tv Face the State CBS February 28, 2016 6:30am-7:00am PST
welcome to face the state, i'm arianna bennett thank you for being with us. well the eyes of the nation were on the silver state for our first in the west caucuses this campaign season. although nevada isn't a big win when it comes to delegates it is a big symbolic win. now nevada's diversity, geography, and political leanings make it a very accurate bellwether state. so does that mean a clinton-trump general election? now political scientists fred lokken and eric herzik are here now to talk about that. thank you both so much for coming on the show. thank you. thank you. now for the last 100 years or so nevada has actually picked the winner more times than not. do you think that the results here that we saw in the caucuses are indicative of what we'll see across the nation? well we've picked the winner in the general election- right. - in the caucus we're well one
caucus history. nevada is pretty indicative. we're a pretty good indicator for some of the reasons you mentioned in the intro. it's a more diverse state. it's - you have the latino population, you have an african american population, a growing asian population. very - working class, three shifts. it's it's not as economically prosperous as some states in terms of particularly workers and our education levels are lower as donald trump celebrated the other night so i think we're a pretty good indicator. and some big metro areas too as well as big rural areas which kind of you know helps cover the whole of the country. exactly. plus we're we're cynical. we're westerners and an amazing number of american voters are so cynical as we're seeing in this campaign cycle. and i think that add- adds a little bit of the lift to our accuracy because when we do take a pretty jaded view of candidates on both parties.
cynicism this time around, it really is-is kind of unbelievable to see. you're hearing it from so many people and i know a lot of pundits have said that's contributing to the results that we're seeing. so clinton-trump winning the nevada caucuses, did that surprise either of you at all? well it did not surprise me 'cause there was really in-i think perhaps eric sees the same thing, we didn't really see the enthusiasm factor here that had been unfolding in the earlier primary and caucus examples. we were a little bit more jaded about the process. we aren't real enthusiastic about the caucus process as was demonstrated again. and so as long as the turn out was going to be low, and it turned out to be very low, on the democratic side 80 thousand which is well under what had occurred in 2008 and had gone down again in 2012. and for a bernie sanders it would have required the enthusiasm to bring more back to the polls at least i would guess over 100 thousand. that didn't happen. so it was the notion that all the ground game and
going to pay off. on the trump side who has been so far ahead in the polls, the polls don't mean anything but when you're that far ahead they will convert to you winning and he scored in the mid forties. so any surprise for you? not really, sanders tightened it up after new hampshire, i think a lot of that was momentum. there was that poll that came out that had clinton up by just 1 point and i'm going yeah but that was right after new hampshire and it gave clinton a week to rally and she did and it was a good win. trump i said he would win by 35% and if he got over 40 it was a big win. well he did. it was a big win. and so and as fred said, he's ahead in the polls, it was consistently ahead and polls can be wrong but generally they are not consistently wrong. i mean we saw that in new hampshire. it's like you had there you have so many polls and i was like trump is winning all of them, you might be wrong on one poll but you won't be wrong on all that time. so and it came down to a close
that's absolutely right. it was 46% for trump in nevada. 24 and 21 for rubio and cruz respectively. even if you combined rubio and cruz's scores they still wouldn't have beaten trump. so that is, that's a huge win especially because you're hearing a lot in the you know political sphere that all the candidates in the republican party are splitting the vote and giving trump the win. do you think that's the case? well i think obviously if they were down to one other candidate against donald trump it would be an entirely different race at this point in time but it's not that way and it's sort of like nobody wants to let go. i mean we're finally down to five but i don't know when we'll go any lower than that. some think if cruz did poorly in texas next week that would do it or if something were to happen in and you know rubio doesn't do well in his home state that would be a factor. i think they try some way to survive in this process which frankly plays very well into the trump strategy going forward through march, april, may. and it's working in nevada. is there anything in particular
trump's campaign or his platform that is appealing to nevadans specifically? that's a good question. nevadans specifically, no. no more so than his appeal anywhere. he's captured what i'm now calling the anger demographic. like with-with cruz you can identify his voters. the evangelicals, although trump is now pulling i think voters away from cruz which i just cannot figure out. and rural voters, certainly the more conservative and social conservative voters. rubio's the more establishment type. trump as he said in his victory speech, we won with the old, we won with the young, we won with the highly educated, we won with the poorly educated - claimed oh we won with latinos although in the republican party that's a pretty small sliver. but i don't want to make light of it. he-he's cutting across a wide swath of voters. well and the latino issue is
hound him that his position on the need for the wall and the issues of illegal immigration and yet he does score very well with the latino vote. but i think that we're seeing a chasm within the latino culture in the united states. clearly there is an undocumented population that is terrorized by what he's talking about but there are those who followed the rules and came in legally and there has been that tension historically over the last several decades. and so there are those that actually are very comfortable with what he's talking about in terms of their their countrymen. but clearly the illegal immigration issue is a really large issue in nevada. we actually have the largest number of undocumented of any state per capita. there are issues that he's touching on that do tie into that anger factor and he actually played it very well. and he only spent about a half million dollars for his campaign to win 45-thou or 45% of the vote in nevada which he has so turned upside down the whole strategy and structure for
even doesn't have an achilles heel any more in the caucuses. what happened in iowa did not get repeated in nevada and that's quite surprising. okay so if if it were time now to pick for nevada what do you think would happen? i mean do you think we would-we would stay blue as we were in the last 2 elections? you think nevada would go trump overall? there's still- think he can do it? -there's still a long way to go. and so even if assuming they-they get the nomination. now i don't completely agree with fred about the latino vote. latino-yes there is a small portion of the latino community that will be more conservative, played by the rules, whatever phrase you want to use but you saw somewhat in the turnout in the democratic caucus a very good latino turnout. and latino the latino vote in nevada in particular is often called the sleeping giant but rarely wakes up. it appears to be waking-awakening and i think
in the republican primary and the debate particularly where they run to the right and they're making these comments about latinos; some pretty disparaging comments about women; contradictory things about defense and whatnot and i would imagine the democratic operatives are just taping it all and getting ads ready. and i think the latino vote could easily backlash in the general election and it's not it doesn't play out in the caucus particularly on the republican side. and then you have you know former mex- mexican president vicente fox coming out saying this wall that donald trump wants to build, i can't quote him exactly because i would get fired but, we will not build this wall. and so i wonder if that's gonna speak to a lot of the latino vote here in the us? well and-and it- always the case with trump so far this election season, all of these things tend to play favorably for him and so
not to say anything but by saying it it just reinforces. and there's such a teflon nature to the trump candidacy so far. he's made serious mistakes, he's made statements that go over the top and he's constantly forgiven by his supporters and it seems to drive even more supporters to the cause. it is one of the oddest things i think we've all asked to observe much less to figure out where it's going and what impact it's ultimately going to have. all right. on the other side, what about bernie and hillary in nevada? do you think nevadans will really poll for-for well i mean i know they picked hillary but it wasn't that close- or it wasn't that far apart. it was a close margin. absolutely. i mean the divisions that are in the republican party i don't know if those get healed at the general election time either. that will the traditional republicans, the marco rubio faction what not or even the bush faction, are they going to go and embrace trump? i don't know. the evangelicals, they could easily stay home as they did in '08 with a candidate they
not embrace and that was john mccain. so these are all things to play out. democrats i don't think they got that problem. i think clinton will win and the sanders people will embrace her. perhaps not with the fervor that they do with bernie sanders but they're not going to embrace donald trump. if they stay home they have to bear the guilt of allowing the republicans to win. and that factors seriously. but the other reality in the process is that sanders presence has done with the liberals. one, it's moved hillary clinton towards the left. and they want to stay the course even if they're not winning they want to stay the course, they have that profound influence at the july convention, certainly over the platform which is usually ignored but perhaps vice presidential selection in strategies going forward that would require hillary clinton stay a little left of center more so than she would've been. she seemed really usually as too much of a moderate from the left side of the democratic party. yeah. that's a really good point in
campaign is almost starting to realize, uh oh, it's slipping away from us. but now they're a message campaign. and they're going to stay with it as fred said, influence platform, maybe some of the selection so they're voice will be heard. looking a little more closely at the nevada caucuses, you're relatively new at this whole caucusing thing. it's just happened since 2008 and it has the benefit of making us first in the west right? but a lot of negative sentiment from caucus goers this time around. do you guys see this staying? i mean especially with losing harry reid? do you see it staying or do you think we're going to go back to a primary? i don't i honestly think we lose it especially because of harry reid. and once it slips one party it will clearly go across the board. i also really favor the primary system over the caucus system. we've seen every reason why we don't like caucuses and the on both republican and democratic side had to suffer through it yet again with a small participation, the excessive control. it doesn't feel right, you know? people expect a little bit more privacy in the- in the
is what type of primary and if they will continue to insist and link it to the june primary which would put us really at the wrong end of the course. but it there are states that basically run a separate primary for the presidential selection and then still usually do their-their actual primary for the general elections in september not back in june. so we could be a little bit more intelligent and look at what other states do and run appropriate primaries at a very low expense for the tax payers. it's really improved participation and-and ethics in this process. fred says very little expense to taxpayers - any expense to tax payers in nevada is a big expense. that's a fact. so i don't think we would do it. if we lose the caucus i- and i think that's a very good probability because we haven't-the republicans haven't handled it well. and we get fairly low turnout. and caucuses always do. and we wouldn't pay for a primary. and we have
primaries up. that's in a sense not what nevada does with elections. so i think we could easily lose it and both parties could be looking at colorado let's say - and just kind of revert back to how it used to be done here? yes. which was pretty haphazard. and with harry reid gone there's no kind of cover to protect nevada's interest. but keep in mind a primary costs about the same as a one day special session and you know they've been- -we don't like those. -but we find the money for it. and i think they're going to be dealing with very cranky voters come the 2017 legislative session. i think there are a lot of people that committed on their proper caucus night to do what they can to get it back to a primary. okay, now real quick because we have to go to break here pretty soon, but something interesting that happened this time around was this little loop hole because the caucuses were held on separate days. this loophole that would've allowed voters to actually participate in both the democratic and the republican primary-caucuses.
kind of seemed like, yeah, we're you know nothing we can really do to stop this. or we're not going to try that hard to stop this. do you guys see this as-as an issue? i mean especially with all the hullaballoo about voter fraud? well it's ironic that the rep-came more out of the republican side and they're the ones always crying about vote fraud and yet you have the college republicans of all people say, oh you can do this and it's so vital that what, we cheat? engage in unethical behavior? and i think cooler heads did prevail in the parties where instead of trying to make this a big deal yeah somebody might do that but it's going to be very rare and you know if you want to be unethical like that, be my guest. but i-it wasn't a problem. we have a problem with people not participating, not over participating. that's a fair point. all right that's a perfect chance for us to take a quick break. thank you guys so much, but coming up on
jjj jjj welcome back to face the state, i'm arianna bennett thank you for staying with us. well the presidential election of course has been dominating the headlines but that's not the only race voters will be looking at come november. i'm back with eric herzik and fred lokken now, thank you both once again for being with me today. okay, so hasn't gotten a ton of attention even though it probably should but harry reid's seat you know there's a i'm assuming there's going to be a hot race for this. it's catherine cortez masto against joe heck. how do you guys see this one going?
important senate races in the country. unlike the past three electoral cycles the republicans have more seats to defend and so the democrats can make gains. ironically in nevada which the republicans would love they could never get harry reid so they'll take second place and say as long as we can keep the seat, and they need to pick up they need this is a potential pick up for the republicans where they have some potential losses out there. and so it's important to both parties and it's also i think a well matched race in terms of the two candidates and it could be and should be very close. yeah the republicans scored a better candidate that i think anyone was anticipating in the race. we'll have to see if anyone does file a challenge to create a primary on either side to have to go through june 10th. but i would agree that this is the race, this will be watched very closely nationally. harry reid's pride is on the line. that man will do everything he can to make sure it stays a democratic seat. and
everything they can to grab it from him. but there are 17 seats up for grabs in this us senate where the democrats were in a bad spot in 2014, the republicans are in a bad spot in 2016. and so depending upon the mood and who the nominations are, the november 8th election could be a dandy. mm-hm, yeah. now regardless of who wins though, losing harry reid is and regardless really of how you feel about harry reid but losing him is a big loss for-for the state. it's a lot of political influence. do you expect to see or i mean should the average nevadan expect to see a difference? i mean loss in federal funding? loss of pork? that sort of thing? i actually think so. i mean because the rest of the nevada delegation is so relatively young in comparison, the level of influence, the number of years in washington, the experience that came with it, the leadership role, it was a trifecta that created in harry reid almost a juggernaut for the state of nevada. and he has repeatedly delivered. and i-i
understand what it's like not to have that level of-f influence in washington who are going to find out the very hard way come 2017. absolutely. okay, well the-the name of the hour i think is nevada governor brian sandoval, his name has been tossed around for the supreme court and then he said no i don't want that. his name was tossed around for a vp but he's been notably absent from a lot of these campaign events that we've seen, gop candidates coming in. it seems like they almost don't want to- don't want to associate with him at this point. is that what you guys think? well there's a story in politico on this and they were commenting how brian sandoval is the most popular elected official in the state of nevada but all of the republican presidential candidates, none of them really sought his endorsement that hard. and then story quoted many conservative politicians, ira hansen for example, saying oh his support would be the kiss of death. i happen to disagree with that. when you
supporter in you. but it is a kind of weird place where the republican party is at that brian sandoval was able to put together a winning coalition. he's popular across the board. he was able to get a lot of things done. i guess none of that matters right now in the republican party. well there's a tax increase and-and that's- that's an unpopular thing. but he was able to get it done. and it was like you should almost get points for accomplishment and instead it's like when john kasich runs and people are talking about the balanced budget. john kasich as the house budget committee chair the last time the united states had a balanced budget and that's almost held against him in a debate. oh you're one of those insiders instead of like i got it done. that doesn't count. we have to remember the profound influence of the conservative wing of the nevada party at this stage. 85% of those who showed up to the republican caucus identify themselves as either somewhat or extremely conservative. as a result you
candidates coming in, certainly cruz leading that pack, would not want to sort of associate with brian sandoval. and for a variety of reasons then his endorsement wasn't sought. but he's still very respected. he has led at the national governor's conference level and he has been overall recognized as a rising star in the republican party. this is an anomaly when conservatives actually matter in the republican party. they are just a wing, at best maybe 18-20% of the overall republicans that will participate in november. and brian sandoval's stock increases by the day now that the caucus is over and his relevance and effectiveness as a republican leader in this state is still valued and revered by most republicans and a remarkable number of democrats. so still a possible pick for vp you think? no. no? he's from nevada. it's just not gonna- i mean - i love living in nevada and nevada is wonderful but we're a small
shall we say checkered set of social policies that can you imagine brian sandoval representing the state who's that's built on gambling where the bars never close that has legalized prostitution? and you're going to go campaign with whoever the nominee is in alabama, mississippi, georgia, you name it. those would be the first questions. it's very similar to when oh las vegas could become the convention site for the republican convention. not gonna happen. the republicans are not going to come to a place whose nickname is sin city. when you've got at least 20% of the party being very conservative evangelical. so that i think that's a real problem that looking from the inside form nevada you don't see but looking from the outside it's like i- that would be-that would be a bold pick. but cabinet post? absolutely. and secretary of the interior which is almost invariably in the last year because of the federal lands - clearly he could be a very strong candidate for that and i think the republican
it didn't recognize the quality of this leadership, a rising hispanic in a state or a party that desperately needs to become 21st century. he could be a very dynamic player in helping republicans adapt and change to the realities of the 21st century. okay, we just have a couple of minutes left but i did want to touch on this a little bit, this open supreme court seat. you know gop leaders in the senate saying we won't even hold a hearing. dean heller, well we know what harry reid's going to do but dean heller has not been outspokenly saying yes or no really do you think that he's worried about public opinion and if he were to say absolutely no hearing or where is his head at do you think? well it's politically very messy for the republicans. starting so categorical was probably not the best idea. it-it could wind up looking pretty stupid and they just created an amazing campaign issue for the fall that could galvanize support. i mean if it's an issue over this one vacant supreme court seat they
simply allow it to be filled by someone not quite as conservative because that's far better than the damage that they could suffer this fall and how this could play out with the voters. that aside, i think heller immediately after the notion of raising sandoval's name did indicate that he thought that was something that he would support. i think then the republican machine kicked in and it was probably back to wait but-but for the most part a lot of people looked at the idea and thought this is not a bad idea. it's the push back from that very adamant and just wrong in terms of factually wrong to ' no president's ever done this' and they had to keep walking back from well there's never been one in an election year. well, we forget mr. kennedy. although he was nominated right before the election year and it's like where in the constitution does it say business stops in an election year? and so i think the republicans they've somewhat painted themselves into a corner on this. and it could become a fall campaign issue. all right
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