NewsNation | November 03, 2012
good day. breaking news as both campaigns blaze across the country three days before election day . we've got some live pictures. take a look out of wisconsin where president obama is preparing to speak before a ton of reporters in milwaukee. the president won wisconsin in 2008 with 56% of the vote in that state . this time around, the campaign, though, admits the state could be in play with congressman paul ryan on the gop ticket. we'll bring you the president's remarks live from milwaukee as soon as they get things started there.
>>> and after weeks of polls that put the race up in the air, there are signs the president is solidifying a top position in the race. take a look at this. two new nbc news " wall street journal " polls, pairist polls shows the president holding on to a six-point lead in ohio . you know the importance of that state by now. and two points ahead of governor romney in florida . but within the margin of error. also, early voting in florida ends today after the number of early voting days in that state is cut by half this year. 25 million people have already voted early in 34 states and washington, d.c.
>>> and back to the frenetic pace on the campaign trail. both candidates have already held rallies in new hampshire, iowa, and wisconsin .
>> you do want to be able to trust your president. you want to know -- you want to know that -- that your president means what he says and says what he means. after four years of president, you know me. you may not agree with every decision i have made. you may at times have been frustrated by the pace of change, but you know what i believe. you know where i stand.
>> made a lot of promises, but those promises he couldn't keep. and the difference between us , he made promises he couldn't keep. i'm making promises i have kept and i will keep them for the american people . i have a clear and unequivocal message, and that is america is about to come roaring back. [ cheering ]
>> joining me now, " washington post " columnist and msnbc analyst eugene robinson , marc caputo and mark murray . thank you so much, gentlemen, for joining. i got to bring eugene in because he is right here and i have the pleasure of sitting alongside. when we heard or i heard governor romney say we're roaring back, i instantly thought of the auto bailout, the auto industry . how many times we heard on the campaign trail from obama and others saying gm is roaring back. and i thought, wow, it all goes back to ohio and that auto bailout which was unpopular at the time, and now here we are.
>> right. so one of the big questions is will mitt romney kind of blur the lines on the auto bailout sufficiently to gain a little ground in ohio ? because that is a huge issue in that state . and arguably, we could be saying wednesday that that issue won the state for president obama and that it won reelection for president obama .
>> do you think we're talking too much about ohio ? listen, you've got the romney campaign saying they're looking at pennsylvania, minnesota, that they perhaps have some traction there. and we know the new numbers in florida . we'll talk with marc about that throe show at least a difference in polls from the nbc marist poll and local polls show romney is up more than we're indicating.
>> first of all, i think both sides genuinely think they're going to win or certainly think they have a great chance of winning. that said, pennsylvania has always been fool's gold for republicans. it looks tempting at the end. they might go for it.
>> sounds good on paper.
>> but they don't get it. now if the new nbc marist poll is correct about florida , florida can decide it before we even, you know, do the late-night counting of the absentee ballots out of cleveland. i mean because florida , if that goes for president obama , that's pretty much the story, i think.
>> mr. caputo, let me bring new you've in on this. the poll shows two point ahead for governor romney in florida , that within the margin of error. my team and i were struck with looking at the lines of people early voting in that state today.
>> well, those lines are really going to be the indication of how this campaign is going to go. we've had gangbusters early voting turnout in florida . about two million people in a week. because of early voting , democrats have an edge and ballots cast of about 104,000 over republicans. republicans usually do well at mail and absentee ballots . democrats dominate early voting . but guess what? the legislature, rick scott shortened the early voting days. and relative to the early voting hours we had in 2008 in south florida , they essentially cut them by 22% or about 24 hours . so it's going to make a difference. what we're going to see on election day now is a lot of those folks who probably would have early voted, they're going to show up on election day and cast ballots. so the question is how many of these people are actually voting for obama ? how many are voting for romney ? obviously we don't know. indications are from our poll is that romney is winning the key demographic or the key swing voters or the key swing state , and that's the independent voters. he is marginally winning them. he is also doing well with north florida democrats, certain crossover democrats, rural democrats. he pulls about 16% of them on our poll, where as obama only pulls about 5% republican support. so that crossover appeal so to speak of romney 's in florida and the independent edge that he appears to have is making a difference. but good campaigns can change polls. they're not changed by polls. and the question is who turns out their voters and who does it best. we're going to find out today. today is the last day of early voting . and then on tuesday that's when the ball game is.
>> mark murray , let me bring you in. both men have these op-eds in "the wall street journal ." we have the headlines. real progress, but we're not done. that's from the president. and governor romney , a new direction for america. what are your thoughts on just the headlines alone, not even the content of the op-ed itself. but those two different headlines.
>> well, right. they're actually two different realities. actually, when you look in all the polls, it doesn't matter what it is. democrats seem to be a whole lot more optimistic about the country's direction, or people who are actually planning to vote for obama are more optimistic. people who are more pessimistic, republican voters are the republicans. and so you end up having this dichotomy, or in some respects it actually almost has a 50/50 split which is actually mirrored by a lot of the national polls that show this contest to be incredibly close. i would say, and when you actually add the economic data we saw on friday from the jobs report, mitt romney 's task is a little bit harder because he is actually saying, look, this has been a rough last four years, and it's time to actually good days are ahead, but the argument when you actually look at all the statistics that are out there, things are moving in the right direction as far as things are much better than they were four years ago, and even if mitt romney ends up winning the presidency on tuesday, he will end up inheriting a much better economy than president obama did four years ago.
>> that's interesting, eugene. several months ago there was an article that said insiders in the obama team were mortified at the thought that if governor romney wins the white house , that he would get credit for the recovery put in place by actions and decisions made by them.
>> absolutely. that's exactly what would happen. and there is nothing anybody can do about it. the sitting president is going to get credit for the good and the bad. look, governor romney promises to add 12 million jobs in his first term. most economists believe that given the direction of the recovery, if it picks up as expected, we're going the gain 12 million jobs anyhow in the next four years. so most agree that the economy is going to get better, and whoever is president is going to get the credit.
>> let me talk to you a little bit about speaking of getting credit, the response to sandy . part of the president -- and gentlemen, you can all take a look, as well as folks at home. president obama went to fema and washington, d.c. this morning. and this is what he had to say regarding the response to sandy . let's play it.
>> leaders of different political parties working together to fix what is broken. [ applause ] now it's a spirit that says no matter how bad a storm is, no matter how tough times are, we're all in this together. we rise or fall as one nation and as one people.
>> if we can pull up the marist poll, the nbc " wall street journal ," the president's response to sandy . 73% approve in ohio . 70% out of florida . marc caputo, let me bring you in because 70% of the people in the home state of yours approve of his handling. will that have an impact on perhaps not early voter, but on tuesday those who look back and may have heard comments from the republican primary that were made by governor romney regarding fema. we know fema is still popular in that state for the obvious reasons.
>> i think it would. florida is a big state . we're a tv state . our electorate makes its decisions largely on what they see on television, not what they read in the newspaper or on the internet. the coverage for a while before, during and after sandy , especially after sandy has been very favorable to president obama . you would think that's going to help, and it's still going on. having chris christie as a de facto unintentional surrogate doesn't seem to hurt obama one bit. it probably seems to help him.
>> what is so interesting, you said chris christie , de facto endorser of obama . you've got this new article exclusive from politico saying there were people on governor romney 's team who believed that chris kri city was the vp choice almo until tery ending, and surprise it's ryan. isn't the timing interesting?
>> it's a little too interesting. look, there are two ways to react. governor christie says i'm doing my job. the president is doing his job. we're working together and i'm being honest. you have to respect that. look at two different examples. haley barbour who went through katrina in mississippi says that's absolutely what governor christy ought to say, he is doing what he has to do and get off his back. and you have the underground voices of the romney campaign who were taking a different tack and kind of sniping at christie at different angles, in a fit of pique basically.
>> you can't really blame them. this is game theory . you choose a, i choose b. if my guy looks like he is helping you, even if he is not truly helping you, and appearance has a tendency to be a reality, i don't blame the romney folks for being a little piqued or po'ed.
>> you may not blame them, but for showing it. some of the conservatives who backed governor romney showing that they were quite irritated with this and rather take the high road , knowing that all eyes are on this storm and the response. so marc, looking at these numbers, 73% of the folks in ohio , who already approved the bailout and now approve the president's response to sandy , what do we make of that when you couple it with the chris christie hug heard around the world it seems. we can't stop talking about it.
>> the final full week of the campaign was a very good one for president obama . it gave him a lot of momentum heading into the final stretch. not only did he get that hug from chris christie , people end up proving his response to hurricane sandy . there were a slew of battleground state polls including in ohio that showed obama ahead. there did seem to be momentum that he had had. and i think most importantly when you actually look back at hurricane sandy , and of course we don't know how election night is going to turn out, but it did freeze the romney campaign in place. and there wasn't a lot of talk of mitt romney for two or three weeks. he was the candidate who had the momentum. he was beginning to make his closing argument . and then hurricane sandy hit, and it froze that. and then the campaign began just a couple of days later.
>> which is interesting, marc, because you often hear, and i want all of you to comment on this. any sport they say you don't want to peak too soon. with the unknown variable of the storm allowing the president to peak at this time, you do wonder without sandy , where would this race be tonight?
>> you mean this is like one of the football games where the last team with the ball wins essentially?
>> well, the overtime stats, the person with the first touch on the ball wins most of the time.
>> if you take that metaphor further, though, it's because people are looking for answers, and they're looking for solutions. and they want to believe in something. they want to be in somebody. it may be the last candidate with the football wins.
>> i do wonder in florida , most polls agree that romney is nominally up, and he is up almost in all of the surveys, or a majority of them among independents. again, that makes a huge difference. in the end, our state has a higher home foreclosure rate, a higher unemployment rate than the rest of the nation. yeah that.
>> see this stuff on television. but in the end, the race is going to come down to jobs and a lot of folks are going to make a decision on that. and the race comes down now to who turns out the base. i would not underestimate the romney campaign in florida . they've got a very good team and they're doing a good job. they're staying close to president obama , who in 2008 just slaughtered the republicans in early vote . it's not happening now, albeit president obama is still up.
>> mark murray , marc caputo, ewe gene robinson , thank you so much for having all you