you talk about what's the tea party going to do, i don't care anymore. the tea party has served its historical purpose which was to prevent some kind of real populism from taking root. and they did it. >> the problem, of course, these senate policies when you go after teachers like brownback in kansas, you can end up on the wrong side. people are teachers. >> teachers is another -- this is the culture war thing. so when it's teachers unions and you've got you're firing on all
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cylinders, the sort of hate for teachers, this is -- this is how i got interested in this in the first prays. do you remember when kansas had the war on evolution in the early 1990s? i'm from kansas. i couldn't believe it. what are they doing? it's not tennessee. it's not arkansas. it's kansas. we had good schools there, you know. i went to them. we are proud of our schools there. how could this be happening? that's how i started my research on this. it's a fascinating thing. it's where everything comes together in the hatred of schools, education. those are symbols of class for these guys. >> thomas frank from salon, author of "what's the matter of kansas." the tenth anniversary this year. we're waiting to hear from the person taking on mitch mcconnell, alison lundergan grimes. all stations come over to mission a for a final go.
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welcome back to primary night. mitch mcconnell who would become the first majority leader if republicans take the senate in the fall has beaten his tea party challenger matt bevin. mcconnell will face the democratic senate, the secretary of state, alison lund yergan grimes. that challenge will be the political fight of mcconnell's life. we'll bring you results in arkansas, idaho, oregon and pennsylvania in what will be telling prelude to the battle in the months to come.
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yeah, i get that a lot. alka seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief. the polls are still open in two states on this election night, idaho and oregon where the polls closed at 11:00 p.m. eastern. if you are in idaho it is not too late to vote for one of these guys to be a republican gubernatorial nominee. >> and you have your choice, folks. a cowboy, a curmudgeon, a bikerer or a normal guy. >> we're wasting all kinds of wood out there and they're burning it and smogging this place up. >> i don't like political correctness. can i say this? it sucks. as it says on my motorcycle club, hey diddle diddle right up the middle. that's my style. >> that governor bush made sure we were on stage to his
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legitimate tea party challenger. the battle between longtime congressman mike simpson and his tea party challenger bryan smith attracted an unbelievable amount of outside spending. through millions of the tea party groups that bet big on bryan smith. republicans thought they had the perfect candidate the in a pediatric neurosurgery and believed to have a real shot of revelations that two different men, an ex-husband and ex-boyfriend accused her of stocking and harassment. joining me now the senator editor and author of "big girls don't cry" and political writer for buzz feed.
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there was a 911 call, of her boyfriend saying he's stalking me, an ex-husband saying she attacked him. >> physically attacked. >> ugly, ugly stuff and another level if it were -- if these obl fwa obligations were against a man what would we make of it. >> the way it's being cast is crazy glenn close from "fatal attraction" stalking nutty lady. it's like she's unstable. her boyfriend broke up with her and she's a crazy stalking lady. it reminds me of the bridget kelly framing of how she was nutty after the breakup and that's a very endered frame and it is sort of not just. the however, the revelations themselves, 911 calls, police reports, those would come out against a man. this is politics. >> yes, right. exactly. >> you have women in politics, it is a fiction women are naturally cleaner than men,
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right. >> that they don't have sex scandals. this mars/venus nonsense. >> i don't buy it. both gendered and politics. >> you got the briwrinkle in orn because it's a vote by male state that late breaking revelations might not end up having that big of an impact although they've had -- has gone underground. it's a train wreck. >> this is coming from democrats. she is moderate he is peespecia issues of abortion and she is somebody who said she personally doesn't believe in abortion but that she doesn't believe the government should make laws about it. >> which is why she was seen by the nrc as a great candidate for oregon. >> and what makes her threatening to democrats which is why this damaging stuff coming from democrats and the not her republican opponents. >> this one congressional race, people talk about the -- the tea party and a lot of times i think it's rhetorical nonsense. this is one place where it is not rhetorical nonsense.
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it is straight up. >> this is the actual distillation of the pundits. . you have the chamber of commerce that has spent a ton of money backing simpson and has placed his re-election as one of their top priorities for this mid-term election and then you you have smith, his opponent. club for growth came in, spent money on trying to get him elected. in recent weeks the polls they've shown haven't shown him getting close enough and have pulled back which we think that probably means simpson is going to pull off a victory here. interests it has been such a tight race. >> why do you think the chamber came in so big for simpson? he voted for the bailout if i'm not mistaken, one of the big articles of impeachment against him by the tea party. why do you think it was so important for the chamber to send this message? >> he is the embodiment of an old guard mitt romney republican. mitt romney came in early and endorsed him, idaho one of the states there was never any question with about whether a mitt romney endorsement would help. lots of mormons there and he came in and endorsed him.
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it's very much this kind of corporate, pro business, do anything at any cost to help big companies and businesses succeed. republican. that's his ideology. the chamber said this guy is one we want to keep in congress. >> are we going to see it this stuff be a dominant part of the nen? >> i'm sure it will be. people love this stuff. they like to talk about it. it is a sex scandal and it confirms to a lot of very sexist jokes. >> there is the fact that one of the ex-boyfriends/current boyfriend ran a super pac on her behalf without violating the law because they didn't talk about it. >> there was an earlier investigation. a huge supporter pouring money into her campaign. on the other hand merkley is popular. a hard race for any republican to win. >> arkansas, kentucky, georgia. we'll get results from georgia in the next hour.
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thank you both. that is "all in" for now. we will be back at 11:00 p.m., a special live edition, primary night continues with "the rachel maddow show." >> yay, thank you, chris. very exciting. thank you. see you later on. we'll be live later on, too. indeed. thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour and for the rest of the night. nobody is going to bed tonight. a the lot of polls close really late and we'll be here forever. pop your popcorn, we'll be here. get the blanket, sit on the couch. we'll be fine. all right. ralph nader ran for president four times. the first time he ran was in 1996. ralph nader ran on the green party ticket. he made the ballot in 22 states that year. he ended up getting .7% of the vote. bi bill clinton cleaned up that year in 1996. bob dole was way behind bill clinton. the