>> thanks for watching. that does it for this hour. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts now. ♪ welcome to a special holiday edition of "meet the press daily." i'm chuck todd. a blockbuster year a weights us in 2020. can you really top 2019? we better. not only are we anticipating a senate trial and removing the president from office, but we're also counting down to the fight for the first four, when the first voters will have their say in the 2020 presidential election. and of course it all starts with
iowa. we've seen them barn storm the hawkeye state. >> that lhello eyiowa? >> hello iowa! >> hello iowa! >> after the iowa caucuses of course comes the new hampshire primary and then the 1/2 1nevad caucus cuss and then the four fights in february and all four could fooit decide tdecide the primary. d democrats say buttigieg could win iowa, warren wins new hampshire, and then there is this guy michael bloomberg, he is all in on the super tuesday strategy. so he isn't factoring into this just yet. so this contest could be a wild one in february and beyond,
which iss is why we'll take a l at the early state contests. and also steve kornacki and the big board. and remember, there is actually four hurdles in order to sort of get democrats to understand the pieces of the electorate they need, whether midwesterners in iowa learning how do grass roots stuff, appealing to independents in new hampshire, latinos in nevada, african-americans in south carolina. so when you think about the first four states, don't assume that they are just randomly on a man omanp. there is reason to it.
welcome to my panel. there is a desperation to create a set of rules to appease national democrats that this will be a much more open process, much more diverse process and they have done so much with it, that it is possible that we have two different winners on caucus night. because they will attraction delegates and turnout. and how confusing is all this going to be? >> it may be very con gusing or there could be a really significant result if one of these candidates sprints out ahead of the rest of the pack. there will be delegate decisions released first. and then we will see the raw vote totals from the first alignment where people go into parts of the room and support a candidate and a group.
and then we'll see this second raw vote total if there is a realignment on the second round of voting. so actually to complicate things farther, there could be three victors. >> and here we are, we're in late december, and there is a new guy that no one ever heard of, mayor pete, who is ahead. you've done this for a while. pete buttigieg, is he howard dean or barack obama? >> we don't yet know that. but he has been laying the ground work in iowa for quite some time. he was here 27 months ago for his first swing through the state. that is when he was trying to become the chairman of the democratic national committee. i've had people who work on other campaigns say, gosh, we wish he were the chairman, we wouldn't be dealing with him
now. he is a prolific fundraiser. but as you mentioned, you don't want to peak too early. so all eyes in the last bit of december have been focused on one of iowa's neighbors, ethey liked barack obama in 2008, they liked dick gephardt, but this time they are looking at amy klobuchar and she has visited each of their counties. >> and funny about her, the person in this role was a guy named john edwards. even said we really like him, but he hadn't bumped yet. but got the "des moines register" endorsement. and i do think that edwards carry would have been a much more procetracted fight becausee did catch fire and basically missed winning it by a hair.
so clocklobuchar, does she havet potential? >> i think in the debate you saw that she did go up against mayor pete. she had more time because there were fewer dicandidates on stag to present herself with a bit of humor thrown in. and that is really working for her on the campaign stage here in iowa. the other thing is she has been staffing up. she has been raising more money, so she is able to hire more people. she has hired key people from the beto campaign, she has hired people in from other states. so i think that she is the one to watch at this point. >> and very quickly, impeachment, is it just background noise or does it have -- is it a motivating factor or just that it is? >> i think the real impact of
impeachment on this race will be it could stall candidates like klobuchar and booker and warn w warren who will be stuck in washington, d.c. at an impeachment style. >> and on turnout, highest was '08. pretty big turnout in '16 even. that got to about 170. will this top '08, will it get it 250,000? >> it is hard to say that right now. i've been trying to pay attention to the voter registration numberings in iowa, and i don't see an up stick in voter registration yet. my suspicion is campaigns likes warren campaign and buttigieg campaign are holding on to their voters and we will see the result on caucus night. >> all right. kay henderson, we'll see you in
iowa. and we'll get the impeachment trial out of the way and get there. let's get to the panel. eugene, you know, every four year, people try to say maybe iowa won't matter as of this time. and yet here we are again. the person that wins this first, whether it is biden or buttigieg, it will matter. >> absolutely. and for a few reasons. midwestern voters matter and they really matter when you have candidates competing for the white house whose brand is -- i'm a midwestern and that is what america needs, someone who is mild mannered, who is a unifier and can pay attention to people who aren't like them give them the attention that they need and know that i actually have solutions for their concerns. one thing that is interesting, there has been conversation about maybe iowa not needing to
be first because there is so much emphasis on diversitdivers. but i've done some reporting and read how many iowa voters actually are mindful of diversity issues. and it really pushes back on the idea that diversity is only a concern if you are a woman, a person of color, some type of a minority. and we're seeing a lot of white people say that we want to get behind someone that -- >> there is evidence that white democrats are more sensitive on race issues sometimes than nonwhite democrats on certain things that you would think that the stereotype would be the other way. >> topics like criminal just tuesday reform, you are seeing white liberals addressing issues in ways that you would assume that black people working class people are taking the lead in. and that is just not what everything support s. >> is iowa playing the role you hoped it would? >> yeah, and i think to the point that you just made, there was a big "new york times" story that ran recently that talked
about the fact that's with a caucusgoers are very mindful to do their part to not only pick someone who they think will do well in states that are not almost entirely white states, but also someone who can do well and potentially be the nominee for the entire democratic party. so i do think that in that sense that's what is doing -- is doing its job there. and also at the same time, i do think that the person who wins iowa, because there has been such a mix in terms of frontrunners in this election, i think that the 3er7b who wperso will matter more so than in 2016 and possibly more in -- >> unless you get a result where it is so close that two people can claim victory. >> and i have a very contrarian view. >> good. >> i don't think that's what is as important as it used to be. i don't think that it will play the role that lot of people
think that it will. there is external and internal dynamics. and if iowans were so concerned about the diversity piece, where is kamala harris, where is cory booker,is ruljulian castro. so it is a good talking point, but at the end of the day, iowa voters will do what they do. >> and you made an interesting point, it is not lost on me that if you look at the last series of successful democratic candidates to become president, they have been mid westerner or southerners and it is this sort of trying to be overly appealing, you know, that -- a you want to call it.
and there is something aboklobur and barack obama, he won every state but two that touched illinois. >> and this is a very policy arrived debate and everyone has ideas. but there are multiple voters who will still measure their support by can i get coffee with you. and people who are -- and neighboring states extend to know how to connect to people who live around the corner. >> all right. we'll take a break. we'll travel from iowa and take a nonstop to manchester. so up next, it is new hampshire. the granite state has a history of not agreeing with iowa and even a second place finish there can be a game changer like it was for bill clinton. >> i think that winnow enou we to say that new hampshire
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hello new hampshire. >> hello new hampshire. great to be here. >> it is good to be back in new hampshire. >> it is so good to be here. >> here in new hampshire. >> just eight days after iowa, new hampshire will take its place in the primary. it has spelled success in past primaries. and this year elizabeth warren and bernie sanders has the nearby advantages. but it does not mean a lock on the nomination. joining me now is a professor political science and one of my go-to guys.
happy primary season. i want to ask you questions, just -- who has the best natural constituency in new hampshire of the two neighbors, warren or sanders? >> i think that right now it is bernie sanders. by virtue of being on the ballot four years ago, and also so far i think that sanders is showing a better job of attracting a coalition of voters in new hampshire including young people still, progressive voters and even white working class voters who still vote with the democratic party. whereas elizabeth warren so far is in something of a box right
now. she's found a niche among the progressive well educated voters, but she's having trouble breaking out of that. >> the rising number of residents that live in southern new hampshire, is that net positive or net negative for her? >> i think that that is a net negative. i'm watching voters maybe half an hour from the border. they live in affluent towns. and often they lean republican, but they might be undeclared voters, they are two income, college educated families. and they will tend toward moderati moderation. they may not like president trump at all, brut they won't b eager to vote for the so-called radical progressive democrat.
so they might be looking at a moderate democrat, whether biden, klobuchar or pete buttigieg. >> and that brings me to the other unique test that new hampshire brings and why it is such -- when you put it in as one of the first four hurdles that you have to clear, it is a good one and that is winning over independents. winning over the undeclared voters and possibly even republicans who decide to vote in the democratic primary. have you seen much evidence of them actively trying to appeal to that voter? door contacts or maybe looking for republicans for buttigieg or things like that? >> i haven't seen republicans for buttigieg, but you are certainly seeing mayor pete with a ground game that has been developing for months now. and keep in mind that there is a republican primary, but no one expects to be competitive.
so i expect record turnout. there could be as many as 300,000 voters next february. >> '08, we had two. so you expect it higher? >> yeah, on the democratic side. around 300,000. so there is a lot of voters who are going to show up who are just tuning in right now. and they could be eager to vote for the new kid on the block. and if pete buttigieg succeeds in iowa, he comes here with momentum, he could very well go 2 for 2 for the first two contests. >> so there is a fifth candidate that lot of us think that could pull this off, do the slingshot. pull the rick santorum, where they didn't campaign anywhere
else but there, and that is amy klobuchar. if she pulls that off, gets that momentum, give me the sense of her operation. is it too little too late or could it super charge her to get a top three? >> yeah, i think an iowa upset for klobuchar could yeed dividends here in in which in that. she has been here quite a lot. she is up on the air right now which is not true of say joe biden. so she has a decent operation here. which it could translate among former hillary clinton voters. women th women in their 40s, 50s. they would find amy klobuchar a nice fit for the white house. >> and we've barely mentioned biden. he has a finance issue.
so he is focusing his energies on iowa and south carolina. do you get the sense that they know they are not wing new hampshire and that is why they have awing new hampshire and that is why they have a light touch? >> john kerry endorsed job and i think that biden will try to take a page out of kerry's play book. remember kerry won new hampshire after surprising. and i think that biden hopes to do the same. and then see a lot of new hampshire democrats say okay, i guess it is biden. >> there you go. >> all right, did you it the way i hoped and then some. good to to ssee you. up next, a little bit of a longer flight, we're going west when it comes to the neff caucuses, all bets are off. nef caucuses, all bets are off
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>> you've done a hell of a job here. >> welcome back. we're looking ahead to the first four fights and after iowa, and new hampshire, then comes nevada. this is the first primary state with the sizable hispanic populati population. and the man who knows nevada politics better than anyone, john ralston. good to see you. let me start this way. these caucuses are now -- i guess this is the third competitive version of the now -- does it feel like a stit wide event? last couple times it was just getting its sea legs. is this now a statewide contest? >> i think so. and the democrats as you know
have put more and more work into this each time. but i still think that there is some uncertainty about how it is going to go off. and not just the election itself, but they have added early voting this time. and they are trying to really juice the turnout. it is uncertain how many people are going to come out, how it is all going to work. but this is as you know one of the most well oiled democratic machines in the country. and they are pretty confident that they can carry it off. >> i'm pretty confident in that watching it the last couple times. i was skeptical at first and it seems each time smoother. harry reed has been sort of the guy that everybody has to visit. will he put the finger on the scale for anybody? >> that is a very good question. he keeps insisting that he won't endorse before the caucus.
but when bernie sanders was returning against hillary clinton, ehe said the same thin. and then after better knrnie sa won and hillary clinton's lead started evan rating, reid made a phone call to the culinary union which is the most powerful force here in democratic politics, and did put his thumb on the scale behind the scenes and that helped clinton hold on. and that could have been a serious problem for her if bernie sanders had won gathering the momentum. >> so what made the most inroads with the culinary union? there the h. is the old school i'm going to guess sanders has inroads there. so will they be split? >> another good question. and i think that it is hard to tell. the culinary also likes to play
it almost as coy as harry reid, oh, we're busy, we're doing contract negotiations, we have other things going on, but this time they are doing something that i don't recall them doing in the past which is inviting each of the candidates to come in and do town halls with their members. and of course the members are not sheep, they are not just going to follow what the leaders say that they are going to do, but the big issue for them as you know is med dare foicare fo. culinary has negotiated some of the best health care benefits for its workers. and there a fear there about losing their benefits. so warren and sanders have had to make the days that don't worry, you won't lose your benefits. while i think biden has explo exploited that. and whether that ends up making a difference on february 22, i think that it is still too early to tell. >> i know that sanders has been
doing pretty well with latino voters. we haven't mentioned the mayor. he has a good presence in new hampshire, a really good presence in iowa, we know that he has money. i'm getting he has a decent presence, but he hasn't -- his name hasn't rolled off your lips yet. >> are you talking about bernie sanders? >> really? is mayor buttigieg not making an impression in nevada? >> actually, i think that those are the two mounderrated candidates, both the mayor and bernie sanders. let's me talk about the mayor first. he has not done well in the polls here. we had a poll done about a month ago and it showed biden with a 10 point lead over warren and sanders and mayor pete still in single digits. but he has set up the infrastructure here. he has dozens of staffers, he has been out here a lot to take advantage of any momentum from
iowa and/or new hampshire. and that is important because what happens in iowa and new hampshire will affect nevada. but i think that bernie sanders may be an underrated force here especially if he can do well again in new hampshire coming here. there are those who are devoted to bernie sanders. and if he can win new hampshire, he still has those folks here and he has more professionals running his operation here than he did before some former harry reid accompaolytes are helping . so i think sanders and mayor pete could do well here. and you mentioned one reason why for sanders, the latino vote. >> no doubt he has really become stronger and stronger with latinos and it could be a key frankly tole le le california.
john ralston, sorry about your wolverines. but i'm getting you are loving your bills. have a great new year. >> thanks. happy holidays. and reminder that our upcoming nbc news debate will be ho hosted in las vegas in partnership with the wonderful organization the nevada neff independent. that is february 19th. you can watch it right here. up next, wheerding we're headi carolina, end of the road for the first four. ur >> south carolina is also full of surprises. they make up their mind late and they do shape elections. so that is why we came here. >> but the people of iowa and new hampshire and south carolina have spoken. and i really respect their decision. so tonight, i'm suspending my campaign. yeah.
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south carolina. >> south carolina. >> south carolina. >> south carolina. >> south carolina. >> south carolina. >> welcome back. south carolina will be the fourth primary contest of 2020. but it will be the first state in the south to vote and the first state in which african-american voters will comprise the majority of that primary electorate. and that will likely help joe biden who leads the democratic feed by double digits among black voters. could potentially also be a rough place for pete buttigieg who while he is leading in iowa, he has been struggling to win over black voters. and andy shane is joining me from the post. and let me start with this, a pat of me thinks that this race
are l. never will never be that close, impossible to catch joe biden. why will that conventional wisdom be wrong? >> joe biden's lead has been slinging hrinking in south caror the year. at one point he held a lead well into the 30s. it is now down to 7 according to the rest pollin recent polling. >> and do you sense who is making a way through and is it specific by age that you are seeing a split, what slits are you sare -- what splits are you seeing? >> the african-american vote is still solidly behind the former vice president at this point. with kachl gmala harris getting the race, the wbieas biggest wis
elizabeth warren. she is neck and neck with bernie sanders. >> i know how much effort biden has put down there. and who of the top tier have you surprised that have not been so good there in their organization? >> in the top tier, warren, sanders, biden, they have good organizations. cory booker has a very solid organization here. and pete buttigieg has been building a solid organization. you know, he is applying a bit of catchup. he has not been here as often. but he is coming here more fresk frequently and trying to build that support base here. >> and finally, is there any issue that is cutting through more than any other? >> well, health care remains the
top issue among likely democratic voters which is j i think that sanders and warren have both been doing solidly and eating into that lead with joe biden. so it will be interesting to see if that dynamic changes. >> and that is interesting that it can happen there, because that dynamic is different between the two of them depending on state's electoral. andy shane, chance for us to warm up perhaps after iowa and new hampshire, so very helpful. as long as we don't have too many weird cold fronts there. andy, thanks. much appreciated. south carolina is basically biden's firewall, right? >> yeah. i think so. and look, it is his race to
lose. i don't think that he will lose south carolina, i think that he will win south carolina. >> possibly that he will win bigger than we think? >> programerhaps. exactly. hillary clinton won resoundedly in south kcarolina over bernie sanders. because we had lost new hampshire, barely won nevada. and so that momentum carried us into super tuesday. and you look at the fact that you won't have i think a clear frontrunner out of the first four states. you go into super tuesday, michael bloomberg is spending so much money, how are those d dynamics going to contrast. >> it will be a huge test for buttigieg. if he hits the mark in one of the first two, you know, we'll find out if he can do something. >> and there is that obama
thing, you know. you get love in iowa or new hampshire, and then sort of slingshots you to south carolina. as much as i like him, i think there are systemic issues in the black community that he can't overcome. so i don't see that where i'm turning before south carolina. >> and can anybody really make an inroads with the african-american vote other than biden of who we have left? bernie sanders hasn't had a great history of winning over an african-american voter. elizabeth warren hasn't had to appeal to african-american voters. buttigieg has. and it is like it feels like biden will be here by default. >> so can they replace biden, i don't think that is the case. i think a lot of black voters are making themselves more familiar with the candidate options that they have even if
they are not going to back them. what is really interesting is how early people have been talking about who they would like to see as vice president. i mean, before even some of the debates were happening or who they would even want to see in the cabinet. and so i mean, we see people on the ground paying attention to candidates, but are they going to be their first choice more than biden? probably not. >> is it -- if the biden -- if biden starts floating things like stacey abrams, is that desperate or a smart strategy? >> i think it depends on the timing and where. i mean, i think that you never -- if you are a presidential candidate especially if you are the frontrunner, you never want to make it seem like you have to have a certain people to be your vp nominee to propel you forward. so i think that you need to be careful about that. you also want to make sure that you are not putting the cart before the horse. there were times before the campaign that we thought this
person might be better as vp, but then we started realizing where our strengths and weaknesses were. and the one unknown factor that we now know, we didn't know who the republican nominee was going to be. this time around, we do. >> as you watch all four, which state matters to you more to see who can do a general election? >> south carolina. i get the other states and appreciate it, but south carolina speaks to a new truth that will be realized in this upcoming election. and that is the power influence and impact of the black vote specifically black women. people say black men support donald trump, but that is because they haven't had a conversation with the black women in the house hold.
>> yeah. and there is one quick quild wild card. >> and suburbs are so different. and a lot of times when we talk about sub burkes as if they are just this homogenous community -- >> and it is a different makeup. >> but i do think that people are really interested in seeing what will happen there. >> all right. been fun. up next, we have the big board, kornacki, paths to victory for each party and another terrifying alternative scenario. r terrifying alternative scenario. ( ♪ ) at chevy, we're all about bringing families together. this time of year, that's really important.
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welcome back. we've been playing a lot of what ifs. so let's fast forward and play it with the general election. steve kornacki is here. we're at the big board. this is like would gutwo guys t the same car and the steering wheel is your. you've set up the man. this is the 2016 map. and literally if we start touching things, we can make magic. >> and what will change in 2020 is the question. >> so the big three, from 2016,
let's see what happens. this district, clinton only lost this by two points. >> the likelihood is a 50-50 coin toss. >> now you have 269-269. >> that should scare the living bejesus out of everybody. throw 269-269 at the end of the year, right, kornacki. >> state by state, california with 50 some members, one vote. north dakota, one vote. >> more importantly we'll be waiting for rekourchcounts and
in north carolina. the new house gets elected in 2020 and they'll vote to break the tie. >> all right. there are other paths for the democrats. they seem to have more than trump has. explain. >> part of that is if you look at how trump won, he got all the breaks in 2016. we talk about this big three. the one after that is arizona. suburban phoenix. the margin here in 2016 was just 3 1/2 points. you've seen an evolution in arizona. for a while, suburban tore them apart. that is a prime target. >> if we quickly go back to the '16 map, how fast can we whip the '16 map here? >> erase omaha. if you take the '16 map. we want to talk about the importance of arizona.
>> there we go, we got it. >> just put arizona in the blue here, then add your pennsylvania and michigan. >> pennsylvania has 263, michigan, if you're a democrat, puts you over the top. >> that's the thing here. democrats believe that they can cede wisconsin. >> trade that for that. >> and they actually net one on that. >> that's right. >> there are other places. they like georgia. >> split in half in 2016. >> georgia if you look at the governor's race, that was a point and a half in 2016. we always overlook north carolina. >> three points. >> so there is this -- we look at what trump did. there is an electoral land slide if they catch it. >> that's right. point and a half in florida. probably the hardest point and a half. >> democrat got it. >> they carried florida right there. >> you're over 300. rchltsz but in a scenario like that you're probably doing wisconsin. >> what about north carolina.
these are -- >> go georgia. >> now up to 350. >> what would happen if we had 1980 in reverse. what happens in that one? >> trump won by 9, cruz won by 3. if the democrats ever flipped texas in 2020, now you're at a level of -- >> that's probably -- >> that's higher than obama 2008. >> the best case scenario with president trump probably having huge problems and a democratic nominee being well liked. >> that's the bottom falls out plus that adds in the second district in nebraska and that's probably the max out point there. >> there it is. >> we did a trump max out point. we got him up to 330 electoral votes without winning the popular vote. >> that's right. point and a half in minnesota, less than a point in new hampshire. couple points up there in maine and couple points in nevada. >> if he can grab another 20 plus electoral votes and he can
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good evening and welcome to a holiday edition of "the beat." we have special things planned for you tonight. americans have been leaning into the holidays, stepping back from a year where donald trump's actions certainly caught up to him facing a december impeachment, existential crisis for the trump presidency after a news year consumed by his mistakes and scandals. >> i'm announcing the house of representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inqui