The Daily Rundown | November 07, 2012
>>> president obama will have to face the same divided congress he faced in his first term, at least half of it. democrats scored some convincing victories in tough senate races. democrats picked up a republican seat after joe donnelly knocked off tea party candidate richard mourdock and picked up new hampshire where elizabeth warren won. in connecticut chris murphy trounced linda mcmahon . that makes two failed senate bids in a row despite spending nearly $100 million of her own money. missouri senator claire mccaskill held her seat, ended up soundly defeating todd akin 55% to 39%. drop-off voters not a problem as some suspected. sherrod brown retained his seat. in the swing state of virginia democrat tim kaine may have been helped by president obama 's strong showing with african-americans in particular beat former senator george allen allenby four points. and in wisconsin tammy baldwin defeated former governor tommy thompson , 51% to 46%. the lone pickup was in nebraska where deb fischer defeated bob kerrey to grab a seat vacated by retiring democrat ben nelson . let's take a look at where things stand. two uncalled races here. this is for an open seat in north dakota would be if heidi heidtkamp leaves there. we have not called it. let me run through both of those just to show you the raw vote totals where we are now 0. there's still a lot of vote to count here. leads by 17,000 votes. that is likely to hold everything that seems to be out. a lot of folks believe that will hold. i have a feeling this will take a little while longer. congressman rick bird only trailing by 2,994 votes. that's pretty good math for lack of sleep. democrats may pick up anywhere at least as many as eight seats. there it went. whoop. the camera wept down. hey look, better that it went down today than before. it looks like we have -- it's going to be as many as a net gain of eight seats, at worst four seats. joining me now is the man in charge of trying to pick up house seats. it was a tough night for house democrats when you consider everything else on the board. congressman israel, how democrats did in the senate, they may pick up seats, the president winning a second term decisively in the will he lelectoral college. is districting the reason why?
>> we didn't get the 25 we needed to take the majority, but we did better than anybody would have expected. the republicans in the house were saying that they were going to net 16 seats. instead we will net between six and eight seats. most of the pundits said we would lose seats or maybe cap it at about five seats. we've exceeded that. exceeded the historic averages so we did better than anybody ever expected.
>> you expected to do better.
>> well, look, again, we didn't get the 25 seats to get the majority but better than anybody anticipated. everything that was in our control, the fund-raising, the message, the recruiting, getting solutionists to run, we surpassed expectations. in a very tight presidential election , you take a look at history, in a very tight presidential election the president's party usually picks up 2 1/2 seats. we picked up, as you said, between six and eight seats. so we lost 63 seats in 2010 . after that loss, house democrats are back and the tea party is over. we took down a bunch of the tea party icons throughout the country so we're feeling pretty good.
>> one of the things, though, that didn't seem to go well, a lot of moderates or centrists that represented red areas just couldn't hold up in presidential years. what does that mean going forward for the democratic party ? is it just those are places you only have a shot at in a mid mid-term year? is it harder in presidential years because you get a stronger republ republican turnout?
>> that's exactly what happened. some democrats in very, very republ republican areas where mitt romney is doing very well, you had reverse coattails. just running against -- not against a republican but against gravity in some of those districts. on the other hand we had democratic incumbents like mike mcintyre and others. jim mathison of utah. very republican districts that held on as a result of the operational plan that we implemented. so, look, coattails matter, no question about that. we had a generic environment that was absolutely dead even. almost 50/50. in 2004 when george bush got re-elected, he picked up two seats. 1996 bill clinton got elected. his party picked up three seats. we picked up between six and ooit.
>> nancy pelosi , is she going to be the leader of the house democrats when the calendar turns?
>> i hope so but that's her decision to make and i haven't talked to her about it.
>> if she does not run is that something you are interested in running another leadership position should something come up?
>> i have been relentlessly focused on yesterday. i got as much sleep as you did last night, chuck, and i'm not thinking about anything other than the fact there are still races on the board. we have a bunch of recounts coming in so we're focusing on everyone day as it comes and there leave other decisions to later.
>> does redistricting make it where it will be impossible for democrats to win control of the house or a couple of election cycles minimum?
>> no, not at all. look, i think the storyline in this election wasn't necessarily redistricting although it worked against us in some areas. it worked for us in illinois where we almost had a sweep. the storyline is not about redistricting. it is if you are an extremist tea party republican, you are going to lose. allen west lost. joe walsh lost. ann marie in upstate new york lost. it doesn't matter what kind of district you have if you refuse to compromise, to govern, if you refuse to move forward, we are going to beat you.
>> steve israel , chairman of the dccc, democrat from new york. i know it's been a long night and you probably have to prep for a ton of recounts, a ton of seats being decided.
>> thanks, chuck.
>> a quick note on other house races. the wife of agricultural secretary and former governor tom vilsack lost in iowa 's fourth district. iowa was trying to become one to get rid of that one little nugget of dubious history. iowa has never sent a woman to congress or elected a woman senator for governor and that is now still the case and in utah, by the way, you heard him talk about mathison. he defeeded love who became a star at that republican convention .