tv Washington Journal Reid Wilson CSPAN October 14, 2019 4:09pm-4:41pm EDT
c-span as congress returns to capitol hill on tuesday. after a two-week recess. with house committees working on impeachment inquiries against president trump. legislation to lower prescription drug costs. and curbing the outsourcing of u.s. jobs. the senate continues work on the president's executive and judicial nominations including air force secretary nominate barbara barrett. watch live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the house on c-span and the senate live on c-span2. online at c-span.org or listen live on the go. using the free c-span radio app. announcer: and about half an hour we will take you live to the convention center in washington, d.c. for discussion about the u.s. military's upcoming exercises in europe. hosted by defense one. we welcome at our table this morning with the hell newspaper
-- a national reporter with the hill newspaper new ipsos c-span , talking about our new ipsos c-span poll, crisis of confidence in u.s. elections. americans who believe the 2020 election will be open and fair, 72% of republicans thought that, but total overall, only 53% and 39% of democrats believe that. what do you make of those? reid: it is remarkable. we are the only western democracy -- democracy of any time that has decentralized elections. that elections are not run to the federal government but to the state governments and in many cases, county and local governments. that means our different laws and different access point in states across the country. in some states they mail you your ballot. there's not an appalling place in places like washington or colorado and many parts of california, you sit get your ballot and you fill it out at home and set it right back. in other places, there can be lines of two or three or four hours on election day.
on electiond focus security and whether or not it is going to be conducted in an open and fair manner, reflects i think a real crisis point and the confidence in our system, that has worked so far for 240 years. now we are in a point where national elections are fought very narrowly. and therefore the process sees by how you vote start to matter more and more. greta: will look at how it breaks down by party. independents when asked their view of parties' commitment to fair and accurate election, the parties' commitment they say 48% republican party they give the vote of confidence 60% to the democratic party. reid: this is the commitment to whether or not the two parties are willing to hold an open and fair election, and i think this reflects a little bit -- there has been a republican strategy to tighten election rules. republicans say it's for security to make sure only those who are voting actually vote.
democrats say it's meant to suppress the vote among younger voters and minorities voters. we have seen cases go to the supreme court that have debated and debated the fundamental rules of our democratsy. i think -- democracy. i think it's important to remember that those rules are evolving and changing every year whether a democrat or republican majority comes in to some state legislature somewhere they can change the rules. it's one of the first things they do. they figure where the bathrooms are and change the rules to make sure they keep their majority. this is something that has become increasingly political conversation in recent years which is probably unfortunate but a fact of our modern democracy. greta: what do you make of these two questions? 61% said yes, 38% no. are republicans committed to fair and accurate elections, 49% saying yes 50% no. reid: just a few hours after the poll came out last week the
pew research center put out its own survey of partisanship and the way we feel about members of the other party, people who disagree with us. the numbers there sort of underscore the numbers that you just read. more and more of us now think that the members of the other party, whether we're a democrat and thinking of republicans or whether republicans and thinking democrat, aren't just wrong. they're bad for the country. that's a pretty significant sea change that has taken place. over the last five years or so. back in the early part of the clinton years only about 125% of about 15% of democrats and 50% of republicans thought that the other party was actually bad for america. now that number is about 60%. that's really troubling. and the numbers you just read tell me that democrats believe that republicans want to harm the country through election law changes. and republicans believe the same thing about democrats. that's not great. especially when the majority of our secretaries of state, the people who
administrator the elections, are elected in partisan ways. i spent a lot of time talking to those secretaries of state. but they are committed to running the best possible election that they can. there's a disconnect between the civil servants who work in those secretary of states offices trying to run a fair election and the way the actual voters think about the other party and the damage or the credit that they're doing to american democracy. greta: we want to get you involved as well. your reaction to this poll a crisis of confidence in u.s. elections. republicans 202-748-8001 democrats 202-748-8000 independents 202-748-8002 let me add some more numbers to
what you're talking about. you can text us if you put in your first name city and state text us. let me add some more numbers to what you were just talking about. when asked about americans who believe that foreign governments pose a threat to the united states, a 58% of those surveyed said yes, 41% of republicans, 77% of democrats and 58% of independents. reid: a remarkable distinction there between the two parties. one side definitely thinks that there is a threat from foreign governments and the other side kind of does, too. 41% of republicans, that's not nothing. it's not a majority but is it is a significant percent of republicans who are worried. the the influence of foreign actors on our elections. the number of americans who believe that the federal government has actually done enough to protect our election system from the foreign interference is remarkably small. only 31% of us believe that the federal government has done enough to protect our election system. that includes about half of republicans, just 16% of democrats. remarkable number there. a big schism. we have not seen a lot of action from congress, the house of representatives has passed h.r.
1 their big election reform package. the senate has not done as much. they've released some money that will go to the states to protect election from interference. one of the remarkable things about the way we run these elections though is that that money has to filter down to a state government and to a county government and then to a local government who's operating a precinct. we're talking about in the state of wisconsin there are something like 3,000 precincts. that is 3,000 tugtse for somebody to interfere with a machine or something like that. the good news is they've got a lot of safe guards but who is to say that all 3,000 have accepted the latest windows update or whatever it is that's going to protect from outside interference? and more broadly by the way we're not just were not just talking about the security of machines.
it wasn't just the elections, it was the entire societal conversation. host: is anything being done about that? guest: in fits and starts. i think we've seen presidential candidates like senators warren and sanders calling on facebook to change the way they operate. warren just ran an interesting experiment over the weekend where she placed a knowingly false advertisement on facebook saying that facebook's ceo had endorsed president trump, which is not true, but her point was to show that a campaign can run an advertisement that is demsably untrue. now, should that be allowed? television stations won't do that if the claims are the ad are verified to be false. what about these tech giants? their role in the modern election in the way we all consume information is something that we haven't grappled with yet. and something that we all need to think about as 2020 approaches. host: you said the house passed h.r. 1.
what has the senate done? guest: the senate has not taken up h.r. 1 but have allowed money i think it was 250 million to go to election security efforts. h.r. 1 is a measure that basically includes the wish list of all the democratic priorities in election reform. senator mcconnell, the republican, has very strong thoughts about election reform himself, and i don't think those two interests are going to align. he's not going to be daking up a lot of democratic priorities. >> host: before we get to calls another question asked was should the president be elected by popular vote? 60% said yes. guest: the wording was well done in this poll. they made clear to respondents that changing the elect ral college to the popular vote would require an amendment to the constitution, and that piece of information i think gives -- puts that number in starker contrast. 60% of americans want to amend the constitution to allow the
winner of the popular vote to become the president. now, that has -- that's an interesting proposal. there's a version of that that's gone through a number of state legislatures around the country, and basically what that is is an agreement among states that would award electoral votes not to the winner of that state but to the winner of the national popular vote without amending the constitution. and that's possible because the constitution allows the states to award their elect tor -- to figure out basically how their electors show up to vote and who those happen to be. this is sort of an end run around the constitution without requiring the change that would require all the states to ratify it as well. which is a pretty intriguing concept. we've seen it pass in a number of democratic states around the country, california, new york, places like that. we've seen some movement in republican states in recent years. oklahoma took up a bill that didn't pass but at least it was
introduced and debated. arizona was introduced and debate. even michigan which has a republican legislature has been introduced and debated. that could be the future of this movement that does not require the herk lin lift of amending the constitution. host: we'll go to calls. caller: good morning. i guess what i would say about these elections is i became a -- i registered to start voting back in the 8 os. so basically i'm a career politician. anybody's who is registered to vote and you vote, you're a career politician. so stop talking about the people you send to office. the other thing i would say is so we've been having an issue with the elections since -- i mean ross perot. that's the last president i voted for. the last thing i will say is the democrats they deserve what
they get and the republicans they deserve what they get. i knew trump was going to get elected even before he was elected because i've been to augusta, maine, to burlington, vermont, south dakota, so i already knew the landscape what was going to happen. now, the republicans, they have to live with -- they dropped the ball and let the democrats take the house so they have to live with that, also. host: i'm going to move on to josh, in connecticut. caller: my point is that everyone is getting mat at donald trump because he had his lawyer rudy giuliani go over to ukraine and was trying to dig up dirt on biden. i'll give you that. but my point is that hillary inton paid her lawyer to get
dirt on trump from a foreign person. he's a foreigner. host: let me tie this back to our poll and our conversation. are you concerned about foreign interference and the elections or does it not bother you? caller: it's going to happen and you are a fool if you think it's not going to happen. so the key is being fair about both sides doing it. i think is the question here. it's not if it's going to happen. it's how to be fair about it, to be fair. i think that's the question. host: ok. guest: i want resting points. i think that the cyber security experts who pay attention to this and the foreign policy experts would say that josh is probably right, that there will be some effort at foreign interference -- and i'm not talking about rudy giuliani and anything like that. i'm talking about erts to change the way we as americans think about our politicians and maybe even change the way we think about voting and whether or not it is safe and secure. these are worrying numbers. nly half think that our system
will be open and fair. this is based on the confidence in being open and fair and being able to trust the results. president trump has not made that better by talking about millions of illegal votes that geffnill did not happen. one of the interesting thing that is came out was a minority, i'm going to blank but not a majority think that voter fraud is a real concern. and that's true. voter fraud is not a significant source of illegal votes or anything like that. there was a recent study that looked at the last five elections which encompassed more than 1 billion votes across the country and they found about two dozen instances of voter fraud. so we run the system better than we give ourselves credit for. the american election system does pretty well. and this shaky confidence that
we have in it is concerning because it's hard to prove the positive. it's hard to prove that we're actually counting the votes in a way that we should be. host: the majority of those polled did say they support requiring citizens to show an id to vote, 78%. guest: and not just 78% of all americans but remember voter id laws are something that democrats think unduly burden minority and loik voters which happen to be their voters in southern states. not just southern states. states across is the country. but asked whether or not they believe in that all voters should be required to show ids, two thirds thought voters should show ids. and this gets back to the theme with the popular vote, with voter id's, some other elements of this. americans are open to pretty radical changes of our election system. requiring voter ids, requiring the popular vote winner to win the overall election. that's interesting, and
lawmakers should take note. host: do you think they will? or more at the state level? guest: first because elections are so decentralized these things have tobacco take place in state legislaturing -- to take place in state egislatures. there are even some states like west virginia experimenting with online voting. we'll see how that goes in the long run but at least they're eengs permitting with it. changes are coming as technology changes and by the way i should say the polling industry is changing, too, and i found this out when i got the list of the respondents to this poll who were willing to talk to me about it. i called through a -- i probably made a hundred phone calls and got three people on the phone. that tells you what happens when a pollster calls your cell phone. are you going to answer it? probably not.
host: bruce, republican. caller: how are you doing this morning? i think the crisis of confidence we have is not foreign but rather globalist corporate interference. i was deplatformed from facebook just a week ago because of my stance on 5 g, which is an existential crisis. you should have martin paul, professor emerit yuss for washington state. i mean, they're putting antenna's up in our neighborhoods and there's an absolute blackout on talking about the dagers of the radiation -- dangers of the radiation that these antennas are going to incur on our people and nobody is talking about it and they're erasing people like me who is a journalist who has run for congress and our voice is being taken away, and this is
happening by the day. if we cannot speak freely, what's in our hearts, what concerns us, you know, and there is a global movement right now to stop the deployment of these 5 g antennas, in switzerland they're having protests because they rolled these out early in switzerland and people are getting sick. host: all right. bruce we'll leave your comments there and go to edward in new ersey. caller: good morning. mr. wilson i'm so excited about the topic i'm going to pay extra attention but i wanted to say a couple of things. i work the polls in new jersey a lot. so as far as voter fraud i don't know how we can do that because when voters come to the polls we have electronic system that they cast a ballot on but there's also like a refeed. so i know how many voters come to the polls and i check the numbers.
like i'm on top of it the whole time. but the cyber warfare the big thing i think it's on congress the house and senate to shore up our our elections. i'm so excited about the national presidential can't dates everything they have to say about shoring up our elections. i'm with bernie sanders even the voting dollars to take big money out of the elections. host: ok. guest: one of the interesting things you might have the numbers there, c-span asked how people would be most confident in casting their ballots and the paper ballots were way up there. but then again that speaks to the decentralization of our election system. if you are a voter in new york city, you're going to cast your ballot in a different way than if you're a vote anywhere seattle or if you're a voter in atlanta. you're going to use a different machine, you're going to -- i
mean, it's going to be just a different experience. somebody might use an ipad where somebody else, when i vote here at my local precinct in d.c. i still use the paper and fill it out. i remember my parents doing that when i was a kid. but that is a big debate. do we need those paper radio ecreets that edward was talking about -- receipts? do we need just a paper ballot so we can go back and count all over again or do we trust the computer system that is will one in 100, one in a million will malfunction and that becomes a big story and undermines confidence even though u89.999% work just fine. host: you talked about americans being open to big changes to how we run our elections. another question is support requiring a presidential candidate to release their tax returns. if 53% said yes, 26% of republicans said yes, while 75%
of democrats said yes and 57% of independents. guest: california governor new som signed a bill a couple months ago to require any presidential candidate who wanted ballot access in california, a pretty big state, to submit their tax returns or to make public their tax returns. it's a bill that the previous governor jerry brown no conservative by any means had vetoed. he himself had not released his own tax returns. maybe there was something there. baw federal judge struck that down just recently in what was a win for the trump administration over the trump campaign i should say, not the administration, and we'll see if that makes it through the courts but that bill, a similar version of that bill has popped up in a lot of states across country. it is unlikely that will force president trump to release his tax returns baw remarkable divide again there just a quarter of republicans three quarters of candidates think a candidate should release their
tax returns. host: to rob in new york. caller: good morning. thanks for c-span. i guess my comment is that trump has cast doubt on everything. he's made us believe -- he's tried to make us believe that there are no facts and that everything is made up and it's all phony news and there's comments that you can't rely on f.b.i., you can't rely on our c.i.a.. you have career diplomats who are unstable and untrust worthy according to what our president would have us believe. if you are going to look at our elections and -- so there's no facts any more. i don't understand why people have not looked into matters such as occupants floor after
floor in trump tower owned by russian olgarks. how do we know that the trump hasn't been being survailed from within the trump tower by some of the tenants that occupied the dirty tricks department now going on in the republican party? host: ok. so talk about the sentiment that you're hearing from the caller and the distrust and how do you think that resonates and impacts the results of campaign 2020? guest: in talking to those three voters who did angs their phones all three of them, i found one very conservative independent in wisconsin, one trump voting republican in florida, and one democrat in pennsylvania the pittsburgh suburbs, and all three of them -- that's a pretty broad spectrum none of them said they trusted this would be conducted in an open and fair manner.
they cited all manner of things. it was the things we've heard about ukraine and vice president biden. t was things about the jerry mannedering and efforts to tamp down the minority vote in southern states. and it was a simple distrust the very conservative end nt from wisconsin who talked to me a lot about his christian values said he couldn't bring himself to vote for president trump because of the language that the president used. now, that's a small sample of just three people but that's a pretty broad set of reasons to be distrustful of the american electorate or the american election system. you know, that's a troubling thing that we're going to have to deal with not just in this presidency but beyond. donald trump is not the birth of the conspiracy theory. thi they questioned whether the last guy was born in the u.s. and this is a long-term problem that we face and a long-term
crisis not just in the confidence in our election system but in the confidence in our institutions more broadly. gallup does a great poll where they ask whether or not people have a high degree of trust in certain occupations, and only a quarter of americans have a high degree of trust in journalists, only 7% have a high degree of trust in congress. the banks lawyers doctors, well doctors are a little higher but everybody else is below 50%. we don't trust our big institutions any more and i think this is the product of basically two decades of uncertainty and angst and it gets to the conversation you were having in the last half hour about our deployment of troops which is 20 years in the middle east so far. this is a big societywide problem and this is just one example. host: new york, nick, republican. welcome to the conversation. caller: thank you. good morning. i was just wondering, because you talked about the national
popular vote. last year we had in the north carolina ninth congressional district somebody tried to steal the election and they were caught because votes were found in a certain county. but that's illegal in north carolina but you had the same thing happen in california where the republican was leading, three or four house districts on election night, and then ballot harvesting took it away the next day. if we don't have the same rules in every day i don't know how you do popular vote. guest: an interesting point. ballot harvesting, which is a great term to use, is one of the things that is legal or illegal in different states. it's a real bone of contention and it's come up this year in places like arizona where it is in fact legal. ballot harvesting is basically a group that supports voting rights or supports candidate x or y goes out and finds voters likely to cast ballots and collects the ballots, make sure
their absentee ballots get in on time. the absentee version of get out the vote vans or rallies or things like that. it is -- the difference in north carolina is that the allegations against the guy who was conducting this ballot harvesting operation, those ballots were either being changed or weren't showing up at the polling place or at the elections offices. so clearly somebody changing somebody else's ballot, that's illegal across the country. however, collecting ballots is not necessarily illegal and i would challenge you a little on the california example, that is an interesting state because they tend to count -- they tend to vote extremely highly through absentee ballots and 75 plus through absentee ballots and those take a long time to count. the voter registrars out there, the elections offices, can't even start counting the ballots until election day closes. so imagine you're the registrar
of orange county, california, and you've got 1 million unopened envelopes sitting next to you, you can't start opening them until 8:00 election night. that's why we see results changing over time. host: from georgia, robert. caller: thanks for taking my call. i was going to say that myself or anybody else has not seen one itia of evidence that russia had anything to do with our elections. zero. the democratic server supposedly stolen by russia and give ton wikileaks given to a place called cloud strike in the ukraine not to the proper authorities. it's all a hoax. who could believe the c.i.a.? good god, i could go on and on for an hour. hierarchy in this country stealing the election, in our own country. look at the knees mudia. they prop up their person they want for the election.
we're the ones. host: all right. guest: first, the company is called crowd strike, and the -- ll, the number of american intelligence offices and the u.s. senate, a bipartisan report in the united states senate that just came out detailed the russian efforts to interfere in our -- again not just our election, it's our societal conversation and the way that we talk to and relate to each other. so i think that's pretty much without dispute at the moment. i mean, i think the average american won't see it. we're not going to see a bunch showing up on our facebook feeds or something that said paid for by putin. but the efforts to interfere have continued a pace the law enforcement officials have talked about their efforts to fight back even in more recent
elections. something we're going to have to do in the long run. host: you can find it if you go to our website c-span.org at the very top it will bring you to this page richard burr republican senator who leads the committee along with mark warner, democrat from virginia, and they released this bipartisan report that digs into russia's use of social media. you also had the mueller report that laid out russia's influence and the indictments made from the russia report intelligence, people who had -- they say there's plenty of evidence to say they interfered in the election. caller: good morning, c-span. your topic is right on the money. there is a crisis of confidence. i'm 57 years old.
i've never in my life seen a resistant party that's going on. representative pressly hit it on the head when she said that the president is just holding space. when you call a crisis of confidence, north carolina has been without a governor for the last three years because of what's going on. the white house behind you and the president will never ever ever be another man or woman democrat that will sit in that chair that will be consequential. host: what do you make of that? guest: why do you say north carolina has been without a governor for the last three years? caller: roy cooper is not my governor, hashtag resist. host: go ahead. guest: i'm not entirely sure how to respond. ok, let's -- go back to that resear p