Hardball | November 07, 2012
>>> done nothing wrong. political director, chuck todd , who's amazing, and "new york" magazine john heilemann. let's talk about this situation here. let's take a look at some of the facts. here's where we stand now. president obama wins by at least 303 electoral votes . romney got 206. nbc news hasn't called florida yet, even notice, a night later, which has 29 electoral votes . right now the president leads 50% to 49% down there. the popular vote across the country, obama leads by 2.8 million votes, 50% to 48%. chuck, this is something, i know you -- i don't know if you're billy bean or into the money ball stuff going on now, but i have nothing but absolute -- what is the word, praise for people like nate silverman but more importantly the guys in plouffe and axelrod and mussina . they seemed to have the numbers right and we were all the doubters.
>> they had this secret government study that was available to the public called the census and they seemed to understand it a lot better than the folks in the other political party , on the republican side . when you look at what they did. you know, they knew this wasn't going to be easy. they knew there was going to be a fired up republican vote. they knew they were going to have some issues and sort of -- among some conservative white voters, among white men. they basically went about to try to not just recreate what they put together in 2008 , but figure out how to maximize their vote in places where there was growth. demographically in their direction, particularly hispanics . i keep coming back to two counties in particular. orange county , florida , osceola county , florida . i do this because, you know, i'm hearing whispers. first of all, chris, i just think that apology was an unbelievable apology. as heart-felt as i've heard anybody do, when they feel as if they've done something they need to apologize for.
>> i just shouldn't have said it. i know why i thought i said it, i shouldn't have said it.
>> i commend you for it. i want to bring sandy up for a reason because there's a lot of whispering among republican operatives in the romney campaign, oh, if it wasn't for sandy. that is not -- look at -- what happened in the state of florida , would have happened if the election had been september 6th , october 6th or november 6th . this was structural. this was demographic. this had nothing to do with any issue. no auto bailout. no sandy. no any other effects. and so any other excuse that some republicans make is whistling past their grave yards.
>> you accept it's more about demographics, more latino voters, up 10%, almost 11%, almost maxing out. a pretty good showing among white voters, about 39, about the levels of the last four or five cycles.
>> well, i mean, he dropped a little bit. he had 43% of the --
>> before him.
>> yeah, around where gore and kerry were. you know, they were -- the people you mentioned before, david plouffe , jim mussina and jim axelrod -- particularly mussina and plouffe, i wrote about this, they saw this as a contest between economics and demographics. the economics were going to be a headwind for president obama and the only way to win was focus like a laser beam on four groups. the rest of the campaign was just mood music for them. they were looking at african-americans, hispanics , college educated white women and young voters in nine states . that was -- they had a year and a half before they had to engage with romney . a year and a half and a $1 billion to go out into those states and figure out not just in a broad way these were the groups they had to do well with but how do you move those people?
>> how do you find out how to do it?
>> some of the -- chuck said there was no issue -- there's a little exception. they were able to talk to a lot of people in those groups, find out what issues matter to them. the thing is the president did along the way. whether it was the dream act move in the spring, the gay marriage move. a lot of the things he was doing in term of policy and substance. the things they advertised on, focused on. how many college campuses he visited. -- every trip he took, every ad they put on the air, every web ad , every piece of mail they sent was focused on those four groups in specific counties in nine states . they didn't care about 41 states of the country. they cared about those nine states and getting -- they knew for every turnout number what -- exactly the number of votes they needed from each of those groups to win those states .
>> it's amazing.
>> and they were -- this is something the romney campaign are smart guys. if you gave them a year and a half with no primary fight and a lot of money, they could have done the same thing, but they had to fight a primary, deal with newt gingrich , rick santorum , rick perry and fight for 15 months before they look up in may and say, okay, now we have to open field offices. the obama field offices were there for a year and a half. multiple ones in every one of these states and they were out there meeting these voters almost on an individual basis. these weren't just numbers. they were human beings --
>> you can't get elected on the young vote. i looked at the numbers, and these numbers of young voters were better than last time for obama . who would have predicted that.
>> well, they went -- and they also -- they had time to change the makeup of the electorate. in the state of florida , they went and registered new voters. they wrej centregistered these folks. look at the state of ohio . all of the pollster conspiracy, polling conspiracy theorists would say no way democrats are going to have a party i.d. advantage of six, seven, eight points in the state of ohio . well, they had a seven-point advantage. that wasn't -- that didn't just happen. they went and got it done. they went and did voter registration in specific places because the other thing i found interesting, chris, is when you look at each of the nine battleground states and if you want to -- we have an easy way to do it, you look at the red and the blue, inside each stated, the counties, nothing changed. you can't -- you can't look at the map and say, oh, look, they won this county. they didn't win that county that time. they went in and found new voters.
>> everybody in america, how liberal, how diverse, you're looking at the way people divide up ethnically. 72% of the electorate was white people . 13% were african-american. which has basically been constant since i was a kid, if i paid attention. 10%, short of that 11%, maxing out of latinos, including people from puerto rico , the dominican republic , and asian and south pacific . john, this is the new world. do the republican party with their slight support among hispanics because position against illegal immigration , really tough on it, the lack of having in inroads in the african-american community, are they stuck as fighting it out in effect the party can only win among whites?
>> they're the party that right now they're a coalition and the coalition that made 2010 happen for them was -- is aging white men. that is just demographically speaking, a disastrous position to be in. this is ascend ant coalition. you saw the white vote fell between 2008 and 2012 . every one of those other groups, young voters, women, hispanics , asians, black vote was the same, but all the other ones went up a point or two. they're going to keep going up more dramatically as we head more toward a majority/minority country. the republican party must f it's not just a plausible governing party , but an existent party , not extinct party , it has to figure out how to get right with those groups. particularly hispanic. can you not be a nationally governing party getting 26%, 27% of the vote. you need to be up near 40%. that's where president bush was in 2004 and hispanics are more important now.
>> everybody who votes wants something to happen. they want a impert country. here's something from mitch mcconnell . he put out a statement. he's still minority leader. he left no doubt republicans will not be cooperating. it reads in part, the voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president's first term. they have simply given him more time to give him the job they asked him to do together with the congress that restored balance. he's basically saying we won, you won. this is going to be a fight. i didn't see a lot of hope in that for negotiation.
>> not only that, he started on a very -- hey, don't offer us anything that can't pass the house of representatives .
>> what's that mean?
>> well, that means we're starting from square one, apparently. john boehner today, he wants to not have any grand bargain before the end of the year. wants to do this -- they're just buying time. it will be interesting -- i'll be curious to see how the white house now reacts. you've got boehner and mcconnell , boehner is playing good cop, seems more conciliatory. mcconnell less so. mcconnell has a political squeeze happening on him because he's up for re-election in 2014 . two things he's worried about. one is a primary challenge . two, ben chandler , great grandson of happy chandler , long time kentucky democratic name lost. suddenly doesn't have a house seat anymore. you might be looking for something to run for in 2014 .
>> how about ashley judd ?
>> well, i've heard the ashley judd rumor. i've also heard her running for governor of tennessee, which democrats are trying to get her to run for. i think ashley judd wants to run for office. that's a serious piece of speculation that's been circulating in kentucky. but -- so mcconnell has to play bad cop here. how is the white house going to respond, push back on this? clearly boehner and mcconnell are trying to say, okay, we're going to start in the most -- the most conservative position we can find, even on this day where es certainsentially our side lost and see how the white house reacts.
>> a stunning morning, stunning morning the evening after, i have my own problems. chuck todd , you're the best, so are you john heilemann. the book game change.