tv PBS News Hour PBS November 4, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: election day 2014, the polls are still open with more >> ifill: election day 2014. polls just closed in 13 more states. voting has ended in more than half the country. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. control of the u.s. senate hangs in the balance. republicans need to pick up six seats to retake the majority. tonight they have already won two key contests. >> ifill: the house of representatives looks to remain in republican hands. 36 states will elect governors. those races are so tight. more incumbent governors are at risk of losing this year than any time in the last five decades. >> woodruff: stay with us all
night on air an online for analysis and the latest results, plus a special report at 11:00 p.m. eastern. >> ifill: it's election night on the pbs "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> lincoln financial is committed to helping you take charge of your future. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: it is 9:00 in the east and republicans are building momentum tonight in their drive to capture criminal of the u.s. senate. so far they have taken two of the six seats they need.
in arkansas, congressman tom cotton defeated incumbent democrat mark pryor, and in west virginia, shelly moore capato won the seat being vacated by jay rockefeller, who is retiring. a number of key senate races in georgia, north carolina, virginia and new hampshire all remain too close to call. and we know the polls, gwen, just closed in several other important states. they're all important. including colorado, kansas and louisiana. and we want to add in give's race, the democrats have picked up a republican seat in pennsylvania, where tom wolf defeated incumbent tom corbett. however republican asa hutchinson captured an open seat in arkansas that had been held by democrats. so the map is moving around. >> ifill: and a new report from south dakota. >> mike round, we can call this one, he was a former governor, but he is now picking up that
senate seat. this is another pick up for the republicans, defeating democrat dick way wehland. and we can also now call yet another state in new hampshire. jeanne shaheen has won reelection. the democrats were beginning to sweat that one out. it's a relief, i know, to find out she's winning. >> jeanne shaheen beat scott brown, who famously ran for senate and was defeated, was actually a senator in massachusetts, lost, moved to new hampshire, challenged a sitting senator, jeanne shaheen, and ran a very strong race in the end. >> i just point out that larry presley became an independent. he voted for president obama twice. >> ifill: that's right. >> just a minor point. >> ifill: one of the bigger races we've been following is kentucky where mitchell mcconnell won another term as senator. of course, he's the senate
minority leader. if republicans take over the un, he'll become the senate majority leader. he defeated his democratic challenger alison lundergan grimes. he spoke to reporters moments ago at his campaign headquarters in louisville, telling them they will be heard in washington. we're having a problem with our audio, but we'll tell around and get that back to you in a moment. >> woodruff: it's all the way from louisville, so maybe that's a problem. we'll get it for you as soon as we can. but mark, since you corrected me on larry pressler,ly not turn to you for the next question. we want to be correct. we want to be right. let's go back back to new hampshire, though. michael gerson, this was a state, again, democrats thought they were in good shape there, and they were sweating it out.
>> well, this is one of the things i'm looking at tonight. can republicans win away games? can they win in places out of the south, out of their normal round house here? and new hampshire a lot of republicans had some hopes here. and that's been disappointed. we're looking at north carolina in that category. we're looking at iowa and colorado in that category. that indicates to me a lot about 2016. can republicans win in places that purple states, not just red states? >> well, the question is whether the candidate is the strong one or the challenger is the strong one? as we saw in kentucky, i think we have that speech from mitchell mcconnell, that excerpt. we're going the look at it right now and talk about it on the other side. >> when you get right down to it, that's what this campaign was really all about. it wasn't about me or my opponent. it was about a government that
people no longer trust to carry out its most basic duties. to keep them safe, to protect the boarder, to provide dignified and quality care for our veterans. a government that can't be trusted to do the basic things because it is too busy focusing on thing it shouldn't be focused on at all. [applause] a government too busy imposing its view of the world on people that don't share that view. >> woodruff: what's interesting about mitchell mcconnell is he was dealing in kentucky with people, we talked to several... i was there this past weekend, he was dealing with democrats who don't like the fact that he doesn't do anything to help the president, democrats who still like president obama, but he was also trying to deal, mark, with some conservatives who don't... who remember the role he played in some budget compromises and other... the few times there have been a compromise working
across the aisle, they saw mitchell mcconnell involved in that and they didn't like it. >> mitchell mcconnell had a primary challenge. it turned out not to be as formidable or a savvy challenger, but mitchell mcconnell dispatched him, his conservative challenger, who ran against him on those very grounds, that he was not a true blue conservative, authentic, and so i think once he got by that, i'll tell you, the other secret weapon he had in this campaign was rand paul. rand paul won the senate seat, you'll recall, just four years ago, is now a national candidate, and he beat mitchell mcconnell's hand-picked republican nominee. and there was real bitterness at the time, but he needed rand paul. >> ifill: i remember when rand paul ran for senate, and mitchell mcconnell was not his pal. that came all the way around. which means in some level that
mitchell mcconnell is a survivor. he gets ahead of the wave. >> that's true. it also means that rand paul wants establishment credibility. i think he's gaining a lot of standing within the party. he wants to run as a more mainstream republican than his background, which is quite libertarian. and so it was a confluence here, the need of mitchell mcconnell, but also the need of rand paul. >> woodruff: very interesting survivor politics that were being played in the state of kentucky. >> ifill: absolutely. >> woodruff: we want the hear now what it's like on the ground in some of the key states we're watching tonight. harry convenient vaw sin is in our newsroom. he'll talk with reporters across the country all night. >> sreenivasan: thank you, judy. castration is not typically a word you associate with politics, but one woman used a pledge to cut pork to grab headlines. congressman bruce braley is hoping to keep a democrat in the
senate seat being vacated by tom harkin. it's considered a must win for democrats if they want to keep control of the senate. the news director of radio iowa joins us now from washington. so i got to ask, this was not a senate race that was on the map for democrats to have to defend. why did thisk become so close? >> well, two reasons: one, president president obama's popularity in iowa is below the national average. it's below 40%. some polls put it as low as 37%, number one. number the work bruce braley had a self-inflicted wound when he was caught on video criticizing iowa's republican senator chuck grassley, suggesting that grassley, if republicans take control of the united states senate, will be someone who is not a lawyer who will become chairman of the judiciary committee. he had a hard time after that. he's been swimming upstream the whole time because of that and because of president obama's
popularity rating here. >>. >> sreenivasan: you're obviously not in washington. i saw is t-o-n at the end. you're in johnston. is gender playing a role, especially when the female candidate is very conservative? >> one of the interesting things about this race is iowa has never elected a woman to congress. so joni ernst, if she does win, will be first woman elected from iowa to congress. she has stressed in her campaign advertising that she is a mother and a soldier, but really gender has not played much in this race, and like in colorado, democrats have pushed some of the issues that they think would be effective with women voters, but really this has come down to a base election where republicans are energized about their candidate and democrats are really trying to save bruce braley. >> sreenivasan: in most base elections, at least mid-term,
the turnout is not nearly as high is. that the case here? is it business as usual, or do people recognize that the senate's in play and are they coming out primarily for that contest? >> early voting has been going on in iowa for 40 days. and the number of early votes cast this year sets a record for mid-term. 455,000 iowans have already voted. that's about 40%. there will be another 60% or another 600,000 or so who will vote today. so there is great interest in this race. and this really is the marquee race in iowa. we have a give's race that's hardly gotten any attention. we have a governor running for a sixth term. no attention paid the that race because of all the attention and all the focus on getting this seat in republican hands for republicans and in democratic hands for democrats. >> sreenivasan: okay. before i let youo, 15 or 20 seconds left. i heard you spoke with vice president biden today. how optimistic was he on this night? >> it was fascinating because at
the end of the interview, he said, "regardless of which party holds control of the senate, i think the message from the 2014 voters, he said, was that they don't want people to go to washington to do nothing. they want people in congress to do something. so it's interesting to hear him say those things this close to the close of the polls here in iowa, which will be closing in about, you know, 40 minutes or some. >> all right. thank you so much for your time. >> sure. >> sreenivasan: gwen, back to you. >> ifill: thanks, hari. polls have now closed in more than half of the states in the country. we have protections. in the texas give's race, the projected winner is republican greg abbott, defeating wendy davis, the democrat who came to notoriety from her filibuster on the floor of the senate. and many minnesota, senator al franken has won reelection.
of course, we... snore al franken managed to win reelection by keeping his head down. >> i was going to say something about that. that was the closest race six years ago. we had a recount that didn't it go on for it felt like months. it was weeks and weeks and weeks. the fact that it can be called on closing says something and you're right. it says that he kept his head down and just focused on his job and they were never able to crack him. >> ifill: let's run through what we know so far tonight. what have you seen and what does it tell you? >> the republicans have picked up senate seats in south dakota, west virginia and arkansas, and i think we know the focus continues to be on iowa, colorado, kansas, georgia... >> ifill: north carolina. >> north carolina. nobody's called north carolina. i was looking at some of the north carolina numbers, and they strike me as surprisingly good for kay hagan at this point. again, nobody has called the race. i'm certainly not calling the race. but when i looked at the
numbers, i was surprised. i did speak to a republican within the last 20 minutes who said to me he was disappointed. he expressed disappointment. he said it looks like we may not get that race we thought we were going to win. >> and that republicans did not get jeanne shaheen. they saw that race tighten up over the last few weeks. really thought they might have an opportunity there, you know, new hampshire's a state that swings like a pendulum almost every two years going with whichever way the wind is blowing. republicans thought the wind was blowing our way, here's our chance, but that's another candidate in jeanne shaheen, she's a former governor, very well positioned in a small state. >> ifill: that said, the map still has a lot of up in the air, toss-up states which favor republicans, right? >> absolutely. colorado just closed. i was looking at some of the early exit poll numbers. surprisingly more men voted than women voted in colorado. and remember, mark udall ran a whole campaign on personhood and
cultural issues and abortion rights. it look like gardner is rolling up considerable strength among men voters. one other race, we haven't talked too many governor's races, the numbers, the florida governor's race where republican charlie crist has about 126 126,000 -- i said republican charlie crist. one-time republican charlie crist. >> hard to keep track. >> republican governor rick scott has a 126,000-vote lead over republican-turned independent-turned democrat charlie crist. some parts of the state have not reported. at the moment scott has a narrow lead. >> does that tell us anything extra? >> i don't know if it tells us anything extra except that this is a race that's been tight from the very beginning in a state we will spend a lot of time in, in 2016. this is a race crist won narrowly in his first go-around in 2010. if he wins in this case --
>> scott. >> scott could win very narrowly again. it shows just what kind of jump ball state florida is. >> ifill: one thing i'm always interested in is what happens with women voters, married women and single women. we're showing in places like georgia that married women are going 47%, 48%, perdue none. that's a dead heat among married women. among non-married women, nunn has a nine-point advantage. it's very interested whether women, placing like colorado so heavily tilted toward women's issues, will maybe decide this? >> we talk about various temperature demographic categories, but there are categories within the categories that sometimes tell us more about who is voting for who and why.
and there are differences between married women or older women and single women and younger women. and in some senses that's the fascinating part. we don't spend enough time on that i think. >> one of the other things i'm us a interested in is about early voting. we'll talk about that in our next go round and find out whether that had any time. back over to judy. >> thank you. and speaking of gender and we like women and men around here, political editor lisa desjardins has take an look at why female voters so critical and getting lots of attention. >> in campaign land, it is the year of the women. >> i will always stand with our women. >> i've helped women in the military. >> we're taking our message the women voters. >> i trust women to make their own decisions. >> if that's not enough for you, candidates are providing a slew of relatable women in their ads. why all this female friendliness? the simplest reason, more women vote. in the past five mid-terms,
women have outnumbered men nationally by about five million votes each time. and exit polls tell us some interesting things about how they vote inch 2012, married women were divided, voting 53% for mitt romney, but single women overwhelmingly went democratic, with 68% supporting the president. democrats want those women at the polls again this november. hence these ads from democrats. here's colorado. >> the only place cory gardner will take women's rights is backward. >> and michigan. >> as a woman, terri lynn land should know better. >> republicans are fighting back with mixed success. this ad comparing voting to wedding dress shopping definitely did not work. >> so rick scott is perfect. >> but candidates talking straight to women, it might. >> i believe the pill ought to be available over the counter, around the clock, without a prescription. >> congressman gary peters and his buddies want you to believe i'm waging a war on women.
really? think about that for a moment. >> one last note, both partys have stepped up efforts to not just reach out the women but to get more of them elected, from georgia to oregon, new female candidates are running for senate. as a result, this new u.s. senate could have a record number of female members. but before you think that women have closed the political gap, keep in mind that the record set by the current senate is far from reflective of the population. just 20 out of 100 senators are women. >> and let's talk with lisa right now. she's over there at the table with our political director domenico montanaro. so lisa, tell us about some of the women who are running tonight and how they're doing so far. >> right. we're getting a first picture of what's happening. we have two prominent women of the northeast winning. we have susan collins and jeanne shaheen, both returning to the u.s. senate, but also out were two prominent challengers, terri lynn land in michigan and alison
grimes in kentucky. we have a record number of women in the senate, has the piece just said, we don't know tonight if there will be more women in the senate, but there could be less. a lot will happen in iowa depending on whether they send jody ernst to the senate or if kay hagan wins in north carolina. speaking of north carolina, i want to touch on a point gwen brought up a minute ago with amy and stu. if you look at the exit polls of north carolina, kay hagan is winning with single women by 34 points. and she's also winning with single men. her gap single versus married is larger than the gap female versus male. so we talk about things through this lens of gender politics, but in north carolina, we see a larger split between married people of any gender and single people. so that's interesting too. >> it is. that's something we've seen before as we look at single people are more dependent, maybe more dependent on assistance from the government than married. married couples combine those
incomes. domenico, you are looking at where all these races stand right now. what do you see? >> that's right. one of the things lisa is mentioning about women, one of the women who was a flip for one of those seats was shelly mar cap toe. let's look at where the score is on this scorecardment we have it 44 for republicans and 42 for democrats. and that means we have three flips so far, west virginia, arkansas and south dakota. republican's magic number here, three seats. so still three seats left. >> they're getting very close. >> they're getting very close tonight. one of the races that we have not heard about yet in this 9:00 hour that we're waiting on is louisiana. and mary landrieu, who, you know, has been in... has a very famous political family in louisiana, with her brother and her father, one being a current mayor of new orleans, the other a former mayor of new orleans,
and one county to look at in louisiana, to see how landrieu might do, is another... is jefferson county. this is in the suburbs of new orleans. in 2008 mary landrieu won it 52/46. that very closely mirrored her results in 2008 and in 2002. jefferson county could be one to watch. we all expect that this race is actually going to go to a run-off because you have three candidates here with rob man es, the conservativetive republican challenger, rob maness, to representative cassidy, the likely winner potentially in a run-off that would go december 6th. he leads in all the head-to-head polls against mary landrieu. she just has not polled anywhere near 50%. >> woodruff: that's right. the democrat and the republican, not maness, would be part of that run-off.
domenico, lee centennial park we thank you. gwen? >> . >> ifill: jeff greenfield joins us now, long-time political reporter and author and a contributor to pbs "newshour" weekend. hi, jeff. jeff was recently in louisiana reporting on that neck-and-neck race between mary landrieu and bill cassidy. you discovered an interesting thing that you reported onge the weekend "newshour," which is it's not the same thing as a federal race, is it? >> in the sense that it's not an election, it's a general primary, but the other thing i just... that's what they call it. and if this were an election, mary landrieu, who is supposed to finish first, would be elected, but because of the run-off, as you heard, she's in serious political jeopardy. we've also learned this is one of a series, and this is what i talked about, of a prominent political family. you already saw one fall tonight in arkansas, mark pryor went
down in defeat. we have begich, udall in colorado, and this to me helps define the national scene. these folks who have strong family ties to a state, they're all democrats, are bucking this national, i don't know if it's a wave, a high tide, a summer shower, whatever it is, of anti-obama sentiment. i think we'll be looking all night whether they can hang on because of their ties to the state. >> is it because they're voting on different issues than a federal level in state race. >> yes. i see what you're getting on. what we may see is a tie nationally that all favors the republicans in terms of the net gains. i think very few incumbent republican senators or house members are in danger. pat roberts may be the only one, but at the state level, the discontent that is driving this
whole campaign, the deceptive nature of the american electorate, more than two-thirds think we're on the wrong track, is being played out with incumbents on both parties. you have something like ten governor, republicans and democrats, who are facing very tough reelection. that's because at the state level, people are taking out their anger on the people they see in charge, whereas at the federal level, even though the republicans control the house, they see obama and the democrats as the people they're angry about. so we might see something very rare, a genuine bipartisan anti-incumbent feeling, depending on what level of the country you're talking about. >> ifill: jeff, it would be helpful if you walk people through the confusing nature of what this run-off means. we may not know what's happening in louisiana until january. >> i'm sorry. very simple and you folks discussed it. everyone is in the same race, republican, democrat, vegetarian. they all run in the primary. if nobody gets 50%, the top two
finishers, and everyone assumes that will be senator landrieu and congressman cassidy, face off in a run-off. and what the polls are telling us is under those circumstances, cassidy looks to be the favorite. as i say, it is to the democrats' disadvantage that this is not an election but a primary that's going to precede an almost certain run-off. >> it's interesting because mary landrieu is one of, as you point out, she's part of a family of survivors. and she has survived run-offs before, but i wonder like in so many other states, if the landscape has changed. >> absolutely. louisiana, which is very different in many way, its food, its music, the fact it admires convicted felon, but the one way it's similar is the one solidly democratic state has moved steadily republican. mary landrieu is the last surviving statewide democrat,
and the tide, particularly given obama's unpopularity in louisiana, is running very strongly against her. her whole campaign is arguing, look, you know me, you know my family, and by the way, i'm chair of the energy committee, and that's going to help our gas and oil industry. if the republicans have taken the senate already, then she is deprived of the major argument in the run-off because she will no longer be chair of the committee no matter what happens. so what happens tonight in terms of the control of the senate could have a really serious effect on her chances of survival on december 6th. >> ifill: we'll be at the edge of our seats. jeff greenfield, thanks for coming out to play with us tonight. >> always a pleasure. >> ifill: thanks. judy? >> woodruff: we don't know the final outcome tonight because it's just too early. but what we do know is that there will be a shuffle, and what we can share with you now is the white house has put out word that the president is extending an invitation to bipartisan congressional
leadership to come to the white house to meet with him on friday. of course, that's an expectation that there's going to be possibly a different set of leadership in the house and the senate. so we've been hearing about louisiana. another state we're very much... we've been very much watching tonight is new hampshire. that's a senate race we've had our eye on. it's projected democrat jeanne shaheen has won. we made that projection. we're in the newsroom. hari? >> sreenivasan: thanks, judy. for a sense of the scene in new hampshire, we're joined by karen from "the boston globe" in manchester. it's 52-48 with about one-third of the votes in, but there hasn't been a concession yet by scott brown. is that right? >> that's correct. what we're hearing from brown's campaign is really everybody be patient and hang in there. we're going to celebrate tonight, whether that's wishful thinking or not, it's hard to say. given the way this race has
gone, it's hard to say what will happen, but i think it's pretty clear that jeanne shaheen has prevailed in this one. at least that's how it's looking. >> sreenivasan: a number of polls had said that senator sheheen was in danger tonight, but this race was called pretty early by a lot of us. what was the campaign able to do at least to get this kind of lead at this point in the night? >> i think that jeanne shaheen never took her eye off the ball. she was able to rally women in particular around a lot of issues that are most important to women, refrom ducktive rights and birth control, and at one point in the campaign, especially when things started to tilt in scott brown's direction as he came on stronger, she really made a point to let women know that scott brown was not necessarily a vote for women's rights based on his previous voting record in massachusetts. and, of course, the carpet bagger label has stuck with
scott brown, whether or not it's valid. i think that was a factor for some people. but ultimately, you know, i think voters here in new hampshire are feeling pretty comfortable right now. our unemployment rate is not too bad compared to the rest of the country, and so where in some states it might be people are looking to vote for change and they want something to happen, here in new hampshire anyway, things haven't been so bad. the economy has turned around enough that i think people maybe voted for more of what has been happening, which is recovery. >> sreenivasan: okay. you've spoken to brown's people. he's been campaigning for pretty much five years now. you had the special election in massachusetts, then the election versus warren. if he doesn't win, what's next for him? obviously they're expecting a win and they're still waiting tonight, but what does he do next? >> i don't know. i saw one reporter asked him if he would go back the massachusetts if he lost, and he sort of just shrugged that off
and said that's a silly question. i don't know what's next for brown, but, you know, if he wants to hunker down here and rebuild a political career here, i think this campaign, he came on pretty strong, strong enough that maybe people will take another look at him in another election cycle. he certainly represents an independent voice and a moderate republican voice, which is very appealing here in the granite state. so being as close to somebody like jeanne shaheen, who is such a strong contender here in new hampshire, that might give him encouragement to stick around and give it another try. >> >> sreenivasan: all right, carol, thanks so much for you time. >> you're welcome. thank you for having me. >> sreenivasan: gwen, judy, back to you. >> thank you, hari. we turn again to shields and gerson. we've been sitting here looking at some of these interesting trends of the evening. among them is... we haven't
called the race yet in colorado, but it's one of the states we're watching very carefully. michael, there are interesting signs developing. >> there is. it is. it look like udall is winning among women, but not enough to cover the gap among men. that's right now. it's in the called. the race is in the called. but it looks like that. the big question on this race that a lot of people had, including democrats, was did udall run a blue at the present time campaign on essentially liberal social issues in a purple state, in a state that's really not as responsive to those issues? so i think that's a test. it was a... he got tagged by the denver paper for running a single-issue campaign, udall did, on liberal social issues. >> ifill: didn't that strategy work for senator bennett a few years ago? >> but that's the question.
gardner doesn't fit the profile as well as ken buck did in the past. gardner is a much more appealing character. the shoe didn't fit as well in this race. >> i think that there's no question that michael bennett, the senior democratic senator now, presumably from colorado, ran against his opponent. and identified his opponent. and ken buck was more than willing to fill that role. there's nothing more tempting in politics than to use something that's won once. there are still republicans all over the country who say, just do what ronald reagan did, double the defense budget and cut taxes by one-third. democrats are trying to affect jack kennedy's mannerisms. it's a very derivative and imitative business, and i think mark udall got tagged by the "denver post" editorial board as
senator you tillist. this was hurtful for his campaign because it's a liberal newspaper. >> woodruff: he tried the change that strategy. >> ifill: he did. i asked him about that. he said, we're talking about the economy, but the advertising most people saw was about those issues. >> and cory gardner put a smiling face on conservatism. he didn't fit that stereotype. he didn't... he wasn't complicit in that group of republicans. >> he is a different kind of republican, which is what george bush called himself in 2000. >> woodruff: i wonder what michael thinks about a smiling face on conservatism? >> i'm all for it. i like examples like john kasich in ohio and other places that did this, that took a strong conservative message and gave it a much more upbeat tone. >> woodruff: okay. now we want to share some
historical perspective on why today is election day. political director domenico montanaro explains. >> unless you're political junkie like me, your first probably is not election day. most people are busy atmore work. so how did this happen? why do we vote on tuesdays in november? believe it or not convenience. it dates back to 1845 when congress established our voting day as the first tuesday after the first monday in november. back then we were largely an agrarian society. people lived and worked here, not here, or here. there was spring planting. and the fall harvest. so november it was. okay. so why tuesday? [bell tolls] religion. as a largely christian country, most americans went to church on sunday and congress had to factor in travel time. it took a while to get to places
back then. the car didn't come along for another half century. people drove these. and paved roads, not exactly. convenient polling locations at your kids' school were a thing of the future. instead americans had the travel to the county seat to vote. but that's all changed. and some want to change when we vote to a more convenient day to fit modern society. the weekend voting act proposed in 2012 would move voting from tuesday to saturday and sunday. but the bill, like a lot of things in congress, died in committee. >> ifill: that's funny, domenico. everything dies in committee. it's good to know the history. stu and amy are here with us tonight. i want to talk to you about what happened in texas tonight. even though it wasn't a surprise, there was a moment in time in which wendy davis, who ran against greg abbott, who was elected tonight as governor of texas, said she was considered to be the darling of democrats across the country and she was supposed to be the person who would turn texas blue. it didn't happen. why not?
>> you're right. she was the darling of democrats. some republicans might say also the darling of some in the media. texas is simply a long way from turning blue. i think many of us believe there were significant demographic changes that are taking place and will take place in the state over an extended period of time. but they haven't taken place in 2014. they're not going to take place in 2016. i don't know about 2020. but this is... there is still a very conservative element of the state that is not switching. so when dedavis is an interesting figure, interesting narrative, but she always had a terribly uphill climb, and frankly, gwen, we always had the race at the rothenberg as safe republicans. so there was a lot of interest and media attention, but there was not anything there. >> how about the "cook political report"? you're going to give equal pill?
>> look, i think sue's exactly right about the demographics in texas working against her. the thing with the profile, her rise the fame was based on her success in beating back an abortion bill. she was really identified very closely with that movement. i think what it helped to do was to really gain her a lot of support nationally from liberal democrats, raise a lot of money from liberal democrats. in fact, she helped to raise a lot of money for the democratic party, but as a from file for the state of texas, it was always going to be a harder hill for her to climb because she had to share that she was more than just the wendy davis who stood on the floor for the filibuster on an abortion-related bill. there was more to her than that. so based on what we've seen so far tonight, what does it feel like the map is doing? is it shrinking for one party and expanding for another, or is it too soon to say? >> it feels like right now we're looking at what we thought
coming into this election, which is we knew the red states were looking good for republicans and they continue to behave that way. some of the blue states, we talked about new hampshire going for jeanne shaheen, the states that are still out are going to be tough ones for democrats. there are some red ones and then there are purple ones, like iowa and colorado where i still think democrats are going to have a tough climb to win both of those. >> well, let's talk about the tough climb and this time turn to mark shields and michael gerson and get some sort of sense about what you think is a tough climb. what are the issues that the outstanding wait you're watching, the canary in the coal mine, the rosetta stone, whatever you want to say that's remained that you're watching right now, michael? >> i think if republicans don't take new hampshire and north carolina, in order to have a good night, they have to take colorado and iowa. and those look from the exits like at least in colorado like serious possibilities. but that is... i think that
would be a moderate wave for the republican party. it would show some strength in purple states, which i think they need to do. >> ifill: mark? >> what's interesting to me is the gender gap. if jeanne shaheen wins in new hampshire and if kay hagan does hang on in north carolina it will be on the strength of women's votes in both cases. they ran very strongly. mark udall is, according to the exit polls in colorado, running about nine points ahead among women and being absolutely slammed by men. i think democrats have to look at it that they have a gender gap with men. and i think that's a problem going forward and it is certainly something that hillary clinton will want to think about as she prepares for 2016 race. gender gap, she would be the first woman. that's obviously an organizing and galvanizing principle. but the gender gap is
fascinating, and we've always looked at it as an advantage to the democrats because they had women, and i think there is a problem here as far as men are for the democrats right now. >> woodruff: hasn't that always been the case, as long as we've been looking at the gender gap going back to ronald reagan. republicans have done better with men. >> but i would say the risk for republicans looking at this electorate and missing the vulnerability inxd 2016, just because of the changes significantly, this is a whiter and older electorate by nature. republicans could have a message of complacency if they win the senate coming out of this, when, in fact, they have serious work to do among younger voters, among minority voters, among rising demographic. >> woodruff: voters that are not turning out in large numbers some the myth of the mid-term mandate for republicans is they think this confirms their strategy, when, in fact, they have significant electoral work to do to gain the national
coalition. >> ifill: it should be said, we've gone this far without mentioning 2016. so i'm very curious what you see so far. you mentioned hillary clinton's problem with gender. i wonder if you see any as you look forward now to 2016. >> i think michael put his finger on a real problem for republicans. after the 2012 loss of mitt romney, the republicans went through sort of an open soul-searching, you'll recall, the chairman of the party was very candid. we have to support comprehensive immigration. we have the reach out to women voters and we have to figure out how to appeal to younger voters. now, having done none of those things, 2012 and 2014, the republicans are on the cusp of a great victory. so it strengthens and emboldens that group in the republican party that says, wait a minute, the problem with romney and mccain is we weren't conservative enough. we didn't really stand... we don't need to change ourselves. we don't need to become touchy-feely. i think that is a real problem
for republicans. we always misread what an off-year election is. 1958 when eisenhower was crucified at the polls, they wanted a change in '60. you can say that. but you look in 1998, it wasn't the case. bill clinton had a good 1998. and yet george w. bush gets elected in 2000. so it is tough to draw i think a parallel, but i think there is a lesson here for the democrats in just on age, i point this out, when president obama was reelected, 19% of the electorate was under the age of 30. that was the most democratic, the strongest support group of the entire age cohort in the population for president obama. the weakest for president obama, the strongest for mitt romney were voters over the age of 65. right now we're looking at twice
as many voters voting over the age of 65 in 2014 as under the age of 30. and that's a problem for the democrats tonight, but it's a problem for the republicans in 2016. >> woodruff: michael, that was your point. it's going to be a different electorate. >> yes. both parties tend to overinterpret their mandates when they win elections. instead of making the changes and adjustments that a victory would allow. >> woodruff: all right. before we go to... i want to go back to our political director domenico montanaro, but we can tell you that it is projected that there will be a run-off in the state of louisiana, that neither mary landrieu or congressman cassidy, bill cassidy, her republican challenger, are getting... are going to get to 50%. that means there will be a run-off in the month of december, and that means we won't... we may not know the make-up of the senate until then. >> ifill: it is significant
that the third-party candidate gets 11% of the vote. if that vote had gone to either one of them, they would not have a run-off. >> there is a since that most of it will go to mr. cassidy. >> i think so. sarah palin came in and went for third-party candidate in this race. that made a difference. >>. >> woodruff: let's go to domenico montanaro. domenico, you've been looking at the races the polls have been closed for hours in virginia and georgia. what's going on? >> so far if you look at the earlier states that we've been looking at throughout the night, virginia, north carolina, north carolina if we start there, this is a race that is very, very tight right now. within a point. 48-48. you see the number of votes. a couple thousand votes for 55% of the precincts. so this one could come down to the wires. that's already shaping up to be. >> it's interesting to me that we saw new hampshire projected before my home state of virginia, the old dominion,
virginia right now is a 49% for the republican ed gillespie, 48% for mark warner, the incumbent democrat. the trick with virginia is that race comes in late sometimes. we saw this same split with our governor's race last year and those numbers flipped in the very end. but we're seeing obviously some close races that perhaps some people thought would be called earlier. they have not been. obviously georgia has not been called yet either. >> look at the 49-48 in virginia. you know, that's... that race had been much further apart through the night. now in northern virginia counties are coming in. that's why it's tighter. georgia, as you see there, we've got potential for a run-off. we have that third-party candidate on our screen, amanda. >> we're waiting for counties around atlanta to come in. >> one of the big-picture points the look at, it looks like it's coming down to a very tight night right now. if north carolina goes to kay
hagan, if she were able to eke it out and if, you know, and if mark warner is able to eke it out in virginia, then you're looking at montana in the 1:00 hour coming up. >> let's talk about those numbers. 45 right now. that's where the republicans are. they need five more seats. some of those can even be incumbent republicans in order to make it to 50. as domenico is saying, we expect montana could be one of those. that could be a flip. so it's just to say, we're getting there, guys. >> you have montana. but then you have iowa, colorado, still very tight races. then alaska at 1:00. this could be very, very tight as we watch all the races track out. go ahead, gwen. >> . >> ifill: thank you very much both of you. this is somewhere interesting. it's been projected that senator mitchell mcconnell won reelection. it's still unclear if he'll be next majority leader of the republican-controlled senate. we have more. >> sreenivasan: for a sense of
the mood at mcconnell's campaign headquarters we turn to paul cane of the "washington post" who is there and joins us. so you listened to mitchell mcconnell's remarks. were they conciliatory, confrontational? one of the quotes that stood out to me was, "i don't expect the president to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently than he does now. he knows i won't either." >> exactly. mcconnell did both tonight. he did some reaching out, some softening up himself. he brought dr. noel hunter on stage and talked about how he helped get her daughter back from west africa after her husband had abducted her. and then he also talked about his bipartisan efforts in the past. he didn't mention vice president biden by name, but he said at one point, you know, i hope the president gives me a chance to do that again, to do deal making. but boy there were also some big, big partisan jabs that he threw at this white house and at the very, very end, he turned it
back the mitchell mcconnell the fighter, mitchell mcconnell the partisan that democrats have always loathed so much and at the very end it was this experiment in big government has lasted long enough. so, hari, he did a little bit of both. >> what was the turning point in his campaign? what was he able to use to motivate so many people to get out there in this decisive victory? >> he really used president obama incredibly effective as his foil. he just said over and over again, obama needs grimes. kentucky needs mcconnell. that was a line that he rolled out for the first time at the fancy farm festival in southwestern kentucky back in early august. and he just beat it into the ground over and over again. and in so many parts of kentucky, president obama is really unpopular. the coal country in eastern kentucky, which has been ravaged by thousands and thousands of
job losses, mcconnell is winning by margins that he's never won before there, and he's winning some counties that he has never won before because those are really old, old, democratic counties and the sort of last part of the south that really hadn't flipped, well, those counties flipped tonight and largely because mcconnell ran against obama. >> sreenivasan: so was he able to make that case that there is this opportunity here, if the republicans take the senate, that one of the most powerful people in all of washington would be from kentucky? >> yeah. that was the other thing that he really did. democrats like to say that the last three or four election cycles they've really localized their races and made people have a sense of what their incumbents are all about. mcconnell in this race, over and over again, part of his stump speech was the part where he talked about the rare opportunity to have your home state guy be the majority
leader. he made it clear that it would help kentucky, that he would be delivering votes to help the coal industry, that he would deliver the keystone pipeline, which while it doesn't cut through kentucky, it is something that they're familiar with here. he really made that sense of the connection of, look, this is can be pretty good for kentucky if we have me as majority leader. >> paul cane of the "washington post," thanks so much for join us. >> any time. any time. happy to be here. >> back to the election desk. >> woodruff: thank you, hari. i think one fascinating... it's fascinate qhag the reporter is telling you. another state i think all of us are in a little state of shock about, and that is virginia. if we put up those numbers, this is with 93%, if i'm reading this correctly. >> the precincts reporting. >> mark warner, who was running for reelection after one term, who was expected to win easily
against ed gillespie, former republican national party chair, former -- worked in the bush white house, george w. bush white house, is ahead by a point over mark warner. we're here with mark and michael. are you as surprised as i am? >> i was... i thought it was close in closing obviously. the fact that mark warner was running very strong negative commercials on television, a very heavy bye in the last two weeks against ed gillespie was an indication that his own numbers were telling him that he was in trouble and that gillespie had closed the gap. but it is a race the democrats never considered to be in trouble. not the kay hagan, not the --. >> woodruff: yeah. >> not the south dakota or anything of the sort. >> ifill: sue rothenberg and walter who have been digging
through exit polls, i'm curious whether you see anything tonight that would have been a warning bell about what we see happening in virginia tonight. >> well, two things to remember. the first is we still have a lot of votes out in northern virginia, which is the democratic stronghold, so fairfax county, which is a place where democrats traditionally do well, where warner is doing well, you still have 40% of the vote out there. so i think this is still... we still have a ways to go, but i think that we have to wait until we see those numbers come in. the other piece of about virginia is i think there's complacency. look, there has been so much talk nationally about how important these ten states were that we've been talking about on and on and on for the last few months here, nobody talked about virginia. we can't forget that virginia is a purple state. it is not a safe blue state. >> that's true. >> another state that's not very safe, and we're looking at some interesting exit polls michael from wisconsin, which tells us what we've within watching all
night everywhere else. >> exactly. it look like the percentages of men compared the women in that race are exact mirrors of one another. so these are just estimates, but 57-42 walker winning men. 57-42 burke winning women. it's like the boys versus the girls. >> but women make up a slightly bigger percentage. >> that would seem to be, but it just indicates that this enduring divide in american politics. >> woodruff: what is it about the way men and women see politics? stu and amy, we've been talking about gender, but what else are you seeing here in terms of income and in terms of race or any other issue or any other demographic i should say that helps us understand what's going on? >> democrats showing good jobs
in terms of getting out the african american vote. most of the demographics are very traditional, judy work republicans doing better with upscale voters, democrats with more working class voters. there is nothing jarring there. i think it's mostly the fundamentals of the state, the republican states, democratic states, and swing states, and they're behaiferg generally the way we expect that they would, except for virginia, which is at the moment confusing. >> woodruff: glad you're being candid and honest about it, stu and amy. that's the "newshour" for now for this hour. stick with us as we live stream our live election coverage online. find it at pbs.org/newshour. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll be right back here for a special report at 11:00 p.m. eastern. for all of us here at the pbs "newshour," thank you and stay with us.
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