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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  November 3, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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year. these guys should literally just get a second job and come to washington and work on sick days from their other job. it's amazing. nice work if you can get it. we will see you again tomorrow. from their other job. it's amazing. nice work if you can get it. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word." alex wagner in for lawrence. >> it's super tuesday here on msnbc. >> super, super. >> so super. one year away until we find out who will be the next president of the united states. tonight in an nbc news exclusive, president obama talks about the 2016 election and why it's critical for his legacy. and the stakes for obama care, the supreme court, and the balance of power on the local level all tonight. plus, breaking news tonight in one of the state races, a surprise, an outsider republican candidate for governor just flipped another blue state red. is it an early warning sign for the democratic party?
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>> if the election were held today. >> a new nbc news/wall street journal poll showing -- >> hillary clinton would beat all gop candidates but one. >> tied with ben carson, both getting 47% of the vote. >> a year ago, did you think you would be leading the presidential race? >> no. no, i didn't think that. >> i think that ben just doesn't have the experience. >> i have experience. >> political season is always a little bit of a silly season. >> some of the people who aren't winning are looking around at the people who are winning and they're like that guy? >> everybody is a conservative. they just don't know it yet. >> no. i'm a democratic socialist. >> do you see a candidate out there? >> not in great measure. >> do i think it's time to have some of the other republican candidates drop out? yes. >> i'm not trying to run for the head of the school board. >> none are going to drop out, they're all going to mutiny, it's going to be super fun. >> yeah.
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good evening, i'm alex wagner in for lawrence o'donnell. we're nearly one year away from election day 2016. and who better to hear from one year out nan the person currently holding the biggest job on the ballot. in an nbc news exclusive interview, lester holt spoke with president obama during his recent trip to newark, new jersey. the president weighed in on this campaign season, the republican field and what he's learned since january 20 of 2009. >> all right, mr. president, we are one year out from the elections. the americans will increasingly drill down on this. tell me, not as a democrat or a politician, but as a second-term president, tell us what the american people and your successors need to know about this job? >> well, number one, we have a lot of challenges that we're going to be facing, whether it's making sure that we're creating even more jobs and increasing
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wages and incomes, dealing with issues like climate change, obviously keeping the american people safe. and i think what's most important is to pay attention to what the candidates are saying, not in simple bumper sticker form, but that they have a sense that these issues are complicated, that they're hard, that they're not silver bullets. i think the problem with election season is sometimes folks want to devote a lot more time to sloganeering and stirring folks up emotionally, but they're not spending enough time really trying to explain to the american people what exactly are you trying to do? and hopefully that's what every citizen is going to be paying attention to. >> and on that note, describe the climate to me. is it any different, the political climate, the election climate than when you ran eight years ago? >> political season is always a lit bit of a silly season,
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particularly during primaries. i think by the time each party chooses its candidates they are forced, maybe, to be a little more serious and speak to the broad public as opposed to just a narrow part of their base. i do think what's different this time is particularly in the republican party is that you have the most disgruntled or suspicious of washington portion of the electorate that is driving the process. i think what we're seeing is a lot of folks who are good at social media are getting attention, but there hasn't been, maybe because of super pacs a win knowing down of the process where people are forced to really talk about the issues in a more serious way.
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i suspect that will change over time, but right now, at least, you don't get a sense that anybody is presenting a new set of ideas around the very real challenges that we face. >> all these people want that oval office. give me a reality check of what it's like to be there. if you could write a note to yourself and tell me what it's going to be like, what to expect, what would it say? >> you know what i would say is that this is a big diverse country. and that's a good thing. and democracy is messy, and that can be frustrating as president. but what you want to be able to do is to stay with it and have a sense of where it is you want to go. i knew there were a set of principles that i cared about, i wanted to make a more inclusive economy that allowed middle class folks to get ahead. i wanted to make sure everybody
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in this country had health care. i wanted to make sure we were keeping the american people safe but also being consistent with our values. i wanted to protect the environment. and so you have a set of principles, but what you discover as president is that you' got to constantly navigate all kinds of different unexpected events. you've got to deal with the problems that are in front of you, that you're not going to get 100% your way. you were asking earlier about what's different about this climate, this political season, i really think it's important for folks to understand that in a democracy, you have to have a set of principles, but you also have to practically be able to work with people who disagree with you and compromise. and that is viewed as, i think, a negative among partisans in either party. but the fact of the matter is that's how america has always worked. and the one thing that more firmly convinced of than ever
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after seven years in office is that the american people with their good instincts and basic ze krency are faying attention, getting involved, voting, that the outcomes are better. and when they pull back and they are disinterested or cynical about what happens in washington, then the vacuum gets filled by special interests and extremes and nothing gets done. you' got to get involved, you have to listen to what folks are saying. you've got to make sure that the candidates are being willing to take tough questions. i would be interested in seeing some of the republican candidates who say they're so tough they're going to stare down the chinese and the russians and somehow cnbc scares them, you've got to be able to field difficult questions.
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and that's what citizens should expect. and if people are paying attention and involved, they're going to make good decisions. >> joining us now, ben la bolt, a founding partner of the ensight agency and former national press secretary for president obama's re-election campaign, and david corn for mother jones and an msnbc political analyst. david, let me start with you. there's a moment in that interview when the president talks about the difficulties at hand. difficulties you don't necessarily foresee when you become president. i guess i wonder, you think about the president coming into office and all these unforeseen issues he had to tackle immediately and throughout his presidency, whether in the middle east, whether the economy, whether with an opposition which is more recalcitrant than ever, in the 2016 race, what do you think the lessons, the takeaways are for democrats and republicans
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looking for the white house. >> the president's let's play nice friendly sort of way was basically saying he didn't count on that obstructionism even that -- and that he came in, yeah, he had a set of principles. but go back and remember the stimulus bill. he bent over backwards to try to bring in republican plans and they still said no to that again and again and again. and that makes it very hard for anyone to govern, even if you've got a prup in there who may want to work with democrats and policy. he tries to make it seem like this is a sort of even steven both sides do it type of problem, but recent polling and polling for the last year or two has shown that about 2/3 of republicans do not want their president or person they pick
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for president to compromise and work and divide government and cut deals. while about 2/3 of democrats say yeah, they would like to see their guy or gal put together a coalition and compromise. so there's a real imball lapse here that works against anyone coming in and trying to get things done. >> ben, i would expect that we're going to see a lot of the president on the 2016 trail, not just because he thought the 2014 strategy of candidates distancing himself was a bad one, but so much of his legacy mings on having a democrat in the white house. >> i think you're right. we' seen the strongest private sector job creation of all time. we've seen millions of americans have health insurance for the first time. he's going to be out there making sure that those pieces of his legacy are intact, and you see the republicans who are ahead, at least, trump/carson are running against the theory of government itself.
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i think president obama in that interview made very clear that he's always been a believer that politics is the art of the possible. not just two parties shouting into the wilderness, but coming in and figuring out what can be achieved on behalf of the american people. >> to that end, the president was invoking his old slogan yes we can, and that he thinks the democracy rests on us, not just one person or any particular party in congress. do you think the american people share his sense of optimism about what is possible at the grassroots level? >> well, right now, the polls show that a lot of americans believe the country is on the wrong track. and if you look at the polls on the republican side, they basically think that hell has happened already and they've been living through it for the last seven years. they're not very optimistic about putting together anything other than destroying what they have worked on for the last seven years. it's the president's job not to be a naysayer, too gloomy and try to inspire people to serve our better -- the better
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natures. and so i don't expect them to talk about this in those terms, but i do think there's a very, very significant divide we're going to see in the 2016 race between the two different sides, the democrat and republican on what to do about the government and the purpose of government. >> do you think that any of the tactics that the republicans used will be in turn used by democrats should -- and i specifically mean congressional republicans -- do you think any of those tactics will come back if there is a republican in the white house and democrats gain control of the senate? >> look, there have been times when both parties have been obstructionist over the years. but i think what was different here is that on the eve of the inauguration, you had mitch mcconnell and others getting together and saying, our top priority is defeating president obama.
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it's not pulling back the economy from the brink and making sure that there's not another great depression. and i think that's where you hit some of the points that david made earlier. they wouldn't even negotiate on the stimulus. i don't think anybody saw that as good for the country and i don't think democrats would pursue a strategy like that. >> we're going to take a short break, but when we come back, the looming, really big problem for democrats that nobody is talking about. and it was being dubbed obama's last war. who did kentucky voters side with in the race for governor? we'll have the breaking election results. plus, who do republican voters trust most to deploy america's nuclear weapons? maybe not who you think.
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tonight's super tuesday election reports start as a shocker. in the kentucky governor's race, matt bevin is the projected winner after trailing in the polls with 99% of precincts reporting.
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bevin has 52%. democrat jack conway has 44%. and democrat turned independent drew curtis has 4%. health care reform was front and center in this campaign. >> to call kynect, it's a blatant lie. >> i'm talking about the medicaid expansion. >> there's not a lot of free money in the pot, jack. >> here's bevin tonight in his acceptance speech. >> we has a state, we as a party and we as a nation to some measure, but specific to this moment in time in the commonwealth of ku ki, we need a fresh start. we truly do. >> joining me now by phone is joseph girth for the courier journal.
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what is happening in the bluegrass state? how did matt bevin perform this upset given where he was, the amount of money being spent by his opponent, jack conway, and the fact that the governor, a democrat, his son looks like he's the projected winner for the attorney general race in the same state. >> right. and, in fact, the associated press has called that race for andy basheer, the governor's son. kentucky is turning republican and has been doing this probably for the last 21 years. and this is further evidence of how republican a very solid democratic state. >> how much of this was a rerch dumb on the president's health care law, which matt bevin is no fan of? and how much of this was a sort of cultural schism? i know he aligned himself with
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kim davis. and given the supreme court, how much did that drive folks to the polls? >> i think it probably has more to do with kim davis and social issues. and also with coal mining. obama has been hammered for his environmental protection agency and rules on coal here in kentucky. and i think that really played. into it. while the issue of obama care came into play, the state's version of obama care was something that polls very well in the state. it's hard to say how much that would have played into this. >> we will certainly keep our eyes on kynect. thank you for your time. we'll have more tuesday election coverage coming up next. constipated?
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at ally bank no branches equalsit's a fact.. kind of like mute buttons equal danger. ...that sound good? not being on this phone call sounds good. it's not muted. was that you jason? it was geoffrey! it was jason. it could've been brenda. >> the high road that we take, this will change the tenor of the 2016 race, it truly will. hours ago, kentucky elected its first republican governor since the year 1947. tea party favorite matt bevin defeated democrat jack conway in a race that's been called the last obama war because it was seen on a referendum on who kentucky voters like less -- president obama or the tea party. but kentucky is part of a much bigger story, a story of how badly democrats have faired in state level elections the last several years.
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before the 2010 midterm election, democrats trolled both houses in 27 state legislatures, while republicans controlled both houses in just 14 states. going into tonight, democrats controlled the legislatures in just 11 states. republicans controlled them in 30. in 2010, there were 26 democratic governors and 24 republican governors. going into tonight, there were just 18 democrats and the number of republican governors had grown to 31, including four in states where democrats controlled both houses of the state legislature -- maryland, new jersey, massachusetts, and illinois. joining us now is the executive editor of vox, and stuart stevens, columnist for "the daily beast" and a strategist for mitt romney's presidential campaign. nbc universal has made an investment in vox. david corn, of course, is still with us. >> no investment.
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>> just wait. the results coming out of kentucky tonight, we were talking with someone from the louisville courier in the last segment, and he said the election in kentucky has more to do with social and cultural issues, including kim davis, than it is a referendum on the aca, on obama care. but the implications for those kentuckyians who have gotten access to health care, under kentucky's exchange or through the expansion of medicaid is fairly serious tonight, is it not? >> yeah. i mean, especially for people on that medicaid expansion. we've seen in a number of states, particularly in the south where republicans have strong control that there's federal money on offer that will give health care essentially at no cost to the state government to low income people through the medicaid program. but many republicans have said they're opposed to doing that. we haven't yet seen an example of a state flipping and going from covering those people the way kentucky currently does to not covering them.
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but it's been implicit in some of the things that bevin has campaigned on and rescind the insurance for those people. and then there's also the question of what will happen to the people who are on kentucky's kynect exchange. they should continue to have insurance coverage in one way or another, but if they pull the plug on that exchange, there's going to be some disruptions as they have to move over into the federal system. so even if that wasn't the reason that bevin was able to win the election, it's one of the most important consequences. >> yeah, and i feel like it's sort of a risky proposition for newly elected governor, bevin. the idea of flipping the state as matt says, is one that seems like there could be fairly serious reper suggestions, especially in an election year. >> look, i think what's fascinating is a larnler picture you're pointing to. there's sort of a dichotomy here. democrats have won the last two presidential election, but it's been an absolute devastation across the country.
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most times, off-year elections don't go well for the party in power, but this is more than twice the normal losses that have been sustained. it's historic. we never had these kind of losses. 12 governors, 13 senators, 16 members of congress, over 9 murks state legislators. i think that there's a split here that's occurring. personally, i think a lot of it is driven by economics. you still have, as david was pointing out earlier, only 27% of the country think that we're going in the right direction, and that's largely driven by economics. despite the stock market being up, most people are having a very hard time. just as hard or harder than seven years ago. >> there is some discussion about the congressional races, the senate races, the balance of power in washington, but there's no discussion on the left how the democrats are getting trounced. and in terms of state legislatures being dominated by both the governorship and the
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state house, this is where conservative legislation is happening. and this is where the movement is. and democrats don't seem to be doing anything about it. >> i agree with my good pal stuart that it's historic in what we've seen in terms of these state elections. and the key thing is, right now due to the way things are gerrymandered with the congressional seat, it would take the democrats -- they would have to win about 54% of the national vote for house election s to woodrow wilson bridge a majority of the house. that seems patently unfair, but that's the way the system is because of the gerrymandering that's been done by the republicans. if they control the governor's seats and the legislatures, by the time we get around to redistricting den, it's going to continue this problem for the democrats. >> we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, al franken has a plan to take back the
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senate for democrats. and up next, donald trump had a whole lot to say today about the biggest opponent for the republican nomination. but he drew the line at doing an impression of jeb bush. we'll tell you why coming up next. the future belongs to the fast. and to help you accelerate, we've created a new company... one totally focused on what's next for your business. the true partnership where people,technology and ideas push everyone forward. accelerating innovation. accelerating transformation. accelerating next. hewlett packard enterprise. ugh! heartburn! no one burns on my watch! try alka-seltzer heartburn reliefchews. they work fast and don't taste chalky. mmm...amazing. i have heartburn. alka-seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief.
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>> the go op has put its full faith in donald trump and ben carson. trump is the most trusted candidate to handle the economy with 59% support.
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ben carson comes in second with 36% and marco rubio is in third at 27%. republican voters say that donald trump is also the most trusted to deal with foreign leaders. with carson and rubio close behind. and in one of the most unnerving poll questions of this election cycle, republican voters say dr. ben carson is the candidate they would most trust with america's nuclear weapons. donald trump comes in second on that question and marco rubio is third. the only established candidate to garner major points in this poll is marco rubio. unsurprisingly with rubio as the new favorite of the establishment, donald trump is taking aim for his newly released book. trump slammed the former senator and just about every other republican candidate. >> you look at marco rubio, very, very weak on illegal immigration. he has a very bad record of finances if you look at what happened with his houses.
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i think that really marco is overrated and frankly, had bush been a better messenger, he has the better message. >> my jeb impression? no, i don't like showing a person sleeping at the podium. look at ben, he wants to get rid of medicare. you can't get rid of medicare. when a man is weak on immigration and wants to get rid of medicare, i don't know how he stays there. do i think it's time to have some of the other republican candidates drop out? yes. there are too many people. >> donald trump may not be impressed with the current crop of gop candidates and neither is one of the party's most influential backers. in an exclusive interview, charles koch says he's not pleased with anyone the 2016 field. >> do you see a candidate out there? >> not in great measure. >> i'm trying to be diplomatic. >> that is a very tactful way.
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>> back with us, here's my question. does koch's support matter at this point in the race? >> i think it's always better to have people for you than against you, but i don't think it's going to be a tipping point. i don't think any one donor here or any one donor group is going to decide this. well look, this is going to come down to who i think is going to win these first four states, iowa, new hampshire, south carolina and nevada. and i don't think that the difference there, i don't think the kochs are going to make a difference there. >> donald trump and ben carson with the nuclear codes. what is your reaction to that? >> steady hands. >> that is true. he has steady hands. >> it's a little scary. you talk to establishment republicans and they'll look at
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these numbers and they'll say, oh, that doesn't really matter because trump or carson aren't going to be the nominee. if you combine their numbers they've been above 50% zurg the entire nomination process, as establishment republicans fight over whether they're supporting bush or rubio. i think we need to prepare ourselves for the real possibility that one of them could be the republican nominee. >> okay, so to that end, it seems like establishment media attacks on donald trump and ben carson have no effect. is the inverse true? does donald trump -- do donald trufrp's words about marco rubio have an effect? >> first of all, i don't understand how we live in a world where a billionaire builder is not considered establishment. this is not some populist figure that rose out of the desert. he's a vastly wealthy individual with vast power who's running for office. you can say he hasn't run for office so he's a different kind
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of establishment, but for heaven sakes, this is not mr. smith goes to washington. >> but stewart, he's convinced people somehow -- maybe it's through unpredictable rhetoric that he is a populist, right? >> listen, what happens in these polls -- and ben knows this -- when you're for someone, you're for them all the way. you're not going to be for dr. carson and say well, he would be bad on the nuclear codes. it doesn't make sense. when you're for your candidate, you're for your candidate to be president. these things chaenk. i don't think the party is going to nominate someone who has not been in office before. i could be wrong, but i don't think i'm going to be wrong on this one, though. >> whether these poll numbers translate to votes, we're looking tonight in kentucky where matt bevin, who is an insurgent candidate, who was trounced by the establishment candidate is now the governor of kentucky.
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and some people are saying that's backdrop from a trump and carson rise. anti-establishment fervor that has seized the grassroots. i wonder if you think donald trump and ben carson can take new hampshire, ohio and south carolina? >> there's a dirchs between picking up your phone and saying yes and attending a caucus. i think what we're going to look at is a very protracted primary on the republican side. certainly the establishment republicans don't seem to be planning to get out of the race anytime soon and rick santorum won the iowa caucuses last time. i don't know if the winner of the first four states will be the same in any state. i think we're going to see this play out for a long, long time to come. >> do you think we could stand the chance of having a brokered convention on the right? >> we always talk about it and it never happens. it rarely happens. '76 was the last time. which isn't to say it couldn't happen.
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when you really look at these numbers, there is a hunger games scenario where, as ben was staying, you could have a different person win each of these four and roll into the subsequent -- first four, and roll into the subsequent states with no clear front-runner. with a number of people with resources and they could fight it out. and that would be a scenario where you could go into the convention with a brokered convention. >> so ben, does that mean using stuart's analogy, that donald trump is katniss everdeen? >> i haven't read a bunch of young adult books lately. stuart is the writer, i have to tell you. >> thank you for your time. coming up next, senator al franken is on a mission to take the senate back for the democrats. how is he doing it? plus the little known story of how iowa became the first in the nation caucus state.
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34 seats are up for election in 2016. for democrats, the stakes are high since they lost control of the senate in the 2014 midterms. in next year's race, the republicans are tasked with defending 24 seats in the upper chamber. democrats have to hold on to ten more seats up for grabs. the republicans control 54 seats, democrats 44 and independents two. according to politico, al franken has helped raise money for democratic candidates in washington state, illinois, ohio and nevada. he will also join us on "the last word" this thursday which you will, of course, not want to miss. joining us now is the senior political editor for buzz feed news. it says buzz head in the prompter. nbc universal has made an investment in buzz feed. matthew iglesias and stuart stevens are back with us. 2016 looks like a much, much better year for democrats. >> much more favorable for
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democrats, as you noted, republicans are defending a lot more states. it's difficult for them. although, matt iglesias wrote a good piece about this where republicans do have built-in advantages here. one of them that he noted that i think is true and doesn't get as much attention as it should is republicans at the state level actually show a lot more ideological flexibility in the candidates that they nominate. we've heard a ton about the tea party and kind of the right wing populist elements that are driving these races. and that's true in many races and it's certainly true in the national presidential primaries so far as we've seen. by at the state level, we actually do see republicans nominated pragmatic candidates who can appeal to moderate and liberal left-leaning voters. and that could be something that democrats have to contend with. >> well, yeah, matt to that end, you write that republicans will sometimes down play their social conservatism when it's a state that favors more economic
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business conservatism and vice versa, depending on the landscape. the democrats, we're looking at a party that's shifted decidedly left. and a primary process that sees bernie sanders giving hillary clinton a run for her money on progressive issues. i guess i wonder if you think the issue has been further exacerbated for democrats on that level. >> i think it's certainly true in terms of governor's races. you see republicans mounting winning campaigns in places like maryland, massachusetts, you know, very liberal states. where republicans have had to put forward relatively moderate nominees and it's worked for them. i do think in senate races, we're looking at 2016. it's a presidential election year, so democrats will actually show up, which they don't do in midterms. and there's going to be praises in places like wisconsin, places like pennsylvania, you know, where democrats have won in presidential election year after year after year. and where republicans have very conservative nominees in those states.
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particularly pat toomey in pennsylvania is one of the most conservative senators. and pennsylvania isn't close to being the most conservative state. so, you know, i think democrats do have strong pickup opportunities there, but it does go back to a fundamental question of republicans vote every two years and democrats really only vote every four years. and that's a huge advantage for the republican party because, you know, showing up is a really important part of politics. and democrats haven't really been able to motivate their supporters to do that in a consistent way. >> stuart, it's almost kind of a nauseating back and forth. you just have this constant vacillation between democrats taking control of one part of the governor and republicans taking control of another part. and if you look at the senate, 2014 is a good year for the republicans. 2016 is a good year for democrats, 2018 is a good year for republicans. and on and on it goes. >> the presidential race, i think, is really going to be the key in which the senate races are played in. if you look at 2012, only a
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senator in nevada in a contested race ran above mitt romney. really, i think it's going to depend what kind of election are we in. are we going to have an election like in 2008 where it was the incumbent president was definitely a drain at the top of the ticket, or are we going to have one like 1998, where you could have -- run on -- or 1988 where you could run pretty much as a third term. right now, it looks like with 28% wrong -- right track, you ear going to have a definite drain at the top of the ticket for president obama. and you see that being navigated and fought out in the primary. sanders is running way to the left. what he's saying the last seven years is a complete indictment of the obama economic record. i think it's going to be a real test for these senate candidates
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on the democratic side how much they embrace the president and where the president's favorable numbers are. if you tell me what the right direction and wrong direction is, i think we can predict most of the senate races. >> and yet hillary clinton has made no secret the fact that she would continue and further many of his policies. it seems like their strategy is don't worry about the swing voters. we're going to try to get the progressive base out to vote. when they come out, we win. >> it's a long way and we have a year until the actual election, right? we have to remember that hillary clinton has actually genuinely kept her word in terms of saying she's going to focus on the democratic primaries and run an honest, good faith campaign, right? she spent most of her time in iowa and new hampshire. spent a lot of time courting progressives. i'm reluctant to say come general election season she's still going to be sounding the
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same aggressively liberal, progressive messages that she is right now. i think that on some issues she'll probably tack back to the middle. it also depends on who runs against her. it's impossible to know at this point. >> when you think about the head to head matchups and hillary clinton, it's anybody's guess what's going to happen. does that afford her, and democrats, more opportunity to maybe be a little further into the center of the spectrum in these state races? >> yeah, i think certainly if you see something like a donald trump or a ben carson or a ted cruz win the nomination, that does change the landscape nationally. i'm still in the view that republicans aren't going to go in that direction, but those are the people who are leading in the polls and i don't think you want to write them off. that would be a real x factor. we do see examples, historically, 1964, 1972, of a party picking a national nominee
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that's really not viable. it does tend to drag the ticket down all the way across the board. on the other hand, marco rubio could very well lose a general election, but would be an extremely difficult candidate. >> gentlemen, thank you all for your time. >> thank you. >> it hasn't yet been one full week on the job, but paul ryan is already warning democrats about a possible government shutdown. d. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends. three jobs. you're like "nothing can replace brad!" then liberty mutual calls. and you break into your happy dance. if you sign up for better car replacement, we'll pay for a car that's a model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance.
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>> the bipartisan budget bill was supposed to take the threat of a government shutdown off the table. but today, paul ryan opened the door to another shutdown showdown when he was asked about policy rider amendments like the one to fund planned parenthood and whether he would allow them into the omnibus spending bill next month. >> how are you going to approach the issue of writers?
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are you prepared to have a confrontation over those riders? >> we have a tough deadline december 11. we have not a lot of time between now and then. we have to put together appropriations, but this is the legislative branch and the power of the purse rests within the legislative branch. we fully expect we're going to exercise that power. thank you, everybody. >> if they insist on inserting poison pill riders into the omnibus bill, they'll drag us into another government shutdown. power of the purse doesn't give republicans the right to hold government hostage unless we repeal dodd-frank or defund planned parenthood. we're not going to let that happen. we're not. >> and we have breaking 2016 news. donald trump says he plans to launch his first ads in iowa, new hampshire and south carolina in the next few days. use dulcolax tablets for gentle overnight relief suppositories for relief in minutes and stool softeners for comfortable relief
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caucus. but how did iowa get to be first? joining us from des moines is msnbc's jacob soveroff. good to see you. >> i didn't get to meet the dog. i was there. i'm very disappointed about that. but i did get to meet a lot of voters here in the des moines area and this is a place obviously, alex, that's in full campaign mode. i want to show you something about this. even the people who are the most die hard political folks here in iowa are puzzled by their very own caucus process. take a look at this. >> iowa, it's a mostly rural state in america's heartland is home to just over 3 million people. it's america's third most productive agricultural state, home to the biggest cereal plant in the world and the only state to start with two vow es.
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it's also ground zero for american presidential politics. do you have any idea which state votes first when it comes to picking a president? >> i have to be honest, i do not. >> i thought it was iowa. >> you're right. don't doubt yourself. >> iowa goes first because of a scheduling accident. in june 1972, hotel rooms were booked up in des moines when democrats would normally nominate a candidate so the process was just moved earlier. both parties liked being first so much they wrote it into state law. this year, iowa's caucus, february 1 that's why everywhere you look here, there are already presidential candidates. >> we had rand paul. >> we saw the trump bus. >> ben carson. >> iowa's slogans have included both life changing and fields of opportunity, but they don't hold up when it comes to presidential candidates. since iowa moved to first, only three nonincumbent candidates have won the caucus and the presidency. one thing iowa has done a great
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job of, elevating candidates you might not otherwise hear much about. >> i'm for hillary. >> ben carson. >> would you let any presidential candidate take a ride in this car? >> probably ben carson. >> would you let fiorina in this car? >> sure. >> who are you going to vote for? >> bernie sanders. >> reporter: the top three issues are the deficit, defense and taxes. democrats pick energy, income inequality and infrastructure. >> what are the issues you want to hear the candidates talk about this time around? >> education would be the big thing. >> abortion, gun rights. >> trying to get the economy, you know, stable and on track. >> what if hillary really wanted a ride. >> she would have to walk behind us. >> i would give hillary clinton a ride. i would give any of the candidates a ride, alex. i think a lot of people look at iowa and think if the leader of the free world was hanging out in this small state in the middle of the heartland, it's a very bizarre thing. but to people here, it's just sort of old hat. >> as the daughter of an iowan who was very involved in that 1972 race, i can tell you there's a lot going on in iowa
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that's worth checking out. good to see you, my friend. thanks for your time. that does it for us. chris hayes is up next. lord of the flies. let's play "hardball."


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