tv Politics Nation With Al Sharpton MSNBC November 4, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
we'll have the latest numbers from around the country, but with two days left to go. our nbc news "wall street journal" poll has 50% of likely midterm voters wanting democrats in control of congress, a seven-point lead over republicans. and early voting is setting a record, nearly 35 million votes already counted nationally, more than 4 million of them from the battleground state of florida. and tonight i'm coming to you live from miami where i was a part of the souls to the polls march earlier today to make sure some of the poorest black residents exercise their hard-won voting rights. as we count down to tuesday. the eyes of the nation are
uniquely fixed on florida where democratic gubernatorial candidate andrew gillum, who joined us at the march today maintains a razor-thin lead over republican ron desantis in the race that has drawn out both parties' heaviest hitters, including on the democratic side, former president obama who stumped for democrats in illinois earlier today. >> america's at a cross roads. the health care of millions is on the ballot. a fair shake for working families is on the ballot. perhaps most importantly, the character of our country. >> president trump was just in georgia this past hour, two days after his predecessor stumps for
democratic gubernatorial candidate stacy abrams in her dead heat against republican brian kemp. >> this election will decide whether we build on this extraordinary prosperity we've created, or whether we let the radical democrats take a giant wrecking ball to our economy and to our future. >> the president will rally in tennessee tonight, one of four rallies he'll hold in the next 26 hours as his brand faces its biggest test yet. for both sides, this is it, folks. on tuesday we decide. joining me now is sirius xm radio host joe madison, political analyst and salem radio host hugh hewitt and national political reporter for the daily beast, betty woodruff.
let me start here in florida today. i've been all over south florida and did three churches, did the souls to the polls. a lot of energy here to come out and vote. obviously churches and civil rights leaders, we don't tell people who to vote for, but we tell them to vote, long lines, a lot of energy. but what we don't know is whether there is a lot of energy that will cancel each other out. hugh hewitt, there are also reports there is a lot of energy in what is perceived to be mainly republican districts. what's your read on this two days out? >> i'm as happy as i could have possibly hoped to have been. this is the new nbc poll, and 92% of republicans are with the republicans, president trump.
if you see a republican saying don't vote republican, they're an outlier. i was in cleveland last night and i noted the key thing of all. in arizona where martha mcsally is running against kyrsten sinema, one of those rally democrats, 75% of people already voted and the republican turnout is almost 8% higher than the democrats. i think the republicans have locked up the senate up tight. the president is going to tennessee tonight. the senate is going to stay under mitch mcconnell's control, al. i hate to throw cold water, but there's no blue wave. there wasn't even a blue tide pool. >> it's not tuesday yet. joe madison, you know what souls to the polls are. when i first started know you, you were the head of voter registration at the naacp. so the churches and the youth groups and the sororities
marching today, all the candidates were welcome to come. gillum has been coming to these things for years. st. louis, georgia, and all over the country. what does it mean you to as one who has done upon partisan voter registration, though clearly you have a preference in many races. when you see this kind of energy on the ground, particularly in communities that don't do a lot of early voting and midterm election voting? >> there's two things that i see. one is that they have been and as i think is the case now constantly underestimated by republicans. that's number one. number two, clearly, look, none of us know what's really going to happen, whether it's a blue wave or sprinkle or whatever the case might be. the reality is that it's going to be a ground game.
and i think what the republicans are underestimating is that people are knocking on these doors. i saw one report where over a million doors had been knocked on by democrats from various coalition organizations. people who are in labor, the souls to the polls. by the way, if republicans are so confident, why did they tried to get rid of souls to the polls? and we know exactly why. and i think the last time hew and i were on, remember he said when stacy abrams was talking about elections or voting or something in georgia being hacked, he said it was a concession speech. well, guess what happened this weekend? you have his candidate in georgia saying now that there's some hacking going on, so i would say to my friend, hugh, that sounds like a concession
speech to me also. so don't underestimate this ground swell because it's really going to be a ground game. that's really what's going to happen. >> just a minute, joe. let me go to betsy. let me get back to these other races. one of the things i've seen that we were clear about today is telling people about issues, supporting restoration of exfelons' voting rights. we know health care is an issue around the country. we're hearing it everywhere. the economy. where does president trump become the issue and where do these other issues weigh in? are they both and the same? >> that's a great question.
this new poll shreds on that. more plan to instantly to trump they opposite him more than support him. however, it's not combined an extraordinarily high percentage of the voters who are thinking that way. ultimately for most americans the number one issue is not who's the president or which party has control, but what does it mean for them economically. that's part of the reason health care is always such a key issue because it's frequently a major expense for many individuals. many people have trouble affording health care because costs have been so high. in the same way, questions about government support for programs that help people, the social safety net is a huge issue for a host of voters, along with questions about economic growth and taxes. so ultimately it's likely that most americans who are voting are going to decide based on
which party they think is going to help them be economically stable. and for the people who think trump is doing that, they're going to vote for trump. for those who aren't confident in the white house, they'll vote another way. >> what are the issues that president trump is really saying here? i mean, he could be talking about the economy, he could be talking about the low unemployment rates, even though people like me would argue the fact that it started under president obama. he's on a surf board on a wave he didn't really start. but putting that aside, he's thrown everything up against the wall, migrant caravans that are 800 miles out, talking about everything under the sun almost like a boogie man kind of politics. isn't he playing away from what could be his strengths in this midterm election. >> i watched last night. >> i'm talking to you.
>> i watched in montana. he began by saying i could talk about jobs, but it's boring. we have jobs everywhere. betsy is exactly right. in the nbc news poll, an astonishing 74% of people polled, it's question 15 if you want to get into it, said that they are either very satisfied or satisfied with their personal economic situation. that's off the charts for the first election in a midterm. and so in montana last night he did get around to talking about the caravan, but he started with jobs and in a rhetoric slide he said jobs, jobs, jobs, let me talk about the caravan. but he gets it in. and he also gets in justice kavanaugh. >> he dismiss it, hugh, he gets it in in a dismissive way. he's kind of like, yay, everybody knows about that, like that's not important. that is critical to people in this country. and he acts like it's not a real big thing. just like when he said two
mainiacs messed up our momentum in going into the midterm elections, where people died. his thing was they just interrupted republican momentum? >> no, he talked about the jobs report all day friday. he tweeted about it and talked about last night. saw it at the beginning of the georgia rally tonight. but he does need motivate the new republican voters. the old republican voter like me, we're motivated by kavanaugh and by the economy. the new republican voters, the trump voters, they want to know about borders and security and stopping drugs and making sure that that boardrder is secure. i'm optimistic about tuesday night. i think there are going to be a lot of long faces around msnbc like two years ago, al. >> i'm sorry, but -- >> joe, let me ask you. the critical issues, health care, jobs, and the economy, is
this president really championing these from his position, and if not, why not? >> he's not doing it. and hugh knows it. we're not stupid. we're watching the reports on all the channels, even on fox. it is fear. it is fear. that's the word. it's a four-letter word just like vo"vote". what he's trying to do, he knows the base is there. hugh is right, he's trying to get that new trump whatever that new trump voter is. so he's talking about all these folks are coming. here they come. and they're going to take your jobs. look, you know, let's just quit playing games. that's what's happening. by the way, that's what's turning a lot of people off, especially that suburban white
woman and college students. that's what may not be showing up in the polls. polls don't vote, people do. do not underestimate the black women in georgia like they underestimated them in alabama. and don't underestimate how angry people are at this thing of fear and what we have experienced in the last week or so. >> betsy, does your covering this race indicate that the independents, that many of them went to trump in '16, some of them that voted for obama went to trump but they are now turned off by this rhetoric we've heard from this president and his fear mongering and race baiting? >> candidly i couldn't speak to that level of granularity of
those who voted for obama and went to trump. what i can tell you is i spent this weekend in virginia 7th congressional district where dave bratt is running against abigail stanberger, democrat who's giving him the real run for his money. one thing that stood out to me speaking with voters is there are a number of folks who supported bratt in his initial candidacy and have been frustrated by he hasn't pushed back against the trump agenda and the other issues the country faces, and that that particular district faces. now, can i extrapolate from that reporting trends about the boarder way that independents are voting? i personally don't know that i could do that, but i think generally speaking that district is an interesting microcosm of the direction this country is
going. whoever wins that district is probably the party that has the best night on tuesday. >> maybe i can get more in the next segment. you stay with us, betsy, joe. and you go to your corners. i'll ring the bell and bring you back. coming up the wizard of the big board, steve kornacki himself joins us to help us understand the new polling numbers out today. be right back. but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management.
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i think we're going to do well in the house, but my primary focus has been on the senate. and i think we're doing really well in the senate. if you look at early returns, the early returns are very positive. so, you know, with so many people in congress, with so many people in the house, it's very hard to make those stops. but i've made a number. i think we're going to the well in the house and i think we're going to do really well in the senate. and there is something going on out there. >> that was president trump earlier today predicting that republicans have nothing to worry about in the next two days. or do they? here to crunch the numbers wide receiver is nbc's steve kornacki. >> rev, thanks for that. interesting to hear the president making that distinction between the senate and the house, not saying it sounds like he's covering across the board, but sounded like folks in the senate could be a
reason for that. the senate is being waged on republican turf basically. it's trump states that are going to decide the balance of power in the senate, not so when it comes to the house. let me show you our brand-new nbc news "wall street journal" poll. here's the bottom line question, they call this one, the generic ballot. which party do you want to have control congress. democrats leading in our poll on this question by seven points. that's about in line with where democrats have said all year they need to be to get control of the house. remember, because of all sorts of factors, the way population is distributed, the way district lines are drawn, the advantage of incumbancy, these things, just winning the simple popular vote for house may not be enough for the democrats to get the majority. they need a pretty sizable win, seven points is what they've been saying they think they need to win to get control of the house. there's also this. this is interesting. we asked about the president's
job approval rating. 46% approve, 52% disapprove. by any historical standard, that's not a great place to be, but for the standards of donald trump that's about as good as it's been for him in our poll since he became president. so that might add a bit of complexity to this on tuesday. there is also this, enthusiasm, asking people if they are highly interested. if you look at registered voters, the democrats, 73% put themselves in that category. 72% of republicans do. we were testing this question earlier this year. there was more of an enthusiasm gap there. now maybe a little bit less. when you get outside the partisans, you get to the independents, it's a little bit less. a bit of a complicated portrait there, but it's the difference between the senate and on the house battle fields.
texas, mont, north dakota, trump states. indiana, on and on. when you start looking at the house, the democrats need to gain of 23 seats to get the house. well, 25 republican seats out there that hillary clinton won in 2016, so that's why the turf is friendlier for democrats when it comes to the house versus the senate. >> now, let me ask you this quickly. when you look at that, the way you just outlined it, if we have almost a tie in terms of enthusiasm, this will be about who can deliver their base, a ground game. >> yeah. there's the question of that, there's the question of is there going to be a turnout edge that breaks one way or the other based on ground game, and there's the question of independent voters. how are they going to break? we have them in our poll here. we have a lot of them who seem undecided right now. we seem to have an advantage looks like of nine points for the democrats, but with a lot
undecided. so the other question, is there a break from those independent voters who don't have their minds made up yet. >> thank you, steve. you cleared a lot up for me. steve kornacki. still ahead, president trump continues to pedal conspiracy theories about billionaire democratic donors, two who were targeted by a domestic terrorist. one of them, tom steyer, joins me next. i'm ray and i quit smoking with chantix. i tried to quit smoking for years on my own. i couldn't do it. i needed help. for me, chantix worked. it did.
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"politicsnation." democratic megadonor tom steyer was among the staunchist critics of president trump, was targeted in a terrorist mail bombing campaign that shook the nation last week. so naturally he was spared no sympathy by the president who just two days later after watching stire criticize hi language on cnn twooid tweeted that the billionaire environmentist, quote, comes off as a crazed and stumbling lunatic. if he's running for president, the dems will eat him alive. the president was referring to steyer's emerge as a likely challenger to president trump in 2020, a likelihood that insiders say is all but inevitable if democrats flip the house. joining me now is trump gadfly, tom steyer, who just on thursday
received yet another device. first of all, let me ask you, are you and your family all right, tom? >> we're all good. thank you so much for asking. and the other thing that's important to say is, the people who i work with are all safe and i'd like to thank the postal workers who found both of these devices and did their jobs in a really exemplary fashion and took on the risk themselves. we're all fine, but they did a great job. >> one of the things that that has been troubling to me, and i want your response, is that there seems to be a lack of civility for the president to attack you in those kinds of words two days after you received a pipe bomb, criticizing all of us no matter what threat any of us are under. i mean, where's the human dignity in our electoral process.
they killed 11 people in a synagogue, one of the maniacs, and the other one sent pipe bombs to families that have children in the house. >> well, i think a couple of things about this. first of all, every time the president tweets criticism or tries to pick on somebody, he always is talking about himself. whenever he talks about lyin' ted, it's like, oh, really? every single insult he casts is actually funny because every one of them applies to him. but i think more than that, people have talked about his rhetoric and his rhetoric is violent, it is divisive, it is vilifying, and i think people have noticed that and have drawn the conclusion that it's led to violent behavior in our society, violent political behavior. but i think more than that, the actual actions of this president and the republican party are a model for lawlessness and a lack
of respect not only for decentsy, but for the norms of a civilized society. when you really attack the rule of law and desensy, as the commander in chief, you work expect people around the country to draw their cues from you and you shouldn't be surprised. >> people have seen your commercials. you've got people underground all over the country campaigning, i've seen them in florida. you're a billionaire, though. why are you so invested in this. when trump has been good for bully mayors and corporations, the economic policies he's doing, is it antithetical do where the country should be going? because you should be celebrating? >> i want to address the economic policies. but let me first say this. when i think of myself, i think i'm an american. when i think about what i care about the most, i care about this country and the people of
this country way before i start thinking about my personal economic situation. so, yes, when i look at their economic policies, and their economic policies are basically cut taxes on the richest americans and on the most powerful corporations. that's their actual economic policy. and then they think it will drop down to everybody else. >> trickle-down. >> trickle-down. but actually, what they do is cut taxes on the richest americans and corporations, then they pay for it by cutting health care and education for everybody else. and that's not a guess. i've gone around this country doing town halls, so i've been to all these red states where there's a republican governor, a republican state senate, and a republican assembly. and they always have the same economic playbook, cut taxes, cut health care, let people die, cut education, don't give them a
chance to live out the american dream, let corporations pollute as much as they would like because their bottom line is more important than the health and lives, but it leads to disaster in the long run. >> i know that in one of your trips to north carolina i was startled by the results that you found because these are the things, we have so much into personality politics, we forget we're talking about they're human beings. >> reverend sharpton, what we're talking about in 2018 is the basis for a civilized society. when we talk about health care, for instance, i did a town hall in newark, new jersey, and two african-american people stood up and said, i wouldn't be here if they would repeal the affordable care act because i would be dead. when i was in north carolina, people were talking about hunger, about young people going
hungry. >> literal hunger? >> that is not my idea of what the united states should be standing for in 2018 or anytime. we're talking about fundamental human dignity for every american citizen and what that means in the 21st century, that's what's at stake. >> if there is a democratic win on tuesday, will you also be holding them accountable to dealing with some of these issues? >> look, i think that there has been a sense that this is a game, that the democrats play the republicans, and it's like a sports league, and sometimes the yankee win, and sometimes the red sox win and sometimes the dodgers win. that's not what's going on here. we're talking about the lives of american citizens, the future of america itself, what it means to
have the rule of law and to take care of people. and so, of course, the fact that the democrats win, there's a stark contrast, but the democrats have got to produce and start doing what i think andrew gillum is doing very successfully, which is telling the truth, talking about the real problems, and answering them without being afraid. that's why i admire him so much. >> are you thinking, considering even weighing the possibility that you may run for president in 2020? >> what i've said is, i'm going to wait and see what happens on tuesday. and i'm going to be working fulltime for social justice after tuesday. and i will do literally anything. i believe we're in a gigantic crisis. i believe it's literally all hands on deck, that everybody needs to pitch in. let me say, when you look at american society, there's so many people who contribute their whole lives. you know, the teachers, they're the social workers, they're the
cops and the firefighters who literally are running to the problem to help. they're the people in the armed services. so i don't think what i'm saying is at all extraordinary. when there is great injustice in american society like we're seeing, that americans run to the fire, they run to put out the flame, they run for justice, and i just want to be one of those people who for hundreds of years in the united states have run toward the fire to put it out and to be for justice. >> what is going to be the priority for you tuesday? where are you going to be focused? this is the win that we must have, this is the loss we must have, must avoid, from your point of view? >> well, i think we started the year saying that if democrats don't retake the house of representatives, that this is a failed year. that if we don't have our hands on some lever of power, if we can't prevent the most toxic legislation like the repeal of the affordable care act, like
the republicans repeated attempts to take away protection for people with preexisting conditions, then this year will be a failure. but beyond that, i've come to the conclusion, and i wouldn't have known this on january 1st, that the single most important race in the united states will be the governor's race in the state of florida. andrew gillum represents something very different and there are a number of young candidates who i think are telling the truth on the important issues and really speaking out, but i think this race itself is probably the most important in the country. >> wow. well, thank you, tom steyer. you'll see what happens tuesday as the rest of us will. and i'll call you wednesday to see if you're running for president. >> deal. up next, i'm back with my panel. you're watching "politicsnation." the fact is, there are over ninety-six hundred roads named "park" in the u.s. it's america's most popular street name.
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bretterson is tied with republican opponent representative marcia blackburn according to the latest poll from east tennessee state university. but could trump change that? we're back with our "politicsnation" panel, sirius xm radio host joe madison, political analyst and salem radio host hugh hewitt and national political reporter for the daily beast, betsy woodruff. in an interview with axios, president trump said he has to go after things in the very abrasive way, i'll use that term, that he does because that's what his crowd expects, that's what his supporters expect, he wouldn't be in the white house if he didn't talk like that. do you think that he can now become something less offensive,
less abrasive, and less, in many ways, appearing insensitive and still rile up his base? or has he had such a base that is more attracted to his hard, and i would say, biased rhetoric and character that he's stuck there and seems to enjoy it? >> i don't think president trump is going to change, al. i have been following him closely, interviewed him a number of times, got a couple trump tattoos myself. he wins when he confronts people that use rhetoric against him like tom steyer. he's going to mix it up with tom steyer forever and he's going to point out tom steyer went to arizona with prop 127, spent tens of millions of dollars. he's going to lose prop 127 by 20 points and lose arizona because arizona didn't want to be california east.
he's going to get doug ducey reelected by 15 points. i expect donald trump to come back and push back against tom steyer hard, and it works for him. and i think there is this new trump voter that says republicans have been patsys for years against the hard-ball tactics. but they've always laid down, and if donald trump swings back -- you just heard him say republicans are trying to kill people, well, we'd like donald trump hear him say he's trying to take your guns. >> but you like to see it even if it's not true because you know, joe, we here on the other side, people say the democrats have been too much of a patsy and haven't fought back and haven't been aggressive, which is why people like you and i and others say things that democratic leaders won't say about some of the issues they won't touch.
so are we saying now that we must have this kind of person or persons in politics, are we saying, wait a minute, it's going to improve people's conditions? >> all of us on this panel, you know, we know that politics is a rough and tumble sport locally, nationally. it always has been. but i think it's something you and i talked about thursday when we were at the apollo together. i wish, and i think most people wish that we would talk about the bread and butter issues that are on people's kitchen tables every day. i would also say that the thing that bothers me most about trump is something that ron gillum said. i'm not one to want to call donald trump a racist, i don't know like most people say, i don't know what's in his heart, but i find it fascinating that just about every racist
organization in america identifies with him. they don't identify with stacy abrams, as a matter of fact, they sent out robocalls against. so the reality is that i hope no matter who wins on tuesday that we have a congress that will check this man because i do agree with hugh. he is not going to change. and -- well, i wouldn't say it. i was -- well, it's a circus. >> let me go to ben. i don't think he's going to change either. i've known him for 35 years. he's the same donald trump we always fought. but betsy, let me ask you. are we looking at the end of the civility in it american politics where now it is this new kind of just go at it. it's almost like a match of l s
wrestlers and it's become something that everybody has become so caustic? and in the middle are people not being told about policies and not being served? where are we? i mean, we have race now front and center in the middle of this campaign. and everyone keeps on saying something i said last night on the show. i must have dog ears. i understand exactly what trump is saying. there is no whistling here. where are we, betsy? >> i think we sort of probably reached an extraordinary although not unprecedented low in terms of the ugliness. a republican member of congress was shot and nearly died by a shooter who was a supporter of bernie sanders and who asked people in the parking lot near where he was practicing baseball if the people playing baseball
were republicans. of course, the difference between that violent attack and the violent attacks that we saw play out over the last few weeks including targeted at your previous guest is when the news of that attack broke, bernie sanders who was -- who in a tenuous way had been associated with the attacker as the attacker had volunteered on his presidential campaign. sanders within hours went to the floor of the senate and denounced will attacks. spoke out very clearly and explicitly against it. i remember that. i covered that episode. at the same time, president trump when we see these violent attacks inspired by him, including the guy who mailed out more than a dozen pipebombs over the last two weeks, trump seems intent on sort of putting his fingers in his ears when it comes to responsibility. and the result is that we're just seeing uglier and increasingly dangerous politics in this country. >> and that's my point h does it
bother you that bernie sanders denounces a shooter who identifies with him. he had nothing to do with. and donald trump acts like he just hurt the momentum? suppose bernie sanders said it is hurting our democratic party or hurting my turnout at rallies? does it bother you that this thing stacy abrams will take your guns when she will not. that's not at all what she is saying. does lying even bother the republicans now? >> no. >> well, she did talk to jake tapper today about her 2016 bill to confiscate weapons. so that's what i'm referring to. >> weapons and taking your guns is two different things. i mean people can oppose people having military style weapons and not saying i'm trying to take your guns. >> okay. some people think that's taking guns, al. here's my point. i'm very glad that tom stier wasn't hurt. i think the trump hating neonazi that killed those people in pittsburgh deserved to be denounced. most of politics is not that
way. i listen to a lot of josh holly. i listen to a lot of mike brawn. he is talking about joe donnelly voting against brett kavanaugh and would have voted for him. i listen to matt rosendale. i think cable tends to focus in on the most devisive issues instead of what most people are talking about which is jobs, jobs, jobs and then more jobs and more economic growth and then more jobs. that's what i think. >> well the problem now is that's what the president is talking about. i'm going to have to leave it there. thank you, joe, hugh, and betsy. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us.
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on tuesday is election day. let's have some real talk. what are you doing that is more important than taking time to vote? i mean are you really that busy that pre-existing conditions, that affect your family members don't matter? that the education of your children or grandchildren or brothers and sisters don't matter? that the economic standings in this country and the wealth gap, it doesn't matter. you are that busy? you have something more important than caring about how we have a criminal justice system and how we stop this kind of negative interaction between law enforcement and citizens in certain communities? are you really that busy? or are are you just that
irresponsible? you need to ask yourself if you're not planning to vote on tuesday, why? what are you doing that is more important? because it will tell you who you really are and what your priorities are and what you're about. yes, campaigns are about candidates. but voting is about citizens. and what kind of citizen you are. you may be democrat, republican, independent or undecided. but you have no excuse not to go in that booth and not to go and cast your vote. people can say what they want. but if they don't vote, we can only assume you don't care and let the rest of the world decide for you the life you and your loved ones will lead. that does it for me.
thank you for watching. i'll see you here next saturday. to keep the conversation going, like us on facebook.com and follow us on twitter. up next, "meet the press" with chuck todd. this sunday, closing arguments. president trump and the republicans focusing on immigration. >> republicans want strong borders, no drugs, no gangs, and no caravans. >> you mean the people of texas want to stop the caravan? >> secure our border, build the wall. >> while democrats talk about health care. >> you're going to have a governor who will work to expand medicaid. >> health care is on the ballot this year. >> and who we are as a nation. >> maybe most of all, the character of our country is on the ballot. >> this morning, we're on the ground in four of the most important battleground states, arizona, missouri, florida and texas. plus i'll talk to stacey abrams. the democratic candidate for