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tv   Washington Journal Patrick Ruffini and Michael Bocian Discuss the Trump...  CSPAN  July 30, 2017 8:33am-9:31am EDT

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relationship with pole john paul ii. the extraordinary untold story of the 20th century. >> john paul ii had sent a cable to reagan, saying i am praying for you. now reagan sent a cable to the vatican, i am praying for you. it developed the world's most exclusive mutual prayer society. as for moscow, if they're worried at this point about a kinship between the pope and the president, now they better really worry about it. >> american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we have an hour or so to talk about politics on this sunday morning on "washington journal." we are joined by two pollsters, patrick ruffini, who is a republican pollster and strategist, and michael bocian, democratic pollster and
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strategist. gentlemen, thanks for being here on "washington journal." patrick ruffini, i will start with you. what do you think the message is that members will take to their constituents after the failure to move forward on health care? guest: health care has been seen as an issue i think in this debate that wasn't necessarily one with a policy. it was really one where that was seen as a priority, but it was really kind of could they get a win? we have had six months of uninterrupted republican control of government. could you actually deliver? and i think there was a sense that the more important thing was to actually deliver something in the win column than it was the specific details of the bill. i think that's ultimately what
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unraveled the legislation, the inability to get consensus on what that specific policy should be. i think there is a sense out there that real risk factor for the trump administration heading into the midterm elections is if they don't get a win, if they don't get a serious legislative win, their voters will begin to doubt very much, what is the ability of this republican congress and what is the ability of the administration to deliver on their core priorities? host: michael bocian, as democrats go back to their districts, it's not a win for the republicans but is it really a victory for democrats? guest: i think republicans will go home and they're caught between a rock and hard place. they have been promising to pass this bill for eight years and failed. on the other hand, the bill only has a 15% approval rating. democrats will have to answer the question of, ok, so what are you going to do? in addition to opposing trump, what are you going to do? i think democrats have to answer
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that question and talk about how they're going to improve the economic situation of the district they're representing. host: the launch by the democrats -- congressional democratic leaders of their better way agenda. the democrats' new economic plan exposes the party's existential crisis. this is a plan that would largely be dealing with economic issues. is now the time for democrats to start selling that plan? guest: very much so. i think everything gets buried behind the trump tweets these days, so it's hard to get news. but i think democrats have a deficit on the economy. republicans have had a slight advantage in the part of trust on the economy. constituents are saying my pay is not keeping one the cost of living in this country. a better deal means having better jobs, better pay, workers who can get good skills to get those jobs and costs that are under control. host: patrick ruffini, when
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republicans -- now it's six months of the 115th congress under their belt and really no real major legislative pieces done, what do you think the republicans have to get done when they come back, looking ahead to 2018? guest: i think tax reform is a big item on the agenda. it's something that the trump administration has shown a greater degree of interest in actually formulating a framework for and actually organizing and organizing the coalition to support in a way that really never happened with the health care bill. there was a sense this was sprung upon members at the last minute. so i think that that is going to be the issue. despite the fact that republicans want to get it done, it's a very difficult problem to solve with many different competing interests in washington. i don't think it will be as easy
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perhaps. host: our guests are patrick ruffini, republican pollster, and michael bocian, democratic pollster and what is ahead for the 115th congress and president in terms of politics. input.ome your we say pollsters, but let me get specific. what are typically the kind of clients that both of you work with and what kind of work do you do for them? guest: so we work with democratic candidates for office, progressive ballot initiatives, and really what we do -- the polling that most people see is the plick polling done by -- public polling done by the media. we ask them, what do you want to run on and we help them figure out ways to take the many issues they care about and condense it into something that's digestible because it's hard for people to
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follow 25 point plans. so that's really what we help them do is take who they are and what they believe in and help shorten it in a way that's -- host: do you agree with that is this guest: he put it exactly right. host: we are well over a year to the 2018 congressional elections. typically at this time of the season, what are you working on? guest: i think that there are different points in the cycle. right now it's a lot of issue work, people trying to figure out in this very tumultuous washington environment, how do i get my message and issue in the spotlight? as michael said, i think it's very hard to break through in this particular news environment with this president. but also looking ahead to 2018 and looking at some of the special elections we have had to date, really understanding what the dynamics of turnout have
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been, what the -- what kind of a wave might be building or if any for the democrats. there is some degree of voter enthusiasm on the democratic side in opposition to the president, and so really understanding that and understanding how that will affect the playing field in 2018. host: those special elections that patrick mentioned, the democrats struck out there this year. what do you see in any of those losses in those special elections? guest: so i think on the congressional ones, democrats were successful in the legislative elections in a number of states, but the congressional elections, republicans won all of them. i think democrats came closer than they ordinarily do in most of those districts. the big one, the georgia election that had tons of money spent, i think at the end of the day republicans unlike other states like kansas and south carolina, the republicans turned out at the end. it took a lot of money to get them to turn out.
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the republican base showed up and that district returned to form more or less. it's historically a very republican district, one in which hillary clinton came closer than anybody that's come before but there hasn't been a close congressional race there for decades. host: what do you see that the republicans did right or lessons you could take to potential candidates that you work with? guest: there is a little bit of a wind at the democrats' back from a turnout standpoint. their voters are very energized. there was polling this week that shows they're much more likely -- higher interest in politics, much more likely to attend a protest, lots more political engagement on the left right now, specifically in opposition to the president. that is not an uncommon thing. we saw this with the tea party in 2009, 2010. you also saw it to some degree during the george w. bush administration. so we are seeing patterns repeat themselves, but it's a question of will the republican base
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hold? right now i think if you look at the president's approval numbers, you have to say that for the moment it is in the sense that he seems to have a pretty hard floor and he has been 38%, 39% in job approval numbers for the last two months, pretty consistently despite lots of things that might affect that number. but we haven't seen it go very much below that. obviously if it did, that could -- that might not be good news for the party heading into 2018. host: the washington poll of the president's approval rating, this is the question how likely are you to vote in the congressional election in 2018 among the strongly approving of president trump 72% of those, but people who strongly disapprove of them, their number is high as well.
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lots of calls waiting. let's go to rodney in detroit, michigan for michael bocian and patrick ruffini. go ahead. caller: good morning. to the republican strategist, my question is in regards to tax reform. i am understanding that senate democrats would not let anything go through unless the president shows his income tax returns. any truth to that? guest: i think that has been an issue that has been brought up and raised throughout the process. i expect that there will be some amendment, where that will get debate, but i doubt that that will actually probably affect the debate very much at all. host: republican line is next. we hear from glenn in california. good morning, glenn. caller: good morning. i would like to talk about the democratic agenda for the last eight years.
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it's been against the constitution of the united states. they want to take our dwuns away. we saw -- our guns away. we saw them line up and they have been working for foreign invaders, not immigrants. they are invading our country. they're foreigners invading our country from all over the world, not just mexico. we've got people standing up like the congressman from illinois, who all you can hear about him is he says immigrants. but they're foreign invaders. -- he is supposed to be working for citizens, not foreign invaders. waters should be impeached because they're working for foreign invaders and maybe they should be -- have to do like
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your last segment, register as foreign actors because they're not working for the constitution of the united states citizens. the whole democratic party has been doing the same thing. host: michael bocian, on the issue of immigration, what sort of data are you seeing in terms of your clients and the constituents that you serve. guest: it's been a fascinating issue, one in which the public has internal tension. i did a focus group where i said write down what comes to mind when i say immigrant. the top six words were -- broke the law, taking our jobs, not paying taxes, american dream, hard-working and want a better life. it wasn't divided, half were saying one and half were saying the other, it was the same people saying both. people do support and i think we almost saw in the senate the passage in the last administration of comprehensive immigration reform that would
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tighten the borders, have border security but have a path to citizenship for people who have been here for generations. host: is the president's message on immigration a winning message for candidates on the ballot, even into state republican races? guest: we have seen it's not been the disaster that democrats have tried to portray it as in terms of his advocacy or even what it might do to the president and the republican party's support of with the hispanic community. yes, the republican vote among the hispanic community in this last election was nothing to write home about, but it was no worse than 2012 when this issue was much more on the back burner, when you had a candidate that was advancing these ideas vocally. michael'shink that to point that we -- the public is
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very divided on these issues, does see it from multiple lenses and multiple perspectives. there is probably a sense like we don't want to go as far as building a wall, but yes, the law has to be adhered to. i think if candidates who kind of can straddle that line, i think can give voice to that can be successful. host: let's hear from richard on the independent line in philadelphia. go ahead. caller: i have a curiosity question. based on what trump and this whole thing about trump and sessions, i guess the question , how much of sessions' base , i a challenge with trump don't know if it was a public relations thing, removing sessions from being the attorney general and how much of that base trump did get -- is there
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polling or how much that base did get in relationship to the lection that he won? host: i think he is trying to ask about the strength -- jeff sessions was an early supporter of dommed -- donald trump in the senate. guest: i think it may say more about the base in washington than it will about -- i don't know the american people have a strong opinion of jeff sessions either way but certainly you have seen conservatives in washington, republicans in congress, speaking out very strongly in defense of jeff sessions and perhaps, you know, forcing the president to pull back a little bit on that rhetoric. host: headline in "the washington times," lindsay graham, there will be holy hell to pay if sessions -- graham
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tweeting over the weekend saying attorney general jeff sessions has a good ring to it. highly qualified, committed to the rule of law, tough on crime and fiercely independent. e also said d.h.s. secretary sessions doesn't sound right, doesn't feel right, bad idea. he is talking about john kelly now moving over to be the chief of staff at the white house. some have floated the idea of ff sessions taking over as d.h.s. secretary. south carolina, thomas on the democrats line, welcome. caller: how you doing? i am calling about the question that came up earlier about the cost of living, the paycheck keeping up with the cost of living. now, i am self-employed, and i would like to know how can we keep up with the cost of living if they're hiring the foreign
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people over top of us because mexicans' money is a lot cheaper living in mexico than it is over here. so therefore they get an opportunity to make -- work for less money but at the same time, they are still making the same money because they can send it back home and that's what they do. they make the money and go right to the post office and send it back to mexico and they got the same amount of money we would have made anyway. so it's unfair to the american be r to allow them to employed over top of us because we are trying to survive over here. host: i will ask you to hold your response and hear the idea of wages central core to what the democrats launched this week. nancy pelosi joined by other democratic members of congress talking about their better idea agenda. ere is some of what she had to say. [video clip] >> democrats know a better deal
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for hard-working men and women demands bigger, greater thinking. to create jobs and raise income for american workers by creating good paying jobs for 10 million more americans in the next five years. we have set a goal, to lower the cost of living as the leader mentioned, for american families, by taking unprecedented action to lower the cost of prescription drugs, very, very important and by cracking down on the monopoly that raises costs for our families and hurt competition. to give every american -- this s three, one to create jobs, two -- and with bigger paychecks, to lower the cost of living, and third to give every american the tools to succeed in the 21st century. we want every family in america to know that they and their children have a place, a strong place, in the economy of the 21st century. with massive, new commitment to
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apprenticeship, lifetime learning, paid on the job training, the list goes on. we have the proposal. today we are on the road. it's so wonderful to be here. we are on the road, a state with a rich history of our founders and the dream that they propose of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. we must honor their commitment to that. host: democrats, their announcement of their agenda. michael bocian, it would seem like a tall order. how do the democrats propose going about creating better paying jobs? guest: one, we need to be attracting businesses that are hiring. there are growing industries like clean energy that have jobs for everybody, whether it's an installer, an engineer. we need incentives for these types of businesses and jobs to grow and we need a living wage.
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the fact of the matter is people are working harder but they're having a harder time getting by. their wages have been -- and salaries are not growing in the same way they should and a lot of that money is sitting at the top of the corporate ladder and people -- the workers are more productive but not reaping the benefits of their hard work. second, as the leader said, some of the costs are too high. prescription drug costs are outrageous. we should be negotiating lower prices so people are able to keep more money but also able to pay less for things that should be affordable. host: patrick ruffini, as a republican pollster, the president talks a lot about the stock market, the success of the stock market. but what are the economic winning stories that members can go promote or talk about or things that have to be done, still have to be done, either through congress or executive action that you can take up? guest: i think you heard it this week with economic growth,
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doubling from the first quarter. certainly -- i would certainly say, still well below where it needs to be, but the economic performance, democrats would say this is an extension of the obama economy. but that will not stop trump from taking credit for it, but i think that specifically that his background as a business person kind of -- his brand lends itself to if the economy is doing well, he is going to be associated in the public's mind with that for as long as the economy does well. host:let's go to florida and jim on the independent line. caller: i appreciate your comments. politically i think the deck has been reshuffled. you got some on two sides. you got the socialists, globalist democracy people. you have a nationalist,
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capitalist republican people. i think some of the republicans have been compromised probably by government surveillance and i think that election -- the republicans will really need to be strategic. they're going to need to send a message instead of throwing everybody out. they have to get rid of some -- get some republicans to vote against collins, give up that seat, give up ryan. you got to send a message. fate will take care of john mccain. i would really appreciate your comments on that and also could u please comment on that wasserman schultz story? host: i think the last reference was to the person on her staff. guest: i think john mccain is an american hero. i did not agree with his vote this week, but you know, i hope he is around for a very long time. on the owe part of the question,
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if i got it right, it was about change and what does change look like when republicans are in control? i think it's a good question. i think the republican party has been -- even though they control every liver of government still trying to be the party of change and democrats need to hop on that and be more of the party of change. so i think that piece of it will be interesting for sure. i agree that senator mccain in many points of his life has been heroic. i think this time he was heroic again in standing up and making an argument that we need to return to bipartisanship in a way that we haven't seen in a while. host: what happened to the bernie sanders wing of the democratic party? where do you see them being in the 2018 election? guest: i think this is a huge question. i think the question of whether bernie sanders wing turns out will be interesting. one of the outcomes of president trump's victory is after a month of malaise, democrats and
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progressives across the board, including the sanders wing of the party, have been energized. so we have races with dozens of candidates all running in one race. i think the primaries will help sort that out and see which kind of candidates come onboard. but i think one of the things about the bernie sanders -- the effectiveness of his message had some overlap with the trump message. it was about a rigged system that works only to the benefit of a few. i think that is still very much out there, still a powerful sentiment. host: political temperature taking from "the washington post"/abc news poll. one of the elements, voters say trump not seen as bigger negative factor than obama in 2014 and 2010. they asked the question, will one reason for your vote be to show support or opposition to trump or in the case of president obama, pretty much of same number, mid 50's.
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let's hear from liverpool, new york, on the democrat line. good morning. caller: how you doing, guys? i really -- i vote as much republican as i do democrat, but i call in on the democrat line. to me, the biggest joke in politics is that somebody could get three million more votes than somebody else and lose the election. what a joke. to me, i will tell you, nobody believes in the electoral college up here in the real world. unless it benefits you, nobody believes in it. could you imagine the callers to c-span, if donald trump got three million more votes than hillary and they gave the job to hillary? every single caller to c-span would be railing against the electoral college. the electoral college, was that developed by the founding fathers? so don't talk about the founding
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fathers, this is not what was developed by the founding fathers. it's a pathetic joke where somebody could get three million less votes and be the winner, not in my world. he lost the election. he got the job legitimately but i didn't win the election. just like -- could you imagine if al gore was awarded the presidency and george w. bush got one million more votes? host: don't want to relitigate the election but your response? guest: those are the rules that both the clinton campaign and trump campaign fought on and strategized around and built their campaign strategy against. so whether or not -- there is the law, but there is certainly a question of on the fairness question, they all fought on that and they all -- this was sort of the judgment that came out as a result of that. i do think it highlights the electoral college but also it bears upon the house.
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the geografpk problem the democrats have where their voters are concentrated in a smaller number of states. and a smaller number of districts, which makes it easier for them to win a majority of the house popular vote and still lose a majority of the district. that did not happen this time in the house, republicans wop the house popular -- won the house popular vote, but it highlights the uphill climb the democrats have without if they don't reach out to some of these working class voters, some of these rural voters to broaden the base. host: were either of you involved with any of the candidates -- any of them in 2016, in the election? est: we did not work for the presidential campaign. host: legislators? guest: we did not work in the general election. host: let's hear from new york city. ray is on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. do you gentlemen hear me?
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guest: yes, we can. caller: thank you. i want to tell you, i strongly believe in the country and i believe in supporting the presidency, but i am concerned about the president's comments and how he comported himself with the boy scouts of america. however, i am more concerned about the boy scouts of america response. i am on an executive board of a prominent scout council in new york. i am also an eagle scout. i think that the president's comments and then i think the boy scouts of america's response were probably on equal level in terms of what the presentation was, the response of the scouts. more specifically, the scouts' response was that the president made a political presentation and they apologized for that. they didn't go deeply enough. if you listened to what the president had to say, first of all, to behave like that in
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front of boy scouts with respect to our code of ethics is reprehensible. number two, he also made -- by the way, i am a republican and a conservative. he made racist statements. he basically held up to the boy scouts william leavitt, he was jewish, nothing wrong with that at all. but william leavitt as the father of suburbia, did he not llow jews to have homes and he prohibited blacks from renting. this went to a form of systemic racism, for the scouts not to mention that, it's reprehensible. thirdly, the president to comport himself in terms of his behavior in addition to and language, in addition to the political speech just made me -- host: i lost you, ray. a lot of comments to digest
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there. brought up some issues from the past week from the president. any reaction? guest: it goes to show you, we have reached a point of trump saturation. everybody expects this latest outrage or everybody expects the latest thing he says or latest thing he has tweeted to further diminish his standing in the national approval rating, for example, and that doesn't happen pretty much. to the point where people understand and the things that are happening are reinforcing the beliefs on both sides. it's a belief both in the president's conduct but also in perhaps from his defenders that really the media is overreacting to these things and the president uses the term witch-hunt and he eggs that
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along in his rhetoric, trying to portray not the democrats as opposition but the media. >> they have to find a way to win over the people president trump won over, in specifically areas like pennsylvania, michigan, who previously many voted for democratic candidates. guest: so i think there were a lot of voters who understandably felt like politicians in washington hadn't been serving them for a while. their economic struggles were real and there is an irony to who trump is as sort of a wealthy guy who had a questionable business practice. he said, i will be your voice. you haven't had a voice for a long time. the question is, will his blunt and inappropriate talk at times hold the day or if their jobs aren't getting better, if they're not seeing real
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improvements in their lives, are they going to say it's time for something new and something different here and i think that is the benefit democrats have coming into a midterm election. you see a few factors, the president's approval rating has a big impact. he is at 38%, the loyest we have -- lowest we have seen since we have done polling. people say -- right now democrats have an eight point lead. the question is how long that holds for. host: to our caller ray in new york, his president swears his new chief of staff kelly. front page of "the new york times" says the president enters a new phase of his presidency on monday. new chief of staff and an old set of challenges as he seeks to get back on course after enduring one of the worst weeks that any modern occupant of the oval office has experienced in his inaugural year in power. back to calls, from harry in
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williamsburg, virginia, democrats line. go ahead. caller: yes, sir. i was just wondering, i read in the internet this morning where president trump had taken away like $5 million from advertisement or something on health care and he is threatening to take away money from the insurance companies at would lower the prices of insurance. what they need come september is a government shutdown to straighten this mess out. people that have worked in the government, not on capitol hill, but like nasa, places like that, they had nothing to do with it there. whether they want to shut down the government, why would mcconnell say stuff like that when, you know, government people out there are working paycheck to paycheck, too. ? y do they have to suffer
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host: members of the house in particular are facing challenges in terms of getting funding passed by october 1, september 30, and then the other issue of the debt ceiling. tell us about how that might play into -- as they look ahead to 2018, their constituents are saying, you need to hold the line on spending and they wouldn't be afraid of shutting down the government. guest: it's pretty remarkable that we are having this discussion when both parties -- the republican party has a complete control of the government. they control the white house and they congress the -- they control the congress. it speaks to the erosion of trust between the branches of government right now where there is not a lot of republicans on capitol hill that feel a lot of personal warmth or loyalty to the president, and look at how
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he has treated some of the people who have been loyal to him like jeff sessions, but i think particularly the new chief of staff is going to have to focus on is rebuilding those relationships. host: let's hear from new york, william is on the independent line. hello, william. caller: awant to comment about the -- host: william, do us a favor, make sure you mute your television and go ahead with your comments. go ahead, william. caller: i want to tell you about this gentleman calling about -- complaining about the government or congressmen representing these invading immigrants or whatever. he better look at his own ancestry and find out where they came from. my ancestors came from austria
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because of the invasion of germany. other thing, too, i am a retired vietnam disabled vet. i am still waiting on retribution back from being exposed to agent orange in vietnam. i have been waiting for over a year and now i've come down with kidney cancer. host: william, thanks for joining the conversation. next up, randy, good morning. caller: good morning. the gentleman a few minutes ago said that the reason wages were stagnant was because they were laying at the top of the corporate ladder. that's not true. it's because of the downward pressure on wages by all of the cheap labor that's coming into the country. all ld like to say that if
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the illegal immigrants when they come here, the way they defend it is we are a country of immigrants. but when we had all the immigrants coming here, we were a growing nation, growing by leaps and bounds. thank you. host: ok, any response? guest: i think there is an undisputable growth in the amount of money that's staying at the top. there is no question that's happened. there are some interesting questions here, which are the economists said when we have a tight labor market, unemployment is low, wages will go up. we haven't seen that to the degree that the economy predicted it would. so i think there are real questions that need to be considered. host: our guests are michael bocian and patrick ruffini. michael is a democratic strategist, patrick a republican strategist and pollster. about 20 more minutes of your calls and comments. u can send us a tweet as
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c-spanwj. many voted for change and do not -- not a normal politician. georgia is next. we hear from dorothy, democrats line. caller: hi, good morning to all. what my question is for the democrat pollster/strategist. all we hear these days are all the things that are wrong that happened under the democratic party, and i just wondered why democrats don't speak loudly -- more loud about all the good things that happened under the democratic party, which is why i choose the democratic party. there's a lot of rhetoric out there about this went wrong under president obama and under the democratic party, and i am just wondering why the democrats don't speak up and tell all the many good things, all the
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benefits that came to us as americans, not democrats and republicans, under the democratic party. host: thanks, dorothy. michael bocian. guest: it's a great question. president obama came in under historically bad times. the economy was in terrible shape and through many of the policies he passed, things did improve. we were able to hold wall street accountable, changing the rules so that we don't have another crisis like we had leading up to the 2008 housing crisis. republicans are trying to roll that back and that's a big concern that's not getting as much news because russia and all these boy scout speeches are kind of drowning everything else out. i think it's a good point. under eight years of obama, millions of people were provided health insurance that they didn't have. millions of people were put back to work. but i think the reason we are not spending our time touting those successes is because people are still struggling.
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as much as we have seen improvements across many different areas of the economy and health care, people are still struggling. we want to keep improving on the changes that happened, that we are not resting on our laurels and saying things are great when the american people are feeling challenges. host: the democratic message on the health care bill was propelled by $15 billion in -- a report saying the republican senators votes who were crucial to the fate of health care in america have faced a $15 million barrage of tv advertising from outside groups opposing the g.o.p. legislation and no air cover from any groups backing the bills. they point out the largest number spending $5.6 million in spending against dean heller, the nevada republican senator. patrick ruffini, all that said, the bill fell one vote short. do you think there is still opportunity for the republicans to pass health care before the end of this year if not the end
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of the 115th? guest: we are only halfway in the -- less than halfway in the trump administration than we were in the obama administration in which health care was passed. and there are many false starts with the passage of obamacare. there are many points during that debate where it wasn't clear at all that they would actually get it done. now, i think that the republicans do have a problem that the democrats don't have is they don't have the votes really to get some of the provisions in there that would maybe balance out. you have votes in a reconciliation process where you obamacare lot of the spending, but you can't necessarily replace it with very much or you can't really do very many interesting things. i think this debate has proven to be unsatisfying in the sense that we haven't had really a
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debate about -- we have had a debate about insurance coverage. we haven't had a debate about how do we lower costs. how do we get medicines in the hands of more people? how do we improve the quality of care? so hopefully this will force them to go back to the drawing board a little bit and democrats should come up with some -- they've said throughout this debate we need to fix obamacare. let's hear some specifics. maybe there will be room for consensus around those ideas. host: $15 million in advertising spent against republican senators, $5.6 against dean heller alone. here is what one of those ads looked like. [video clip] >> senator heller broke his promise by casting the deciding vote to repeal our health care. because of heller, over 100,000 nevadans could lose their insurance.
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premiums could increase 20% next year and medicaid could be slashed, hurting seniors and the disabled. but senator heller will have one more chance to do the right thing. tell him to keep his promise, to protect our care. senator heller, vote no on health care repeal. host: to be clear, senator heller did vote no on health care repeal. that vote in the wee hours of friday morning. back to calls for michael bocian and patrick ruffini, a democratic and republican strategist respectively. we go to massachusetts, john, hello, independent line. caller: hi guys, how you doing today? i might be an anomaly in this thing, but i kind of do my own search and i think kind of look these people pushing these issues is total nonsense. i go to the federal
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government st. louis general reserve economic information system, and i look at the -- for instance, the student loan debt went from approximately $100 million to pushing $1 trillion. the same thing and i pull up the chart of mortgage backed securities, over $1.4 trillion now, and rising steeply. then i hear all the talk about health care. it's not health care, it's sickness care. being in massachusetts, we've family acare where my premiums have gone from, you from in the last 10 years
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about $12,000 a year all the way to $24,000 a year. ost: turn your comments into a question. what do you want to know from our guests? caller: do you think you are relevant? don't you think people do their own research now? caller: there you go. john in massachusetts. guest: there is no question but the internet has changed dramatically our political system in terms of the access to information, the fact that people are receiving information that's not just from either three major news networks or a handful of national newspapers. but they're going out and finding sources, oftentimes the sources confirm pre-existing partisan beliefs. we have had this debate about -- the sort of -- there is probably a reason that the term fake news has taken hold, where if you don't like a particular set of -- if you don't like a
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particular report or a political set of facts, it's very easy to simply dismiss it as fake news as opposed to actually engaging it and finding some middle ground. i think a lot of that proliferation of news sources has been for the good, but a lot of that has been -- it's really made it much more difficult for the work we do to actually move public opinion when people can find something that confirms a pre-existing set of beliefs. host: michael, you mentioned about the holding of a focus group. do you have to sort of weed through these stories that your participants may talk about? patrick talked fake news but their perception of things, are things different than they were 10 years ago? guest: very much so. one thing we see time and time again is people -- a lot of people look for the information
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and get it from all different sources. they're throwing their arms up right now because they're not sure what to believe anymore. part of that is the change of cable news and online news. part of that is honestly that the trump administration has been discredited the media, so people are questioning it. i think what we do is still relevant because people are getting the information, they have to figure out how to weigh it and make decisions. for any candidate for office or issue advocacy group, they need to present the information in a way that is believable and true but also contends with opposing facts or sometimes falsehoods. host: about 10 more minutes with our guests. we go back to calls. martha is on the independent line. go ahead. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i am going to address my remarks primarily to the democratic strategist. my basic question is very simple. are you aware of how much
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women's disapproval of mr. trump and of the behavior of our senators and congresspeople -- how much our anger about all of that and our disapproval is driving the overall disapproval of mr. trump and the protest movement really was -- host: martha? michael bocian. guest: great question. first of all, it's absolutely true that what you see on the ground actions that are happening, the protests, marches, women are driving that to a very, very large degree. what's interesting is that contrasts with an election in which hillary clinton did not see the benefit with women voters that people anticipated. there was the gender grap grew a little bit but -- gap grew a little bit but not much in a world where we have lots of coverage of trump saying disparaging things about women. from my perspective, it's
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encouraging to see women leading this effort, to see women at the forefront of the frustration but also the positive energy that's turning into in terms of on the ground action. host: getting back to our previous caller about -- comments about the money spent on the advertising for the health care debate, the health care bill vote the other night, i said dean heller voted no. he voted yes. the three republicans who voted no were senators collins, murkowski and john mccain with his thumbs down moment there. avon park, florida. we go to our democrats line. jimmy, hello there. caller: thank you. other appreciate the channels, all hype on one side or the other.
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turn off fox news. also, these pollsters get a lot of air time. about the polls -- three or four times a week on c-span and of -- i want ollsters to hold these guys accountable. host: patrick ruffini, the caller brought up pollsters here on c-span and other networks and the fallout from the 2016 presidential election. did that impact you at all? guest: a lot of the national polls, nationally, we have to repeat this. the national polls were fairly accurate in terms of having hillary clinton ahead by three points. she won the election on the popular vote side by two points.
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so that was fairly close. but there was a huge miss in the states, in particular like states like wisconsin, in states like -- these upper midwest, working class, where you had a lot of white working class voters. ou had a lot of break at the end for donald trump. i didn't think anyone serious was saying this was completely in the bag. i think there was a lot of people who misinterpret what the polls say and there is a lot of uncertainty. there were independent voters, a lot of undecided voters that broke at the end. in terms of our work, we are always committing ourselves to improving the overall practice of polling. i think through various statistical innovations that we can do, we have also -- my firm has launched an effort to really understand these trump counties and specifically the areas that
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we missed in the polling community missed in 2016. we are surveying these counties on a monthly basis, these are places that voted for obama and trump. something the people in the media were not taking seriously. host: michael bocian, have you changed your strategy? guest: yes. we studied every single thing that wept wrong. two things, one is predicting who is going to vote in the election. we only go by previous elections. unfortunately, self-reporting is not great. as people were not terrific as predicting whether we were going to vote. unis looking at who will show up. the other is what i call interpretation bias. the poms nationally said hillary would win by three and she won the popular vote by two. i think democrats were oh-fer overconfident and republicans
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underconfident and i think trump violated every campaign rule that many have seen and it was hard to imagine that. we need to check those biases a little better. i think we all suffered from that. host: back to "the washington post"/abc news poll, new midterm voter prefer congress to be controlled by democrats than republicans. their question was would you rather see the next congress called by the democrats to act as a check on trump or controlled by republicans to support trump's agenda and controlled by democrats, 52%. among adults who did not vote in 2014, 64%. a couple more calls. we go to west virginia and george. hello there. democrats line. caller: good morning. i am a retired sergeant major from the united states army and marine corps. what i have got to say is this. on the reason why hillary lost the election is we have a
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newsletter that goes out across the whole united states. i am in charge of it. veterans of america, across america, and we defined six states that hillary thought she had in the bag but we went there with the veterans and we knocked her out of the election. that's what knocked her out of the election. i hope the democrats learn a lesson from that because they don't do nothing for the veterans or the military. obama destroyed the military. i mean he destroyed it. from day one he went into the office, he didn't do anything for the military. if we ever got into real serious trouble, we would be in a real problem right now. aroundrea and with iran, the world, with the islamic isis people and everything, you don't know what is going to happen and
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that's what obama did for this country. host: gentlemen, final thoughts. patrick ruffini. guest: i think the election was very close in a small number of states. they did no go clinton's way. there could be some truth to that. there could be truth to any number of interpretations of what they did wrong. i think for folks who study this for a living, folks who do this for a living, it's very important to make sure as political practitioners and pollsters we are asking the right questions. are we focused on the right priorities? it turns out hillary clinton was maybe focused on getting out who she perceived as her voters rather than persuading people who were on the fence, who had maybe supported obama in the past but were on the fence about her, so i think it's incumbent even as campaigns move in a data driven direction that we are
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asking the right questions. host: michael bocian, any final thoughts on that caller? guest: first, thank you for your service to the country. i would respectfully disagree on president obama and democrats record with veterans. i think we worked hard from a funding perspective but also to take on the major problems that were happening within the v.a. hospital to try to improve the life for people who have done great work for our country. i can't say whether that newsletter was the driving factor. i think in lneaks this close we can -- election this close, we can take blame or take credit. host: michael bocian and patrick ruffini, thanks for being with us on "washington journal." guest: thank you. host: in a moment we will hear more of your calls and tweets and also hear from jonathan pollack from the brookings institution as the north koreans launched another intercontinental ballistic
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missile and the u.s. air force th a flyover in the korean peninsula. we will get the latest news. but first, american history tv looks at the korean war. your is a preview. >> by that time the army test is includen 1953, deaths 5000 troops from the other 15 assisting you in countries and more than 400,000 south koreans both military and civilian. ♪ korean the south survivors, countless thousands are starting, homeless refugees. ♪ >> so


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