msnbc | November 05, 2012
>>> especially in ohio . we saw lines, people voting until 1:00 this morning in florida .
>> that's right.
>> you have done more reporting than anyone on this.
>> the lines on the early voting in ohio and florida in particular, but in a lot of places around the country, are both heartening and disheartening. on the one hand an act of heroism by these people to be out there for five, six, seven, more than eight hours. on the other hand, why is it people have to wait eight hours to vote in this country? we have seen a restriction on the number of hours and number of days in early voting . in ohio , secretary of state john hugh fought tooth and nail to the supreme court of the united states to try to reduce the number of days of early voting . he was rebuffed. he did reduce the number of hours in early voting which is why you saw the tremendous lines, particularly in black districts like in inner city cleveland yesterday. in ohio -- in florida , rather, rick scott and the republican legislature the general council of the republican party , drafted legislation to cut back early voting days by almost half in florida . you have seen lines that take people, you know, until after 1:00 in the morning to be voting. it's just, you know, it's on purpose. it is to make voting harder so fewer people vote. i find it outrageous.
>> it's outrageous and when you look at the lines of people and the passion people have to vote, it is so reaffirming at the same time it's frustrating for them. who has that kind of time, especially the people least advantageded.
>> the people out there for eight hours you want to give them a medal. not everybody can do that. if you have an elderly parent or kids you're taking care of or work responsibilities these are people being responsible enough that they're getting up in some cases in the predawn hours on early voting days, what else would you have them do in order to be more responsible about this and still we're asking something of them that reasonably should not be asked of somebody to exercise their citizenship and it's not the same in every state, in every district. and it's deliberate. i mean, big picture , talking with your guests earlier this hour the hope for the romney campaign, it was a 74% white electorate in 2008 . they're desperately hoping it is still 74% white or maybe more white than that and that's their only math and to see in minority districts how difficult it has been made to vote in swing states this year, it is a political thing.
>> the other path is to decrease the number of young people .
>> below the 18% it was last time around.
>> uh-huh. and so you've seen -- attempted crackdowns especially on trying to make student i.d.s not count as appropriate voter i.d.
>> they lost some of those rounds.
>> i was interested to see what about the states where there has not been early voting ? pennsylvania, for instance. no early voting in pennsylvania. is that just because of the republican governor, the republican legislature?
>> it's interesting. some states just don't have early voting and don't seem to want it regardless of the partisan character of the state. in ohio the reason they got it, in 2004 , john kerry versus george w. bush ohio was a disaster in terms of those lines in ohio . people waiting in the rain until after midnight trying to get in, just the heroism. and in 2005 to ohio 's credit that's when they added early voting days. in every election for the past seven years there have been these early voting days that include the polls last sunday before the election and all of those things including for the republican primary this year in ohio . but for this election alone, they wanted to pull that back. it wasn't because there was any problem with early voting the way it was going in ohio . it was because it had gone well. and when voting goes well, lots of opportunities to vote more people vote and for some partisans that is a problem.
>> do you think the obama campaign is limisleading us or fooling themselves when they look at the early voting they have enjoyed and they are ahead of the game and thinking that they have banked enough to offset even large election day turnout?
>> both sides at this point in the campaign, you know, love to pound their chest and say how much they're going to win. a, we know it's close and b, if you look at what the democrats are bragging on there, they have an early voting advantage in most of swing states .
>> the population has increased.
>> but also democratic demographic groups prefer early voting for a number of reasons. including cultural reasons. that's also the poll thing is real. in african-american communities leaving church and going to the polls is a cultural thing. a reason why democrats tend to win in early voting . when you look at the margins in 2012 versus 2008 the democrats have had those margins cut into. the states where it was close, having the margin get narrower doesn't mean you have enough of a cushion to be on election day . john mccain and sarah palin versus barack obama and joe biden on election day alone in 2008 would have been a different result. the early voting numbers need to be big for the democrats for them to win.
>> we can't wait to see your coverage tomorrow.
>> i'm so excited.
>> this is your favorite day.
>> thank you. thank you very