tv MTP Daily MSNBC January 5, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PST
live sports faster just by using your voice... sports on now. touchdown irish! [cheering] that was awesome. and, the hits won't quit, with peacock premium included at no additional cost. all that entertainment built in. xfinity. a way better way to watch. insurrection anniversary as the january 6th committee has its eyes on a new policy fact witness. national insecurity. the attorney general mayor garland is set to give an update on the policy threats of violent political extremism as the
police chief testifies about conducting the seat of the democracy. welcome to "meet the press daily" i'm chuck todd on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the capitol incited by then president trump. even if there is disagreement on how it got that way and how to fix it. over the last 24 hours, we've seen plenty of alarm bells sounding from the halls of congress to the white house briefing room. >> and so the defining question this week and this year is, are we willing to face the challenge in front of us? yes, there is covid. yes, there is climate. but democracy itself is at risk in a way that we haven't seen in centuries. >> the biggest threat to our
capitol, our capitol police and our democracy is the insidious motives stemming from the big lie. propagated by the former president and many of his republican allies across the country. >> on thursday the president is going to speak to the truth of what happened. not the lies that some have spread since and the peril it has posed to our rule of law and system of government. >> the problem is not hard for democrats to see in washington, but the solution that's another story. we mean that somewhat literally. it's another story. the state of our democracy seemed like a back burner issue for the president in the first year dehind a deluge of more urgent priorities and, of course, above all else, covid, covid, covid. the covid situation a national mess. too many times to count on this show. the reality is this, democrats
in washington have seemingly not been able to break through with enough voters outside of washington on the issue and urgency of these democratic repairs, small d. it's easy to see why. 800,000 deaths, school closures, economic disruptions, rising inflation, prices at the pump, crime is up. given these kitchen table issues, if you will, the state of our democracy might seem like a luxury item giving the other issues facing them and their families. not to dismiss the democracy issue. the fact of the matter is many voters are dealing with what is in front of their face. you got it? now, it doesn't mean the democracy is any less important but it makes it much more challenging for the white house and democrats in power to try to focus this time, energy, messaging and political capital required to do something about this, especially in the face of a concerted campaign on the right led by a president to erode our democracy and it doesn't help the elected members of the republican party, those
that do know better, are sticking their heads in the sand and pretending this is not as bad as it is. so, let's start with the latest from the white house and on covid with our team of msnb reporters. josh letterman at the white house, heidi has exclusive reporting on the education secretary's new plan to try to tackle covid in the schools and in chicago where school was canceled overnight due to teachers not wanting to go in and sam brock is in hard-hit miami. josh, let me start with you. and this issue of sort of the white house's task here, if you will, this is a messy month with covid. the disruptions are all over the place whether it's air travel, schools, testing is not as available as the white house swears it is. where is their heads today on covid? >> on covid you see the white house really starting 2022 in kind of a defensive posture, chuck. trying to answer questions about
the confusing guidance that has come out of the cdc on testing at the end of a positive covid-19 infection. today the cdc standing by its decision not to require tests for people after five days of testing positive, but to sort of invite them to do it if that's what they want to do. and then, of course, stay in quarantine, if they were to remain testing positive. the cdc also saying that this is not because of a lack of tests, which has been a lot of the speculation over the last few days that perhaps they were reluctant to require something that so many millions of americans around the country are struggling to obtain right now and that that would create all kinds of new problems. but dr. wolensky at the cdc pointing out, look, we require tests to be negative for people coming out of quarantine because they had an exposure. insisting it is about the science and not really indicating these tests are these
effective or tell you that much when you already had several days since testing positive and started to recover from that. but this has been a tough one with even the news today that some of the large retailers no longer offering those covid-19 tests at that at cost $14 that they had been for the last several weeks. the white house today sort of dodging questions about that but pointing to the fact that there are these range of other types of cheap, affordable tests potentially free or insurance going to cover it now available as a result of other federal options, chuck. >> it has been a head scratcher that an issue that as a candidate and campaign team biden was all about testing and that is sort of the first line of defense in a pandemic. what happened during the fall that they didn't stay on top of the, having the necessary supply of testing here? i mean, my concern here is that they're not thinking about the next pandemic, yet alone the one we're in. >> i think a couple things at play. one is in addition to being
focused on testing, they were very, very focused on vaccines and trying to get as many shots into arms as possible. also the fact of the matter which is decreasing demand or need and we saw abbott destroying the buy back now tests that were sitting on shelves expiring because people weren't buying them in that period we had over the summer where things seemed like they were starting to get better. but certainly a whole sequence of events here where the federal government now in both the trump administration and in the biden administration has seemed unprepared for the next step in this sequence of events and that certainly raises questions about what could be coming around the corner. >> plenty of people warning that we're not out of the woods. they said it for two years and, sadly, the virus always proves that prediction right. josh letterman at the white house, thank you. let me move over to heidi przbyla because the next two parts of this is on the impact on schools and, look, i heard it
from the secretary of education, we heard it from the president of the united states. they don't want to shut down schools. i know that's bad for learning. but the problem the schools have is a staffing shortage. what is the plan, heidi? >> yeah, so, kids can't go to school if there is no one to drive them there and teach them and feed them. that's where we are in a number of districts. talking some of the nation's largest systems with up to 10% of their staff calling out sick this week in places like chicago the issue is access to testing. but nationwide about 2,100 schools are closing for in-person learning for part of this week. what is the administration doing about it? he told me two things, chuck. first the administration wants to double down on encouraging vaccine clinics in schools. right now the rate for 5 to 11 year olds is still very low. about 20%. take a listen to what he said. >> what i would like to see, heidi, across the country is doubling down on vaccine clinics in our schools. when students are vaccinated and when our adults are vaccinated,
less likelihood for quarantining and less likelihood for the need for tests. our children in school, that's where they need to be. >> chuck, he's also telling me he hopes half a billion tests being sent out this month will help with the critical shortages we're seeing and he did not give any guarantee, chuck, that we'll be able to regularly test all kids before this nation really sees the worst of omicron. the situation right now is this. the head of the national association told me yesterday that parents should expect rolling shut downs or going in and out of virtual school for at least the next few weeks. then the states with bans on mask mandate which is a whole other level of chaos. >> i'm curious, i know chatter about covid relief funding coming from congress and that conversation beginning. i'm curious, are there some things the federal government can do on staffing or just encouraging governors to call up
the national guard if that's what it takes, for instance, to get school bus drivers as they did in massachusetts. >> on staffing so much of it is local but for school bus drivers we did have the news yesterday that they are changing the commercial licensing requirements for some bus drivers like 50%, chuck, of districts say this a really severe problem with bus drivers. he's hoping that will help. with the rest of the staffing situation, let me just give you the number here. 35%, 35% is the number of vacancies that we saw last year. so, that's not going to be fixed by any overnight tweaks that the government is making, chuck. but they are at a point where they're encouraging teachers to come out of retirement without penalty to their pensions, they're asking schools to use that money, some of it which is sitting on the sidelines for retention bonuses, signing bonuses for teachers because the teachers are sick and people don't want to sub. >> so short of teachers in one area high school in my
community, kids have been let out early because they don't have anybody to supervisor. heidi przybyla, thank you. let's go to a city where this education issue is more acute which is chicago and that's where we find mora barrett. the chicago's teacher union they voted not to come in and not to teach in person. that shut down the school system. what's it going to take to get the teachers to come back? >> what they're asking for is more safety precautions and not happy with what public schools have been providing and during the entirety of this pandemic something i have been reporting in chicago for at least a year now since i lived here and that is something that is consistent between the teachers union and chicago public schools. and the teacher's union pushing back overnight voting to go remote without approval from the school district. that's why the school district turned around and canceled classes here. this is a very quick response
that we saw overnight this happening in chicago. but the reality is a lot of cities are facing this issue around remote schooling like the issue you're discussing with heidi. but what we're seeing with chicago the highest positivity rate that chicago has ever seen during the pandemic sitting at 24% with positive covid cases and then we look at the vaccination rate of students in chicago public schools. less than a third of students are vaccinated. even though a majority of the teachers are, they're saying that they don't feel safe with the social distancing that is in place and same with masking and the vaccination requirements. so they're looking for a better agreement with the mayor and the school district here. but this has caused a lot of frustration. visible frustration from officials here in chicago and i want you to see that first hand from the mayor just yesterday as the teacher's union was getting set to vote last night. >> unfortunately, tonight cp
leadership is compelling its membership to make a decision that would harm hundreds of thousands of chicago families who rely upon cps for their daily needs. that's real harm. we can't forget about how disruptive that remote process is to individual parents who have to work. who can't afford the luxury of staying home and being with their kids. not because they don't love their kids, not because they don't want the best for their kids, but they need to provide a living for their families and that means going to work. >> now, it's clear that the mayor's office, the school superintendent and the teachers union do agree the best place for students and to get the best education is in the classroom. they're just differing on what's the safest way to do so given the status of covid in chicago right now. cps and the teacher's union will be meeting in the next hour for negotiations and we expect to
get an update on how chicago public schools will operate remotely going forward later this afternoon. but the teacher's union has made it clear that they will not go back in person until they get a better agreement they say from the mayor or covid cases decrease here in the city of chicago. chuck. >> maura barrett on the ground in chicago, it sounds windy which means it sounds cold. i hope you warm up here in a minute. thank you, maura. let's go down to sam brock where we have a different type of staffing and shortage issue and that is in hospitals and the issue of hospitalizations. you're in dade county there, sam. the case count is sky rocketed. tell us about hospitalizations specifically the staffing issue. >> it's a numbers game right now, chuck. if enough people get sick, it will put a strain on the overall system period. let's run through some of those numbers because we've seen a real stratification here in florida. the biggest percentage increase
in the country 670% jump in in infections in just the last two weeks. hospitalizations are up 264%. so, competitively lower. deaths in florida are down 40%. numbers, of course, do tend to lag here. but that fuller. icture is that omicron right now is presenting less severely than delta. this has put an immense strain just because of volume to the people on the front runs who have essentially been running a marathon for the last two years. they are getting sick. behind me jackson memorial and jackson health care system has seen more in the hospital than the peak of delta. one out of every two came to the hospital for something else and that patient just happened to test positive for covid. we spoke with the florida hospital association president for the sorts of strains they're seeing on the front lines right now. here's what she said. >> every hospital is struggling
with a staffing shortage like they've never experienced. so, it was bad before the pandemic, made worse by the pandemic and now because of staff being out due to covid is just gasoline can on the fire. >> governor desantis held a 40-minute press conference in jacksonville and he did not touch on the staffing shortage issue. he spent most of that time, a good chunk of it on antibodies and we know two out of three of them are not even effective at treating omicron or stopping the progression of the disease. most of the people in the hospital and across the country are unvaccinated. >> i'm curious, sam, some states called up the national guard to help with staff shortages, i think particularly nurses i
think in mississippi, they had to do that. any talk of that from the florida governor? >> i haven't heard that on the national level. people were thinking about what his strategies would be. one thing he said is that florida was not going to become a biomedical security state. no mask mandates, no schools closing, irrespective of what is going on in the environment around us. >> let the virus spread as fast as possible, i guess. sam brock down in miami for us, thank you. before that, heidi, maura and josh letterman. up next, we'll stick to some of the covid fall out problems. the price of everything in the grocery store is rising as covid causes supply chain issues and, yes, labor shortages. we'll talk to the agricultural labor secretary about the efforts to turn it around and face that challenge while the threat to our democracy also looms large. later, confronting the
problem of the rise of domestic extremism right here in america. one year after the attack on the capitol. one in three americans say the ends justify the means when it comes to political violence. ica. that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to or they don't remember things as vividly as they once did. i've been taking prevagen for about three years now. people say to me periodically, "man, you've got a memory like an elephant." it's really, really helped me tremendously. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
>> now, we're in a strong position to address the challenge including the cost people have to pay. welcome back that was from the first public event of 2022 meeting with farmers, and cisks how to lower the price of meat for americans. meat prices up 16% over the last year and the event shows where the administration focus is right now heading into the second year of the biden presidency. joining me now is tim vilsack. mr. secretary, good to see you. happy new year. >> happy new year to you, chuck. >> let me start with the event earlier this week because one part of it i felt like was not
as much of a focus. you got into the issue of the consolidation problem. some of the medium to long-term problems in the meat processing industry. but it seems like the biggest problem we're all facing right now is a labor shortage. what in this plan short term can help with that? >> well, i think two aspects. in the plan itself $100 million that will be allocated to workforce development to make sure that we can adequately staff more processing capacity. with more processing capacity, we'll have more choice and more opportunities in the grocery store that should help moderate and lower prices. part of the supply chain challenges workforce shortages in key areas like truck drivers. marty walsh and his team is focused on really accelerating apprenticeship programs so we ask get people behind those
trucks to move product. we're trying to make sure that products get moved from ports into the marketplace and a series of ports that are taking place. a variety of things that are taking place outside of the competition and capacity issues that we discussed earlier this week. >> how much of this is an immigration issue? we have had some of our lowest levels of immigration over the last year or two and a lot of these jobs you can't find people to do it. a lot of times immigrants will come over here and will do some of these jobs. but we've shut our doors a little bit to immigrant labor. how much of that is contributing to this problem? >> i will tell you, you can talk to farmers across the country and they'll tell you about a deep concern about a broken immigration system and its ability and their inability to actually get a workforce that is stable. >> is this the biggest problem? with you at the ag department, is this probably among the biggest things you hear about all the time when you talk to
farmers and food producers around the country? >> it is the single most important labor aspect of what i hear. there are a lot of other issues that are concerned about supply chain and fertilizer costs and concerned about markets and trade. but this is an issue that has been addressed and the house passed the ag worker modernization act. that would certainly address the problem very specifically with reference to ag and that is why it was part of the build back better proposal that is currently being considered by congress. >> it is at the end of the day, do you think this is something that the cost of meat is going to go down in the next six months or is this something that will take time to work itself out? >> i think you're going to see localized price reductions but in order to stabilize this, we have to readjust the market, chuck. people are eating more at home than they ever have. and that has caused a slight disruption in the market. that's why it's important for us
to expand capacity, processing capacity so that we can get a fair price for farmers and a better price and choice for consumers. that's what this is all about. it will take a little time, but i think you're going to see a moderation of prices over time by virtue of the fact that we're going to expand processing capacity in this country and make it a much more competitive market and great thing for consumers and great thing for farmers. >> any plan in the administration. i talked to brian about a month ago about the various labor issues that we were having, the supply chain issue and talk about truck drivers and folks that work at meat processing plants and the bottom line is we need workers, but i have not heard anybody say, look, we have immigration is how we could solve a lot of these problems. you brought it up. but it does seem as if, i guess the political hesitancy that is making addressing immigration as part of our supply chain issue more, i mean, is it the political problem that makes people hesitant to make it front and center?
>> chuck, i believe that everybody in this country who is focused on this understands and appreciates that our immigration system is broken and needs fixed. i think a lot of folks who understand what needs to be done in order to fix it. i think what we need is the political will and courage on the part of some in congress to get it done. no question that farmers understand the need for farm work modernization act. this was a compromise that was reached between labor and farm groups. and the growers. this was presented to congress and basically saying, look, everybody involved in this system appreciates this compromise and get it passed. so, it does take political courage to do this and i would sincerely hope this is the year when members of congress could find that courage to do so. >> you and i had a lot of conversations over the years about the democratic party and rural america. and i have you on so my question to you is this. you saw what happened in virginia. and it looks as if democrats aren't even being considered as
an option in at least rural virginia and you see some of this, obviously, you see how iowa looks less competitive today than it did even five years ago. what is your advice to the party when it comes to courting rural america these days? >> help us convey the message more effectively in rural areas on what this administration on behalf of rural america whether it's the processing capacity that we talked about earlier this week and whether it's additional support for rural development for hospitals and schools. a tremendous amount of activity taking place under the america refuge plan and build back better proposal and under the infrastructure bill that passed and help rural america. help us tell rural americans about the broadband access that will take place because this president was the first president to get a bipartisan infrastructure bill through congress. i think it is about messaging, chuck. we have a good story to tell and
good, positive story. >> can you overcome the cultural issues that seem to also, i mean, you just list the facts bear it out what you just said. there's no doubt about it that there's been a lot of financial help and infrastructure that has gone to rural america. sometimes the rural issues trump it all. any way of overcoming that in your opinion? >> the reason that may occur is because we're not doing a particularly good job of messaging. i don't think rural folks understand and appreciate what is taking place out there. i don't think we do a particularly good job in government of making sure that folks understand that when that school is rebuilt or that hospital is built that new hospital everybody is so proud of that it was usda financing that made it happen. i don't think people know when they get access to decent broadband because of government assistance and help. i really don't think we've done a particularly good job of messaging and because of that the cultural issues have filled that void. but we have to do a better job.
just no question about it. >> something i've learned from covering you over the years i think your department touches more parts of america and how usda help build hospitals. >> great to see you, chuck. take care. as sh select committee reveals it has dozens of text messages from fox news host and trump confidant sean hannity.
welcome back. as the nation prepares to mark the first anniversary of the insurrection at the capitol, members of congress focusing both on what happened and how to keep it from happening again. capitol police chief thomas major exposed departmental failures. the department is now absolutely able to defend against the type of threat we saw a year ago. at the same time, january 6th select committee continues to widen its investigation. benny thompson told cnn he would like to hear from the former vice president mike pence about what he was being told that day. the committee also asked fox news info tainment host to cooperate with its investigation calling him a fact witness and released text messages showing discussions hannity had with mark meadows and other trump allies expressing real concern about the lead up to the january
6th election challenge and trump's continued election lies afterwards. in the statement to axios that first broke the story jay sekulow who was the former president's said it would raise serious constitutional issues including freedom of the president. joining me leigh ann caldwell and the issue of that defense was something in the letter that essentially benny thompson, nuthing to do with sean hannity the public figure, everything to do with sean hannity the guy who was texting mark meadows behind the scenes and on the record. correct? >> that's absolutely right. the letter also said no executive privilege conversations that could be applied to these conversations between the former president and sean hannity. but what we learned from this
latest request, note it's not a subpoena yet. a request for sean hannity to cooperate and come talk to the committee is that sean hannity had concerns as early as december 31st in a text to mark meadows, the former chief of staff, saying he was concerned about what the former president was doing and leading up to january 6th. and on january 5th he said he was he was concerned in a text message about the next 48 hours. the committee, obviously, thinks that sean hannity will have pertinent information considering he not only spoke to the former white house chief of staff and also most likely to the former president, at least in the days following. >> and there was a real troubling text he sent this was after january 6th where he's admitting to mark meadows that he thought essentially he would still say that president trump was not listening to sort of reality, if you will. >> and implied that he wasn't in
a good place mentally either, the former president, considering how he was moving forward. and the committee thinks that sean hannity could have some real insight and we'll see what sean hannity does and other interesting news, too. that is that the committee wants to speak to someone even more directly tied to this, which is the former vice president. we know that some of the former vice presidents top aides have been, at least engaging with the committee including chief of staff mark short. so, that could be a big target for the committee, too. we'll see how it plays out. >> i was curious about that. i saw what benny thompson said about wanting to hear from mike pence and what he was hearing from his detail and it made me wonder, is there, is there any way for the january 6th committee to speak with secret service agents that were in and around both the vice president and the president during the
critical period that the insurrection took place or is that off limits? >> that's an excellent question. i was wondering that, too. i don't know the answer to that. but those are people that are the committee probably would not publicize that they are speaking to either, if those conversations might already be happening. we only know the big names of the committee, the people the committee is trying to talk to. more than 300 people that they already spoken to and perhaps some secret service agents are involved in that and also capitol police officers, as well, who were with the former vice president that night, too. we know the committee has spoken to some police officers. that was their very first hearing. i don't know if they were involved in this information gathering component of their investigation, though. >> one other question for you, we've seen speculation that the next round of public hearings might be in prime time. they want a bigger audience for their findings.
do we have any idea of when that would begin? >> no, we were told sooner than later. perhaps weeks, not months. but, no, we don't know. but they're getting to a really critical stage here. they are starting to say that they need to very clearly lay out what happened on that day. and they are going to have to do that effectively. and they want to take this public. we've been warned for months since the creation of this committee that so much of the work for the first few months would be behind the scenes. and that has proven true. but they don't want this to be a private investigation all the way. they need to start telling the public what they're learning. >> u.n. with thing we learned from jamie's initial presentation at the second impeachment, there was new stuff and a lot of people didn't know about then and they only had a couple weeks. i have a feeling this will be shocking some of the new information, at least i know what we've been hearing that could be presented.
leigh ann caldwell on capitol hill, thank you. we'll talk to an expert about the growing problem of extremism in this country and what is the growing support of violence in the name of politics or acceptance of violence in the name of politics. this is "meet the press daily." . every year we try to exercise more, to be more social, to just relax.
welcome back. almost one year after violent insurrectionist stormed the capitol a high number of americans could see themselves taking similar action. poll from university of maryland say 34% or one in four americans believe that political violence against the government is justifiable. 62% still say it's never justified. according to analysis from "washington post" that number has been in decline since the mid '90s when it was as high as 90%. we expect mayor garland to address this troubling trend and the implications for cracking down extremism in the next hour when he speaks to justice department staffers about their
work since january 6th. but i'm joined now by cynthia miller director of american university research and innovation lab and also the author of the book "hate in the homeland the new global far right" which is a new piece in "new york times" on what we have learned about extremism on january 6th and how to stop it from happening again. i hope i got all of that out there, cynthia. let me begin by getting your answer to the issue about the rising number of folks who say violence is justified. if it wasn't for january 6th, that number wouldn't have made me blanch as much because there is this sort of, you know, with the american revolution, there's always this mindset that that is the purpose of the second amendment and things like this. but that number has been growing. how concerned are you about it? >> well, happy new year, first of all, great to be here and to see you again. thanks for having me. you know, i think january 6th
was a real wake-up call for people who are realizing that those kind offed a attitude and i think we should be very concerned when we see those numbers going up because we know that there's the potential for violent action behind it. one of the things we should be concerned about is the spontaneous nature of that violence. in the past we've seen a lot of planned violence and extremist violence and this is something where people mobilized around the lowest common denominator of disinformation that united desperate groups who normally would not see their objectives as a line. so, i think that the ability of people to come together across, you know, the proud boys and the white supremacist groups and unlawful militia groups and ordinary voters, trump voters, that is a troubling trend and a
troubling event to see that kind of coalition emerge spontaneously and for people to be so willing to use violence even if they had not planned to. >> i'm not a big fan of sensorship in general and you get nervous about this but the rhetoric used on the right, the violent rhetoric used and conflated with politics all the time and how much that throw in the courseness of social media and the dehumanization of people that takes place all the time on social media or on propaganda info, how much of a contributor do you think it is with the comfort of violence that is growing particularly on the right? >> i think it's difficult to separate those two. you don't want to live in a country where we don't have freedom of speech and the government policing our ideas. we don't want to be in a
situation where we only intervene at the moment of stopping violence. you know, we don't want our measure of success to only be how good have we become at barricading the doors against attackers. there are important precursors to violence that include dehumanization as you mentioned and things like the acceptance of propaganda and disinformation. and we have to combat those more as a public health and educational crisis than as one of the security and intelligence crisis. you know, i think that's part of the problem is that we haven't been willing to pivot to see this as a crisis of democratic resilience. we instead look at it as only a prevention of violence and risk. >> we had different spikes of periods of time where domestic extremism or the fear of it seems to go up. the most recent before now was the mid 90s and, obviously, the biggest thing being oklahoma city. how would you compare the threat of extremism today, domestic extremism and domestic violence today a year later after january
6th and how would you compare it to sort of what folks in your studies were looking at in the mid '90s when we saw the last spike in domestic extremism? >> so important to think about the historical context here. even before that we had a big wave of left-wing extremism and in the 1970s and 1980s and then that gradually subsided and we saw the surge and historians and oklahoma city and that terrible tragedy but then 9/11 kind of pivoted all attention in the national security space to an international threat and we stopped paying attention to what already by 2009 or so was rising domestic violent extremism and white supremacist extremism. we're seeing now similar things to what we saw in the '90s but
this goes back to a post-obama backlash with the record number of hate groups and unlawful militias that weren't paid attention to while we were pivoted to the international threat. >> and throw in the fact that elected leaders of the republican party or former elected leaders are not pushing this back but actually seem to be embracing these groups. cynthia, thanks for coming on. up next, why democrats are doing better than expected in redistricting. why it still probably won't be enough to save the house. you're watching "meet the press daily." is.
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welcome back. across the country, states are drawing new district lines for both state legislatures in congress to determine who votes where and how likely a district is to go democratic or republican. right now about half of the 2022 u.s. house districts drawn, democrats are in a bit of a better position than they maybe expected to be. according to cook political report, there will be a few more biden-won districts than there are now. but that may not be enough for democrats to keep control of the house. joining me now, mr. redistrict
himself, as many of you know his twitter handle these days. dave, let me start with this. give the big, broad-brush explanation as to why you believe redistricting is coming out at a wash here, even though republicans appear to be in charge of more of the maps than the democrats. is this simply where the growth was in these states? >> part of it was the census, chuck. but there are on the current trajectory going to be more biden-won districts after redistricting than there are now. that surprises a lot of democrats. the reality is democrats did get to gerrymander illinois, oregon, new mexico. they probably own the biggest redistricting weapon in the country in new york, which hasn't redrawn its lines yet. whereas republicans, they mostly got to redistrict in states that they already gerrymandered back in 2011. so in texas it was more about shoring up the seats that republicans already had.
democrats already got favorable maps from commissions in california, michigan, new jersey. that said, there is as much short term risk here for democrats as there is long term upside. so many of these new seats are going to be, you know, seats that biden won with only 51 or 52% of the vote or in some cases less than 50% of the vote. as long as his approval rating is in the low to mid-40s, those seats will flip red. >> is this the most competitive map that we're going to see for the house starting at the start of a decade in at least three decades? i mean, are we basically guaranteed that the house is up for grabs every -- truly up for grabs between the two parties every two years because this looks like it's as competitively drawn as we've seen in a few decades? >> this is the funny paradox, chuck. even though this is going to be a map that's less biased towards
republicans than it was for the last decade, it's also a less competitive map. we continue to see the number of competitive districts winnow as the partisan states, the states that democrats and republicans get to draw, not commissions, they eliminate competitiveness to try to maximize the number of safe seats for their own side. and so the number of districts that were within single digits for biden or trump in 2020, in the states that have redrawn so far, has declined 26% from 62 seats to 46 seats. if you narrow that range to five points, it's declined 41% from 39 seats to 23. so we're talking about a house that could be competitive in the next decade but it's going to come down to an even narrower band of districts. that means that more districts, perhaps 90% of the 435 house seats, are going to be ideological cul-de-sacs where
the only incentive is to play to the primary base. >> the word "gerrymandering" is used as a negative. are we at a point where in order to create competitive districts, you would need to gerrymander? >> i think we probably are. in california it takes some effort to draw more than a handful of competitive districts, given how blue that state has become. and then on the flip side, you know, if in wisconsin, for example, you draw a compact set of lines, the most likely result in that 50/50 state is going to be a 6-2 republican map just because of how concentrated democrats have become in madison and milwaukee. so in states like michigan or arizona, where -- or colorado, where there was a premium placed on competitiveness, that's where we're seeing the bulk of these close races in 2022. >> this is why i say be careful, when we throw away
gerrymandering, some day you're going to wish you had it if you're trying to create competition. dave wasserman from the cook political report, always good to talk to you. deeper into gerrymandering in the newest episode of the chuck todd cast. go subscribe to my feed if you haven't done so. msnbc coverage continues with katy tur after this break. afte. , -wooo. can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
good to be with you. i'm katy tur. we are expecting remarks in about 30 minutes from attorney general merrick garland who will update the doj's investigation into the january 6th riot. we will bring that to you live when it happens. an capitol hill today, lawmakers are preparing to mark one year since the day a violent mob stormed the people's house. a moment being met by
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