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tv   Steve Kornacki The Red and Blue  CSPAN  December 24, 2018 11:14pm-12:06am EST

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again how the definitions were created by europeans and their descendents and the united states changes don't normally translate into how your race is viewed that's not the case in latin america for example. so, read the book and i think you will learn a lot. >> host: professor at stony brook held to be less stupid about race is the name of her book thank you for being one booktv. the miami book fair on booktv continues now. good afternoon. please take your seats.
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are you enjoying the fair today? i don't know if you are feeling like me but i want to go out and do something. politically it's been an extraordinary morning so thank you for being here. i am the dean of the honors college here at miami dade college and it is an absolute pleasure for us to be here with you today. first we would like to acknowledge the sponsor the knight foundation, caribbean, the bachelor foundation and we'd also like to recognize friends of the fair will you raise your hands and be acknowledged and thank you for all that you do. miami dade college is grateful for the hundreds of volunteers but also participate please join me in thanking them for all of their efforts. [applause] as you know we would be grateful if you could please silence your phones. the panel is just about to start
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if you could please get settled. i now have the distinct honor and privilege to introduce our very special guest. first we have the national political correspondent. this almost feels like a rock concert. his work has appeared in "the wall street journal," roll call and "the new york times" among others. red and blue the 1990s and the birth of political tribalism is his first book please join me in welcoming steve. [applause] [cheering] he will be joined by carlos,
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book critic of the "washington post" and has also served as the economic editor, national security editor and outlook editor and received the 2,015th national book critics citation for excellence in reviewing. please join me in welcoming carlos. [applause] >> i think that was my sister doing the only screening for me. [laughter] i like the strategy here. it is a pleasure to be here with steve and his fan base to talk about the red and the blue this is a book that tells us whatever we don't like about politics today we can blame on the '90s. i have questions about the book
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and politics at large and then we'll have time for audience q-and-a. i want to start by clarifying some basic themes and terms. it's called the red and blue and you take us back to the election night in 2000 when we see the big map, lots of red in the middle come in the south, lots of blue on the coast, new mexico kind of doing its thing and of course florida, you people up for grabs. [laughter] what did red and blue mean versus what does this mean now to be part of red america versus blue america today? >> literally at the start when people are turning on their televisions and see the earliest age gets called they think al gore is meant to be president, red and blue means nothing to anybody. they were just colors and they were randomly assigned. 1984 for instance abc began its
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coverage and said we have a map tonight, we decided we are going to make the reagan state thread because reagan and register it with the same letter. that's the level of thoughts that went into these things and you're just as likely to see democrats a sign that read and republicans assigned blue and it just happened the networks synced up going into election 2000 with the same colors. they had colluded. [laughter] there was a lot of internal discussions there have been arguments and claims that it was the wrong color scheme. there haven't been abl been a lf thought into it and it just so happened they were on that. we haven't seen at that point a close presidential election so there was suspense but it was suspended for 36 days so the
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country was left to stare at this map every day and it was somewhere around david letterman and cband cbs might show he saie got a solution to this whole recount why don't we just let al gore be president of the blue states and george w. bush the red states split its become i think in the 20 years since her 18 years since election 2000 it's not just for the parties but almost for the cultures like using the term tribalism. the difference between red america and blue america current democratic and republican america it's not so much this is what one side thinks about taxes and agriculture subsidies, it is a cultural separation between the two parties and has a distinct host red america culture in blue america culture and that is something that is new to the politics. when we look back the tech boom,
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economic growth, seinfeld was a show about nothing, bill clinton playing the saxophone on arsenio hall and america just kind of try and so for everything. your book feels countercultural because for you this was a pure code that laid out these big divisions. why do we sort of misremembered the 1990s so badly? >> i think the things i write about i don't want to say that it was beneath the surface because it was there if you were paying attention to politics this was right in your face every day that it wasn't prominent as it is now. the sort osort of the seeds in d taking hold but what you saw was
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a series of political war and it was based on this collision of newt gingrich and bill clinton, bill clinton getting elected, first democrat in a dozen years to win a presidential race at the start of the '90s it was impossible for a democrat to get elected and the republicans had what they called the electoral lock on the presidency i think they talked about picking the lock in 92 and bill clinton becomes president. what he needs is a republican party that was different. when bill clinton comes in in january 93 the republicans are the minority party in the house and senate bu as different as as they've been changed by newt gingrich who has been working starting out on the back benches and he's been changing the way republicans think about congressional strategy and the strategic visiostrategic visiono nationalize politics you don't compromise because it gives the other side credit and tells people there is no difference between the parties and you look
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for vivid dramatic high-profile demonstrations of this is the difference between a democrat and republican used to say that he wanted people to think of them as the party of the welfare state, the party of the opportunity society that is the contrast he wanted people to see in every action and bill clinton took and republicans took and it meant the beginning of political warfare that culminated i think. newt gingrich really is the key to the origin story of tribalism that you talk about in the book and it's not just the opposition and you say to clinton and the democrats but also it was revolutionary for the republicans to operate that way. where did that come from to become a member of congress how did he revolutionized the style of politics? >> i know that newt gingrich is a somewhat controversial figure. it's an amazing story he gets
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there on his third try is a history professor at west georgia college gets elected on his third try in 1978 and when he gets to washington the republican party and the house had been the minority party at the time for a quarter-century and it's not even close they needed a gain of 23 seeds it was totally within reach we all knew for the last two years whether they got there or not. the republicans of the 1970s and 1980s the idea of them being a majority part the majore house someday seemed completely unfathomable. they were 100 seats in the minority and gingrich came to the party in january of 79 &-and-sign going to beat you to the minority and they thought he was nuts. they sensed that the country had reelected richard nixon and 49
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states, 61% of the vote he said the country that's capable of giving 61%, giving george mcgovern no states except massachusetts if it is given the same choice between a republican i could richard nixon in the silent majority in that idea and a democrat like george mcgovern the country will do nothing but vote republican so it was to make people see every congressional race in their backyard that kind of choice to see the democrat has george mcgovern as a party of cultural liberalism and being an expansive government and i wanted to raise taxes and that sort of thing. that was a radical concept because there was political diversity at the plan time there conservative democrats come liberal democrats you didn't have the ideological cohesion and the entire south was pretty
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much democratic at that point. they were in alliance with liberals machines from the north, union democrats from the north and charlie rangel was in the same party as supremacist of the 1960s. he leaved in sorting that out to find the republicans as a conservative party and defining the democrats essentially as a party of george mcgovern style liberalism that was the goal. goal. >> seeing c-span is here reminds me of a book how gingrich used c-span and congress to kind of nationalize his message. how did he do that? >> january 79 when he comes to congress coincides with television cameras coming for the first time so c-span cable television was just kind of becoming a thing in the late 70s and explodes in the 1980s and so part of this was
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brian lamb who created c-span got the cable industry as a goodwill gesture to the country to say you know what with your cable package you're going to get this channel where you get to watch your government everyday will stick a camera in the house and you can watch all the proceedings and they convinced of the time it was colonial the democratic speaker of the house to sign off on it and most members of congress thought nothing of it, who's going to watch this channel it's boring and newt gingrich recognized the camera had a benefit because it could connect him to a whole new audience he could otherwise not reach. as a freshman member of congress he wasn't going to get on cbs or nbc or abc or be on the front page of "the new york times" that he could talk on the floor of the house and anybody flipping by c-span might stop and listen and he found there tt there was a provision in the house rule that it wasn't obscure but it wasn't really utilized at the end of business on any given day any member can
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claim the floor for as much time as they want for any reason, special orders they called itself he had about half a dozen allies that began claiming the special orders typically members would use these to have a message of congratulations to a local little league team or retiring superintendent, empty chamber. they were essentially producing but you would now recognize as a cable news show on the floor of the house and anybody flipping through 11:00 at night might find it and they were railing against the democrats as gingrich would call it they were railing against liberalism, big defining themes of the wanted to find in politics and they built a grassroots following and that was the source of his power to his rise in the house and for the e-books today is the use of social media to communicate with a big national audience like that. it's become almost a truism sort
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of silos in media and the use of social media are forced behind the tribalism of the era. how important a factor do you see that shifting to today for a second is it visit cause or eff? >> figure is a certain level that is always there and it's a question of what gets through the filters that exist in the media and the era during the late 1970s back then it was the big three abc, cbs, nbc those words were major sources of news, no cnbc, msnbc, fox news channel and daily newspaper. it created on the surface a lot more consensus in politics because there's there is a sorf limited number pretended to know each other and the players in the game and the terms of the debate and the rules of conduct they woul were all recognized ad
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understood by people but it didn't seem there were not other forces out there but back then you might find it in a society news under somebody might come off a couple hundred newspapers and ascended in the mail, that kind of thing. you can connect the rise to c-span and cable news and that is the big change from the 80s and 90s and innovation of the last decade or so with social media.
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. >> and all these things, what is clinton's role quick. >> first of all, bill clinton, democrats had to win a presidential election to set up that class we are talking about. that was thought to be impossible for democrats they were not just losing elections they were getting blown out in ways we cannot even conceive of today. reagan beat mondale in 49 states dukakis did better in 88 he only lost 40 carter lost mcgover mcgovern, think about that elections these days it is given the democrats will
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win 20 the republicans will win 20 then they scramble over the swing states this was not what it was like back then if you needed a democrat bill clinton could do that with the electoral college. >> this is the most understood thing about his rise that we think the democratic party from mondale and dukakis and they go back to the middle and he did run as a centrist in the general election but to get the democratic nomination he put himself in a position where he could rally the liberal guard to be the last hope of liberals to staple of one - - stave off paul tsongas the chief rival of the 1982 democratic nomination he was
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throwing tsongas not like mario cuomo because tsongas called himself a pro-business democrat i want to be the best friend wall street ever had as he was preparing to run for president under the assumption had to be centrist and the liberal guard of the party that didn't want anything to do with clinton spent a ton of time getting into the 92 campaign. how do you pull this off and run from the middle? and then tsongas emerges as the chief rival he didn't have to he can say he will do giveaways to wall street he could run in all the old liberal ideas knockoff tsongas then moved to the middle and the general election and get credit in history to turn his party to the middle he never had to convince the electorate
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or liberal voters just get them for a candidate who wasn't claiming to be wall street's best friend. >> with the rise of donald trump today it feels completely unique with this bolt of lightning out of nowhere but some vehicles are a precursor to trump with the protectionism of ross perot and that cultural era of pat buchanan so what is the through line for these figures of donald trump today quick. >> this is an amazing part of the book to re-create and to see essentially in the 19 nineties, donald trump pretty much ran for president he did not announce it but his
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platform was saving the country from what we would now call trump is him and in 1999 early 2000 was embodied by pat buchanan that message that might sound familiar talking about making america great again like unfair trade deals to give the american worker a good deal build a wall along the southern border with the rapid change of western culture that immigration represented to have a moratorium on all immigration. and to be that candidate ran in 96 there was a brief moment in 96 had the same reckoning and in 2016 to say there is a
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bigger market and then to nominate bob dole and then here is a twist to declare it rigged and then will run for the nomination without automatic pool of money and so buchanan steps forward to run december 99 donald trump steps forward to say this guy is a racist. he goes on meet the press and says can you believe david duke says nice things about him he will not denounce him? donald trump goes on a two of
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the museum is as i wish pat buchanan would come here he might learn something this was the tramp campaign. then he ends up backing out but then you really need to organize. but buchanan was cleaning trump. but february 2000 go back to this amazing piece of history trump decides to end his campaign with the op-ed to "the new york times" he talks about all the people pat buchanan has attracted to the reform party including david duke and a few others and trump says i am simply not
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comfortable being associated politically with these people and they have no place and that is the and of the op-ed. . >> he referred to as the supporters as wackos which years later john mccain would say about the lack a doodle. [laughter] . >> so that is the amazing moment that it could we are its head we are its head. it isn't just about what politicians say and do but in some ways the failure of political parties so what was the role of the parties and party leadership and enabling
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the rise of the tribal forces? those who were on the stage a moment to go talking about the transformation to the republican party to the party of trump something that enabled this tribal behavior. . >> where the parties have never been weaker or stronger but it is power to determine outcomes. donald trump didn't get the first endorsement and that all logic and that political science concept about the primary with elected officials
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and those who's had the primary voters but donald trump wasn't getting those kinds of endorsements they were trying to stop it in the democratic party establishment and 7 million votes. with the entire establishment and in that sense they are weaker than they have ever been and they both have the potential to be overtaken. but they are stronger but that sense of identity that i am part of blue america. red america the cultural
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aspect is more personal than it was before when donald trump got the nomination with 45 percent of the combined vote those that voted in primaries actually voted for trump on election day almost 90 percent of republicans voted in the fall and that is where that tribalism asserted itself we don't want blue america or hillary to take over the country so ultimately the republican party was there. >> used to be conservative democrats. >> but political science and your attitudes have found there was no longer any point of overlap and that then diagram there is nothing there.
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but having wallowed in those origins of tribalism i won't ask for solutions but do you imagine that center somehow being repopulated quick. >> it is hard to see but gingrich got right was how much the media atmosphere was changing the platforms was exploding and how that would open up the doors to this process and now look going forward the media is structured in a way to throw those differences at your face every second of every day and
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in that atmosphere it's hard for me to see someone getting traction by trying to run as a centrist alternative the idea of what bill clinton has sold either one of the party bases on moderation i sense that they accept that in the sense that the southwest pennsylvania district to get that level of pragmatism but nationally i am skeptical the basis of the most persuasive survey on the republican side that just improves in 2016. >> that you get newt gingrich's district was run by
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a democrat? to make democrats in georgia in the early nineties basically tried to redraw that map because they did well then they moved to the high income suburbs of atlanta that was a democrat running on a gun safety platform. so one of the big flashpoints in the midterm was the confirmation hearing over justice brett kavanaugh and that seems like a moment when you write a book about this era. >> i'm not committing him but people will look at that
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moment as very significant as where you stood with brett kavanaugh and to hint on other political assumptions of red or blue. when you think about those hearings and politics of the nineties with clinton as well what are those conclusions or lessons that you draw quick. >> this is where i wonder with the name mario cuomo why i'm so interested from a historical standpoint if you ran in 82 and he almost did i think he may have been bill clinton in a way that could
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have finished out his political career but i say that because when bill clinton ran in 92 gennifer flowers scandals emerged pretty early in any assumption was that would finish them off because that finished off gary hart earlier now the same thing will happen mario cuomo is not embraced if he would have he was already 30 points ahead he would've gotten all the endorsements before any scandal erupts with clinton all the money he would have been the big front runner than the scandal would have hit not only that but the gennifer flowers scandal had taped conversations on which he disparages mario cuomo as a
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mob boss and mafioso and in realtime accused clinton of bigotry trying to imagine him run 30 points behind cuomo being hit with gennifer flowers then that tape emerging i do think cuomo could have finished them off if that would've happened he would have had a lot of the turmoil that we have but i don't believe you would have had sexual politics. i talk about the cultural divide with the reaction to how people process the lewinsky scandal in 98 that informed the map that emerged in 2000 in 2016 when trump was hit with "access hollywood" two days later there was the debate what was his response? he shows up with bill clinton's accusers the message
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was always hey america i view this as a tribal thing blue america tried to kick me out to remember who you protected? what if that never happened what if we never had a president who tested that rule because it didn't stop with gennifer flowers two years later there was accusations through paula jones and then monica lewinsky in many ways we are still reprocessing that with that whole episode to rethink how he was treated at the time that is a major mark on our politics in the more elite of history european history in global history or whatever to realize they will
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latch on to a sense of injustice and right america has not forgotten the clinton wars and blue america has not either spirit can you imagine the nineties without the clintons? . >> it is mind blowing because so much of those voters who could not fathom the idea of supporting hillary clinton but that counterfactual.
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>> i am a big fan of yours. the country has gone through a period of time that has been very polarized and at this time now how do you see that getting out of the polarization coming back together do you see any hope for that or in the crystal ball? . >> it has not held up well the last two years i can tell you that. but if i had the answer how does this all work out in a better way? as i was researching the book
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but here is a better place it could end up going. except there is an argument to be made human nature as human beings we are hardwired to think tribally and the way media has involved has really tapped into that innate human tribalism but through those aspects that looks for something better and in 20 years look back at politics as an ugly but ultimately necessary bridge to something
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better. [applause] . >> think you. >> thank you so much coming from msnbc but what is fox news effect on tribalism? . >> fox the origin story of fox was created in 1996 cable news was created 1980 with cnn the first time 24 hour cable news it adheres to the broadcast television model and applies it to news then they become established. fox news to see that cnn had tapped into the market of cable news but also to see the
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success and rush limbaugh big time conservative radio host in 1988 he went national almost overnight he had 20 million listeners per week late eighties early nineties was an absolute sensation in newt gingrich and him were working in tandem that newt was on capitol hill touting a message and rush was amplifying that on the radio rush was such a phenomenon now is to a tv show the producer in the early 19 nineties was roger ailes so he took this talk radio phenomenon brought it to television the syndicated rush limbaugh show for five years in the early nineties it lasted with a model of cnn that was created and roger ailes put all of those together and said there
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is a huge market for people who are interested in political news and current events and they are hostile to cnn abc nbc needs to the mainstream. there is a market there for the cable news channel to serve that audience and now roger ailes with the slogan fair and balanced it was telling that audience it was very into politics and current events with that opinion of the mainstream media was different msnbc was also created in 1996 but of that era you wouldn't recognize it today it took itself a decade before and found the identity it would now associate with msnbc.
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>> i have been thinking about this cultural shift from a political perspective deeply and it seems in this country for a longer period of time talk about sexual politics and our candidates religion or deeply personal things it didn't seem as important even 200 years ago so how do we come from a point where these things they cannot change their ethnicity i guess you could change your religion but those that are deeply personal that were not part of the political narrative initially have taken over? i will leave it to you to talk about that with the previous entries as opposed the last 50 years and we have heard about in this talk do you go that into that deeper in your book or where we are going with
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technological advancements in the future because it seems like the key point that i got from your talk the republicans are hijacking television and taking politics to tv in a way that hasn't been done before. >> using television and the media landscape to nationalize politics i think newt gingrich saw that opportunity and did more to move politics in that direction more than anybody but i'm also pretty convinced that was an inevitable process it would happen somebody would figure it out i just think it was newt gingrich with the origin but now we are at a
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place in the late seventies if you fast-forward 40 years to today i said is there room for something in the middle i start to get skeptical because you have self reinforcing blue america reinforcing red america and increasing distance between them. that is where i see it right now in the next few years and again with this not well thought out hope that we find a better way. [laughter]
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. >> you go into details on msnbc but to that nature that you have to answer them and asked their opinion it is increasingly under representing people of color are those that don't have a phone to answer or over representing older people. so 2016 with the upset with the pollsters and the result how do you think people should take that vote to generalize for the public? . >> you always take it with a grain of salt but but i will speak up they did a pretty good this year i don't think there were that bad in 2016 actually what they missed in
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2016 to me the story was not the national poll our final nbc news national poll in 16 running four points ahead of donald trump she won the popular vote by almost three points what was missed was that surge of support that trump got in the rural areas it did tend to be older white voters wisconsin, michigan in the fall of 2016 i knew if he got it we were looking every time will this be the poll that has him two points ahead? we never got that he was down six right to the end so that was a mess that would explain to me that this division among
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white voters that red blue america division college-educated or non- college-educated there were differences through the years now suddenly it mattered very much or getting the right sheriff college white or non- college white or you become blue america suburbanites or you weren't getting from the rural areas and that was the miss back then but to be honest, i don't swear by the pool you say the only one that counts is election day but every campaign in the country is using them national parties are using them they are making critical decisions about their resources and focusing attention what policies they
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oppose they are using poles for all of that so let's let the public see as much of that is they can. >> have a really short follow-up question. . >> you mentioned the rust belt so will kamala harris or somebody else quick so how did the moderates or john hick and looper win the 2020 nomination which is that general election look like depending on the faction? [laughter] [applause] .
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>> you said it began november 7h the actual candidacy was one year earlier the congressman has been running for a year now running ads in iowa that name recognition is 50 percent. it is amazing. i assume this will keep emerging due to the sheer size and of course, in the age of trump if donald trump can do it then why can somebody else? it's easy to say but you mentioned the rust belt that is the campaign message pennsylvania michigan wisconsin loss with hillary is a win with me. it is a more complicated question now beto is
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interesting that we are having a conversation about somebody who just lost the statewide race to be president other than abraham lincoln i don't know if they are in the same. [laughter] but look at what happened he lost but where was his energy? dallas austin houston huge interest generated huge turnout now what would offset? it was enough to get close look at that. maybe it is o'rourke were similar but the idea is those three rust belt states are there opportunities in georgia? clearly there are opportunities in arizona and
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with that electoral map but watching his performance in texas there are some areas they can hit in 2020 and also look at this year's election results democrats did win in michigan and did get reelected in wisconsin but michigan won by six points. for a race that had one bigger before not a lot of attention didn't have a republican opponent lighting the world on fire it's easy enough for democrats to win michigan but a lot of that is now consolidated into the republican anti- blue america might be tough in 2020 for
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democrats and maybe they start looking to arizona and florida and those places to have more potential in the suburbs. >> please join me to thank steve kornacki. [applause] he will be in the book signing area. [applause] he will be in the book signing area. >> joining us now on the set is the author of this book no turning back, what makes you


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