tv Midterm Elections and Public Opinion CSPAN November 1, 2014 11:19pm-12:50am EDT
>> if you look at the defense of marriage act into the legislative history it is consistent with i think a really bad part of the american history. it was an act based on fear and stereotyping and discrimination it was on that basis we made the -- it seems to me that this whole question of marriage equality is part of a larger piece. i think it is a civil rights struggle of our time what are we going to do for our brothers and sisters and a quality is a part of that but there are also ways in which we have to help that community be treated more fairly and more generally. >> what do you say to the folks in the african-american community that might not like the fact that you and others including the president say that presidency that this is the civil rights issue of our time? >> it is. the country is always trying to
become better and in the way that we try to identify those places that we see the discrimination with regard to african-americans history of slavery and discrimination. we saw gender inequality and we continue to see it and i think that dealing with these issues in the community is simply a continuation on that process that we have been engaged in. >> i have some questions since we are down to less than four minutes. the last movie that you saw either in the movies, on television -- -- >> i agree watched the godfather of the greatest of all time from my last trip to los angeles. the most played song on your ipod.
>> since i lost my baby and the temptations. >> who would you want to play you in the movie? there's only one person, then denzell. [applause] want to meet and why. ? ? >> pope francis. changes as he has been , there is a lot more we will see from this pope. >> what is your guilty pleasure? >> i like to binge watch not too
serious television, boardwalk empire, homeland. >> that anticipated my next question. homeland, scandal, house of cards. >> depending on the administration, house of cards. [laughter] [applause] there was a pretty bad vice president in the house of cards. . like joe biden i'm not talking about him. seriesinal question is a one. what do you want to be remembered for? >> as a person who tried to make the country better. use the power of his office to raise issues that too often were
not addressed. ultimately, move the country in a direction that it should always move. a country that i left a little bit more fair. make sure that all people are treated equally. >> i lie. i have another question. what is the one decision you made that you wish you could do over again? i think about the subpoena to the fox reporter. that i could have been a little bit more careful and looking at the language contained in the filing we made with the court. which i think in that could have been done better.
that is one of the reasons why i thought the criticism we received was something we had to act upon. do you think you are still going to be in the job six months are now? you will leave when your successor has been confirmed. >> there will be a nomination shortly after the election. my hope is that the senate will take up that nomination in the same way that mine was so that by early february we will have a new attorney general. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> next, a discussion on the impact of next tuesday's election on congress. for ben funeral bradley. after that, a session on state
voting procedures and the impact on voter turnout. on the next washington journal, a journalist around table on what campaigns need to do in the final days before the election. we will talk with abby livingston and paul singer of usa today. calls and youour talles can join our conversation. >> the 2015 student can video competition is underway. it is open to all middle school and high school students. the three branches and you, showing how our policies, law, or action about the legislative, judicial, or executive branches
affected you or your community. prizes totaling $100,000. for a list of roles go to student cam.org. >> thursday, the bipartisan policy center held a discussion on the midterm elections. they outline the possible given current polling. this is 90 minutes. >> good morning. i am a senior fellow here. myike to recognize
colleagues. jim jones, former ambassador to mexico. martin just gave me this book called "the partisan divide." it is going to be published soon. i'm giving him a plug there. i want to thank everybody for coming this morning. the purpose is to elect a government that is supposed to do right for the people. we auto consider how this is going to govern the impact of america. here foren a big issue
the past two years. we have had a commission on political reform. we have a lot of recommendations on how to get the country back on track. those are available online. we have three excellent panelists today. they are on tv frequently. experience decade of analyzing elections and politics in washington. they are here to talk about what they think is going to happen next week. and how they think the results will shape the next two years of governing in this country. before handing off the microphone, i can't resist weighing in on the kansas races. they are near and dear to my heart. sometimes we in kansas get a little paranoid.
kansas voting patterns trend republican. they lean republican. i was a victim of that myself. in 19 78th a that democratic speaker of the house defeated a republican and combatant. -- incumbent. matter what happens in november, whichever party wins these races, i am hopeful that this can be positive. senator dall is one of the founders here. . legend of american politics he told me that elections are therapeutic.
hisink he was referring to closely run race in 1974. senator dall one by 1%. the closest political race and country. spent about $1 million total in that senate race. today, i don't know if $1 million would have bought him much advertising. senator dole never gave up on his values. he did embody a more inclusive approach to the kansas elections. he is the senator for every kansas citizen. a lesson for people on
both sides of the aisle. way to try toe a bring people together, rather than divide. no matter how the elections turn out, lets hope that all the winners all over the country can follow senator dole's bipartisan lead. i turned to the director of our democracy project. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you, dan. wondering if you were going to go with those twine and well metaphors. we have a great panel to talk about the midterm elections. talk about the polarization in our electorate. each of us will speak for about 10 minutes. we will have some discussion. we will open it up to your questions.
we will look at some of the current races and longer trends. our guest have worked with us on a series of polls. we will probably hear a little bit more from them on that. let me introduce our panelists. the founder of north star opinion research. clients.d numerous is amy walterists , national editor for the political report. she was the political director at abc news. commentators on the election races. mehlman, our
partner in several polls that we have run. he is founder and president of the mehlman group. it is a great panel. let me begin. i will say a few words. i will go right down the line. where are we going in this election? there is a republican direction to this election. how large is the question. why is there a republican direction? what are the macro factors. they almost always lose some seats in congress. midterm elections are more republican in terms of their composition. people can sometimes overstate that.
third, the president's approval rating. it does affect these elections. the president has said he is on the ballot. republicans are trying to portray him that way. ratingsident's approval have been in the low 40% range throughout the year. finally, republicans are playing on some good turf. they have a lot more seats available to pickup. more democrats are holding the seats. they focus their attention on the 16th they are competing on. there are not so many seeds like this today. seats like this today. if they win them, there is a
body of other seeds -- seats. they have likely wins in six places. aside from that, there are six other raises to watch. two swing states. inre republicans are leading the polls. in iowa and colorado. two states where they are republican leaning states. closed.s are that is in kansas and georgia. north carolina and new hampshire , where the states are leaning a little democratic. they are swing states. they are close within the margin. ,f republicans win two of those they will get the majority. there is a likelihood that the republicans will move to the majority. house -- the
direction is in the republican direction. the number of republican seats out there is small. the gains of a modest amount are likely. we have a really interesting race. a good republican trend, but many seats held by republicans are close races. some places where republicans might win in democratic states. or democrats might win in republican leaning states, like kansas. what i will finally say about polarization is this. everybody will take this on in a different way. one way of looking at congress and what is happening is to take about how members of congress are able to represent their seats sometimes against their party. i am mentioned the six seats in
the democrats holding very republican seats. 1992, there were many seats in held by that were democrats where republican presidents would win overwhelmingly. seats thatover 90 the democrats could hope to defeat. tos district is not going vote for the democratic nominee nationally. i can hold it. that number was a large number. smaller buthad a substantial number, 15 or so seats. those numbers have come down dramatically. today, we have about five seats on the democratic side in the house, some of whom are retiring. they are like that. one on the democratic side. i think we'll see some of that trend continue. if those six seats we are the ones int, montana, alaska, arkansas, -- ifana, west virginia
they turned republican, we will be left with a few seats left that are like that. jon tester in montana. you have heidi heitkamp in north dakota. susan collins will win reelection. that is a state that is democratic. she is republican. senate.raction of the those members of the senate were the most moderate. if you think about a member from a swing district, not necessarily much different than an average member and congress. those seats are where you find a democrat representing a republican seat, republican representing a democratic seat. we will see some sort of trend, at least in the senate, that we have been seeing over the last 30 years towards more separation and less party voting.
the real republican seats represented by republicans. the real democratic seats represented by democrats. you will tell us what you think about the races. >> thank you. thank you to the policy center for putting this on and for inviting us. we have really enjoyed working with you. some of the work marked and i have done together is interesting stuff. i would encourage you to go on the website and take a look. it is also a real privilege to share the podium with the other two guests. season of overwrought political analysis, these two are voices of reason. the very best in their fields. it is a real privilege to be on the podium with both of you. has done a great job of sketching the broader environment and discussing why this looks like a republican year. those of us who are in the polling business have seen this
or coming for a long time. we are constantly on the lookout for a way -- wave. how big is the wave? or has not been a lot of hard evidence in the polling in these very states up to this point of the big wave coming. it is like a muggy summer day. you know that under storms could develop, even if they're not on the radar. constantlybeen scanning the radar, but within the last week to 10 days, we started to pick up some of the thunderstorms developing. first of all, waves tend to break late. bill was up by four percentage points. that was a week before the election. we were polling to the weekend.
by seven.y, he was up on saturday, he was up by nine. the following tuesday, he beat an incumbent democratic senator by 14 percentage points gained 10 points in the last week. and let your polling to the weekend, you would miss that. we are starting to see that hence now as we said here. the thursday before the election . a building republican wave. like what? washington post just came out with a poll that showed the generic preference for republicans at six points. withews came out with one a generic preference for republicans at a points. the wall street journal had a generic preference for 11 points. pollsame washington post in the nine most competitive senate seats had a generic preference for republicans of 18 points.
to 39. the generic preference for republicans in 2010 was about four. isput that in context, there a real sense in the generic balance. you are starting to see republicans favored now on a lot of the bigger issues where they had not been a few weeks ago, economy, national security. you're starting to see and states where the democrat senate candidate have led, like new hampshire and north carolina, a narrowing of those leads. in states where republicans have , you are starting to see an expansion of the republican leads. we are still almost one week away from the election. it is fair to say that we are starting to see the evidence of a wave. if you follow the polling through the weekend, you will be able to a sense of how big that
wave is likely to be. i agree with john. i think the republicans are very likely to take up the three that are pretty well in the bank, west virginia, south dakota, and montana. i think the republicans are likely to do very well. they will do well in alaska, arkansas, louisiana. there will probably be a runoff in louisiana. we will not know until december 6. if they are in a runoff on december 6, the odds favor cassidy in that kind of race. iowa and colorado are two of those swing states where if the wave comes in, it's going to be enough to carry ernst m gardner. we talked about the larger forces in john's presentation. the shorter-term forces, the quality of candidates, matters an incredible amount. the fact is that joni ernst and gardner are far superior
candidates to some we have nominated in recent years. theget a combination of larger forces, the broader environment, coupled with better candidates. you have the makings of a significant wave. secretary glickman state, which is curious. every election. every time i think i have this game figured out, something happens to persuade me that i still have a lot to learn. this year ishing can this. if you had told me that an incumbent republican governor and a republican senator were both being in tightknit and talk elections for kansas, i would've told you you are nuts. he real are. -- here we are. we are learning. in the house, i think the best
bet is probably upper single-digit gains for republicans. again, if this wave comes in and couldn'tstantial, it sleep republicans into the largest number of republican seats that they have had in almost a century. they need 12 to match their previous high. that is within reach given the current climate. right,uming that we are that republicans take control of the senate, although it may be december 6 with the reader easy and a runoff. or maybe even january 6 before we know sure. what is this mean? the certain extent i think outlook depends on the president. in 1994, bill clinton lost control of the congress. he said i need to recalibrate. he figured out how to work with some of the republicans in the house.
that was in 1995 and 1996. he got some of his greatest accomplishments. well for reform bring one of the greatest. this president has shown substantially less inclination or ability than bill clinton to work with the opposing party. this president has shown less inclination and ability to work with members of his own party, if the truth be known. model of bill the clinton in 1995 and 1996. it can happen. just issue one warning when it comes to polarization. the is one question from survey that mark and i did on polarization for btc in february of 2013. i will have to give credit where credit is due. this is a mellman stroke of genius. about education policy. we did a split sample. the first half of the sample
with said to improve education, proposed reducing class sizes and making sure schools teach the basics. republicans have proposed increasing teacher pay and making it easier to fire bad teachers. whose land you like better? republicans love the republican plan. overwhelmingly. democrats love the democratic plan, it's 75 to 17, overwhelmingly. the second half of the sample, we reverse the plans. now the republicans propose reducing class sizes in our schools and making sure schools teach. the democrats have proposed increasing teacher pay all making it easier to fire bad teachers. whose land you like? republicans love the republican plan. 70 to 10. democrats love the democratic plan. eta 12. 80 212.
the substance of the plan was irrelevant. all you had to know was this is the republican plan. everybody goes to their corners and says let support our plan. things happening. this time next week. it helps to keep this in mind. >> wow. [applause] >> thank you. curiou.n message he is look at the time. this guy knows his audience. it is brilliant. at coordinates brilliantly with the background. i did not get the memo. you.ank i am happy to be here.
out from the days election. i don't disagree with anything that has been said before. in fact, i too am much more interested in what happens after the election. though election night is christmas. i have been staring at these boxes that have been wrapped now with a big bow on them. i have been shaking the iowa senate one. an "r"?or does this look like a 1995 were both sides recognized where we can't get much done without the other one. lets figure out a way to move forward. or were going to be trapped in the same situation we are in currently.
which point about the ,ubstance versus the candidate he is right on. the idea that all politics is local seems to be a aphorism of the long-ago times. who live in us , we have a d.c. county board election. what i'm getting from the candidates -- this is a county board. i want them to worry about my schools, roads. they're giving me positions on -- youre, gay marriage, don't have anything to do with abortion people. i just want to make sure that the streets are paved in the schools funded. -- can't possibly vote especially in arlington.
vote for collision -- and i'm ok with gay marriage. he can't possibly good as an independent. we can't trust him on these other issues. i think we are trapped in that cycle. the other thing that i will note is that watching politics since 1994, the bad news about back-to-back wave elections is that when we talk about what bill clinton was able to do in 95. he was able to do it because there were moderates in the house and the senate. there were people -- republicans in new england, democrats in the south. togethered to work because they knew it was in the best political interests. there are zero republicans in new england in the house.
i say this to both sides. democrats won in 2006 by turning every republican, including the moderate middle republicans, into a character to of george bush and all the badness and frustration that voters had about republicans. 2010, every democrat washed out by that wave. and every republican turned democrat into a caricature of obama. there is not much to work with when it comes to talking about the middle. is thatm interested in to me this is really a tipping point for the republican party in this next election. i do think that we have to talk about how do the two sides work
together. me to be a debate remaining within the republican party about who they want to be and what their agenda is. aboutave been successful making the case against barack obama and how terrible he is there has never been a positive case made for the republican party. that was a big factor in 2012. i don't think the romney campaign ever made the case for why he should be elected as to the president should be fired. that the leadership on the republican side once to get something done. kevin mccarthy talking about how there will be cooperation. mitch mcconnell talking about regular rules, regular order.
this is not going to be a harry reid senate. is going to be a more collaborative process. mccarthy saying we will work with both branches, the house and the senate. we will together and focus on an agenda. that sounds fantastic. backets peel the layers and look at who the people are in congress who have to agree to this. this, there are three charts i put together in a coma did a few weeks ago that i think highlight how difficult this will be a republicans to bring the party together. the brookings institute has done a great job looking at primaries this year. what they found is that if you go back to 2004, primaries are getting more competitive, which is not surprising considering that house races themselves are getting less competitive at the
general election level. aty become were competitive the primary level. as the margins have narrowed between what an income it gets yearr challenger, in a where we heard from mainstream media that all of those who were in danger survive. eric cantor was the one casualty. you look at that trend line about the margins between the , itlenger and the incumbent is only on the democratic side where that margin expanded in 2014. on the republican side, that margin continue to narrow. line, ite that trend does not the you much good to get on the wrong side of the base. there is still a very big -- ifn that you will be
not lose, you will have to work hard to keep a primary. what do americans want out of the new congress? we want more cooperation. we don't want people going in with pitchforks and torches and taking the place down. u.s. republican specifically, do you want to see cooperation? in the washington post poll, they asked it if they want to work in a bipartisan manner as opposed to sticking to your positions. 60% of republicans say stick to your positions. tea party, only 30% want compromise. this is not a group of voters that says i want to see a republican leadership that goes out and works with the president . that is problematic. finally, the number who answered when asked if they have a vision
for the country. they don't think either has a vision for moving forward. even among republicans, when asked about the vision, 40% of republicans think that republicans have the vision for the country. that is a very problematic place for the republican party to be right now. the bestrgue that option for the republicans is that they don't have a good night. isn every party does, it human nature, when they come out of a big victory, they take it as a mandate, and they take it as a sign that everything that you have done is right and everything that people like us is talking about is wrong. we don't need to compromise but we don't need to change. we picked up 12 seats in the house. we are doing everything right. one that is not
going to benefit republicans in 2016. looking like a party that can govern. looking at a party that has a message. that is a much eager challenge for the republican party right now. they fix that, then it is time to start talking about how you compromise with the white house. , you want to give us your take on the world? >> thank you. everything has been set, but not everyone has said it. the southern gentleman praised everyone individually. i will say, ditto. i'm not a southern gentleman. everyone is wonderful. i'm delighted to be here. but to talk about the election
i don't think it is all over. i am still fighting so i will talk about the election for a couple of minutes, then talk about the future implications. there are three of four factors that are largely central but are are underlined. the first is a mid term that is the most single fact about the election they are not kind to the power party in the white house only three times since 1862 has not lost in the house and those are extraordinary times. in 2002 the country was still in the grips of 9/11. 1998 the republicans bill clinton and in 1934 the country was coming at a real depression so these are unique
circumstances. we don't have anything that significant going on by any stretch of the imagination besides ebola so this is a mid term and the party in power loses seats, on average 30 seats in the house. in terms of democratic losses. in the senate it is not nothing so the fact to read some of that commentary that thinks that it did not have a history that democrats will lose some seats but it is just history and presidential approval is
important. it may be the better they do the less well they do. president obama is currently 42% plus or minus putting them above george bush's standing in 2006 and slightly above ronald reagan in 1982 and far below where clinton was with 65 percent and bush at 68%. dramatically different but the reality is this president's approval rating is not so hot. why? the economy is recovering. people notice consumer confidence in the most recent
reports is at a seven year high but the reality is they're not in sync with the a economy and then with all the foreign policy chaos with those economic improvements. fair or not people believe the president should control as well as war in other countries but right or wrong they will the president responsible. that affects as well, but with a growing correlation with us congressional senate and at the
gubernatorial level is very hard for a democrat for red state or republican to win the blue state there is a much tighter coordination, but that made many of the seats that we are defending our incumbents in those red states but those that are in danger are the democrats because of this increasing in changing correlation. but the reality is the math is the greatest enemy this year because of 2016 we have blue state republicans who are up for reelection.
with the for democrats this year but it does change in 2016 but we are defending a lot more seats than republicans and that matters a lot. there is one wild card that is party images, and people don't like congress or democrats the truth is the republican party image is at a low point historically. no major party has ever been as as unpopular as today. how will that affect the election? but we don't know exactly how. it helps us at some level.
and with the 47 seats that they have to win to keep control of the senate. but if they win and there is a good chance. but georgia and alaska, iowa, colorado louisiana kentucky only three of those need to go to the democrats in order to keep control. every one of these democrats has a path to victory and it is very narrow and the likelihood that all of those democrats will potentially navigate the path to the end to be achieved that is at least for the moment still being a little uncertain yet
what will happen exactly but the reasons underlying with the discussion of the future and the role the polarization but the reality is once upon a time politics was local but today it is all partisan. that is a fundamental fact of life and the question that makes it very clear the policy is less important than the label. there is greater people talking about partisanship today in the past. only one recent survey settled only 9% was the culmination democrat and republican.
can you imagine? race, sex, gender, only 9%? so the reality is with the tremendous social distance that they vote consistently in the same way. moreover that ther are no permanent friends then could enemies with shifting coalitions that is not true anymore by now every single issue in the same people lining up again. then you go deeper and deeper and deeper. that is the political reality
just to say people are voting democrats or republicans and that is creating a partisan divide that is real and substantial and encourages and engenders the antipathy that makes it very difficult to cooperate in any meaningful way. >> we have time to talk among ourselves, but you are a proponent. give us an example of a race that you are watching that is in play but it would be indicative of the republican direction but then take on a mes point that maybe republicans would be better off with a small victory? may be a larger one than we expect?
what would we see from the atmosphere out of that? >> one state to keep an eye on is new hampshire with the general assumption is that gene will coast into reelection but the numbers are getting closer and closer. if scott brown wins it is a pretty good indication of the wave. i'll take up the challenge. thinking 1994 house the feels close but they all fall the same direction, and if we have that situation next tuesday with a lot of senate seats by one and
two points that all the same direction that is a pretty good definition of a wave. i happen to think the more republicans in the senate and the house the better. i can tell you there is enormous frustration for the lack of debates and the inability there is a pent-up demand on our side for the senate to function as a deliberative body as it is supposed to. within the republican caucus there will be enormous pressure
to be more deliberate than it has been but i am hopeful more than 51 seats to what it never ends up being that it will the the the republican caucus to adjust the way the senate has been run to be the body it's supposed to be. >> i have two points. looking to history, the closest races as a tossup going into the election this has happened to the point, the average 80% to go one way or the other not 50/50.
68% on one side. in one case it was 70%. it would not be this way and then that went that way colorado this way but it really gives the good sense it is true they can stay close to the end but the other point is a good one that how the senate is run. coming out yesterday or the other day with a chart how many
times one side or the other voting with every single campaign and had with 96 percent with the president and the irony of that democrats put themselves in that position by saying we will not vote on anything unless we have consent among democrats, not embarrass the white house to protect my vulnerable democratic incumbents, but in doing so none of them could show distance from the white house to vote on pieces of legislation to offer amendments. if i was a republican in control knowing i have pennsylvania and
new hampshire and ohio, i would try to find as many opportunities to give them a chance. it may not be popular, but it would be at home. >> and let's be honest that some points in the past it is all about the partisanship. message amendment votes. it's not to improve legislation, it's designed to put them in the hot seat that is a republican majority to say i will not force them to vote on the democrats to force us on the record.
that is what unfolds. it is about partisan competition and republicans understand 2016 will be a better year, but they are looking to control the process. the reality is that will move on whoever is a majority to greater levels of control and less freewheeling debate. that happens with no permanent friends or permanent enemies. that makes it very difficult to run the institution. >> first of all, i will give you a chance.
but to make the point about the primary challenges. the common story is there are not a lot of knocking off those incumbents, but significant challenges are pretty close you want to elaborate on the future? >> but this is where pat roberts is a great example to win the battle that i have to win a primary and to do that i need to move to the right with the clever with the white house then set up perfectly very far
right controlling the republican party, feeling very frustrated with that weighing of the party it is not so much to elect a democrat or republican but what kind of republican do we want to elect? by moving so far over to the right he set up a great argument to say he is not who you think he is. to take chances off the table it would be better to have a candidate. does pat toomey although he is leader of that teapartier challenger
it would be a tough race even new hampshire for portman and in the presidential turnout that is something to watch for. but i do think in some point with that moment where we have hit rock bottom and we have to let themselves keep dropping to be a national party and democrats had that moment we will define and we will continue to hold congress as a good regional party late think that is where republicans find themselves now that is enough for control of congress but if
you win 270 electoral votes you have to win north carolina and virginia and florida and ohio right now we don't see the brand getting any better in the day after the election to say all i am sorry we are wrong. they have to figure that out. but there are two kinds of people there want to know who will win or lose, then people
like me better commentating to write a column the next day i want it it to be over. is not like extra innings. no, no, no. i have to be up all night to be awake and alive. [laughter] this would not be great if north carolina and new hampshire rather polls closed early if either goes republican and i to be pretty confident to start my column as republicans go to the majority in the senate blah, blah, blah. if mark's scenario was corrected
there is not wave building and they break the way they sit is as light at a disadvantage to the democrats that i have two's stay up all night. alaska does not even close until 1:00 in the morning our time. [laughter] then the territory to bring the ballots down. >> with that dilemma facing the republicans 2016, i don't underestimate the challenge that amy lays out at all. enough and a number of us can remember the republican from the electoral college when we would talk about the 1980's when it would just be impossible for the democrats to put together an electoral college majority because the republicans had such a lock. along comes bill clinton i
end welfare redefines the party then all of a sudden they moved into the white house eight years no party has a firm lot on anything. that is a lesson that history teaches because eventually the losing party gets sick of losing. and they make the changes necessary to become more competitive. i am convinced the republican party is one good presidential nominee and one presidential election away from resurrection. it just has to be the right nominee and the right message. look at how quickly the democrats turned this around you have to assume that no party has a lock on the white house over a long period of time. >> and to take this on before i get to that talk about the republican primaries but not so
much, they're not so many democratic primaries but few were red state democrats why don't we see that? what are your thoughts on that? >> with democrats in the white house you all are the blue jerseys but then when we lose everything he does makes me crazy. that is just like life in general. it is easier to be frustrated it is one piece of it that this is much more homogenous whether focused on the democratic side
is not that there are not big gaps like a marriage or abortion or contraception you pretty much had unity even on the economic message with the blue dogs on trade and those issues but for the most part with a cohesive agenda. a lot exception being like in georgia or in salt lake city, utah, they were in the minority. i know there was frustration because they would not get both on the things they wanted to. folks, they are no longer
part of the coalition. >> you are portraying the smaller wave, the not so big victory. let's say this election does not go as far in the republican direction as we think or maybe the republicans do not take the senate, what is the atmosphere going to be like in the climate for governor? right about the primaries on the democratic side. what i think is important as both the fact we are winning and we are not living by ideological divisions. second, i just want to make a correction. am not going to say there is not going to be a republican way. i'm just not sure how we define that. we defined it as all the races breaking one way the year at -- one way or the other, what amy said is there is always a way.
again, we need to be clear about that. the third point i want to make and i agree with wit, there are no permanent locks on anything. let me give you another stylized fact of american history. in the 20th century, and so far the 21st century, there has only been one time -- i'm sorry, since world war ii there is only been one time when a presidential party seeking a third-party term has won and that was george bush after two there is a natural inclination towards change in the country so two terms of democrats which we've had makes it a realistic possibility for a republican to twin presidency in 2016, not saying it's going to happen. i think it probably won't thanks in part to the strength of our
candidate and the weakness of theirs. ut it's not crazy. >> there will be a president who will block the republicans if they happen to succeed in undoing what he's doing. and there is not going to be only modest areas of agreement in those areas where agreement can be found we'll have progress. let me make a final point on this that has to do with the republican side. it has to do with that education question we talked about. part of this tells us is people are highly partisan. it tells us people are e
normously sense toif cues from leaders. just as president obama stood up and said i'm for same sex arriage. >> if a president stands up and says i'm going to make these changes in our party platform, the republican base will follow. that's the real question is does somebody have the durege take those stands on the republican side and move the party. if they do, they have a chance of being more competitive. if nobody is willing to take on the base and suffer the potential consequences, i think it's going to be harder for them. >> we're going to turn to you and have mics going around the room. wait for the mic and identify yourself and keep it a question.
i think we'll -- are the mics and the? i will identify martin frost. >> via the 64,000-dollar question for witt and this goes to the possibility of bipartisan agreement. is the republican party capable of getting immigration reform because in order to have a real shot at the presidency they probably have got to have -- they have got to do somewhat better among hispanics than i have done previously. whenever anyone on the republican side suggests that they might consider immigration reform their right-wing base cl's amnesty and everybody
disappears so can the republican party operated under bipartisan basis on this issue? >> the short answer is yes. it's going to take real leadership but we so real leadership in the four senators to join the gang of eight in the senate and produced a bill that got 68 votes. i think in the house you are unlikely to get a comprehensive bill but it's just as good if you get a series of individual bills that gets you to the same direction. there's an overwhelming consensus among republicans, not just entire voters but among republicans in the country that the immigration system is broken that it is a drag on our economy, that it is not serving the interests of anyone very ell. so you have an obvious problem that is linked to the number one issue which is the sluggish growth of the economy and you have hopefully enough people who are willing to put together a set of proposals that will help to make the system better. i think that's entirely possible. it's going to take some real leadership to do that. it's going to take what mark suggested i think at the
residential level somebody willing to take on that issue and articulate the case for it. but i will tell you within the republican party among republican voters there is a strong agreement that we have got broke in system and we can make it better. so i'm hopeful that will lead to a concrete result in the next congress. >> okay we are going to get the microphone and we have a question right here. >> my name is tom hill and i've worked for the national conservation association. i have a question. you all have agreed that one reason for the difficulty in bipartisanship work in the congress is the extreme partisanship that exists across the nation and i'm just curious why you think that has occurred. what were the underlying reasons for that? you didn't mention the reasons
and i'm just wondering if you have some thoughts. i have my own thoughts that i can tell you later. >> up i could just add to that question which any of you can take this but in your polling you did with us one of the questions please sought to get after it is it washington are the eople? maybe you want to highlight some of those things. >> i will just do it while he's looking and i will give you what i think is one culprit. there are multiple at one of the nationalization of the news i think is one piece of the reason we are having a nationalization of politics. this idea that all politics is ocal, you have got your news locally and then also watching
hat is happening nationally. now if you look at where people are getting their news sources is much more nationalized that it is localized. part of that is the focus of newspapers on the bigger quote unquote stories which do the big stories coming out of new york or d.c.. we don't have the boots on the ground to be able to go and spend a whole lot of time especially here in california and get digging in and doing those deep dives. we are going to get everything from where all the action is happening cheaper and that's where people are taking their cues from. as i said we are voting on a county level position where the issues are marriage and obamacare. that's a tough challenge. >> our survey addressed precisely that question or at least the americans perception of whites become more artisan.
there's overwhelming agreement that we have become more partisan in recent years. we asked whether it's because republicans have become more conservative court democrats have become more liberal or both had changed about the same. about one third of republicans think it's because democrats have become more liberal and one third of democrats think it's because republicans have become more conservative but the overwhelming answer is both parties have changed. most people think that's bad. is it a good thing because it gives voters a real choice or isn't a bad thing because division makes it harder to get things done? three-quarters of each party thought it was a bad thing. there is one interesting twist. we blame everything on washington. other deep divisions because the political parties in washington, but they are not deep divisions among everyday americans. the american people have more common than the government makes it appear or are there divisions between the political parties because they are divisions among everyday americans, divisions
between doing democrats and republicans reflect the deep divides between american people majorities of independent republicans and democrats thought they were deeper divisions among the political parties than they were among the american people. >> the american people are wrong about this in the sense that they are much more divided than they think they are. they like to blame washington blame the parties but it's reflected in where people live increasingly, neighborhoods or counties one-party counties are increasingly one-party counties. people are less likely to live with people people from either party but if he asked what the source of this is i think the source of it is, there are a lot f sources. another part is the basic sorting we have gone there in the country that is leased to have liberal republicans and onservative democrats.
we don't have that anymore. we have relatively homogeneous and it goes back to what i was talking about before but it's also true in the public at large. people are much more conducive n terms of their beliefs and their partnership and that creates a much bigger divide between people and among people that existed before. that continual tension makes it less likely you will marry someone of the other party makes it less likely you will live with someone of the other party and that makes it less likely you will work with them as well. >> those of us with advanced degrees in political silence -- science and that includes a number of us that there will remembered old political science article called towards a more responsible wo-party system that was primarily driven by the desire to have democrats be liberal and
republicans be conservative and responsible two-party system would be better for the country. well folks this is what we have got. >> we are voting like we are in a parliamentary system but yet we have a two-party system. it would almost be better if we said let's just have 15 parties so that you can have the lamel democratic party and the liberal moderate tea party in the tea party in the establishment republicans in and the green party here. that's a way to make it more effective. >> one point i wanted to echo especially with amy and mark were saying we have certainly a nationalization of our parties and it's hard to say if someone can call themselves an alabama democrat or massachusetts republicans republican and distinguish themselves from the national party. it's a little more possible in the governor's race. if you look at some of the governors races you might see a bit of that also it has also moved in that direction but you may see some surprises where
republicans are moving into a very democratic place and the democrats and in the other direction more than the other races. >> usually at the state level. >> just one comment on amy's point i remember the study commission in the united states said look what we really have to be more like the british system. that's the way to change american government at the same time there was a commission in britain that said we have to be ike -- like the israeli system where you have a commission in israel that says we have to be more like the american system. so you know we can make all these changes but it does not work out that way. >> we have more questions. i will try to hit all parts of the room. >> whit witt talked about americans feelings that washington is more divided than american having
served as a committee counsel for 14 years in washington i think that might be true and i wonder what people on the panel would say about the idea that real solutions to problems that are now basically impossible to reach in washington because washington is deadlocked might be achieved in the same way that states originally forced congress to propose the bill of rights. sing the article v powers that they have and the threat of that article v power there've republicans and democrats in state legislatures might actually decide to work together as politicians in washington don't often seem to be able to do to force reforms on congress that can't happen here. >> it's a good idea. i have no idea how to answer the
question. >> the states tend to work better than congress in part because states are far more homogeneous in their political outlook and in their value structure. and so there is less of the divide like mark is talking about in massachusetts or in an alabama than there is when you throw them all together. there is at least a greater possibility for cooperation and states working together but ount me skeptical. >> actually the problem we are seeing out the state level is that what we have always thought about washington and its dysfunction and partisanship is showing itself in the state. there are fewer and fewer states where you have a divided one party controlling the legislature in one party controlling the governorship and you have the senate and a d governor. you have one-party control in more states than certainly in recent history. i don't know how far back we would have to go. what we have seen and i think
part of this is making these competitive governors races and in the case of north carolina leading into the senate race is that those one-party legislature governorships are creating a ore polarized partisan climate and pushing more ideological agendas and it has hurt somebody like governor hickenlooper in olorado especially on issues
like guns and a way that's not always appreciated across the state and in north carolina where tom tell us the republican speaker of the house is struggling, because they are republicanrepublican-controlledl egislature and the republican governor pushing an ideological agenda. that is out of step with a purple state. so i think that is the one fear at least that i'm saying about the states. they used to be these places that were laboratory side ideas and we could get bipartisanship working and had tours and fixers and now the states are becoming as polarized as ever. you can't have a more ideological agenda and the states can look a mob more like washington then increasingly they are. >> the red states on the republican side are getting redder. their portion of the republican control of the state legislatures in the southern states has been growing over the last dozen years to the point where they are virtually uncompetitive. >> question? kay. >> i would like to ask about leadership versus the actual senators and a republican ongress.
my experience in covering it though is the senior citizens - senators are very frustrated that nothing is getting done but not just the senior citizens, the junior senators are frustrated too. i remember at a hearing where a ill to reform fannie mae and freddie mac had have a hugely difficult issue had actually passed but it wasn't going to be brought up on the floor. heidi heitkamp was just beside herself with frustration as a democrat and bob corker from tennessee a republican was equally frustrated. so one has a sense of the senators don't want to go out there to do nothing so why is it your sense that this will last for a week and then it will be all over and it will get back to normal when my sense is many senators on both sides really want to get something done? >> i think that's absolutely true. it's true with every
senator. i don't think there's anybody from the top leadership to the most senior members who don't want to get a lot done. this is a case where what starts to happen his politics gets in the way so when you say we will have a fannie freddie reform bill and i don't know the details of that for the context but when someone says okay we want to have an amendment and put the democrats for obama camp is and it has difficulty in deciding whether to support this or not, that is what leads people to say leadership to say we are not really going to do this. if we are going to take staff and stop giving health care to our staff like most employers do
in the country we are not going o do that. it's irresponsible to do it like they want us to do. democrats much more responsible for sure but we will do political things to mackinac republicans will say wait a minute we don't have to vote on these things. that ends up shutting down the process. the only way you can get around it is when people say you know what, it's more important to get to the business of the country done that it is to score political points and we are willing to sit back and not score political points. when you have the current minority leader saying in the context of the last election the single most important objective of republicans was to prevent obama from being reelected is pretty clear what the number one objective is. keeping obama from being reelected. if he was speaking honestly he
would say his number one priority to become the majority leader which is a big if, i would tell you he won't say publicly that if he was on a lie detector he would say my number one priority is to keep the republicans in control in the next congress. >> what you just articulated was exactly what i hear from our senate, just exactly. and at some point you have got to say i didn't come up here just to perpetuate myself here and get absolutely nothing one. we elected you to take a few risks and indeed take a few political risk to get something good done for the country. at some point i hope somebody will be persuasive enough in the senate so that they will be willing to take at least a few political risks and do something little like pass the budget for he federal government.
>> we have a little bit more time. maybe i can go all the way to the back there. >> thank you. i may have missed this but i haven't heard any of you talk about the populist sentiment in the country the frustration with wall street, the corporate influence in our politics, the decline of the middle class. how is that affecting the election now and how will it affect the election in 2016? >> i think it will be a central theme in 2016. if you look at republicans like marco rubio and mike lee this whole idea of increasing upward mobility of regenerating hope in the middle class and dealing with the lack of opportunity for middle-class families is going to be central to a lot of what they talk about.