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so if there can be some other way of making noise and bringing attention to what's going on there, i think that would be the first step. >> i thank you very much for being with us. i thank you for writing that book. it is really an important issue. >> thank you very much. before i go, it is possible that someone who lost a lot after hurricane ian could be about $250 million richer. one of the two winning lottery tickets in the last week's megamillions jackpot of almost half a billion dollars was sold at a 7-eleven in ft. myers, an area hard hit by ian. no one has yet come forward to claim the prize. lottery officials say this win feels slightly more meaningful. can you imagine? let's hope so. that wraps up the hour for me. i'm jose diaz ball art. you can reach me on twitter instagram@jdbalart.
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please follow the show at jdbalart msnbc. thank you for your time. peter alexander picks up with more news right now. good morning. i am peter alexander here in washington. parts of ukraine are under fire in the dark and running low on water as russia unleashes a new barrage of air strikes overnight. president zelenskyy says 30% of his country's power stations are destroyed by russia part of what he says is vladimir putin's strategy to plunge ukraine into brutal conditions just as winter approaches. we are in ukraine with the very latest ahead. plus, just 21 days out from the midterms, president biden is going to put the spotlight on a crucial issue the democrats hope will motivate their voters. abortion rights. and he is ready to make this promise. codifying roe v. wade into law will be his first big legislative priority in the new congress. if he hopes that'll be enough to keep control of congress in
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democratic hands, that actually may hinge on a series of other issues. right now it appears it's the economy and inflation are top of mind for voters, giving republicans an edge for the electoral jump ball. the sharpening stakes of what happens in november were on display last night in a three way clash of candidates in ohio, georgia, and utah. >> jd and his extreme crew, they want to have a national abortion ban. >> if you were half as good of a legislator as you pretend to be, youngstown wouldn't have lost 50,000 jobs. >> ms. abrams is going to lie about my record because she doesn't want to talk about her own. >> i have to have conversations with the entirety of georgia. i don't have the luxury of being part of a good old boys club >> i believe in this document. >> senator lee that is been doing this thing with his pocket constitution for the last several years. senator lee, it is not a prop. >> we start out with our reporters spread out in those
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critical battleground states with the midterms just three weeks away. on the ground there in florida ahead of tonight's critical debate, the only debate between marco rubio and val demmings. we're on the ground in ohio where candidates debated last night and nbc's blayne alexander is in georgia where gubernatorial candidates stacey abrams and brian kemp held their first debate. also with me in studio nbc news senior national politics reporter. jonathan allen, we'll get to you in a moment. shaq, let me ask you about what we are seeing on the road right now. we've been witnessing crime emerging increasingly as a critical issue, certainly the republicans trying to make it a big issue closer to midterm day. florida situation, unique here because val demmings is obviously a former police chief from orlando. what do we expect from her debate against marco rubio tonight? what are you hearing from voters there? this is a race that a lot of
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democrats thought would be impossible to win but she is making it a lot closer than others anticipated. >> reporter: that is exactly right peter. you'll likely hear her push back on that messaging in some of the attacks from her republican opponent. you mentioned the issue of crime for example saying she supports defund the police so that should be weak on crime. you'll likely hear her mention her history as a former police chief in orlando and her support for increasing police funding. you hear some of the attacks on del vision airwaves against her saying she votes with nancy pelosi 100% of the time. it'll be interesting to see her walk the line of showing how she'll distinguish herself as a senator while also touting the policies that democrats pass like the inflation reduction act or the infrastructure bill. we'll likely see that tight rope she'll have to walk tonight. you'll also hear go on the offensive. you'll hear her go against marco rubio in terms of abortion and the ban that he supports at the national level. marco rubio coming back and
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saying he has been one of the more effective senators in congress. you know, peter, once you get beyond the attacks one thing we are seeing when we talk with voters is the issues they care about, the top issues they mention, are issues especially here in florida that people say they care about the most and you see republicans having a slight advantage with that. listen to a little bit of the conversation i've been having with folks here. >> i believe hugely in women's rights, lgbtq rights. >> everything is so expensive now. everything. >> what do you know about him? what do you hear about him? >> it is just the party in general. they are for america, for protecting us. not a lot of woke. >> the republicans seem to complain more but offer no solutions. >> reporter: peter, you mentioned this is the one and only senate debate. it'll be the only opportunity you'll have both candidates to be able to respond to the attacks floridians have been hearing for much of the past
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couple months. >> shaq, you are exactly right. we'll keep a close eye on the race there. jesse to you in ohio the democrat tim ryan putting up a tough fight against republican jd vance there a political novice. their debate ended with what was a huge exchange over the racist great replacement theory that falsely asserts minorities are an existential threat to white people. how does that exchange crystalize the stakes of this race? >> reporter: peter, this was one of several exchanges throughout the night that were coming back to this idea of extremism. both candidates were trying to paint each other as extremists. we heard about nancy pelosi, marjorie taylor green from these two candidates. they were trying to tie each other to wings of their party and members of their party that are seen or revield in any number of ways by people from other parts of the electorate. and so this is something that we
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saw both candidates trying to do again and again. for tim ryan i think this is the key strategy for him to have a shot to flip a senate seat in a state that keeps leaning more and more red as it seems. because tim ryan is trying to peel off republican voters who might be sick of trumpism, fatigued by that sect of the republican party and looking for an alternative. ryan is explicitly -- has explicitly talked about being in agreement with former donald trump on some issues in the past and that has been a key part of his campaign for months. and so this issue that was brought up last night talking about the great replacement theory was another time where the two candidates were going back and forth about extremism and this is how that unfolded on stage. >> this great replacement theory was the motivator for the shooting in buffalo. where that shooter had all these great replacement theory writings that jd vance agrees with. >> you are so desperate for political power that you'll accuse me, the father of three
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beautiful biracial babies, of engaging in racism? we are sick of it. you can believe in a border without being a racist >> i think i struck a nerve with this guy. >> you absolutely struck a nerve. >> when we've talked about issues on the extremism front and in the course of these debates and throughout this campaign one of the things jd vance continues to do is pivot back to kitchen table issues like the economy saying that people want to talk about those issues and that came up in regards to talking about january 6th and tim ryan's pushback on that was people can walk and chew gum at the same time and saying that he wants to talk about those kitchen table issues, too, but you need to be addressing things in that case such as january 6th. so this is the debate that's going on and that will be in voters' minds, peter. >> jesse so striking to see that fiery, heated exchange given that one of those will be replacing the much more mild-mannered persona of rob portman the republican who is
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leaving his seat in that state. blayne, to you in georgia, which has notched record first day, in noirn voting for a midterm as gubernatorial candidates there brian kemp, stacey abrams sparred in their first debate last night. what are the crucial issues there? stacey abrams who has been on the cusp of a win multiple times now is facing a little bit of a deficit in recent polls. >> reporter: absolutely. she actually addressed that last night, peter. certainly a busy couple days here in georgia. we'll get to the record breaking early voting turnout numbers in a minute but it is notable voters actually heard from both gubernatorial candidates on the same day that they were able to go out and cast their ballots for governor and the other races in the state. when we talk about this race of course, this is a very closely watched rematch, a repeat of what we saw back in 2018. both candidates are in a very different place now in 2022. last night the economy and crime and guns, gun control, those were the things that really kind
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of came up repeatedly during the debate. for governor kemp one thing he did was repeatedly essentially touted his record. tried to make the case that georgia is in a good place. businesses are doing well. he went back and underscored his covid policy being the first state to reopen back in april of 2020, saying it was a highly criticized decision back then but that's why he says so many businesses are doing well now. for stacey abrams, her case essentially is that georgia is only doing well for some people saying there are too many people who are left behind, pointing to gun violence. she highlighted the atlanta spa shootings for example last year as a reason that she says governor kemp's law to make it easier for people to get guns is essentially back firing and making it more dangerous in the state. she also appealed to black voters, the democratic base, by saying there is a very large gap between minority owned businesses and majority owned businesses and challenged the governor, asked him what he would do to help close that gap. here is a little bit of the exchange from last night. take a look. >> our recovery has been as good
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as any state in the country. we have had two record years of economic development because of our business environment, working with the general assembly. >> gang crime is up. gun violence is up. housing prices have skyrocketed. we live in a state of fear. and this is a governor who for the last four years has beat his chest but delivered very little for most georgians. >> reporter: those are the words they hope stick with voters as they go to the polls today for day two of early voting. i want to show you the numbers very quickly. very big turnout yesterday. we're talking about more than 131,000 ballots cast across the state. that's nearly doubled the number we saw back in 2018 on the first day of early voting. what is notable, peter, that is approaching presidential year numbers. we are talking just 5,000 votes short or so of what we saw in the early voting in 2020. i talked to a couple democratic sources. they say typically when we see
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high numbers in early voting that's good for democrats but when we've gone to kemp events in recent weeks he too is making the case he is urging people to come out and vote early as well. >> georgia has become so essential to the political landscape. we'll talk about the senate race, herschel walker widely mocked, criticized for showing the honorary deputy sheriff's badge on stage at a georgia senate debate on friday and now the campaign is telling nbc news it has ordered a thousand imitation plastic law enforcement badges that say i'm with herschel. this is a fundraising tool. john allen is with us on set here. it shows, you know, these guys are willing to ignore all the criticism basically and say, hey look. here is a chance to raise money and get our name in the headlines. >> herschel walker would much rather talk about holding up a badge than the allegations that he paid for an abortion and we saw the kristen welker interview with herschel walker where he looked and says, yes. that is my check and explains he was giving it to the mother of
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his child, the child born several years after the abortion. it doesn't add up. he'd much rather talk about these badges. you wonder when rafael warnock will start passing out plastic heisman trophies to his supporters saying i'm with raphael warnock. >> let me ask you about the "new york times" new polling and sina college voting for candidates who reject the 2020 results. the numbers are striking. 18% of registered voters right now say they are very open, 21% are somewhat, which isn't small, to 40% are not open at all specifically as it relates to voting for candidates who reject the 2020 election results. when you look at the recent polling, democracy is pretty low in terms of priorities with the economy and inflation so much higher but it is striking to see even democrats are among those willing to ignore this issue >> i think if you ask people, democracy is a luxury compared to food and housing and the other staples, and we may find that to be tragic but also true.
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you know, i would make an argument sivd well in terms of providing for these things. people care about the kitchen table issues a lot. there are 25% of people, republicans who are not open at all or at least mostly not open to candidates who reject the 2020 election. i think that is why you're seeing some of these democratic credit candidates hanging tough in some of these races. tim ryan in ohio you would have expected that to be a blowout >> i think you are exactly right and obviously there are some big name candidates getting a lot of attention because of this issue. lake in arizona among those who has the potential to be governor of a crucial state as it relates to the 2024 elections coming up. thank you very much. we appreciate all of you. we are just past sunset now in ukraine. the people across ukraine are hunkering down for a night without power after russian strikes have damaged one-third of the country's power stations.
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we'll take you live to kyiv. also this hour, new details of charges against a cement company for paying millions of dollars to isis. what we have learned about those allegations. later, a nightmare scenario for parents. radioactive waste from world war ii weapons production found at the site of an elementary school in missouri. >> i don't think kids should have to worry about manhattan waste bomb material on their playgrounds. ♪♪ it's subway's biggest refresh yet!
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we can't wait any longer. climate change is here. already threatening san francisco's wastewater treatment plant at ocean beach. risking overflow sewage to dump right into the ocean. there's a solid climate plan in place, but changes to the great highway required by prop i would cost san francisco taxpayers $80 million to draft a new climate plan and put the entire west side and ocean beach at risk of contamination. protect our beach, ocean and essential infrastructure. reject prop i before it's too late.
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this morning massive blackouts and limited water supplies across ukraine after another round of brutal russian strikes. russia again terrorizing the skies with so-called kamikaze drones supplied by iran that continue to target nonmilitary locations like markets and apartment buildings. ukraine's president volodymyr zelenskyy called it part of russia's campaign to drive ukraine into the cold and dark, leaving in his words no space left for negotiations with putin's regime. meanwhile inside russia hours before the new attacks a russian bomber crashed into an apartment building in a russian resort town killing more than a dozen and raising questions from both moscow and kyiv. joining me now is nbc's cal perry in kyiv and the former deputy assistant secretary of
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defense of russia/ukraine eurasia and the foreign correspondent for "the washington post" who is based in moscow. cal, to you if i can quickly russia claims to be targeting infrastructure and war capabilities but we've seen videos of apartment buildings and markets hit so far. what are you seeing there from your vantage point? certainly raised i think the sense of urgency about the risk right there in kyiv specifically. >> reporter: absolutely. we've had eight days of consistent air strikes in and around the capital and across the country. three dead today in fresh strikes this morning. we understand it was an energy infrastructure target. we don't know whether the dead are workers or civilians. that is very indicative of what we're seeing here. we continue to see russia trying to hit these energy infrastructure targets. sometimes they hit sometimes they don't. when they don't they're landing in residential areas. the president today has said 30%, 30% of ukraine's power stations have been destroyed.
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we're starting now to see an energy crisis unfold. there will be a conservation of energy in the capital with people told to turn lights off not just because of air strikes but also to conserve the energy that is out there. there will be we understand a tipping point where we'll have to have those rolling blackouts hopefully the governors here say that won't happen in the next 24 hours. add to that you have these ongoing waves of attacks both rockets and drones. today was rockets into the capital and yesterday drones. what is happening is russia is trying to overwhelm the air defense systems. when they succeed people on the ground are dying. certainly that is the concern here, peter. >> cal, your reporting has been outstanding. stay safe there. we appreciate you being with us right now. we should mention you are based in moscow but also in kyiv and we've seen that terrifying video of the kamikaze drones there in kyiv. they are unmanned and crash directly into buildings and do this serious damage as we have witnessed. this is video from a ukrainian police force member where you
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can hear that distinct buzzing sound they make as they're coming in for the attack. you can imagine how that is haunting people of ukraine right now. the police trying to shoot it out of the sky. take a quick look. you can just imagine the terror on the ground there as you hear the sound of those kamikaze drones barreling toward their targets. in your reporting they're described as both military weapons and psychological ones. expand on that and the role they now play in this conflict. >> yeah, i just think per ukrainians obviously the buzzing noise is something that people in kyiv and really all over the country even before we saw them in kyiv this week they were really terrorizing the south especially but also parts of central ukraine and that is because they're not that easy
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for ukrainian air defense to shoot down. yes they are slow moving but ukrainian air defense is already strapped. they are focused on missiles. you. >> sometimes they don't always want to waste an s-300 rocket on taking down one of these drones. they have -- the one silver lining is the blast radius is smaller. you can hear them coming. they are slow moving. it is easier for people to kind of spot them, see them, and get shelter, but they have been causing a lot of damage as we saw yesterday where now five people are dead from the building that collapsed. >> i want to ask you about this specifically. you wrote in an op-ed for "the boston globe" saying, quote, russia is set to lose this war but ukrainian victory is not assured unless the united states and its allies swiftly provide ukraine the sophisticated military equipment it needs to push the russian military completely out of the country and the early days of the war,
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and there was plenty of talk about why the u.s. was hesitant to supply military aircraft to ukraine. is the fact now that iran with these drones appears to be doing just that for the russians meaning that the u.s. and western allies might feel a different sense here about whether there is more they should do to further involve themselves in this conflict? >> peter, i think the united states and our allies should be feeling a greater sense of urgency with the launching of the drones. first of all because it shows that vladimir putin is desperate. he is not going to win the war by taking out energy stations and attacking innocent civilians working at the energy stations or going shopping, going about their day-to-day business sitting on their couch. that is not how he wins. he is just trying to terrorize them and intimidate us and the west. he is on the losing foot here and we need to help the ukrainians take advantage of that. obviously we also have a moral
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obligation to help the ukrainians defend their citizens, their innocent civilians. so i argue in that piece we need to provide better air defense. you heard from your correspondent about the lack of enough sufficient air defense. we need it longer range. >> they feel it would be a waste of one of those antiaircraft weapons given they have so few to target the drones in the sky. >> yes. and so that is one need. there's also a need to help the ukrainians continue their offensive in the south and in the east. we need to provide them with better protection. that means tanks, better tanks o the u.s. has thus far held back from providing our best equipment to ukraine. and i think we should consider it because it is the fastest way to stop this war. and the bottom line of my piece, peter, is that if we don't help the ukrainians stop war now there is a greater danger it will spread beyond ukraine to even include nato member countries.
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there is a lot of pressure on belarus to enter. they have a border with poland and lithuania >> i know you cover moscow quickly and report from there often. the situation there appears to be more urgent as police forces and others are swooping in and picking up men basically forcing them to fight. what is the sense of desperation on the russian side? >> clearly this war is not going the way anybody in moscow wants. you know, at least from the kremlin's standpoint. there is the big counteroffensive in the northeast in the kharkiv region. in the south ukraine gained back a lot of territory and is o pushing closer along the western bank of the river so there is this pressure on putin from the hard line circle especially to get more bodies into ukraine, more people for his war, and that is also why you're seeing these strikes. i know people in moscow who have fled. i mean, more people have left russia at this point than have
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been mobilized and that is just kind of the public anxiety about how this is going and, you know, the mobilization especially. >> we appreciate your brave reporting. eflin farkas always a pleasure to have your expertise and perspective with us as well. thank you so much. in the next hour, president biden is set to give a speech on abortion rights. his new promise heading into the midterms. first though right now officials in new york detailing new federal charges against a company for supporting isis. what we have learned is next. (vo) with their verizon private 5g network, associated british ports can now precisely orchestrate nearly 600,000 vehicles passing through their uk port every year. don't just connect your business. right on time.
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breaking news here on msnbc. you can see a live look at a news conference happening as we speak. the justice department officials are detailing charges being filed against a french cement company accused of making $17 million in payments to isis. the doj says those payments were in exchange for the protection of its plant in syria. prosecutors say the company la farge cement paid isis from august 2013 to october of 2014 when the group was carrying out kidnappings and beheadings and
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transmitting waves of propaganda designed to inspire terrorist attacks around the globe. nbc's tom winter is joining me with the very latest, acknowledging we are still monitoring the news conference what specifically are the charges this company is facing? >> still going over a significant amount of court documents. essentially here what they've said, peter, is that in the course of this investigation they were able to determine based on e-mails they were able to receive from the company, based on a number of additional pieces of evidence that they came up with, that they went from paying this -- paying isis essentially $150 per cement truck out of this syrian cement facility to eventually paying isis to deliver raw materials from isis controlled quarries for them to be able to continue cement. they say the investment of this company la farge was over $680 million to build this plant and company executives according
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to charging documents in the plea being entered today by the company looked at the value of that investment and made a determination for the safety of the employees and the safety of their investment in this plant they needed to pay isis. there is no allegation i've seen so far that indicates the company specifically provided support for specific terrorism acts. as you said, during this time isis was continuing to push and expand their territory in that region on top of beheading a number of citizens from countries including the united states at that time, taking people hostages. so it was at a time when isis was particularly potent. as far as the company they do have a nexus to the united states. they have several plants in the new york area. on their website they say they provided cement for the new giant stadium for the mario cuomo bridge and for 1 world trade center, peter. >> just as the u.s. and its allies were trying to eradicate isis from the planet there was
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this french company who was in fact supporting isis as it would turn out. part of those claims we'll be hearing more about over the course of the day. appreciate your reporting on that. on the topic of the biden administration the president is going to deliver a speech on abortion rights at an event hosted by the dnc as democrats look to highlight reproductive rights ahead of the midterms next month. nbc news has now learned that president biden will vow that if democrats do retain control, a measure to codify roe will be the first bill that he will send to the next congress. it is something the president recently alluded to on twitter. joining us now is nbc news white house correspondent. what do we expect to hear from the president? this is an effort obviously to sort of utilize the bully pulpit to make democrats realize they need to get out and support members of their party if they want to see this happen. >> that is exactly right. when the dobbs decision came
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down in late june it ended that copyright, those protections for abortion nationwide. we heard the white house say really as much as they can try to do through executive action the only real permanent fix would be to codify those protections in roe vs. wade through legislation. now the president with three weeks to go until the midterm elections is taking it a step further saying that piece of legislation to codify those abortion rights will be the first legislative priority in a new congress if and this is of course a big if, if democrats hold those majorities in the house and add to their majority in the senate. it has been noted by the president and vice president recently they need two more democratic votes in the senate likely to enact this. it is interesting that this event is happening in washington. when we saw the president as i was traveling with him out west in swing districts, in swing states, his primary message was one about the economy. as we see in a new "new york times" sienna poll that is still the number one issue for voters nationwide, concerns about the
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inflation and the economy. they did see a short burst of enthuse in the summer months because of the dobbs decision and that has appeared to wane somewhat. this is the president trying to turn the focus back on that issue in a nationwide context and trying to make it clear as one official put it that we do need more democratic votes to make this happen, peter. >> appreciate that. we'll be watching what the precinct says about a half hour from now. appreciate your reporting from there here in washington. coming up three weeks out from the midterms, what are the crucial races to watch? we'll break it down with the senior editor of the political report dave wassermann. the third party candidates are an unusual factor but can they win statewide? what impact will they have? we'll take a look.
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this morning we're seeing how third party candidates in crucial races could potentially
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shake things up next month in utah. last night former ceo officer confronted the incumbent republican mike lee. here is that moment about schemes to use fake electors to keep former president trump in power. >> senator lee, that was the most egregious betrayal of our nation's constitution in its history by a u.s. senator i believe and it will be your legacy. >> nbc news capitol hill hill correspondent ali vitali has more. walk us through your reporting on that race and the others where third parties are making things a lot more interesting in the waning weeks. >> reporter: they're definitely making things a lot more interesting, peter. first of those is the utah senate race where you just saw the debate last night. we went out to utah and in mcmullen's case he is almost running outside of the two-party system in some ways to save the republican party from what it's become in the age of trump,
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something that he has said he doesn't feel at home in. but more broadly speaking, these independent candidates could surprise us in some of these key races, these midterms. watch. >> i'm not going to washington if we prevail to be a boot liquor for donald trump or joe biden. >> evan mcmullen isn't kidding himself >> i think party does matter. >> reporter: he is hoping utah voters can put it aside. >> i am a registered independent. i don't care what your party affiliation is or who you voted for in the last election. if you are committed to our core ideals as a country. >> reporter: his long shot bid against the incumbent trump backed senator mike lee is about utah as much as the future of the republican party. one mcmullen used to call himself part of. >> there is no going home to donald trump for true conservatives. >> reporter: in 2016 mcmullen ran as an independent for that reason and lee his now opponent actually voted for him then. but times have changed.
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>> are you ready to stand with me and millions and millions of others who want four more years? >> reporter: unlike most third-party candidates mcmullen is in a one-on-one race with democrats staying out of it >> i think it is important to look at the reality of the races we're running. the democrat was not going to win the utah senate race. >> reporter: it comes as 39% of americans say they're disillusioned with the two-party system that nevertheless still reigns supreme. in ruby red, utah mcmullen's is an uphill climb not unusual for independent candidates running in a political landscape so often cast in red versus blue. and mcmullen is not the only one trying to up end the political status quo in 2022. betsy johnson is running as an independent for oregon governor. a state that's elected democrats to the job for the last 32 years but now is rated toss up in large part because of johnson. >> i am not a "d." i'm not an "r." i am an "o." i am responsible to and
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responsive to oregonians. >> reporter: with a message that doesn't stick to the party line >> i believe in a woman's right to bear arms and i believe in a woman's right to bear children when she chooses. >> reporter: which is of course the point. >> independents choose to do it hard way. the two entrenched parties come with their own base of support, their own base of money. >> reporter: but that's also enough to turn some people away. in missouri conservative john wood briefly entertained a bid for senate to ensure controversial republican eric grietens didn't win the seat. when grietens lost the primary wood dropped out and ousted gop congressman liz cheney also toig with an independent bid this one for president. >> i certainly will do whatever it takes to make sure donald trump isn't anywhere close to the oval office. >> reporter: but in 2022 independents could cause big election surprises. >> this is a political realignment we're talking about. >> reporter: even if they don't stay outside the parties forever. is it a temporary realignment
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for you? >> it is hard for me to look beyond november to be honest. i don't know sort of where i'll be from a party affiliation perspective ten years from now. i just have no idea. >> reporter: peter, we talk often about the realignment happening within the republican party. it was fascinating for me to talk with mcmullen about that. but look, he reiterated on the debate stage last night he is not going to caucus with republicans or democrats if he is elected, which when i was out there i was joking with him it means we could have a new office we are almost perpetually staked out outside in lieu of senator joe manchin because this is someone everyone would have to go to to get his vote if they wanted to get things done especially with margins as thin as they are in the senate now. >> and mitt romney the republican senator there as well has yet to pick a side in that senate race. appreciate your reporting. i want to bring in the senior editor for the political reporter. you are the expert on these
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things and the landscapes in utah and oregon are quite different but what is the commonality between what the third-party candidates are trying to accomplish by bucking the party lines? >> they're playing a big role this year, peter. my assessment is that utah is not competitive. i don't buy that evan mcmullen is going to win a state that trump carried with 58% of the vote in 2020 and by 20 points over joe biden. the fact that democrats have embraced evan mcmullen gives the signal to most utah voters that he is more sympathetic to the anti-trump portion of the electorate. now, betsy johnson in oregon is another story. i do think republicans have an excellent chance to win oregon's governorship in part because johnson is a former democrat, splitting that vote, and the republican is running on a hard message against crime and homelessness. and then in georgia where you have a libertarian chase oliver who could take enough of the vote to send georgia to a
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run-off. that could end up helping raphael warnock. keep in mind that if herschel walker doesn't get 50% of the vote the first round, we saw a shift toward democrats in between the general election in 2020 and the run-offs in 2021. so they are playing a significant role. >> you can imagine another situation where a run-off in georgia dictates who controls congress here. as you talk about oregon what is striking, we talk about a historical moment there. e.t. was your top movie in theaters. diet coke and bud light finally got on store shelves the last time a republican won the gubernatorial race there. the potential does exist for that to change this go around. utah democrats as they note are rallying behind mcmullen but mitt romney has not endorsed anybody in that race. what does that suggest to you? the republican party does certainly still have its divisions. >> it suggests to me mitt romney is still an anti-trump or never
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trump republican who will not embrace figures in his party who have caved to trump such as mike lee. but, look. in the house as well we've got a number of races that could be decided with one, with a winner receiving less than 50% of the vote. probably the craziest story out there is in minnesota in the minneapolis suburbs where for the second cycle in a row the pro marijuana third party candidate has died less than several months before the election and yet they're still on the ballot which could cost the democrat the race. >> just a couple moments left. aside from third parties what is your gut check right now three weeks out with early voting going on in a bunch of states, georgia just kicking it off yesterday. it appears the polls are trending toward strength for republicans because of the issue of the economy and inflation leading the way. is that the way you see things going or is there time for this to pivot back? >> there is still time but we have seen a snap back toward
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republicans in the polling at the district and state level. it is not all the way back to pre-dobbs performance but it has erased some of the momentum we saw for democrats over the summer. we're seeing growing numbers of voters who consider the economy and inflation their driving motivator in their vote choice. i think republicans are better positioned to win those who are still undecided based on biden's weakness of handling the economy. republicans are more than 80% chances to flip the house but in the senate still an extremely close call. arizona, georgia, and pennsylvania are the closest states that will decide. probably if i had to pick the single likeliest outcome it stays at 50/50 after all the money is spent. >> wow. >> nevada in exchange for democrats flipping pennsylvania, but there's a lot of possible scenarios here. >> good reminder to everybody watching right now. the only poll that matters is
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the one at the ballot box. reminder that all americans need to take advantage and be sure to vote. always a pleasure to have you. thanks for being with us here. coming up next after a short break how missouri parents are trying goat answers in a cleanup of radioactive waste at an elementary school. >> you don't want to be right that your kid's playground or the school is contaminated. >> reporter: and you are. >> unfortunately i am. am. apple business essentials so you can easily manage your team's devices. on the network with more 5g coverage. only from t-mobile for business. think he's posting about all that ancient roman coinage?
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the new monster has juicy steak and crispy bacon. but what about the new boss? it looks so good it makes me hangry! settle down there, big guy the new subway series. what's your pick? an alarming discovery at an elementary school just outside of st. louis. a new environmental report finds there's significant radioactive contamination on the grounds of this missouri school. the school sits near a creek that was contaminated by nuclear waste from weapons made during world war ii. kate snow has more. >> reporter: the pta president fought for years to find out if her son's elementary school was safe. >> i don't think kids should have to worry about manhattan waste bomb material on their playground. >> reporter: new test results reveal high radioactive lead
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levels at her son's school. >> you don't want to be right that your kid's playground or the school is contaminated. >> reporter: and you are. >> unfortunately, i am right. >> reporter: the school sits beside cold water creek. in the 1940s, radioactive bomb waste perfect world war ii was dumbed nearby and flowed here. the army corps of engineers has been cleaning up for decades. you have been asking for answers how long? >> since 2015. >> reporter: when we met over the summer, she told me about a day in 2018 when she noticed army corps trucks on the property. >> the first official notice that i had that testing was beginning at my kid's school. >> reporter: because you happened to notice it? >> yes. >> reporter: she spent years trying to get the results. this spring, finally did. the army corps of engineers found high levels of several radioactive chemicals near the school. when she and others pushed to do more testing inside, they told
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her it was unnecessary. >> i have a job to protect all those kids. >> reporter: she pressured officials to allow an outside company to run test that revealed that radioactive contamination inside the school. it's all likely an unacceptable risk to the children. >> they can get stored in our bodies where they are a hazard to us for many years. >> reporter: the army corps of engineers telling nbc news the report is not consistent with our techniques and must be vetted. adding, any contamination posing a high risk or immediate threat would be made a priority for remediation. she's pushing officials to act quickly. >> the school district needs to advocate and see this cleans up immediately. >> reporter: the district saying safety is always our top priority. it is consulting with experts in the area of testing to determine next steps. for now, students are still in the school.
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kate snow, nbc news, missouri. >> thanks to kate for that. that's it for me at this hour. catch me on saturday on "weekend today." follow me on twitter. "andrea mitchell reports" is next with house speaker nancy pelosi. i tried everything to remove fabric odors, but my clothes still smelled. until i finally found new downy rinse and refresh! it doesn't just cover odors, it helps remove them up to 3 times better than detergent alone! find new downy rinse & refresh in the fabric softener aisle. ♪limu emu & doug♪ it's nice to unwind after a long week of telling people how liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. showtime. whoo! i'm on fire tonight. (limu squawks) yes! limu, you're a natural. we're not counting that. only pay for what you need.
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