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tv   Charlie Cook Discusses Election 2016 Results  CSPAN  November 9, 2016 9:48pm-11:07pm EST

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right and white supremacists who feel emboldened by donald trump? >> donald trump sitting at 276 electoral votes, winning the popular vote, i think this is a little bit of an inside the question. i think you have voters come out in states that we have not been competitive in and years and say, i want change. they went to the ballot box and wanted for donald trump. an unbelievable turnout with hispanics. over 30% of hispanics voted for donald trump in florida, texas, and north carolina. we spent the last couple weeks and early months talking about how the hillary campaign would turn up hispanics. they believe donald trump is a voice for the american people that donald trump did not have. -- that hillary clinton did not have. we have historic wins down
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ballot that means huge things for the history of her party. >> i want to thank you and the rnc and chairman priebus. you nailed it, there are too many inside the beltway conversations. you are missing what is happening out there. this is not something that happened this cycle, this has been building for a very long time. this is the culmination of something we have seen happening. we went into this election at the state level in many respects as a counterbalance to obama's failed policies. and voters recognized that. that is why republicans have been at or near all-time highs in offices across the country in states red and purple and blue. that is going to continue. we have defeated the speaker of the house in kentucky, and have picked up that chamber for the first time in 100 years.
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defeated the senate president in iowa, and have all republican control of government there. it is critically important that voters listened, and recognize that those wins have been coming for a long time. it manifested with a new messenger, donald trump, and the work of the senate and house. the american people have listened, and they have been listening for a long time. this is something that has been coming and will continue to move forward. >> thank you all for joining us this morning. [chatter]
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journal"'s "washington live with news and policy issues that affect you. tuesday morning, joining us is editor-in-chief of the hill on what is left legislatively with a republican controlled congress and donald trump as president. watch c-span's "washington live; i young eastern thursday morning. >> in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies, and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> now, postelection analysis with charlie cook, publisher of
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report," political over the trump election and challenges facing democrats and republicans in future elections. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> good afternoon. i am the president of national journal. i am going to welcome everyone to national journal's day after the election event. the guests of today's program will be charlie cook, who will be breaking down the who, what, and why in what happened in yesterday's election. to handle some housekeeping, you will see two mics on either side of me in the center aisles. there will be a question-and-answer portion of
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today's event. when it comes to that moment, we do welcome anybody that has a question to lineup behind the mics. when you are preparing to enter the question, we ask that you first state your name and organization. now getting to introduce charlie. editor,is the founder, as well as publisher of the book political report. for nbcolitical analyst news. he founded the cook political report in 1984, and what has been what i would call the bible for election and political trend analysis in washington. one other housekeeping matter, we have a hashtag today. we certainly will commute tweeting on social media about the event. without further ado, i would
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like to introduce charlie cook. [applause] mr. cook: gee, i'm sorry we have nothing to talk about. [laughter] i first want to ask your indulgence. i did not go to bed last night. i got back to my who told room in new york at about -- hotel room in new york at about 5:00 a.m. and had a train and thought, what is the point? anyway, it's i am moderately incoherent, i hope you will understand. we have such a great crowd here. i don't think any of us will ever have to be reminded where we were last night, what we were thinking. a lot of times i can think back about elections that we don't quite remember. 1996? and everybody in this room -- we have been around
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politics for a very long time, and seen a lot of things. we saw the reagan title wave election in 1980, and the gingrich election tidal wave of 1994, all kinds of very interesting elections. but i have never experienced one that felt as much like a baseball bat on the side of the head as last night. you know, it seemed over the course of the day to be kind of normal. i finally was in a cab that had a wreck in new york. i figured that had to happen sooner or later. seems like it was an omen. we were doing something with chuck todd on msnbc. it was getting to be 5:00 and 5:30, and the first exit polls
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came in. when they give you the first wave, they don't have the first line of clinton-trump, something like male, female, party, demographics, but they deliberately don't give you the bottom line. you have to do the math in your head looking at gender. it looked like it was clinton ahead by about 3, which was not far out of line with where the polling was. it wasn't until we got deeper in the evening, particularly looking at specific states, that we started seeing anomalies -- wait a minute, this is not heading where we all thought. i think historians and political scientists and operatives and all kinds of political aficionados will be bring through the data for years to come to find out what exact we
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happened, hwy we did not see it, and how it got to be so underestimated. when you think about what this election meant, it was an unprecedented rejection of so many things. it was a rejection of hillary and bill clinton, of the republican party establishment, of the national establishment. we have five living presidents, none of them have endorsed donald trump. bob dole was the only living former republican presidential nominee who endorsed him. ceos, not one has made a contribution to the trump campaign. the best i could tell, there were two major newspaper endorsements. journal andas vegas the national inquirer and i didn't know they did
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endorsements. [laughter] wow -- we are going to be unpacking this for a long time. as i am sure you have been glued know that sites, you secretary clinton pulled ahead by 2/10 of one point on the popular vote. back and get you a couple -- that can buy you a cup of coffee. it is interesting, during the 19th century we had split electoral college popular vote outcomes three times. none during the 20th. now we have had two in the first 16 years of the first 21st century. 1888, now 2016. the thing is, we knew that this election was going to be about change.
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we kind of knew that. on one level, it is not terribly surprising. we know the history that whenever a party has had the white house for two consecutive terms, five times out of six cents the end of world war ii, the american people voted for change. the only time they didn't do that was eight years after president reagan, when they elected george h.w. bush. there was a tendency there, but there were so many factors that seems like it might be different at this time. while hillary clinton certainly had incredibly ugly numbers, favorable and unfavorable. so were donald trump's. the desire for change seemed to be so great, a paul where 31%
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felt the country was headed in the right direction, 62% wrong track. thatast time and peter hart, now fred yang on the democratic side and bill on the republican side, and long before him, bob teeter had been asking that question almost monthly for the better part of 30 years and the last time the right direction was more than wrong track was back in january, 2004. 12 years ago. so, we knew there had been sustained anger and heart had done a series of seven focus groups so far this year or this cycle i should say for the annenberg center in pennsylvania. the last one was two weeks ago. i think the annenberg school has it on their website. will you can watch the focus
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group, but you could see the anger, the alienation. this was a focus group of late deciders, but even in that focus group, even listening to these people, it seemed like they desperately wanted change, but the donald trump seemed into you , know, listening to these people, seemed to be a little too risky a change, that they wanted change. they wanted something different, but that he might have been a bridge too far, and maybe i read too much into it. there were two quotes in the analysis that stuck out to me. that i thought told me something. one was a woman named donna saying, "i so much wanted trump. i so much wanted a non-politician. but i don't trust him and i'm afraid of him and i just don't think he knows when to shut up. if he would just say, i'm a businessman, i'm not a
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politician and i'm going to make america great again and stop right there, then i would vote for him." you know, it was like, ok, i can kind of see where she's coming from. another woman, jennifer, in the focus group, was undecided. "i wanted to like trump, but i don't know that i can because it is embarrassing the way he acts. his temper tantrums, he's an embarrassment to our country. i don't embrace clinton, but i would vote for her. it's probably just going to be a vote against trump." that was sort of the theme what we were picking up around the country. people desperately wanted change, but was he an acceptable risk? you know, he was clearly change, but was he too much change, was he too risky a change? so there was reason not to say, maybe this is going to come up short.
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clearly, there were a lot of voters out there that think that our political system is not working, or at the very least, it's not working for them. and as they think that our economic system isn't working or at least not working for them. and then, you had people that, some people, that they seemed to feel like things are not changing fast enough. and think about, you know, some of the bernie sanders supporters. sanders went out and campaigned awfully hard for clinton and cannot be faulted. and elizabeth warren went out and did a lot, so this is not criticism of them, but that clearly some of the people they were tapping into were restless and they did not see this as enough change and may not have turned out in quite the numbers expected. but i think, far more, there were people that felt like things were changing too
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quickly. and whether they were looking at society and culture and all of the debates on transgender bathrooms, and this and that, that maybe too much was happening too quickly for them. or in the economic system in terms of whether it's globalization and trade that has put obviously some people out of work, but then there are other people that were probably replaced by robot machines and things, but as far as they were concerned, they were replaced by workers abroad when it really may have been productivity. but clearly, the world for the folks that either chose or didn't have the opportunity to go to college, people that could have made a really, really good income, have a nice living back in the 20th century, but far fewer of them could make that work in the 21st century and
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clearly, they were afraid, angry, looking for something else. clearly that was sort of , building up out there. then, we saw something and i had a lot of questions before the election, was sort of brexit-related, and i think we could talk about that in a minute. maybe thinking about brexit in a sense that, you know, all the experts in the united kingdom and all the experts around europe and basically telling the people of the u.k. you don't want to do this, you do not want to leave. and by 52 to 48 the british people voted to leave. and they did it despite the fact that the vast majority of the country leaders, economic leaders, experts all were saying "don't do it, don't do it," and they did it anyway.
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i think it reflects something there and here that this devaluing -- this feeling that our leaders let us down and our experts don't know what they are doing. and they see the quagmires in iraq and afghanistan and they see all of the problems in the middle east, and the rise of terrorism, and they blame leaders and experts for it. and so they say, "well, what the heck. what we have the lose?" that sort of thing. they look at relationships with china and russia and think if things are going so badly, how can a real estate developer do any worse than that? we are just a sort of seeing this thing where they were willing to sort of defy all warnings that in the past would have, may have scared them off from doing something.
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and they did it anyway. i confess that looking at and watching focus groups and looking at polling data of all the problems that secretary clinton had in terms of trust issues and being perceived as evasive and all of that, it really looked i mean, it looked , like donald trump's past and things coming back up as well as just behavior, i mean, think about we could see a change in polling data after the first debate. or if you want to lump in first debate, the billy bush tapes, where it looked like that made a real difference, that that was sort of a seminal point in the campaign. clearly, it either was not, or it got undone by subsequent events. and i do not know what the
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effect of all the comey back-and-forth did, but i suspect it probably sort of kept that alive, pushed it back to the front of people's mind, reinforced doubts or re- reminded them of things they didn't like about secretary clinton, all of these things. we also saw a sign of things happening in, you know, just sort of think about how debate discourse in this country has changed over the last 20 or 30 years. and whether it's cable news, talk radio, the web, social media, but we have gone from a place that i guess in retrospect seems like it was moderately polite to just bareknuckle brawling, and i highly recommend -- how many of you saw "60 minutes?" fair number. you can go on the "60 minutes" website.
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frank once did a focus group, and i have watched a lot of them, and i remember at the time being a little suspicious because it was like, i have seen lots of focus groups where they had some people that seemed kind of angry or pretty angry, but i have never seen one where it's all of them were. and i was a little suspicious that, you know, maybe there had been some aggressive recruiting of people -- [laughter] mr. cook: let's call up 300 or 400 people in the area and pick the 25 most ticked-off people that you find, and let's put them in a room with some network cameras and see what happens. but i mean, i have to tell you, it was compelling television. the wasn't sure it was a straight up, but in retrospect, i sure can't say it was fixed, but it really gave you a sense
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of how debates and people interactions had changed and how pointed things had become. and so, we come back to this choice that people were having, and there was one set of focus groups that were done with walmart moms. and this one woman characterized the race is between quote "between a dishonest washington politician and an unqualified hothead." in a different focus group, one in charlotte, peter hart said a man said that it had come down to quote "vote for me because i'm less of a sleaze ball." i mean, that's how voters were seeing this choice. the fact that we could see this in the exit polls. we had, for example, and this
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was out of the 24,000, as of about 2:30 this morning, when i printed out the cross tabs about 24,000 interviews. president obama's approval rating of voters yesterday was 53 approve, 45 disapprove, and normally, if you look at that you would say "well, ok, the party of the sitting president would have a fair chance of holding on and actually did win the popular vote," but looking at the favorable unfavorables of just the two candidates where hillary clinton had a 44 favorable, 54 unfavorable, so -10. but trump's was 38 favorable, 60 unfavorable and that was the one that won. wow, wow. [laughter] mr. cook: like i said, we will be unpacking this for a really, really, long time.
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"washington post" poll sent out an analysis this morning and one line that kind of hits me was a "revolution against politics shook the country tuesday, with working-class whites venting their economic and cultural frustration by lifting candidate donald trump to the presidency," and where this was, we heard a whole lot about ok, it was noncollege whites over here, against whites that were college graduates over here, and minority voters over here and that is a way and i will go through some of these numbers in a second, that is one way looking at it. but part of it was this urban
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versus of small-town rural. and one of the first signs that things were starting to go in an unexpected direction last night was david wasserman, our house editor and he was across the room. we were in the decision desk room at nbc and he comes over and whispers in my ear, something to the effect of, "you won't believe the numbers we are seeing in some of these states and in some of the rural counties where they were getting turnout levels in places that were just absolutely unprecedented in these rural small-town settings. which raised the question of, clearly, i mean, we knew about the noncollege whites versus college, and we kind of knew that part. i was personally aware of sort of this cultural divide between
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small-town rural america, and i might say middle america geographically compared to the coast on each side. but it was much, much, much, much hotter than we expected, and so, there's kind of the city people or people from the east coast, west coast telling us how we ought to live our lives and really just sort of a rebellion there as well. our colleague from atlantic media national journal from atlantic magazine, ron brownstein has a great turn that we have seen this in version political inversion. , if you think back to the franklin roosevelt new deal coalition. one essential element of it was basically blue-collar whites, working-class whites, central part of the new deal coalition, they have either left, or i
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guess you could say the democratic party had left them or driven them away or however you want to characterize it to , the point where trump won noncollege educated whites by a 39-point margin. here's a frame of reference. reagan won them by a 32-point margin, so seven points more, greater than what ronald reagan got, and reagan won a 10-point landslide and this was an election where trump actually, you know, seems to have lost the popular vote by, you know, a fraction of a percent, but certainly, it was not anything like the 10-point blowout-- 10-point landslide like ronald reagan achieved over jimmy carter. let me just run through just some of the exit poll data that just jumped out at me as particularly important. those voters under 45, they were 44% of the electorate and clinton won them by 12 points,
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52 to 40. but those 45 and older, that was a 56% of the electorate, and we knew that people particularly 65 and older turnout at a higher level. but trump won them by nine points. 53 to 44. gender, women made up 52% of the electorate and clinton won by 12, according to the exit poll and men made up 48% of the electorate, and trump won them by 12 points. seems to me, given that women are usually 52%, 53% of the electorate, my louisiana public school arithmetic suggests that she should have won this given that, but go figure. then, let's look at race. back in 1992, when bill clinton
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beat president george h.w. bush, 87% of the electorate was white and in 2012, it dropped 15 points to 72%. this electorate was 70% and the thing is, there were some folks saying this could drop down to 59% to 68%, something like that, it ended up being 70%. but of the whites that voted, they voted for trumpet by a 21-point margin, 58% to 37%, while the 30% that were nonwhite voted for clinton by a 53 point margin, 74% to 21%. and then you look at the race, education, gender split. they were interesting. white female college graduates, 20% of the electorate, clinton won them by six point, 51% to 45%. white female noncollege graduates, 17% of the electorate, but trump won them by 28 points.
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so six points up up for clinton among college graduates, white women and trump by 28 among the , noncollege. wow, what a difference. white male college graduates trump won by 15 points, white male noncollege graduates, trump won by 49 points. 72% to 23%. nonwhites, 29%. -- wait, that doesn't make sense. i was doing the subtraction on the train without a calculator and no sleep. [laughter] mr. cook: anyway, party, clinton won democrats by 80 points. by an 80-point margin. it was 89% to 9%. what's interesting is president obama had 91% of the democratic
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vote in 2012. now, mitt romney won 92% of the republican vote in 2012. trump got 90%, 83-point margin. then, independents, romney won independents by five, trump won independents by six. there are more democrats than republicans. usually you are looking at a five or six point spread. it in the exit polls, it is looking more like a four-point spread. suggesting turnout things that may have been surprising. here's the one less thing on the exit poll that i felt was kind of interesting. 13% of the voters yesterday have served in the military. 13%. they voted for donald trump by a 27 point margin, 61% to 34%.
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and of the 87% that had never served in the military, they went for clinton by five points, 50-45. interesting. a couple of last things, made their mind up before last month, clinton won them -- that's 73% of the electorate, and clinton won them by five points, 51-46. but people that made their mind up before last month -- i'm sorry, the 73% was before the last month. the people who made up their mind in the last month was 26% of the electorate, and trump won them by 10 points, 49-39. you wonder, is that where -- did all the comey stuff -- we don't know, we will never know. but it is a plausible theory.
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some of the little quirky things, like, one of the questions they asked is, should the next president -- and they gave three options -- continue barack obama's policies? a second option, change to more conservative policies? the third was change to more liberal policies. 28% said continue obama's policies, clinton won them 91-5. 48% said change to more conservative policies, not surprising, donald trump won 83-13. but 17% said change to more liberal policies than obama had, and trump won 23% of those people, 70-23. you sort of look at that and you
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say, what is going on? i mean, and sort of similar to that, question -- do you think the 2010 health care law known as obamacare went too far? 47% said went too far, and trump got 83% of that vote. was about right was 18%, and trump got 10% of that. not surprising. but what about the 30% that thought obamacare do not go far enough? trump got 18% of those. almost one out of five of the people that thought that obamacare do not go far enough voted for trump. [laughter] charlie: you know, it's times like this that i start to pull
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out my hair. thankfully, i have got plenty. trump got 18% of the vote of people who thought he was unqualified. [laughter] mr. cook: as i said, we are going to be unpacking this for a really long time. but what is interesting, and i did hear someone at around 5:30 this morning talking about this as a wave election. i was thinking, ok, it was surprising things happening, but in a wave election, a party that is benefiting does not lose a half-dozen house seats. my definition of a wave election is when you start picking up two or three dozen seats, something like 37, like republicans got with reagan in 1980. 52 seats, like republicans got
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in 1994. that is a wave. having a net loss of either one or two seats, depending on what happens in new hampshire with kelly ayotte and maggie hassan, losing a seat or two, that's not a wave -- losing a seat or two, that's not a wave in any direction. this seems trump-specific, but some of the turnout things that i think were driven by trump also kept republicans from losing more seats than we thought. i thought the over-under was about 13 seats. that's the number of seats that republicans gained in 2014 over what they won back in 2012 in the last presidential election. you can argue 13, 15, something like that. six seats, there's lower than we
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thought. not shocking, but lower than we thought. i don't remember what our last range was, but at some point in the last week or two, we had a wide five to 20. it would have fit. the thing is, losing one or two seats, that's not -- as i said, we are going to be unpacking this for a really long time. let me talk for like, five minutes. how much time do we have? 10 minutes. what does this mean, and where we going? this is uncharted territory. let's start off with the house. how does this affect paul ryan?
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first of all, what is paul ryan thinking these days? does he want the job? if he wants it, is he allowed to keep it? will house republicans, the freedom caucus, tea party folks feel emboldened by all this and say, you know, let's get rid of ryan and get one of us in there, or do they say, we need somebody who's going to be a negotiator, someone who's going to run interference between us and president trump since he is kind of new to town. [laughter] mr. cook: of new to town. and the legislae process, the governing process, this kind of stuff. we don't know. i think obviously mitch mcconnell was in a different situation, because he is not in any jeopardy, and he certainly
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played things a little cagier than ryan did. he does not have that vulnerability. some of us were talking last night about, what's going to happen? you are going to have trump here, and are you going to have paul ryan here, and mitch mcconnell here, and mike pence has been around. do they kind of surround trump and kind of try to move him in certain directions, and constructive ways? or is trump completely freelancing? how does all this work? we don't know. we have been so thinking about, well, ok, if republicans lose their majority in the senate, and they get the margin in the house cut in half, how many
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times could ryan violate the hastert rule without being kicked out? but that does not seem relevant anymore. we are in a new place. at this point, from this point forward, nobody is an expert. we are all novices in this situation, because nobody has ever seen anything quite like this before. and what happens in the democratic party? there had been an argument made when it appeared hillary clinton was going to win, i heard people argue that she actually would have been better off with 49 mocrats in the senate than 51, that she would have as much or
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more problems on her left as on the right. and there were already about 12 or 13 really, really, really liberal democrats in the senate, and it looks like it would probably get up to 15, and that would be it a real problem for her. that maybe she could tell them to chill out a little if they did not have a majority in the senate. there was that whole discussion going on, which obviously is not relevant right now, but where does the democratic party go? i have to tell you. i have been saying this for a couple of months, that to me if you look at the democratic party now, i would argue that the center of gravity and the party nationally is closer to the bernie sanders and elizabeth warren than it is to hillary clinton or joe biden. and that while everybody was
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on how ideological and outsider and angry at all the stuff was going on on the republican side, but i have always thought that whenever you see some problem in one party, at theain under over other side and look. because you will see either the potential of or the reality of that same problem over there, in the democrats. whether it is the outsider alienated, some of the stuff bernie sanders and elizabeth warren say the democratic party , is owned and operated by wall street and the big banks. which is obviously news to wall street because they were clearly not getting a lot of the value for their ownership. [laughter] mr. cook: where does the democratic party go over the next few years? i think one thing, a couple
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thoughts about how things changed, and then we will open it up for questions and comments and accusations. but i had been -- and again, i'm trying to sort of mentally make the turn from what we thought was going to happen to what obviously happened, but in the context of clinton winning, i was thinking, well, a couple of things may be happening. one, she would likely have had a better working relationship, at least with the senate, than president obama did. i would not say they had to break his arms to sit down with members of congress, including those in his own party, but, you know, they probably did have to shove him around a little bit to get him to do that, and that generally does not work so well. i would venture to guess that
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the last time a president had a -- had as difficult a relationship with his own party on capitol hill was jimmy carter, maybe, back in the late 1970's. we thought that. i do think, though, that chuck schumer and mitch mcconnell -- i think chuck schumer and mitch mcconnell, first of all, think about harry reid. it was like watching two scorpions in a bottle. [laughter] loathing terms like and despising really understate the relationship. the impression i had was that schumer will have a far better relationship both with mitch mcconnell and other republican senators than harry reid did. it had gotten -- that's
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something that will be different. but all in all, i know that probably a couple of you are lobbyists. wow. i do not think you will be getting your budgets cut until next year. i tell you, if this town is driven by fear, uncertainty, and change, we have all three food groups coming up in the next two years. let me just close on that. but i will tell you, just sitting around, talking with pollsters and other folks around nbc last night, you have 140 years of experience there and nobody had ever seen anything
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like this. we have microphones, and they ask that you identify yourself. here we go. >> hi. the states pennsylvania, michigan, wisconsin, is that a trend that you see going forward? mr. cook: i think it's a trend. i really do. michigan may be -- well, democrats had been banking so much on this rise of latino vote, asian-americans, the rising latino vote, the states with booming numbers of young, highly educated people that were moving towards the democratic party, but the thing about it is that's not happening evenly
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across all 50 states. and there are some that that has happened a lot, and as a result, she did fine in virginia, colorado, but in the states where it skews somewhat less minority and a little less on the educational side, a little more on the rural side, the democrats have been so excited about the glass being half full that they were ignoring that the glass was half empty. they were losing ground with certain groups. they have been so excited about the groups that they have been gaining with. we all have spent a lot of time talking about the 2013 republican autopsy and have -- and how republicans needed to do better with minority voters
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and younger voters, yada yada, that maybe democrats should have done a study like, ok, we won, but there are some warning signs out there. there are signs where democrats are underperforming, and they are troubling. i think that democrats would be very well advised to maybe do their own autopsy this time and take a look at what happened, and what some trends are that they ought to be worried about. clearly the country is changing, and it is changing a lot, and it is changing in a way that generally benefits democrats, but it is not changing as fast as they think it is. and it is exposing some real -- i guess for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. it is opening up real problem
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areas for them that they have to figure out a way to square. >> i wanted to ask you, is some of this trump's new approach to technology? did the clinton campaign fight the old election of obama, data-driven, turnout operation, were they fighting the old war, and is he in the new twitterland? that is direct communication and more nibble, allocation of resources. we all know how much less he spent on his campaign. or was it just the cult of personality? mr. cook: i am trying to think. my colleague amy walter wrote a piece this morning. she was ambitious and wrote something. i was too brain addled. what was the phrase she used? she quoted glen bolger from public opinion strategies talking about 2004, that a good field can't make up for bad
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messaging, i think. and the thing about it is, i think the power of trump's messages trumped -- the thing is, clearly the clinton campaign, clearly some things goofed up. first of all, the fact that they did not send her into wisconsin, that minnesota and wisconsin were left sort of exposed. and even though she did carry minnesota, but not by much. clearly something went wrong somewhere along the way, and i'm sure we will read a lot about it. no, i don't think that trump has found some new way. i think he just had, in retrospect, a very powerful message that resonated with certain types of voters really well. the right message, the right year. i think it was that.
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my guess is, if i were a republican consultant, i would not tell future republican presidential candidates, don't worry about field, do it the way trump did. what's in those car commercials, professional drivers on a closed course. kids, don't try this at home. just because it works for him does not mean it will work for you. the thing is, and i'm not saying that this is the same, but the romney folks, romney had some awfully bright people working for him, and they had done a lot on analytics, and it was a pretty sophisticated campaign. they thought they were pretty good. they felt good going in, but thought they were measuring up reasonably well to the obama operation. as it turned out, it was not as
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sophisticated as the obama operation. but i think romney did not have that powerful message to make up for whatever gap in the technology level that was there. no, i don't think this is something new, but i think it is the power of trump's message. i will stick with that until we learn more, which i'm sure we will all three plots more. >> what impact does this election have on the role of the media in politics? it seems to me that what i would call the legitimate media, the fact checking and document of all information, had no impact whatsoever, and instead what we got was the entertainment side
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of media, and there does not seem to be a real political filter anymore. what is in the future for the media's role in politics? charlie: that's a great question. part of it is, particularly with younger voters, i don't want to lay it all off on them, that the distinction between traditional journalism and opinion, that wall has broken down. and whether you go on the internet, some of those walls that used to be there, what was an editorial, what was an op-ed piece, and what was a news piece, it's murkier. i would also add that the media -- how much trouble do i want to get in? [laughter]
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i think there's going to have to be a lot of soul-searching within the media on this. on the one hand, i think with a lot of cable networks, up until this year, if you wanted to watch a whole speech from a politician, you had to go to our friends at c-span, and that's where you went. and the idea of other cable networks, national ones basically doing entire speeches, that never really happened with any kind of frequency before. and they started doing it very aggressively with trump, and eventually they would throw in some clinton and bernie sanders.
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we saw figures, a couple billion dollars worth of coverage, not that donald trump had name recognition problems before but , in terms of allowing him to give his message directly unfiltered to voters, mainlining it to them in a way that was unprecedented. and then we kind of segue to a place where, the networks realized, every time we put this guy on, our ratings would go sky high, which helps my bonus. and that wall between profit-making and journalism got a little more permeable. and to be honest, i think in a lot of the early debates, and in interviews, they would ask the
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obligatory question about, when are you going to release your income tax returns? and he would say, oh, after the audit is gone, and there may or may not be one follow-up, but in terms of somebody grilling him and sort of really going after him, they did not do that. and i don't want to impugn anybody's motives, but you kind of wonder whether, wow, if i give him a hard time, maybe he will not come back on, and we will take a ratings hit. if you want an example -- remember the interview that chris matthews did with trump on abortion, where he asked, what would you do -- chris was like a dog with a bone. he just kept going after trump in a very aggressive way. and i know chris is not from the
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traditional journalistic background, but chris went after him far more aggressively than i saw any other journalist do in terms of that kind of thing. you did not see much of that. but then we went into the last six weeks or so. i think some newspapers i love you did not see much of that. and respect enormously, they kind of went a little far the other way and got really, really aggressive. when you call -- you know, it's one thing to say, "mr. trump said this. however, the record shows this and this and this." that's the way to teach you in journalism school. but to call something a lie in a news story, wow. i think i would have gotten an f in high school journalism if i
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had tried that. that's a new place. even though i have no sympathy for donald trump, i tell you what, i got uncomfortable watching the finest newspapers in the country really -- it was like watching a badly-refereed basketball game where you are getting a lot of makeup calls at the end. you have watched games, you have seen these makeup calls. you kind of go, wow, you kind of wince. quite frankly, i'm not sure that print journalism had a lot to make up for. to me it was more on the television side where some of the transgressions early on had been.
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i think all political analysts and pollsters and operatives, there's a lot of that -- of us going to be looking back at how we did things. when we sort of assumed that trump was going to lose, i wondered if he would get the genie back in the bottle, if any kind of journalism, if you did this to or for donald trump, would you be able to get your standards back up, down the road, for somebody else? maybe you should have just left all the standards where they were. i think that there are a lot of
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us that have a lot to be thinking about. navel-gazing, not that i have seen my navel in a long time. [laughter] mr. cook: any questions? >> i'm going to have you prognosticate more about 2018. you go to that part about the freedom caucus, health leadership, get a conference position. that might have been an agenda item with the meeting with ted cruz last week. in 2018, if you do not have them switching parties. maybe they come up with how they mapped the genome of the republican party in ohio, what kind of candidate would you have against sherrod brown in 2018? how conservative would candidates be that cruz could use in 2018? mr. cook: we certainly are
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making the turn. in my mind, you had all the circumstances that were working against republicans this time. we know that in presidential election years, the turnout is big and broad and relatively diverse and looks less like the country. turnoutrm elections the is 40% lower, older, whiter, more conservative, more republican. republicans had 24 seats up this time, democrats only had 10. republicans had seven seats up in states that president obama carried. there were no democrats up in states that mitt romney carried, but for 2018, it was like everything was on the other foot. ok, it is a midterm election, so it favors republicans. we thought that it was going to
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be a midterm election with a democratic president. we know that just using the house as a yardstick, the party in the white house has gained seats in precisely three midterm elections in the last century. there were 25 democratic seats up and only eight republican seats up in 2018. all the factors working against republicans this year would be working against democrats in -- democrats in 2018. now it is kind of topsy-turvy, i guess -- part of your question would be is this a group of people, party leaders in ohio, who get in a room and commission
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a lot of polling and research groups on sherrod brown and their potential candidates and take a vote and decide who would be the optimum candidate? that would be the way it should work, but not the way it does anymore. my guess is, you would probably have quite a few republicans running for that seat and they may or may not get the optimal person. i do not know off the top of my head who would be the optimal person. who was the supreme court justice who said i cannot define pornography, but i know it if i see it? head who would be the optimal you think you know who would be a good challenger. sometimes that does not work. for example, democrats were really excited when they
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recruited patrick murphy to run for senate down in florida. republicans were really, really worried. then they did their research. they said, that is not enough to work with, so they dismantled the guy. it is a good question, we do not know yet. >> you provided a lot of interesting exit polling data, and obviously it tracks differently with what we saw the for the pre-election polling. can you give us a little explanation for why the pre-election polling was so off, particularly from the campaign standpoint? mr. cook: let's look at can you give us a it two ways. first, let's do national. then, take the state park. national, what we say the average was going in?
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clinton by 3, 4? and it ended up being clinton by a half, or a third of a point. something like that. --t is how the west votes west coast votes are. it is off but not orders of magnitude off. the fact is that polling, i think the best pollsters in the business, doing the best work they possibly can, they are not as good as their predecessors were 30 or 40 years ago. while a lot of people think that is about cell phones, it is not. the good pollsters use live interviews and call cell phones. the problem is caller id. the problem is telemarketers
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, burned people out. got a call 30ad years ago they would be , flattered that somebody asked their opinion about politics. , who is interrupting my dinner? you check the caller id and you don't know who that is, you do not answer. the response rate, they could get to completion. now it is down to about 9%. getting a representative sample is really, really hard. even the best pollsters doing their best work, it is not as reliable as it used to be. i do not see that as as much of a failure. on some of the states where you had state polling -- first of
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all, not a lot had state polling going on. is anyone here from minnesota? did you see any? i do not remember seeing a whole lot of pulled out in minnesota. you did not think there were any? i could not remember any. michigan had a few, it was not exactly over-polled. there were some states where we had polls coming out two to three times a week. some places were not polled well. and the quality of polling in individual states varies a lot. where the polling was off the most was in some of the states. where we thought the fight would be in the fight ended up being were two different places. what the campaigns may have been seeing, i don't know.
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that is a question you have to ask pollsters for each side, give them some sodium penethol and see what they say. a poll that had clinton up by 3% or 4% and she won by less than 1%? that is troubling. to me, we knew that the blue-collar non-college-educated , white, we knew that was there. but to me, the small-town rural, to me that is the group i suspect they have been real underrepresented. one of the things that happens, when you do focus groups, there are cities that have really good focus group facilities, where they all go to columbus, ohio or charlotte where there are good
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facilities. but they do not go 20 miles, 30 miles, 40 miles south. they do not go out there. maybe tapping into that small-town, rural thing, that have,uspicion that i where we missed tapping into some of that anger. you can see it, even in upstate new york. upstate new york, that might be a completely different state than the city and the suburbs. >> a quick follow-up to that. is your assumption that the clinton campaign, they probably modeled that the vote would be similar to the obama vote and it blew her out of the water. is that your take? mr. cook: it sure looks like it.
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my transom is open if anyone wants to wikileaks a bunch of internal clinton documents. i am kidding. that's not even funny. [laughter] mr. cook: inquiring minds would like to know, what did they see, and when did they see it? i'm not inclined to throw a lots of rocks at the technical people in that campaign, because some of the groups i have dealt with, they are some really bright, talented people who were, a lot of them were on the obama campaign in 2008 and 2012 and n good then.m i do not think that they woke up in competent one day. i think there were new and different things. i think that having some of the
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challenges that secretary clinton had, image challenges. let's face it, where the democratic party is going. president obama, nancy pelosi, that image of where the democrat party is, it is a happening place for certain kinds of voters. but it is on a different planet than with the voters in south arkansas, where my parents grew up, for example. i don't know, good question. nice hotels, though. i like the regency. anybody else before i go? >> jeff brown with pew charitable trusts. i am curious as to the impact of the hispanic/latino turnout. can you talk a little in general about what trends the you see,
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what happened in florida and nevada, maybe in the future of arizona and texas. or was this a story that was more hyped than anything? -- more high than anything. charlie: i want to see with the benefit of sleep, a lot more data. i have the impression there were some areas, the latino vote was out and robust and all of that. ands hearing a little bit florida, some of the cuban vote back and forth, that it may have complicated things a little bit. i wasf it is -- and talking to a political scientist who does stuff of the democratic already a few years ago, asking him, you know, when will texas ?o purple
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know, was told is, you 2020 earliest, 2024 may be more probably double -- more plausible. this person made this comparison with california. in california, you have this a very large, growing latino population that tends to be in more urban areas. wellyou had really financed public employee unions that were of happy to spend a heck of a lot of money on voter registration, mobilization, all of that. while in texas, let's say, the latino vote is much more spread out. a lot of it is more rural, small-town, and you don't have that financial infrastructure that california democrats had. as a result, it was just going ,o be maybe lagged the curve
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you know, just be on a completely different trajectory than, say, california was. arizona might be somewhere in the middle, but to expect them all to behave like california, but also where california, ever 187, pete wilson and prop the thing about it is, it really alienated latino voters like a generation ago. it's gotten worse and worse and worse and worse. texas, you typically haven't seen -- i mean, remember what mitterrand needed to rick tried to takeerry what in the republican party would be a moderate stance on immigration and romney just killed him with it.
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note texas republicans had behaved in the way people wilson had in california, back in the 1980's. lot think there will be a -- i think there will be a lot expect thei would charitable trust to write a lot of it. and i will be reading it very carefully. it's too soon. it's too soon. we've got to wait until all the votes are in and all the exit polls have sort of been weighted and massaged and ready to do it. anybody else before i get the hook? there you go. >> how you think social issues played out [indiscernible] in the second part is
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[indiscernible] [laughter] charlie: there is an old rule of thumb. never take the last question. [laughter] no, those are good questions. wonder -- where the country is going on social and cultural issues, where the republican party needs to be in i don't think this year will have done a lot of good advancing the cause that the republican party needs to make changes in order to go after younger voters in the future. so a lesson that needed to be think, probably didn't get learned this year. of kicked it down andsidewalk a little longer
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allows i think a demographic problem for the republican party on culturally -- on cultural issues to just get worse rather than them start to figure out 50, under 40,der look at a lot of these cultural issues very differently than where the historic republican base has. were a moderate republican hoping that the party would change dreck's and on cultural issues, i would be really really depressed today. don't think him while the republican party won the presidency, that flight kind of got prolonged. oh, first hundred days, you know , your guess is as good as mine. i think we are just going to all, you know, fastener
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seatbelts and get ready for a wild ride. i don't think he even knows what he is going to do. [laughter] he's -- or heugh knows who he is going to hire to help determine things. but your membership in national journal will help you understand that. [laughter] i already signed my renewal with kevin. but that's a little extra here. listen, thank you all very much for coming out. [applause] kevin: thank you, charlie, for sharing your thoughts with us today. there's a couple of things to mention before leaving. you all will receive an e-mail .rom us that will have a survey we take feedback very seriously at national journal to them we take serving our members very seriously.


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