tv Campaign 2018 Brookings Institution Discussion on Midterm Election Results CSPAN November 14, 2018 9:01am-10:35am EST
memoir "undaunted." i was on an there were members of the press that died. and i was shot five times on the right side of my body. a bone jutting out of my right arm wounded my leg the size of a football. it was, oh my god, i'm 28 years old. this is it. >> a page of the brookings institution look the at the 2018 election results and talked about issues that motivated voters. they also talked about how the new democratic house majority
might govern. this runs an hour and a half. >> i want to start by acknowledging that justice ruth bader ginsburg has been hospitalized this morning from a fall. i ask you to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. i'm john allen, the president of brookings and it's a pleasure to have you join us today for the important event. let me also welcome those who are coming in by facebook web casts, we also, as we always do, welcome the presence of c-span. this morning we're here to discuss a topic that has been on many of our minds over the last days and weeks and months. some of us since the 9th of november of 2016. the midterm elections. as with anything political at this moment in history, it's a great deal of anticipation and analysis that is coming from
this moment. and perhaps some educated guesses, as well, as to how these results would turn out. and despite each of those efforts, there are some surprises that emerged from the events on tuesday. en know there are some still some races that are too close to be called. regardless from which side of the aisle you hail, these elections are an important indicator of the future direction of our country. we'll learn that the 116th congress is set to be different and likely think and act differently in which that we have seen before. in this era of polarized political views, and increasing political triablism, it's important that we watch closely and try to discuss thoroughly what these electoral results mean for our country over the long-term. here at brookings, we closely
track every u.s. election as well as the many policies and political issues that are up for consideration at any given moment. and while we are proudly nonpartisan and independent as an institution, our scholars certainly have their fair share to say about any and all aspects of our electoral process. not surprisingly, the 2018 midterms were no different and today we have gathered some top governance experts in the world on this panel to discuss the results. and they will give us important context for what happened on tuesday and what we can expect in the future. one final reminder we're live on on the record. i'm honored and would like to welcome to the stage and old friend, indira lakshmanan a
>> welcome. thank you so much. it's an extremely full house. i was pleased to see standing room only and the long line coming in. i think we have overflow, as well. so a lot to cover today, and we have a terrific panel of brookings experts to do it. they've had long lives at brookings and long lives before brookings. to my right is elaine kamarck. she's the author of several books including "how change happens or doesn't." she served in bill clinton's administration creating and managing what some of you may remember as the reinventing government initiative, and she's been a member of the dnc for 21 years. and sitting right "no" next to her is molly reynolds a fellow and is the author of "exceptions to the rule." she supervisors brookings vital statistics on congress project.
next to her is bill galston, the brookings institution governance studies program. he's the author of many books. he served as deputy assistant to president bill clinton for check policy. and next is vanessa williamson an expert on tax policy and the coauthor of "the tea party and remaking of american conservativism." and previously was policy director at the iraq and afghanistan veteran's of america. so we want to drill down on what the implications of tuesday night's results were. but i want to start, first, big picture. elaine, tell us so many people were anxious and nervous about making predictions about this election after the predictions about 2016 were so wrong. but as it turned out, people,
you know, who are willing to make predictions said that the democrats were likely to win between 30 and 50 seats and that has happened. it appears to be around 35 seats in the house. and the republicans were likely to win around five seats in the senate and they won three seats in the senate. it looks like, at this point. so did we actually get it right this time and, if so, what is the defense betweifference betw 2016? >> thank you for joining us. we love having you here. thank you for coming. let me go back to 2016. okay. they did get it right nationally. okay. they had the national number right. but where they went off the track was they didn't have the state numbers right. and they -- that's very, very hard to do, which meant that this time the predictors spent a lot of time looking at state numbers and district numbers and
looking at what we political scientists in an earlier day before we were inundated with polls used to look at, which is fundamentals. all right. what is the history of this congressional district voting? you know, you go back to who used to look at, you know, who lived there, how did they vote in the past? it's the freeway good predictor how they're going to vote in the future. i think that's why they got it more right. is that they were back to the fundamentals of the electorate. >> bill, you have a longer history of anyone on this panel. that's a compliment. and so i want you to tell us historically about the turn out in this election and how it compares to turn out in the last century and not that you've been alive that long.
how much did turn out matter this time? >> i'm happy to represent diversity on the panel. [ laughter ] this was a remarkable election. early estimates suggest 113 million americans showed up for this midterm election. if that number is roughly right, it means that the turn out was 49% for purposes of reference. the last time turn out was that high, was in 1966, and the all-time record occurred in 1914 with a 51% turn out in a
midterm. this was very close to an all time high. looking at the most recent midterm benchmark, which was, of course, 2014, turn out was 36.4%. so the turn out this year was slightly more than one-third higher than it was just four years ago. i can't imagine a more concrete manifestation of public interest and mobilization. let me just make one more point, which i'll do with reference to state of florida. four years ago, 5.99 million floridians voted in the gubernatorial election, which mr. scott won by about 1
percentage point. this year 88. -- 8.1 million floridians showed up and the republican candidate won by one percentage point. not only was there a massive mobilization but an equal mobilization on both sides and the fact that there was an equal mobilization on both sides is one reason why the democratic margin overall the national race is going to turn out to be a relatively modest seven percentage points when the dust settles. >> molly, you want to say something? >> one thing that is interesting to note about that, too, when we look at midterm elections historically, at least in recent history, we think that democratic turn out has lead republican turn out. in part of what we know ability the types of people generally
turn out to vote in midterms without a president to drive turn out. the lek rate tends to be older, whiter, wealth year. the things that are generally correlated with being more likely to vote. one thing that is interesting as we get more and more data about what the 2018 electorate looks like, is to what degree did we buck that historical pattern. >> i want to ask you, vanessa, people were obviously mobilized to come out on vote on both sides. you know, this is kind of a hard question to answer, but were they voting for something or against something? was this really a referendum on donald trump? or was this something else? it was interesting that donald trump came out immediately and said this was a big victory for him. even though he did lose the house but he's been emphasizing the victory, i guess, of holding on to the senate and also several republican wins in state
elections that were -- that looked iffy like texas and florida. so what were people voting for this time? >> well, i think one of the most important things to recognize about the contemporary political moment is the extent to which partisanship is driving vote choice. in the past there were a larger percentage of americans who were swing voters who voted for one party and one election. as the parties have become more polarized, it has become more predictable who you're going to vote for. it makes the races more of a mobilization race. it's less of a persuasion race and more of a mobilization race. it also, i think, helps explains why we're seeing such a fight over what kind of democracy we want to be. that is to say we're having fights over the rules of democracy. right. you saw that in florida. you saw it in georgia. you're continuing to see it in georgia. in texas. many of the states one of the factors people are trying to take into account in turn out
who is eligible to vote and allowed to vote. so i think this sort of divide we've talking about in florida is part of a thing that is driving a real debate about whether we're an inclusive democracy. it tries to get everyone eligibility to the polls or restrictive democracy that keeps some of us on the outside. >> do we have any early answer? >> i think there's one early answer in florida. it gave convicted felons who served their time the opportunity to become voting citizens again. and it should, this presents how profound the problem of mass encars ration has been it will enfranchise over a million people. it's likely to make a real difference what voting in florida looks like next time. >> i heard a statistic on npr, maybe you can tell me whether this is right. i heard something like one-third of the african-american men in
florida were disenfranchised in this way and so that seems like it will make a huge difference. >> that's right. i think it's very important to connect the patterns of mass encars ration with long and horrifying tradition of trying to exclude african-american from the polls. these are connected traditions in our history. i think that in florida and to a lesser extent in l.a. there was a measure that changed jim crow era. you know, juries have to be unanimous. in louisiana that was not the case. i think we're beginning to see a turning of the tide on the two issues at once. right. and the fight is still real. things like vote are suppression will continue to be a problem through 2020. >> we saw it in georgia, of course. elaine, let me ask you. midterms are usually a rebuke of the party that is in power in the white house. it was interesting because i saw some republicans quoted as
saying it was a rebuke and not a repudiation because of the way it went down. but americans often are supposedly voting for a different party in the midterms than in the generals because they want bipartisanship, they want the two sides to work together, to work across the aisle. this felt, to me, like a vote for divided government. not for bipartisanship. is that how it's going to play out? >> well, i think we have two different messages yesterday from both the congressional press conferences after the vote and the president's press conference. but, you know, not as different as you would think. there was an area that they both defined for cooperation. prescription drug costs and infrastructure, which, you know, bill has been writing about infrastructure since, you know, the last century.
and, you know, we haven't managed to get everybody -- everybody says we need it, we should do it. we haven't managed to get that. it was interesting to hear that emphasis coming even after the president's press conference. and then there was this, of course, extraordinarily divisive note that came out of the president's press conference. the 800 pound gorilla in the room is the mueller report. okay. that's what makes this post midterm situation unlike any other. we don't know what mueller has. we don't know when he's going to drop it. we don't know if next week we're going to open the papers and see 15 more indictments. that's what is hanging over this administration. that what keeps their politics and in the congressional politics from being a more normal politics.
i wouldn't be surprised if you told me a month from now we would be in the middle of bipartisan infrastructure bill, i wouldn't be that surprised. so it's a very different time. and i'm afraid history doesn't teach us much about it. >> bill, isn't there this -- the pre president in the press conference yesterday it was essentially like a blackmail line. i'm willing to work on infrastructure and prescription drugs as long as you don't try to prosecute me. as long as the mueller investigation doesn't go forward. that's essentially what he said. if the democrats play ball by not pursuing the mueller investigation then he'll work with him on the other things. it doesn't seem to be the message we're getting from the new chairman in the house who do want to pursue the mueller investigation and the acting attorney general is someone who is talked about prosecuting high profile democrats including hillary clinton. where do you see this going in
terms of affecting congress's ability to make legislation? >> if things play out according to the scenario laid down yesterday, there's not going to be a great burst of legislation in the next two years. i'm not sure that was to be expected anyway. that the list of legislative topics were bipartisan comprise and cooperation is even conceivable prior to the election was very short. it has not gotten longer. in my view, the house leadership, whatever it turns out to be -- that's an interesting question itself. that the house leadership will do its best to retrain the more extreme and ill considered impulses in the democratic caucus. nancy pelosi probably said a dozen times that she's not in
favor of a rush to impeachment. the mueller report, if it is allowed to be completed, if it sees the light of day may force her hand. that's the last thing that the democratic leaders want. if you look at the survey research coming out of the election and on the public appetite for impeachment, it's 39%. given the fact that tells you that more than a quarter of democrats don't want to receive the impeachment. on the other hand, i don't see how the house intelligence committee can or should be restrained from doing oversight. and most of the other committees would be der eleooer elect in t duty if they didn't do the oversight that has no occurred in the past two years. if the president thinks that the democrats are simply going to lay down their investigative and oversight tools in the name of
the infrastructure bill, then i won't complete the sentence. you know, but in the interests of a good bipartisan brookings conversation. suffice to say he already knows the answer to this question. >> is that the name of the game for the next two years in congress? is the name of the game oversight, essentially, with hands tied in congress about getting other legislation done but tight and heavy oversight. is that what the american public wanted when it voted in the midterms? are those the issues we were voting on? oversight. i think that most of what we're going to see out of the house is on the oversight front. i tend to agree with bill that even absent what the president said yesterday, we were not heading toward some sort of enormously legislatively
productive congress for the next two years. that's in part because of what democrats, i think, in the house see part of their job after this midterm to do is to investigate the president and importantly not just the president. we'll see things like the ways and means committee trying to obtain trump's tax returns. we'll see investigations of things like how many foreign governments are paying money to stay at the trump hotel. things that are trump related. but we will also see a lot of oversight and investigative work on other things that happened in the executive branch over the past two years that have gone unexplored. and the affordable care act at hhs. that sort of thing. it's not all -- it won't all be about the president himself as much as it will be about
operations in the executive branch more broadly. the other thing that i will say that sort of does not bode well for bipartisan legislature in the new congress is that -- where, as you said, the republicans stand to gain two to three seats, depending on how everything shapes out. that gives majority leader mcconnell a little bit more of a cushion. he has made no secret of the fact he would be perfectly happy just to spend most of the senate's time confirming additional judicial nominees. he has long seen that as a big part of his mission as the republican leader in the senate. so if you're the majority leader and that's what you care about and you get to set the agenda in the senate, you likely feel like it's a better use of your time just to keep doing that for two
years rather than perhaps trying to cut some bipartisan deals with democrats in the house. >> quickly, what would you say the main issues were that people were voting on? was the caravan something drove people to the polls in the end or were they voting to keep and maintain the affordable care act? >> right. >> so i'll first return to earlier about how most of what we see in voter choice in who to vote for in american elections now is about partnershipship. do you identify with the democrats? do you identify with the republicans? and in terms of the issues we saw play out in the campaign, particularly on the democratic side. health care was overwhelmingly what candidates were going to talk about. if you look at data that the s weslyn media campaign talks about you'll see an ad for the
house. about 60% of the ads that were in favor were about health care. you know, on tuesday night, nancy pelosi gave her speech she said something along the lines of, like, we have to thank preexisting conditions. >> yeah, she did. because republicans in congress last year tried and failed to repeal the affordable care act. they try toed to fail to take away protections for people with preexisting conditions as part of health insurance plans, that was a major issue that democrats ran on. >> so many republicans are saying i love -- >> yeah.
>> on immigration, we have some evidence that in recent elections the 2016 and likely 2018 immigration is perhaps a more important part of voting choices for white voters in the united states. but not a lot of evidence that changed over the course of the 2018 cycle. so two to scare your point about the caravan, there's not a lot of evidence that people who said immigration mattered to them or mattered to them earlier in the year changed their minds and it became a more relevant point later in the year.
in terms of issues i think health care was the biggest one. >> the exit polls underscored the point. when americans were asked to name the single most important issues they brought into the polling with them 41% said health care. by contrast, 23% said immigration. 22% said the economy. and interestingly, number four was guns. and let tell me you why. >> what percentage of that? >> 10. but that's significant for the following reason, very preliminary estimates suggest that turn out among young adults, which was 19% four years ago was as high as one-third this time. and guns, for obvious reasons, turned out to be a major
mobilizer. >> and this morning we have a -- >> yeah. >> that is really if you ask each generation what are the formative experiences for this generation of young adults and school shootings are high on the list of experiences that they're willing to organize and mobilize and vote around that issue and this is a different future. because these young people are the future and eventually the balance of power will issue will shift. i don't think i'll live long enough to see the change. >> if i can jump in, we were talking about how little it likely to get done legislatively in a national level, but that shouldn't believe people to believe there aren't important issues in which most americans
agree about what the legislative solution is. so i think there's more and more work suggested there are large disconnects between what people in the district think and what legislators people think the people in the district think. for instance, several, you know, purple or conservative states did things like pass the medicaid expansion or raise the minimum wage. right. we saw missouri raise the minimum wage but not return clare mccaskill. there determines an issue interest not filtering into the parties in the way that people that follow politics closely expect. because it would be a standard view that the party more likely
to engage in things to raise the minimum wage would be the democratic party. but, you know, in florida, again, that same example the party who is talking more about expanting voting rights, the democratic party, but you get reenfranchisement but not -- right. so i think there's this very serious issue where there are major policy issues substantiative wide spread agreement that is not translating to substantiative agreement among legislators. you studied maybe it's a refor call question but you study the the trump tax cut a lot. i'm curious how much of a role that played in the midterms. >> i think it's very telling that bill did not list taxes in his list right there. no. the tax cut had very little to do with the election, which is shocking. again, because it was the
signature legislative achievement of congress and some republicans early in the season tried to run on it. it wasn't winning with the voters. that was obvious in advance because republicans voters are not excited about the tax bill even as it was moving through. >> why do you think that is? >> i think a couple of reasons. one, it was very top heavy tax bill. and so most of the benefits went to wealthy people and incorporations. most republicans don't think that corporations need to have their taxes cut. corporate tax rates should be the same or go up. so that's on your question of accord. there's a remarkably high level of interest in the republican party on keeping taxes high for wealthy people when you talk to voters. not when you talk to
legislators. right. and certainly not donors. so i think that the bill wasn't structured in a way where it's major provisions will be popular. and even as people learned more about them in the aca. we saw it was not terribly popular but as people learned more about the preexisting conditions it became more popular. it was not a bill that could be sold that way. structurally the republican party did not do some of the things that you would think they would learn from the bush administration about selling a tax cut. send everyone a check for a small amount of money and people get that idea in mind. we'll be fine. people forget about tax cuts quickly. it hasn't -- it wasn't a winning issue for the republicans this year. it hasn't been a winning issue for republicans recently. what has been interesting to watch at the state level increasingly they're putting taxes on the ballot because about half the time they can get them passed.
>> we had a record number of women running and i think a record number of women winning. >> yeah. women were a big story in this election on two dimensions. first of all, an overwhelming number of women were running, most of them as democrats. and many of them winning. you just saw those pictures on election night and it was one after another after another. we have the datas on the brookings website for those who are interested on exactly what those numbers look like. so we had a really energized activist women base. the second piece is the gender gap. the gender gap has been with us since 1984. sometimes it matters and sometimes it doesn't. it's the difference between how men and women vote. and this time there was a substantial gender gap even among white voters. and women voting much more democratic than men, which
probably goes to explain the suburban swing that we saw across the country. so as election night went on, you'll notice that the suburbs, the near suburbs and even some medium to far suburbs that's where the democrats were picking up house seats. and as we've heard from much of this year, that is probably due to a gender gap and to some women moving away from republican women moving away from the republican party. and towards not necessarily democrats. you can't call them democrats but towards an independent stance. the other thing we've seen this year is a drop in the number of last two years drop in the number of voters identifying as republicans. so you have 90% approval ratings of trump but among a smaller
base of identifiers in the electorate that we've had in some time. so you've got a women's story on both sides. both in candidates and voters. >> to jump in here, one piece of data that speaks to observation about women and women in the suburbs is that among white women white women are still pretty evenly split as a whole between republicans and democrats. >> that's right. >> where we see the big gap and the big advantage for democrats as among that's a group that is now, i would say, pretty firmly entrenched in the democratic coalition to a pretty sizable degree. and i think that helps explain some of the results that we've seen with democrats speaking up in the suburban house seats.
>> just to underscore the point, white women with college degrees went democratic by 20 points this year. 59 to 39. white men with college degrees were 47-51. so that is, if you do the math. >> that's a gender gap of 24 points. >> it's very large. >> yes. >> it's interesting. i think that a lot of this is actually a sort of general cultural revulsion to the president and the kind of attitudes that he displays all the time beginning with the billy bush tape during the campaign. and me too plays a big, big role
in this. and i think that, you know, because it's hard to argue that, you know, well to do suburban women with college degrees, you know, have strong feelings against the tax cut. against the tax bill. you know what i mean. there's things here that is a little bit difficult to say that must be the reason. i think that you've got to look at the sort of -- on this one. and the me too movement, the president's own behavior, which is sometimes sort of borish -- [ laughter ] >> i think we have to look at that to explain. because, look, the revulsion among college-educated women it started on inauguration day. >> or before that. >> with the access hollywood
tape. >> yeah we had a huge march in washington and around the country. so something has been -- women have been turned off by donald trump from the beginning and there's been countervailing forces among men. one of the things i want to bring up before is that a lot of republicans feel that the kavanaugh hearings actually worked in their favor. and then what the kavanaugh hearings did was wake up their base. and i know mcconnell yesterday felt that the fact they retained control in the senate and did as well as they did in the senate was due to energized base that happened as a result of the mcconnell hearings. these sort of issues can work both ways. >> i think you have been tracking some of the gaps other than the gender gap. the urban rural gap. to tell us about the other key
gaps you've seen. >> my goodness, where to start. >> i have come to the conclusion based on research not just in the united states but also in the uk and europe that the gap between metropolitan voters on the one hand and small town and rural voters on the other is perhaps the dominant political phenomena of our times. it's a fateful gap because it correlates with economic well being with education with cultural outlook. so in the old days the dominance in america -- the technical
phrase was cross cutting -- to say you might be with people on one point but against them on another so coalitions were formed and reformed because people. increasingly, people are not cross pressured and where they live turns out to be absolutely formative and so here are some statistics for you among urban voters in this election, democrats got 65% of the vote and republicans 32. in rural areas, democrats got 42 and republicans got 56. the suburbs were split down the
middle. >> here is another development among first time voters democrats prevailed in this midterm by 62 to 36. and political scientists will tell you that early voting patterns, if they're repeated for a second or third time, tend to be like a kind of indelible dye in a white cloth. that was a leading indicator of the way young adults will vote when they're not such young adults. >> can i jump in here? i've been wanting to talk about age. [ laughter ] >> it's important to understand
that a lot of political science shows that the early voting habits stay with people for a long time. and one of the things i noted from the exit polls is that the people under 50 instituted about 44% of the elect rate. people over 50 accounted for the rest of the 56%. under 40, however, they were heavily democratic. the younger you got, the more democratic they were. over 50, they were republican. in this election, not that much but we've seen in various polls of the president's approval when they break down his approval ratings, his approval ratings are highest at the top of the age distribution. >> isn't it true that voters become more conservative as they become more older? >> no. that's not true.
this confuses the cohort analysis. >> right. >> it's not the case. my father and father-in-law cast the first vote for fdr, they were democrats until the end. my father converted in 1972 and got sick of the hippies, including me, and he voted for nixon but people take their party wiefgs them. that's based on looking at silent generation people who, in fact, came into the electorate. okay. you'll have some of that people who came into the elect rate with reagan. some of the jen xors are more conservative. you center to look at the age cohort as they move through the
ele electorate. it's the largest generation in american history is the millennial's. >> millennial's? >> yeah. if it took everybody by surprise, a, because us baby boomers had our children later. and the other thing to remember about millennial's, if you had not had the youngest people, the youngest people voting in 2008, were overwhelmingly for obama. if you take out that vote, guess what, mccain would have won the election in 2008. that's how powerful the generation is. when you look at generations, you have to remember two things. a, what the formative experience is and, b, their size. they used to call it the pig and
the python. it's the big generations that were affect the politics. >> let me add a footnote. there's a third thing to pay attention to, and that is the fact that voters over the age of 65 are highly and with each passing year increasingly dependent on large government programs. they will not be conservative when it comes to the programs that, you know, enemies usually sum up as entitlements and their friends call social security and medicare. in this cases, medicaid, as well, because as older americans find out, many of them the hard way, it's medicaid that pays for nursing homes. >> don't hold your breath. by the way, the fastest growing chair of the population in the next 15 years will be people over 65 and even more so people over 85.
so don't hold your breath waiting for big cuts in entitlement programs over the next 20 years. >> a few years ago, somebody asked me to write an article about the future of medicare and medicaid. i said the future is the same as the past. >> i was struck by the extent to which their concerns were generational. right. you center to remember that older americans more white america and younger is more diverse. concerns with immigration interact with the knowledge that the political future of america does not look like the political past. thing particularly on the issue of entitlements, which the tea party was strongly in favor of
they had their doubts whether the young people were earning anything at all. i think where older white americans who are quite seventy will line up to defender that social security and medicare. i think programs designed to cut future benefits for beneficiaries in the younger cohort who are seen as so suspicious by older white conservatives, i think that could easily be the dividing line that allows for leadership to achieve something that is very much considered a priority for a long time. >> right. you run into the challenge of trying to untangle what is seen as a policy position i should have with what my party is telling me. you know, if, as i did, spent probably more time than i should
have watching the ins and outs of the debate over repealing aca. one of the challenges is the republicans had a party goal. they had formulated and committed to the idea that getting rid of obamacare is what they had to do. they had run on it for eight years. they had promised this was going to happen. when push came to shove, designing a bill that could meet that objective while also not alienating parts of their constituency proved ultimate will be to be grand a challenge. you talked before, bill, about things being cross cutting. this is a place we had two sets of cross cutting incentives that got them in trouble. >> you might call this an important part of the trump difference. explain. everybody remembers the famous down the escalator announcements
about what he said about mexicans. hardly anyone remembers the line in that very small very same speech where he said we have to save social security and medicare and medicaid without cuts. that is a direct quote. donald trump as, you know, as every tuesday afternoon populist is not the same thing as paul ryan. >> that's right. >> and donald trump represents a change in the relationship papu and what the party stands for and the more the republican party becomes trump, the more the entitlement cutters will be forced on to the defensive. it's not a place they want to go anyway, except on paper. >> that's interesting. molly, you know, we've seen some of the entitlement cutters already retreat like paul ryan,
and people not wanting to fight this fight, whether because it's about entitlements or they don't like, you know, fighting it with trump. tell us, what are the big stories going to be in congress in 2019? lay out for us what you see. >> right. let me make one point on this entitlement cuts discussion. it depends on which entitlements we're talking about cutting. you have had trump say he opposes cuts to medicare and social security. at the same time, we have seen republicans with some success implement work requires for medicaid across the country. there's been a big debate that's i think more likely to end poorly for the people who want more work requirements for snap, but that's been -- >> children's -- >> snap, food stamps. >> yeah.
>> but this goeets to the point that vanessa was making. there's still a lot of room in the republican party for people who favor cutting sbilts mptent to what they see as less deserving americans than people who have earned the benefits. that dynamic, that kind of what i have and what i desever sus what you have and what you get from the government for not -- without having done anything, is an important base dynamic in the big group base system we're talking about. to answer your question about what i expect the big stories of congress in 2019 are going to be, so one of them is going to be oversight in the house. what does that look like, what issues does the house choose to investigate? i would caution folks who think that's going to -- if it's done well, it's going to happen
especially quickly. good, high-quality oversight takes time. one of the things that you get when you get to be the house majority, you get more money to hire more staff. getting those people in place isn't something that happens overnight. if we want -- and i think from a perspective we do, we want that oversight and investigative work to be done in a serious way, i don't think we will look for flashy reports come february. i think that's kind of the biggest story in the house. it is important to remember that of the current house democratic caucus, about 40% of those members have never served in the majority. when you add in the house freshmen in seats they flipped and in just seats where democrats are replacing other democrats we will be pushing probably about half of the house democratic caucus who has never shared the majority. there's real muscle memory a lot
of members don't have, but what it means to get to decide what your committees do and what bills come to the floor. that will be part of what needs to -- >> inexperience. >> inexperience and just not -- the last time democrats were in the majority was before the 2010 elections. it's been a while. also in the house, the remaining republican conference -- >> and a smaller, more conservative house gop. >> yes. >> which is important. >> at the same time. >> the kinds of republicans whose seats turned over to democrats this year are -- tend to be more in the more moderate wing of the party. republicans still representing some of these more suburban, more moderate districts. the center of gravity in the house republican conference is going to be more conservative, which i think will set us up for some difficult legislative fights in congress between the house and the senate in
particular. again, just to repeat what i said earlier about the senate and judges. in a senate where leader mcconnell will have a little larger of a majority that's going to free his hand a little bit on -- on judges and on trump administration nominees. we talked about jeff sessions a little bit. they're going to have to confirm a new attorney general and have a little bit more latitude perhaps than they did with just a 51 vote -- >> briefly bill. >> molly, a quick question. >> sure. >> jim jordan just threw his hat in the ring from one of the leaders of the freedom -- house freedom caucus. jordan versus mccarthy, how does that play out? >> at this point i have trouble seeing particularly if trump is behind mccarthy, which is kind of what i would expect at this point, i have trouble seeing the house republican conference going in the opposite direction from a trump/mccarthy position on picking the new majority leader or excuse me the minority
leader. it if a third viable candidate gets in the race things would get interesting. at this point particularly if trump stays in his support of mccarthy, i would expect that that would be where that goes. i've been wrong about these things before. >> i want to open it up to questions soon. vanessa, briefly give us your take on why these high-profile progressives didn't make it. there was a lot of hope behind gillum, abrams, o'rourke, cordray, all of them lost. >> i think that there's -- there are two things to remember. one, if you didn't have the level of polling that we have nowadays those would have looked like very good, impressive, surprising results they got so close, right. i think only a few years ago the idea that a texas senate seat was going to be hotly contest wood have been unimaginable,
right. i think that it's -- some of it i think is one of the results of our very detailed level of polling, on election night we get emotional about the deviations from the main. i think that one of the -- there's a real question about where the democratic party is headed and i think that that's a really profound question. i think that if you're going to think about it, it's not just thinking about the people who will be running, right, it's thinking about the policies. if you think barack obama running in 2008, he was not the standout -- the candidate talking about health care. he was not. hillary clinton was. he got criticized widely in the -- especially on the left side in the press for the weakness of his health care plan. it's obamacare nowadays, right. a lot of what the candidates end up standing for is about the interest in the party that are powerful, right. i think that there are -- and sometimes i think that there's this sort of blurry line of what seeming establishment and then,
you know, changes his outfit and like one of the up surge in characters, right. i think one of the real questions in the democratic party looking forward is, how are you passing medicaid expansions in red states but not winning there. how are you raising the minimum wage in red states and blue and purple states and not controlling the legislature, right. what's the candidate with the charisma, with the right connections and background to be a successful candidate and then what policies reach the voters and those are two questions. >> bill, briefly, you were nodding your head enthusiastically while vanessa was talking about how these high-profile progressives and some who had all the charisma she mentioned, beto o'rourke, an cr drew gillum ended up going down whereas meat and potato
democrats won in wisconsin and michigan. what does this tell you about the path to 2020 for the democrats? is that through the midwest and not through surprise places like not through florida or texas? >> let me put this very simply. it is hard to think of a state that hillary clinton won in 2016 that donald trump is likely to win in 2020. he has not made himself more attractive to a single one of the 240 electoral votes that hillary clinton got. i'm sorry. 227. if you add up pennsylvania, michigan, and wisconsin, you put those on top of clinton states and the 2020 democratic nominee will be the next president of
the united states. there is the cake and then the frosting. the midwest is the cake. florida is the frosting. georgia is a dream. >> and texas too. >> and texas too. >> texas too. and as you'll recall, in late september, early october, the clinton campaign in 2016 thought that georgia and arizona were in play and so they spent time and money in those states, which if they had spent them in the upper midwest would have changed the election in my opinion. democrats having been reminded forcefully of the constitutional nature of our democratic elections, i think would be crazy not to pay attention to the electoral college. put it simply as possible, a crucial task for any democratic nominee in 2020 is what are your chances of carrying
pennsylvania, michigan, an wisconsin? if they're good to excellent you're a good choice. if they're not, you're a terrible choice, whatever your other merits may be. >> does that mean you need a more sort of centrist meat and potatoes candidate or what about the progressive, the bernies and the -- >> i would pay attention to the way in which democratic candidates in pennsylvania, in michigan, and in wisconsin won. in michigan, the slogan, the winning slogan was, fix the roads. that was the bumper sticker. you can't get more meat and potatoes -- >> infrastructure guy. >> my infrastructure heart went pity pat. i really think that there is a pretty clear message coming out of this election, democrats can win in the midwest. there is a way in which they can do that and a way which they
can't. mr. cordray lost the ohio governorship by a surprisingly large five point margin. that is not a hopeful sign. >> that's right. >> i think to go back to the point vanessa was making about the way that kind of issues and other elements of this don't necessarily map out neatly to one another, that in some of these mid western states we're seeing support for progressive policies, but there are questions about the kind of candidates that will be successful at running on those and i will say, as someone who used to live in michigan, the set of statewide officers who were elected in michigan this year is fabulously diverse. it includes a white woman at the top of the ticket as governor, a black man as the new lieutenant governor of michigan, and so
there's -- i think -- such -- when i say this is a little more complicated, i think take away maybe less clear lessons than you do for how we go forward and, you know, to speak about ohio, thinking about, you know, cordray loses the governors election but sherrod brown wins the senate election handily, and what lessons can we learn at the intersection of talking about issues and who the candidates are. >> and they campaigned differently. i would like to open it up to the audience for questions and i just want to remind you, please state your name, any affiliation and make sure it's a question. we've got a microphone here. i saw this hand go up first from this gentleman but i'll try to come around to everybody. >> it was all those years in school. hi my name is andrew. my question towards elaine and bill, but i would be interested to hear your thoughts, with respect to gun control, what do
you think traditionally because it's been like people who are pro-gun always turn out, regardless -- they vote on that issue and that issue alone. you're bad on guns they don't care where you are anywhere else, versus at least seemingly until parkland happened, where people in favor of gun control, sure, it's nice, but where are they on health care and education and everything else? was parkland a changing narrative there and if so, how do pro-gun control people look to try to protect the people who vote for their measures, which is where i think -- where i think the problem lay in passing gun control? >> thank you. >> is parkland a watershed and if so what? >> it's a very good question. i think parkland might be a watershed only because this keeps happening. if you look at first think about
last night's shooting, right, who goes to a bar, right, on a wednesday night? it was a graduation party too i think. >> yeah. it's young people. we weren't going out last night, right. it's young people. bill wasn't going out last night. >> let's not get ageist on this panel. >> the steady drum beat. >> if this is becoming a disturbing trend that we're seeing a lot of it -- it used to be you would have a parkland or a -- what happened in colorado and it would be a one off. people would get concerned about gun control for a couple months and then forget about it. you're right, that pattern would fall back into place where the intense second amendment people would always vote and everyone else had other issues.
this may be changing unfortunately just because there's so much of this happening these days. >> we thought that newtown would change it. >> we thought newtown. >> but in that case the victims were little children. >> yeah. >> and in the case where the victims are high school children, parkland has really shown the ability of those teens voting age, many of them, to mobilize. >> i would be curious vanessa, who has done more work on organizing than i have, have had any observations along this point, but one thing that struck me among the issue among younger people is the way it's become something to build organizes around and as you were saying at the top, so much of what happens in our elections is not the about persuasion, it's about mobilization. to the extent that this is an area in which we are building and the people around the country are building organizations that might be the groundwork for all kinds of
political action going forward -- i don't know -- >> yeah. i think that's a critically important point. schools and colleges are a natural organizing place and you really -- if you're -- especially if you're going to go up not just gun voters but the nra which is a powerful lobby for the gun industry, you need real organization, right. frankly kind of old-fashioned organization in terms of people who actually know each other and meet in person, not just clicking things on facebook, but actually, you know, holding events, going out, knowing their local legislatures, all those sorts of things and ooii think t was interesting about parkland is organizing among young people. one of the things to keep an eye on -- the republican party has always been very good at that work, they run older and had experience in their church groups and ptas and that sort of thing. the republican party is really smart about demobilizing groups
that will oppose them, right. a lot of republican legislation about making it hard for unions to organize, a lot of republican legislation against planned parenthood work in a similar way. ideologically with conservative values but strategically smart moves. one of the things to watch for 2020 is not just overall average opinions of demographic groups but how organizations develop. >> i want to move on to get more questions. this was the second hand i saw right here. >> you are good at this. >> thank you very much. most interesting, my name is [ inaudible ] from the council. i'm struck foreign policy has not come up at all. one specific question in this area, do you think there will be russia sanctions bill coming through? >> great question. i feel embarrassed, i'm a foreign policy person and i haven't asked that question. you really have shown me up here. i think it's because foreign policy was one of the lowest factors when i looked at the
reasons people were voting. foreign policy was way down, possibly in the single digits bill. correct me if i'm wrong. i saw something like 9% or something. >> i named the four issues that were in double digits. >> yeah. >> there wasn't much room for -- >> this is consistently generally how we think about voters not paying much attention to foreign policy, not -- it's not as big of a -- doesn't have as big of an impact on their decision making. in terms of the question about a new russia sanctions bill, beyond kind of what the house democrats have indicated are their top set of issue priorities for day one of the new congress, i don't -- and item one is sort of campaign finance, ethics reform type package, beyond that i don't know -- i don't want to speculate too much about where their agenda might go. one thing that will be true more
generally in the new congress is that with a democratically controlled house, there will be lots of things that the house passes and sends to the senate that go nowhere. but there may also be some things that house passes that there's some interest in working on in the senate, perhaps something like russia sanctions or other things, where there's some bipartisan agreement where leader mcconnell will no longer be able to use as an excuse oh, we're not going to take up this bill because the house will never pass it. we saw it during the last two years because the house republican conference was more conservative than kind of the center of gravity of the senate because of the filibuster. we saw this happen a lot. that's an excuse he no longer has. he can no longer say i don't want to do this because the house will never pass it. >> let me add a quick word and that is, although foreign policy played no role whatsoever in the midterm election, i can promise you that things will be different in 2020.
president trump has affected a major change in u.s. stance in the world, and the constitution gives the president great power in that area. i can pretty much promise you that the democratic presidential nominee will take the president up on some of these changes. >> and things like immigration are both domestic an foreign policy issues. >> and trade as well. >> and trade as well. >> we did see that play a role in some individual races. >> a little bit. i think, you know, trade is the most interesting thing to watch because we haven't yet seen the full effect of some of the trade policy on individual businesses. i mean, the soybean farmers in south dakota, we've seen those pictures. they've got mountains of soybeans going nowhere. i think it was early for this election.
>> okay. >> yes. there's not -- oh, there's right there. with the yellow scarf. >> susan irving. i wanted to get back to the voter access issue and -- because, of course, it's not just georgia or the redistricting in north carolina but also the creative approach north dakota took on requiring street addresses. i ask, what, if anything, do you think the congress can do and are, in fact -- democrats and some republicans willing to pay any attention to this. this is pretty growing problem, i think. >> on disenfranchisement. >> do you want to talk about -- >> sure. i feel like you probably have thoughts on this too. this is a place where i actually see and if there's action to happen, it's going to be at the state level. you know, we haven't talked too much about the results of elections in the states around the country, but we have --
excuse me. >> she's saying that's where the problem is. >> even in some states, in north carolina, there was change in the north carolina legislature, there are states like wisconsin that elected a new democratic governor. the extent we've seen some changes at the state level in favor of the democrats, i think that will -- that has the potential to do some work in this area. i'm not terribly -- because i'm not terribly optimistic about legislative progress on much of anything in the new congress, i don't think voter access, voter suppression, is a thing that we'll see any real action out of congress on. though certainly if democrats in the house wanted to add that to the list of things they're planning on investigating that would be in their purview to do so. >> i think at the state level what we're probably going to continue to see is a divergence
between the states that are under republican control where they're concerned about losing that control in the future, a lot of moves towards voter suppression, and states under democratic control moving in the opposite direction. expanded early voting, more polling places versus conservative states which have moved in the direction of voter i.d., large purges of the voter registration rules, fairly serious error rates, and also closing early voting, making it harder to register and so i think -- we have 23 states since 2010 have put in place some new relatively serious voter restrictions. then about 12 states that have done automatic voter registration. we will see the die verbalens at the state level -- divergence at the state level. >> can i interject there's a new
aspect of voter suppression that we don't really talk about. we saw it in 2016 with russian interference in the 2016 election. it is clearly proven that they targeted two groups. they targeted african-americans and they targeted bernie sanders voters with barrages of messages designed to suppress the vote and designed to say the two candidates are exactly alike, designed to say that, you know, the spew out all the false stuff about hillary clinton, fake african-american groups like blackists that were russian creations and not american -- african-american voters. we've got another aspect here. while i don't at all, you know, feel that we should ignore the more traditional ones, i think we've got a new -- i think there's a new avenue opening up
here in voter suppression and that is through -- >> external cyber -- >> external, it's cyber, it will eventually be artificial intelligence. as the artificial intelligence gets so good that you can take a candidate and send out a videotape of the candidate saying something -- >> deep fake. >> deep fake already exists. >> it's going to get good and cheap. >> yeah. >> and then i think we're just in real trouble. i think as bad as the voter suppression is now, i think it's only going to get worse unless we can get a handle on the cyber aspect of it. >> right. is there any member of the press who wants to get their question? okay. yes. please identify yourself and your outlet. >> hi, my name is [ inaudible ] from the [ inaudible ] newspaper in finland. i wanted to ask a question about the house oversight fight that you predict will come next year.
what will happen if the house democrats want to see, for example, donald trump's tax returns and he refuses to cooperate? i mean, are the rules clear what will happen? will we really see the tax returns or not? >> good. and then one other press question in the back there that i saw, the man in the red shirt, and we'll combine them. >> dave katros. my question is, i did not see as much as i had in 2016 the anti-government deep state, that type of emphasis. it was mentioned but did not seem to be as important. i was just wondering what your takes are and given that, do you think that some of the things like government reorganization actually might be able to escape some of the political traps you've been talking about and maybe some work can be done there. >> thank you. so who who like to address the question first about oversight and where it goes? >> i will take the tax returns question, to the extent that i can, which is just to say that
it wouldn't surprise me if we end up in some sort of litigation between the president and congress on this. frankly it wouldn't surprise me if we end up in litigation between the president and congress on any number of things. we have clear signals from the perspective incoming chair of the house ways and means committee, ritchie neal, this is a thing they intend to do. it's clearly on their -- on the democrats' agenda. i think that they're sufficiently committed to the idea of accessing the tax returns as kind of a clear oversight product if that makes sense. it's clear to americans what we're talking about when we say congress is going to do oversight that involves getting trump's tax returns. americans understand what that is. that's not -- vanessa knows more about how americans think about
taxes than anyone. that's not necessarily the case with other kinds of oversight than we get into kind of explaining, you know, these documents and it gets confusing for just the average person paying attention to politics. i think democrats are committed and i expect them to pursue it aggressively and that may involve litigation. >> does anyone have a question about less of an anti-government, anti-state message, and how that might play out? >> i think it was interesting to that question, how the nationalist themes sort of pushed the anti-government themes off the page in this campaign. so much of what was happening out there had to do with who we are as a nation, not letting the immigrants in, not having people who don't look like us in. the characterization of the caravan as an invasion. it seemed to me that those themes took over the
anti-government theme and i suspect we're -- as long as trump's president, we're going to see that for while. trump, you can see, he's changing the conversation of the republican party. you know, as we talked earlier about entitlements, i think he's changing it on the government as well. >> quickly, yes. >> yeah. this underscores the broader point that limited government conservatism is one thing and nationalist populism is a very different things. nationalist populists are frequently not in favor of smaller government, but a government that does things that previous conceptions of big government didn't do and vice versa. entitlements is one example of that, but there are lots of others, including the fact that
this president is willing, in effect, to deploy up to 15,000 troops to our southern border. that doesn't sound like small government to me. >> that's right. we're going to take a lightning round of questions. this gentleman here first. >> thanks very much. i'm garret mitchell. i write the mitchell report. i want to ask a kind of mad libs question. there were four sets of elections on tuesday. the senate, the house, governors and state legislature. i'm interested to know how the panel feels about the relative importance of those, first as it affects 2020 and then a slightly longer term? >> okay. and a second question, here this gentleman with the beard. >> thank you. we started this morning talking about the fact that we're looking -- some of us have been thinking about this election
since 2016. now it's time to think about 2020. president trump yesterday mentioned that if the democrats try and investigate too much, it's going to fire up his base and going to be good for him. how much do you think they'll temper that with expectations and hopes for 2020? >> okay. >> all right. and we have -- so there's so many people. okay. let's take the last question over here from this side of the room. john roth. the question about money, i thought there were record amounts contributed this cycle. i think the tax reform bill was more about campaign contributions than it was about voting. any observations about the role of money? >> okay. great. who with like to take gary mitchell's question? >> bill, go. i'll take that one and dispose of it as fast as i can. let me just take a piece of it.
what happened at the gubernatorial level was important for a number of reasons, the obvious ones, but in addition, governors are very important part of the reapportionment process. if the government says no to a map, that map doesn't go anywhere. when you couple that with the fact that democrats made significant, though not monumental gains, on the state legislative front and there are more states under unified control now than there were before the election, that's further piece of evidence that that really matters for reapportionment. secondly, governors really make a difference in presidential elections. if you have the governors team and the governors network on your side as democrats now will in the upper midwest, that could be a game changer particularly in states that were decided by
narrow margins. >> okay. who would like to take the question on should democrats be tempering expectations for 2020? >> i'll take that. let me say, garret, i have worked in several presidential campaigns. give me a governor on my side. you want governors. they're important. i don't know how to answer the question of democrats tempering expectations. the reason is, we don't know what might come out in the mueller report and we don't know how the population will react to it. there's a lot of unknowns here. you know, if the mueller report says, look, donald trump didn't talk to vladimir putin in the course of the campaign, but, you know, he got a lot of russian money over the years, you know, people -- the people may not care. right. it may have no difference at
all. on the other hand, if we have something akin to the smoking gun from watergate years, which many of us can remember in this room, then it's a different story. i think it's very difficult for democrats to do anything but pthsput their nose to the grind stones, do the investigations that make sense to do. i have pubically said in brookings writings here that i think tom steyer has done a terrible disservice to the democratic party by turning impeachment into a political issue. it's a much more serious issue that -- than should be one that's between the parties. inning that the tom steyers of the world would be well advised to shut up on this issue and just let the legislative process take its -- take its course naturally, as well as the mueller process. then, you know, we'll know.
we'll know when we see it, whether this is something that is really horribly serious or whether we've elected a guy who has a murky past and maybe impeachment is not worth the trouble for the democrats. >> the tom steyer is a good segue into the last question, the role of money in politics and whether it's getting -- more than it ever has been and where we go interest here. >> sure. what i will say on money, there was a lot of it. to me the most important or one important story line at this point is the way that fundraising by democratic congressional candidates helped democrats take advantage of favorable national conditions. something that democrats -- part of how democrats were able to pick up what we're expecting to be about 35 seats is by recruiting good candidates to run in districts and then making sure they had the money they needed to win.
in the third quarter, for example, there were 91 republican incumbents in the house who were out raised by their democratic challenger. that's a big number. again, for me the biggest story line on the match-up side was the way that democrats fundraising efforts meant that they were well positioned to take advantage of what was generally a good election for them. >> if i can jump in on that. i wrote a report on why the republicans prioritize the jobs cuts and act and the plausible explanation was the campaign financing reason. it wasn't popular with voters and wasn't going to stimulate the economy much going into a midterm year. i think that this question of money, i think molly has it right money in the campaign finance challenge matters most. you have to get your name out there and build that first bit of money to get yourself a
respected candidate. >> having money like beto o'rourke didn't bring him over the finish line. >> that's the point. it's necessary but not sufficient to get the job done. >> though, the money that went into that texas senate race did help o'rourke engage in a massive active democrat party building in the state of texas that we shouldn't dismiss because he did not win the race. >> yeah. >> the number of just -- how close he got and there are several democratic new members of the -- >> yeah. he swept in some democrat members of congress which is amazing. >> other things lower down in texas. i think that just because he didn't win we don't want to dismiss the role of his fundraising operation or his campaign activity in t. >> you have one minute to answer my last question, i think you wrote that trump overtly sunday something like 57 candidates. is that right? how did they do?
that is a referendum on whether this is a referendum on trump or not. >> he didn't do particularly well. it's in all the data and the charts in the brookings website today. i draw your attention to that. he didn't do particularly well. the guy is not magic. obama and biden did about the same, slightly better. >> which is about how many in this case of the 57 -- >> you're going to ask me to look at the paper. let he just -- here we go. i've got it -- i did bring it right here. let's see. trump endorsed about 80 candidates and about 20 some won. mike pence endorsed about 60. about 30 won. barack obama endorsed about the same as trump and did slightly better, about 40 won. again, democrats were winning. biden endorsed slightly under 60
and about 35 won. bernie -- >> biden did better than pence? >> yes. >> and obama did better than trump? >> yeah. but i was a democratic year so you expect that. bernie sanders endorsed slightly over 20 and slightly under 20 won. he was endorsing -- the other thing we do in this paper is a little complicated to explain here, but sanders was endorsing in mostly highly democratic districts and trump was constrained to mostly republican districts. >> only won one in four of the 80 he endorsed. >> it was pence, obama, and biden who were in the truly swing districts. trump was not used in the swing districts. >> i'm surprised he did so badly in the republican districts. >> he was running -- yeah. >> that's pretty bad.
>> about one fourth. he does a little better among the candidates in the republican districts that he campaigned for. we break it out by the ones he endorsed and one hess campaigned for. but basically -- >> that's a bad, failing grade. >> listen, we found this in our primaries research too. 50% of the republican congressional candidates did not mention donald trump. >> wow. >> in their websites that's in a primary where they're appealing to republican voters. as i've been writing all spring, the story line that tends to be prevalent that this is donald trump's republican party, i think is a little bit overstated. i think there's republicans who kind of distance themselves because after all, you never know what the guy is going to say or do. it was -- and in this year with the sort of anticipation of a democratic wave, candidates were behaving smartly and trump was
really relegated to his base in the same way that bernie sanders was relegated to his base. >> all right. please join me in thanking all of these experts for an excellent panel. i really feel like i know a lot more than i did an hour and a half ago. i'm sure you do too. thank you. the midterm election of 2018 changed the balance of power in congress with democrats taking control of the house and republicans holding the majority in the senate. members prepare for the new congress in january.
new congress, new leaders, watch the process unfold on c-span. join us this weekend for live coverage of the miami book fair starting saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern with journalist michael iscough and david corn. at noon an interview with supreme court justice sonia sotomayor on her path to the high court with her book "turning pages." at 1:00 p.m. eastern, trump 2020 campaign media advisory board member gina louden discusses "mad politics." at 3:45 p.m., national review columnist jonah goldburg with his book "suicide of the west." on sunday our live coverage continues at 10:30 a.m. eastern with alan dershowitz discussing, "the case against impeaching trump." at 11:15 a.m., guardian columnist alyssa court on "the
middle class." politics editor chris steyer discusses his book, "every man a king." at 6:00 p.m. former secretary of state john kerry with "every day is extra." watch the miami book fair, live this weekend on c-span 2's book tv. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c., and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite