tv The Big Stage MSNBC June 17, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT
out of steam? nbc news learns his campaign has cut ties with three internal pollsters after new numbers leaked out showing just how under water he is in some swing states. he's even underperforming in reliably red texas. and another dangerous escalation, iran is now threatening a dramatic increase in its uranium stockpile, exceeding the limits set by the nuclear deal and it could happen in just a matter of days. let's start this morning with being just nine days away from the first democratic presidential debate here on msnbc. and this new polling shows the democratic primary race is tightening for second place. joe biden holds a strong lead despite slipping a few points since mid-may. but bernie sanders is down four points, elizabeth warren holds steady at 9% and pete buttigieg and kamala harris are on the move, gaining over the last month. while that fascinating new trend emerges for democrats, early signs of trouble for president
trump. on the eve of his formal reelection kickoff. nbc news has obtained that leaked internal polling data from the trump campaign, showing the president losing to joe biden in states crucial to his win in 2016. let's break it all down with msnbc national political correspondent steve kornacki. kelly o'donnell is at the white house. is a rick tyler, msnbc political analyst and republican strategist. steve, we always put this big asterisk on, it's early, but how important are these polling numbers when we're going into this first big debate? >> yeah, i mean, look on the democratic side i think that race has sort of settled into a bit of a holding pattern, heading into the debate with biden ahead it's not overwhelming, it's clearly ahead of the rest and then sort of a jumble. you know, sanders has slid back a little bit. you see in this poll you have now from fox news, signs of some movement involving kamala harris
and pete buttigieg. other polls show elizabeth warren may be moving a little bit in advance of this debate. it's an opportunity -- i think the race has settled a bit right now. it's an opportunity now to reset the race. biden, lots of questions about how he'll perform under the spotlight, how he'll perform if these candidates start taking shots at him, how his numbers respond to that is more significant than where it is right now. does one of these candidates, buttigieg or warren or harris, do they stand out in a way where after the debate we're talking about them clearly moving into second place? i think that's the other big question ahead. >> when you look at these head to head matchups, and again always hypothetical, always very early, biden leads the president by ten points, bernie sanders nine, three other democrats also shown here beating trump. is this too early or at least are we seeing a trend that should be worrisome for the for the president's reelect? >> it's worrisome, but it's consistent with what we've seen his entire presidency and it's
consistent with what we saw in the 2016 campaign. there's a theory of the trump presidency in terms of his political standing virtually nothing has changed from election day 2016 when he did not win a majority, didn't even win a plurality of the popular vote. stitched together the right combination of states. even within those states, his poll numbers, pennsylvania, michigan, wisconsin, he was not very popular personally, even as he barely carried those states in 2016. approval rating as president, it's been stuck in the mid-40s for him, on a bad day in the high 30s. these are numbers entirely consistent with the trajectory of the presidency. they're entirely consistent with what we've seen since trump has been a national figure. with the idea ultimately, if trump is going to get reelected in 2020 at this point it really looks like it's not going to be as much a positive affirmation that voters have, and let's reelect the president as much as it is can he make his ultimate opponent, whoever emerges in the democratic side, as unpopular
personally as he is? that would give him -- that's essentially what he did in 2016, and it was just enough. can he replicate that again? that's the question here. >> the president would throw all of that analysis out because he believes, kelly o'donnell, that these polls don't mean anything, that they're fake, that they're not believable. here's what he said in his abc interview. >> i don't believe those polls. there's no way he beats me in texas. >> even your own polls show you're behind right now? >> no, my polls show i'm winning everywhere. >> we've all seen reports 15 out of 17 states you spent 2 million on a poll and you're behind in 15 to 17 states. >> those polls don't exist, george. >> those polls don't exist. and then -- folks, on team trump had to come back, and say, well, yeah, actually they do exist. >> their explanation is that they were outdated, if you will, going back a few months, to march. and using a turnout model that would be the least favorable to
the president. the president, though, today continues to say fake polls in his effort to sort of dismiss this content and information that as steve explained is a snapshot in time and is not predictive at this moment of what will happen on election night come november of next year. but the president who will cite polls in a moment if they are favorable to him and sometimes leans heavily onto polls that are not considered methodically as reliable, or they're more heavy in the inclusion of republicans and conservatives who might more likely be more likely to favor the president. so he is all over the place when it comes to polls. but it is true that polling did not always match up to his performance and what happened on election night 2016. so can he put it back together? but the campaign has separated itself from a few of the pollsters on the team because of this. the question is, is that because of the results or because of the leaked information? >> we don't know who leaked it,
right? do we, kelly? >> we do not. we do not have that, not in a reportable fashion. but the president is certainly looking at a change, or his reelection team at the campaign now, there's sort of two universes in trump world. and the president, of course, will be kicking things off for his reelection in a big florida rally. and so some of this is to dampen the reporting on the polling before he kicks it off and he will try to show, with human beings at the rally, at all of the pageantry that they will create for that, as campaigns do, to try to show that in a state as critical as florida that he can get a good turnout, especially in light of the enormous democratic field where at this early stage you don't have those kind of arena sized crowds. that's not the nature of the campaign at this point. >> let me go back, though, to president trump and him denying these poll numbers because
philippe ryan you're the perfect guest for this, you were on as a hillary clinton adviser, the losing end of some bad polling. i'm wondering at this stage when you hear the president say those polls don't exist we know they exist. but the denial of polls, or skepticism of it, what goes through your head when you hear that? >> what goes through my head when i hear that is what the hell is going through donald trump's when he says these things. it's amazing. it's unclear if he's saying the polls don't exist, if the polls were faulty, if his campaign leaks, which he has said before neither his campaign or his white house ever leak. and then oddly you fire people for all these things that didn't happen. clearly they were caught dead to rights. what was interesting to me prior to last night was if you remember when he gave his joint press conference with theresa may he said something about how his approval was above 90% with republicans. which he says all the time. and probably pretty right. but then he caught himself and
said, no, it's 94%. it struck me as odd. it struck me as someone had given him the number and it appears to me that they're -- to help him live in his alternate reality they are cooking the books. when you fire your pollsters, that's not exactly the way to encourage people to give you the honest appraisal of the race. i think they're giving him numbers just to keep him happy and he was shocked to see that he is down everywhere. the old question, back to what steve was saying -- >> devil's advocate here, could he have fired these pollsters because they leaked and he didn't want leaks, he won't tolerate leaks, is that a plausible explanation? >> he's been tolerating leaks for two and a half years. his campaign and his white house in particular leaks like there's no tomorrow. there's, you know, for someone that says that his white house is airtight, every day there are five to ten things and most of that probably comes from
kellyanne conway. but it's a little absurd to fire someone for leaking. you're trying to make a point. you're throwing a fast ball at people's heads to tell them that if they crowd the plate again they're going to get beat. >> so i think one of the more fascinating things here, in that poll, the president was only up two points. a state, by the way, that he won by nine points over hillary clinton. and then there's this new online poll from the university of texas and the texas tribune. this shows texas a 50/50 dead heat, even if, rick, the president's takeaway is that it's fake, again if you're running his 2020 reelection campaign, what do you see in that poll? >> a real problem. here's why. and i think as steve kornacki nailed it, that is that -- look, every poll is a snapshot in time. we can pooh-pooh any poll and say it's old. but it's the data upon data upon data and the fox news poll
beacon fir beacon -- basically confirms this. these aren't some made up fictional character, these are real people he's losing to. but here's the problem is donald trump's campaign rahas raised millions and millions and millions of dollars. and the problem for the democratic party is if you're an unknown, which is virtually most of the field, except for joe biden, that money is going to be used to define you as kornacki pointed out. they're going to define that candidate with that money. if that candidate can't bust through, it's very hard when you're unknown, to be defined -- to define yourself and your opponent who has all that against you. joe biden is the exception. it would be difficult to redefine joe biden, vice president for eight years, a senator for decades before that. and like him or dislike him, it's going to be hard to change the perception about joe biden. so the democratic party is going
to have to be really careful in that, you know, trump is beatable. but if you get against an opponent who has not been defined yet and they put all that money against you, then all bets are off. here's a final point about donald trump, he has not proven, and the latest nbc poll shows him at 44%. that he cannot build any kind of constituency. he has been chronically stuck anywhere between the low 40s and the high 40s and the gallup poll, he's never broken 50% approval rating. these are terrible numbers. his only choice is to diminish his opponent because he cannot build a base. >> well, let's talk about one state in particular that a lot of people are going to be watching and that's pennsylvania, savannah, as you well know, went for donald trump in 2016 after going democratic in 2008 and 2012. what are you finding as you talk to voters there? >> so, chris, we're actually finding even in this deeply red district that voters are very flit. we're in franklin, pennsylvania,
a town of about 6,500. it's the county seat. venengo has been read for decades now in presidential elections, it's gone republican even in 2008 and 2012. last night we talked to folks at the franklin barbecue and blues festival here in town and heard what they were thinking. one lifelong republican actually told me that he regrets having not left the party in the 2016 primary to have been able to vote for bernie sanders and he plans to do so in this election season and now a couple voters were very happy with him but it really was genuinely split. here's one voter who told me he is ready for a change. >> trump is doing a great job. don't get me wrong. he's pissing a lot of people off, but he's making my 401(k) look great. so that looks good for me in the long return. >> do you think biden can change people's minds? do you think that he could make people who voted for trump vote for him? is he -- is he an antidote or
no? >> i personally think he could change some people's minds because this was a democratic state up until trump and then i think he has the ability, being a pennsylvanian, himself to bring the people back to the democratic fold. >> so you actually heard there from a -- so you actually heard from voters on a couple different sites. very split here. the man in the middle of the last conversation i was having he's a dispatcher at a garbage company and he said his truck drivers are very happy with who's president right now. >> a split and that's not good news if you're in a red district like that. let's not forget this president has the power of the incumbency. he's been raising money. he hasn't had the opportunity to go one on one against whoever the nominee ends up being. we know how powerful he can be against someone in defining
someone else. so if you take a place like that or take a place like texas or any of the other polls we're seeing in states that turned for trump, in 2016, how did democrats capitalize on that? what's the lesson in this for the democratic candidates? >> well, you know, in 2016, and even to this day, trump runs around saying that he's made america great again. but a little less noticed in 2016 is he said what do you have to lose by voting for him? everyone should ask themselves that question the same way in 1984 reagan asked them if they were better off than four years earlier? you know what? a lot of people have a lot to lose. a lot of people have lost their health care, or are in danger of losing it, they're lost their reproductive rights, civil rights, they've lost protection, economic security. the gentleman you just showed about who was very happy with his 401(k), the market is doing worse under trump than it did under president obama. if these folks look at facts, he
will lose. now, the other point to take issue with something rick said is that the republicans in the right wing they don't need someone to have baggage to give them beiaggage. last week you have donald trump making up stuff about biden's health, and stuff about his mental capacities. this is outright lies. this is what they did to hillary and what they do to nancy pelosi, what they do to maxine waters. they give people health problems and ethics problems. these things don't exist. and they show you that they can create out of whole cloth things that don't exist. and, you know, i'll finish by saying you always have the question of what would happen if the election were held tomorrow? the truth is i think if the election were held tomorrow donald trump would lose handily to anyone on that list because donald trump right now is being beaten by donald trump. luckily for him he's got 504 days before november 2020 to get his act together.
but if people ask themselves what do you have to lose or what have i lost? he will not win. >> we're out of time but steve kornacki, you have the best poker face. i've been watching you as some of the folks were talking. i didn't see any recollection. do you agree with that? if the election were held today, donald trump's in big trouble? >> he hasn't gotten a chance to run a campaign against a single democrat. when you see the dire numbers, it's the one thing you have to consider. the one thing that saved him above anything else, hillary clinton's favorable rating was 43% by the end of the campaign. if the democratic nominee in 2020 gets down to that territory there may be a path for him. if not, then i agree, he's in trouble. >> steve, good to get that balancing perspective. kelly, savannah, philippe, all of you thanks, rick, you'll stick around, we'll see you later. once again nine days away from the first democratic presidential debates june 26 and 27. the stage is set for the first
and second nights, 20 democratic candidates taking that stage. you can watch it here on msnbc, on nbc and telemundo. breaking news today with the supreme court this morning declining to decide whether an oregon baker can refuse on religious grounds to prepare a cake for a same sex wedding. the justices sent the case back to state courts to decide. pete williams has the details. pete, what does this mean for now? what does this decision, what's the real impact? >> i'm not sure, frankly, because it's a win for at least in the short term for this bakery in oregon that refused to bake a cake for a lesbian commitment ceremony. the baker said it would violate the religious beliefs of him and his wife, the owners of this sweet cakes by melissa bakery, you're looking at jack phillips, the person who was involved in the supreme court case two years ago. and in that case the supreme court, without deciding the merits of the case sent it back to colorado because some
justices were concerned that jack phillips didn't get a fair hearing from a state commission that ruled against him. so today the supreme court sent this oregon case back with instructions to reconsider, in light of the colorado case, but none of the infirmities that existed in the colorado case are present in the oregon case. so i'm not exactly sure what the oregon courts are going to conclude from this. my guess is that if the state sues again, and it probably will, the oregon courts will rule the same way and then the case will come back here. and i don't know what the supreme court gains here other than perhaps time and letting other cases like this percolate up. so it's a win for now for the oregon bakery. but it doesn't say anything about the larger issues and the ruling has no impact beyond the oregon bakers. >> meantime, give us perspective on a separate action that also declined to change long standing double jeopardy rules, any surprises there? >> no, i don't think so. because it seemed from the argument that this -- the court was not eager to overturn basically 150 years of
precedent. this is the fifth amendment's right against double jeopardy, i think everybody understands that, you can't be -- that that means you can't be tried twice for the same crime. but there's always been an exception that the courts have recognized, saying that you can be charged for the same crime once in state court and again in federal court. that's what happened to a georgia man who was charged with a gun violation by the state, got a year sentence. then the feds filed exactly the same charge for exactly the same offense under federal law and got a three-year sentence. he said that's not fair, that violates double jeopardy. the courts have long said that it doesn't violate double jeopardy because the state and federal governments are, in the words of the courts, dual sovereigns. it doesn't count what one does in the courts of the other. this was a 7-2 vote, justice ginsburg said that doesn't make sense, there's a whole usa and that's what we ought to consider. this goes back to english common law when there was only one sovereign, the king or queen and the founders have said and the
courts have held for almost 200 years that the states are separate entities for double jeopardy purposes. >> pete williams, thanks so much. coming up, a dangerous new threat from iran, now eyeing a dramatic escalation in its uranium stockpile in a matter of days. new polling in a make or break state in the democratic primary race. it shows who's finally breaking through while one big name may be losing steam. it's funny what happens when people get together. we're there. so you can be too. holiday inn. holiday inn express. you might or joints.hing for your heart... but do you take something for your brain.
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tensions between iran and the united states are escalating again this morning as iran threatens to ramp up its uranium stockpile exceeding limits on nuclear fuel permitted in the 2015 nuclear deal. a spokesman says iran could enrich uranium up to 20%, a step away from weapons grade levels. iran's limit was set during the obama era 2015 nuclear deal which president trump pulled the united states out of last year. this new report comes as u.s. officials continue to investigate whether iran is responsible for a number of attacks on oil tankers in the gulf of oman. bill neely joins me from qatar. let's start with iranian officials and what they're talking about. put it in perspective for us. >> reporter: interesting that this message, this warning, this threat, if you like, was made at
the iraq nuclear plant in iran. so very, very direct messaging to the world. iran saying that within ten days it's making so much uranium it's likely to reach the limit of its production agreed in this nuke ler deal and after that it may breach the limit because it has increased its production so drastically. it's not just the quantity that it's producing, it's the quality as well. as you say iran at the minute is producing at a quality of 3.6%. so it's low grade uranium fuel. it's saying that it could increase that to 20%. now, why is it doing this? well, i mean, principally it's to pressure the europeans who are part of the deal. remember, america pulled out of that deal. the president rouhani saying to europe that time is running out
to save the deal. but, look, it's also a message to the u.s. it's flexing its muscles, washington's saying, yup, you can stick your sanctions on us, you can strangle us economically but we have levers too and one of those levers is a nuclear lever. so it is still quite possible that iran will pull back in ten days time and won't actually breach the limit and be in breach of the deal. but this is the first time that it has signalled or threatened that it is willing to do that. >> kevin, how do you see this? how do you see this threat and what the implications might be? >> well, i think we have to remember that there are two things going on with iran and the united states and there always have been. the nuclear deal is one thing. but terrorism activities in america, counterterrorism responses, is something this administration has always said it wants the world to focus and didn't think the nuclear deal did enough to address it.
it didn't think the nuclear deal needed to be saved because iran should, you know, stop its nuclear activities and should stop its terrorism activities. the u.s. put itself out on a limb. you've heard pompeo this weekend calling for allies to follow the u.s. the question is, will they? people in the trump administration thought people could pull out of the iran deal, iran will play nice and the europeans will play nice and it will keep the administration in the cold as long as the administration lasts. instead, everything has changed. we'll see what the iranians plan to do with this threat to increase uranium production. that doesn't change any of the calculus for all of the terrorism activities that the pentagon and the state department are focusing on besides the nuclear deal. >> let me play for you, since you mentioned the secretary of state, exactly what he had to say yesterday. take a listen. >> these were attacks by the islamic republic of iran on commercial shipping on the
freedom of navigation with the clear intent to deny transit through the strait. we don't want war. we've done what we can to deter this. the iranians should understand clearly we will continue to take action to deter iran from this kind of behavior. >> what are the options for the u.s. right now? how do you expect this to play out? >> anytime you hear an official say all options are on the table, it doesn't mean anything. it means the u.s. is never going to limit itself or reveal is hands. i don't read too much into that. the options are limited strikes on iranian proxies or elements. nobody thinks there's any kind of all-out war. it's really -- i think it's unfortunate and dangerous that there's a bit of a media discussion and a public discussion about going to war versus some other kind of limited strikes. now, it is iran. this is the middle east. anything can escalate. but you've heard time and time again officials say that they're positioning the u.s. to be defensive, to be better in a
place to have offensive launches of strikes if they need them to be but they don't want all out war. i don't think we know yet and the tanker attacks over the weekend were a bit of a surprise. it's forced the united states to come out with more intelligence, blaming the iranians, central command has come out and said a drone was down. that wasn't known about. so you'll see more and more, i think, intelligence coming out to make the case for the administration and for the military that, you know, enough is enough with these iranian activities. but again it's a question of, if the u.s. is going to be going it alone or if the europeans are going to come with and really continue any kind of harder pressure, meaning military strikes, directly on iranian proxies or iranians themselves. >> kevin barron, bill kneelly, thank you. there were some other stunning moments in the president's latest wide ranging interview, including the revealing moment inside the oval. a hint, he's been paying attention to those nixon
much of washington is still reeling from president trump's controversial new interview with abc news. stockpiled with stunning comments from saying he'd take oppo research from foreign governments to making false statements about his polling numbers. in the middle of one conversation he sent his chief of staff out of the room for coughing, and he claimed for himself wide ranging constitutional powers. >> look, article ii, i would be allowed to fire robert mueller. there was -- assuming, assuming i did all of the things i said i want to fire him, number one, i didn't. he wasn't fired. okay, number one, very importantly. but more importantly article ii allows me to do whatever i want. article ii would have allowed me to fire him. >> so it sounds like you're -- >> i wasn't going to fire. you know why? i watched richard nixon go around firing everybody and that didn't work out too well. >> shannon pettypiece for
bloomberg news and rick tyler. shannon, put on your constitutional scholar hat and start with what you make of the president's interpretation of article ii. >> well, it does not allow him to do whatever he wants, but in the particular situation there was a legal case to say that he could have fired mueller if he wanted to. mueller is part of the executive branch and the president is the head of the executive branch. so under the special counsel regulations he was, you know, essentially a doj employee and you can argue about whether that's the right way to structure it. but the president could have used his authority to fire him in that situation. >> it was fascinating, though, wasn't it? one of the hits people like to make on him is he is not a student of history, shannon. and yet he brought up richard nixon. >> people around him reminded him of that. he brought up richard nixon a couple days ago where he talked about impeachment, he said with bill clinton, i saw what happened there and he said i saw
what happened with richard nixon, essentially nixon didn't get to impeachment. the difference between me and nixon is i don't leave, he repeated it, i don't leave. another lesson he learned from richard nixon he's going to stay and fight. and not going to resign. >> he may be spending time thinking about impeachment. in the meantime, rick, the big headline out of this interview was the president saying that he would listen to foreign intelligence on political opponents, he tried to walk it back, mike pompeo tried to, you know, walk the whole thing back yesterday. but look, his white house is used to this. they're used to him making these kinds of statements. but just a couple of days before he launches his 2020 campaign tomorrow he goes out for what two days with a serious journalist, not a sin cofant, not on fox news, is this part of the reelect strategy? >> donald trump thinks he's his
own best communications director, manager, planner, strategist, the rest of it. it will be interesting to see, because he has not replaced the communications director in the white house, if he actually replaces the spokesperson, sarah sanders stopped doing press conferences because donald trump did not like what he says the way she was treated. but again he thinks he's the greatest communicator. the fact is, he's not. he's a terrible communicator. but i don't even think he tried to walk this back. i think this is what trump always does is he just tries to muddy the waters so badly that you can't tell up from down. if you look in that interview he says contradictory things, piled one on top of the other. you could splice that interview up, play it on one network and come to one conclusion and splice different sound bites up on another network and come to a totally different conclusion because he's essentially said all of those things. he said he would call the fbi, he said he wouldn't call the fbi, that's not the way the real world works. he contradicts himself so you're
left to believe what are we believing. here's the point about opposition research. the only reason you would think a foreign government would have useful opposition research is because at a presidential level you would hire your own opposition research is that they stole it. they hacked into a computer or they'v they -- i don't know why the president is talking about listening to foreign governments. plus the whole idea of foreign governments getting into our elections because we have to remember they don't have our best interests in mind, most governments have their own best interests in mind. and our enemy governments have not only their own best interests in mind they have our demise in mind and so the idea that donald trump would cooperate with those kinds of governments is -- i know it doesn't fit the legal definition of treason but it fits trump's definition of treason. >> there are a whole bunch of newsy bits people were talking
about and tweeting about but the viral moment came here, take a listen. >> at some point i might. but at some point i hope they get it because it's a fantastic financial statement. it's a fantastic financial statement. and -- let's do that over. he's coughing in the middle of my answer. >> yeah, okay. >> i don't like that, you know. >> your chief of staff. >> if you get a cough, please leave the room. >> get a shot -- >> you just can't -- >> just a change of shot. >> sorry. >> do you want to do that a little differently then? >> yeah, we just changed the angle. >> so at some point -- so at some point i look forward to -- frankly, i'd like to have people see my financial statement. >> here's what i thought was fascinating about that. a lot of people on twitter talked about the president being a germaphobe but he is a president who understands how television worked, he is a president who became president by understanding messaging.
>> yeah, chris, i'm so glad you brought this up. there is so much in this interview. i felt like that was this little moment that gives a view into his psyche. it shows you the producer that he is. and the thing that people about this -- in this white house tell me is everything, almost everything is done intentionally because of how it will be portrayed, because of the image, the scrum of reporters jockeying to talk to him as he's taking off for the helicopter and the shouting in the background, the oval office sprays, the gaggles in the driveway, so much of it is done for production value. he understands production. and that exactly as you said, chris, having someone coughing in the background, that means that abc can't use that clip and there was clearly something he was saying and saying in a certain way that he was hoping that that sound bite would be used. if you have a cough in the background you can't use it. so i think this is one of the things that's going to make him a formidable competitor. whoever his democratic rival is they need to understand that
production value too. like it or not we live in a visual world. >> shannon pettypiece, rick tyler, thanks to both of you. appreciate it. up next, new polling suggesting the 2020 race is getting even more interesting in south carolina with some candidates chipping away at the early leaders. and, in fact, one candidate thought to be in trouble making a serious move up. ahead, we'll go live to our nation's capital, where several candidates, including joe biden, will be speaking today at an event highlighting needs of lower income americans.
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this morning the democratic race in south carolina is looking very interesting with the surprising new poll showing some seismic shifts. joe biden is tistill in the lea but he's fallen nine points to 37%. senator -- senator bernie sanders has taken a hit dropping to fourth and now tied with senator kamala harris. andy shane is the columbia bureau chief of the post and courier which conducted the poll and cornell belcher is a former obama pollster and msnbc political analyst. andy, i thought there were so many real interesting things in q4 poll. joe biden still the front runner and almost under any circumstances a 20-point lead would have you feeling pretty good. but could you also look at this as sort of the glow of his announcement fading? what's your take on how this poll treats joe biden?
>> well, he certainly got a bump after his announcement. our last poll was taken about two weeks after he formally joined the race and he certainly got a big bump from that. the numbers we saw come from last week are more in line with what he was getting back in february and april. so he's back in that high 30s, where he's been pretty much at in south carolina. and so he's still holding it largely but not after the lead he held after his announcement. >> talk about what's behind those numbers because that's where it gets interesting. what is it that people find is his biggest strength and what are his biggest problems? >> well, i mean, first of all, joe biden is leading in every demographic category you can imagine with the exception of 18 to 34-year-olds, which elizabeth warren has now taken from bernie sanders, in fact, as part of that scenario. pretty much folks are liking the fact that he was obama's vice president, they think he has the ability to stand up to trump. you know, we asked voters, you know, why did you choose biden?
those are the top two reasons. where he's weak is obviously the majority of voters are not in -- in south carolina are going for biden is the fact that they feel like he's part of the old guard, that they want somebody new and they also cite his age and issues that have come up with women as well as a reason they did not choose biden. >> cornell, what do you think about the visual we'll see nine days from now at that debate of joe guiden and bernie sanders on a stage with so many people who look and talk in a way that says new, different, younger. >> i think what you're saying with biden is what i think we saw similarly with hillary clinton in 2008 at this point early on in south carolina. where frankly she was the best known candidate and she was running well ahead. you're going to see the dynamics of this race change several times. particularly when you look at biden right now as running, his largest majority is with
african-americans, particularly african-american women. it's competitive underneath will with white voters, with the entire field. i think you will see that shrink up, just like you saw it shrink up with hillary. and more importantly, particularly when so much of it is built on this idea that he's the best guy to sort of beat trump. you'll remember in 2008 hillary ran well ahead on that same question, who's the democrat most likely to win because democrats were hungry for a win? but at some point those voters who are looking for change, those voters looking for new leadership, if they begin to galvanize around one or two of the candidates it will be a real race in south carolina. >> one of the people making a move, cornell, obviously, is elizabeth warren in this poll. and south carolina's one thing but i think there's a bigger picture here that politico writes about today. they say that president trump's team is zeroing in on a new threat, elizabeth warren. "warren's discipline style, populist infused speeches and perceived ability to win over suburban female voters, trump
advisers concede, has raised concerns," what do you make of these moves by elizabeth warren? >> i think if you were to ask me who's -- which candidate has run the best campaign thus far, i think it's elizabeth warren. and it's not even close. she's doing the work. she's putting in the work. she's showing up places, laying down policy. she's differentiating herself in a way that over the long term this is exactly what you expect to happen. why we do campaigns, because people move. if you're looking at what elizabeth warren is doing policy standpoint, she's been way out there on criminal justice reform that's going to be helpful to her with the base of the party. >> cornell belcher, andy shane, thank you, gentlemen. speaking of voters, chris matthews travels todayton, ohio, once a democratic stronghold and now trump country. hear from voters who could ry the map again in 2020, a special edition of "hardball," the deciders, tonight at 10:00 p.m.
here on msnbc. first, up next, nearly a dozen democratic presidential candidates set to speak in washington, d.c., including joe biden, with a specific focus on lower income americans. a look at what they're expected to say after the break. the brek honey have you seen my glasses? i've always had a knack for finding things... colon cancer, to be exact. and i find it noninvasively... no need for time off or special prep. it all starts here... you collect your sample, and cologuard uses the dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers. you can always count on me to know where to look. oh, i found them! i can do this test now! ask your doctor if cologuard is right for you. covered by medicare and most major insurers.
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just a little over an hour from now former vice president joe biden will take the stage at the poor people's campaign forum in washington, d.c. you can watch his remarks exclusively right here on msnbc. eight other democratic hopefuls will share how they will combat poverty and better the lives of low-income americans. it's hard to overstate the importance to democrats. they lost so many voters to donald trump in the last election because they felt washington and the democrats were not hearing them, that they felt they were being left behind. what are we expecting there today, ali? >> reporter: exactly and donald trump appealed to that works class voter. folks here say this is about those 140 million people living in or on the cusp of living in poverty in the united states.
reverend william barber said it really well on a conference call with us. we want to read to you what he said earlier. policymakers have always found resources for their true priorities and we, as a nation, must make it our priority to address poverty. this is not some far left or far right agenda. this agenda is root in our deepest religious traditions and moral commitments. what today is about is last year this group released their ideals in terms of what policy might look like. today they're releasing what they're calling their moral budget, suggestions on how policymakers can, as reverend barber said, make those priorities and put them into the federal budget. when you think about the things people talk about here. they mention a wealth tax, decreased pentagon spending, repealing tax cuts that were passed in 2017. that sounds a lot like the thing ice hear on the campaign trail i spend a lot of time with elizabeth warren. or embed who follows bernie sanders, we were both on that kvens call. when they were outlining the
policy proposals that the poor people's campaign hopes to hear today we felt like we were at a bernie sanders, elizabeth warren or kamala harris event. >> what about for the other folks showing up there today who are not bernie sanders, who are not elizabeth warren? what will their message be? will it be in any way markedly different from what they want to hear there? >> we'll see. look at someone like joe biden, for example, first 2020 candidate kicking it off on stage. he talks extremely well about rebuilding the middle class. it's sort of the underpinning of his campaign. but reverend barber said democrats focus on the middle class. he wants someone to focus on poor americans. >> ali vitali, thank you. much appreciated. poor people's forum during velshi & ruhle.
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