Steve Kornacki Looks Into His Midterms Crystal Ball


OKAY, LET’S GET STRAIGHT TO THE
HEAT OF THE MEAT. I ALWAYS ENJOY WHEN YOU STAND UP
THERE WITH YOUR MAGIC BOARD ON MSNBC, BREAK DOWN THE NUMBERS
AND BREAK DOWN THE DISTRICT AND LEFT HANDED SENIORS WHO ARE
BLOND ARE GOING TO VOTE THIS WAY. LET’S BREAK DOWN THE MIDDERMS.>>LET’S DO IT.>>Stephen: WE’RE 40 DAYS
AWAY, SOMETHING LIKE THAT, THAT BALLPARK.>>FIVE WEEKS.>>Stephen: FIVE WEEKS. SO WE’RE 35 DAYS AWAY. PEOPLE– THERE’S A LOT OF HOPE
FOR SOME PEOPLE THAT THE DEMOCRATS WILL TAKE THE HOUSE. LONG SHOT FOR THE SENATE. WHICH WAY IS THE MOMENTUM GOING
RIGHT NOW?>>YEAH, I MEAN, THE MOMENTUM IS
AT A POINT NOW, IF YOU’RE A DEMOCRAT, YOU’RE GOING TO BE
SEVERELY– AND I THINK JUSTIFIABLY– DISAPPOINTED IF
YOUR PARTY DOESN’T GET BACK THE HOUSE. THE DISTRICTS, THE COMBINATION
THEY NEED, THE FACTORS– THEY SEEM TO BE THERE FOR DEMOCRATS. THE WAY I LOOK AT IT IS 23
SEATS. THAT’S THEIR MAGIC NUMBER, THEY
NEED TO TAKE BACK 23 REPUBLICAN SEATS. THERE ARE ABOUT A DOZEN I THINK
YOU CAN LOOK APT RIGHT NOW AND SAY DEMOCRATS ARE REASONABLY
WELL POSITIONED IN, ABOUT HALFWAY THERE. THERE ARE ABOUT TWO DOZEN AFTER
THAT THAT I THINK YOU KIND OF PUT IN THAT CATEGORY THEY COULD
GO EITHER WAY.>>Stephen: COIN TOSS.>>YEAH, IF YOU GET HALF OF
THOSE IF YOU’RE DEMOCRAT, YOU’RE RIGHT AT THE DOORSTEP, IF NOT
PAST IT. AND THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT OF
DISTRICTS PAST THAT, IF IT’S THE KIND OF YEAR THEY THINK IT IS,
THEY’RE GOING TO GET LUCKY IN THOSE DISTRICTS, TOO. I’M NOT SAYING THIS IS SOMETHING
IN THE BAG FOR THEM. THEY FELT THAT WAY A COUPLE OF
YEARS AGO. THEY PUT EVERYTHING THEY HAVE
INTO THIS. THE OPPORTUNITY IS THERE. THEY COULD CERTAINLY BLOW IT —
>>Stephen: WHERE THE STATES FOR THE BIG OPPORTUNITY FOR
DEMOCRATS TO PICK UP SEATS?>>CALIFORNIA IS THE GRAND DADDY
OF THEM ALL. THERE ARE SEVEN DISTRICTS IN
CALIFORNIA THAT REPUBLICANS HOLD RIGHT NOW BUT THAT DONALD TRUMP
LOST IN 2016. THEY VOTED FOR HILLARY CLINTON
AND THEY VOTED FOR A REPUBLICAN MEMBER OF CONGRESS IN 2016. THAT’S THE SINGLE BIGGEST
CONCENTRATION OF TARGETS FOR DEMOCRATS. WHEN BARACK OBAMA WENT BACK ON
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL A FEW WEEKS AGO, FIRST PLACE HE WENT–
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.>>Stephen: WHAT’S THE CHANCE
FOR THE SENATE. FIVE 38 IT 38%.>>YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT
THE SENATE IS. IT’S A TWO-SEAT NET GAIN THE
DEMOCRATS NEED, THEY GET THE SENATE. THAT SOUNDS VERY DOABLE. THEN YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT
THIS. THERE ARE 10 SENATE SEATS UP FOR
RE-ELECTION HELD BY DEMOCRATS BUT THE STATE WENT FOR TRUMP IN
2016, TRUMP STATE DEMOCRATS. AND SOME OF THESE DEMOCRATS
YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA. TRUMP WON THE STATE BY 42
POINTS.>>Stephen: WHAT!>>DEMOCRATS HAVE TO WIN
RE-ELECTION THERE. NORTH DAKOTA, TRUMP WON BY 36
POINTS IN 2016. DEMOCRATS HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO
WIN RE-ELECTION THERE. MISSOURI, INDIANA, 20 POINTS. THAT’S HURDLE FOR DEMOCRATS. IT’S THE MAP ON THE SENATE SIDE.>>Stephen: YOU HAVE A NEW
BOOK CALLED “THE RED AND THE BLUE: THE 90s AND THE BIRTH
OF POLITICAL TRIBALISM.” WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE 90s THAT
CREATED THE POLITICAL TRIBALISM? IS IT NEWT GINGRICH BECAUSE I
ALWAYS THAT IT WAS NEWT GINGRICH. SERIOUSLY–
>>NEWT CHANGED THE RULES OF POLITIC S.>>Stephen: AND HOW DID HE
CHANGE THEM?>>HE TOOK A REPUBLICAN PARTY IN
THE HOUSE THAT WAS TOLD WHEN HE GOT THERE IN THE LATE 70s–
THEY WERE TOLD, “YOU’RE A PERMANENT MINORITY PARTY.” DEMOCRATS HAD CONTROLLED
CONGRESS FOR DECADES AT THAT POINT. THEY CONTROLLED IT WELL INTO THE
1990s WHEN GINGRICH TOOK OVER. GINGRICH TOLD REPUBLICANS YOU
NEED TO FIGHT THEM EVERY SINGLE DAY. YOU DON’T COMPROMISE WITH THEM. YOU DON’T GIVE THEM HALF OF WHAT
THEY WANT ON TAXES. YOU DON’T GIVE THEM HALF OF WHAT
THEY WANT ON SPENDING. YOU DO CONTRAST AND DEFINITION. YOU DEFINE WHO YOU ARE AND YOU
CONTRAST YOURSELF WITH DEMOCRATS ON THE FLOOR EVERY DAY, EVERY
WAY. AND HE STAGE AID SERIES OF– I
CALL THEM ALMOST LEGISLATIVE GORILLA ATTACKS ON THE FLOOR OF
THE HOUSE TO SHOW THE REPUBLICANS WHAT THIS WAS. AND THE MOST FAMOUS ONE– AND
GINGRICH’S RISE WAS THE MID-90s. TIP O’NEILL OF THE SPEAKER OF
THE HOUSE, DEMOCRAT FROM MASSACHUSETTS, IN HIS EARLY
70s AT THAT POINT AND O’NEILL BAITED HIM INTO A FIGHT– EXCUSE
ME, GINGRICH BAITED HIM INTO A FIGHT ON THE HOUSE FLOOR. HE BAKES THE FACE OF THE
DEMOCRATIC PARTY INTO A FIGHT ON THE HOUSE FLOOR, AND O’NEILL
ERUPTS AND LOSES HIS TEMPER AND HE GOES AFTER GINGRICH. AND GINGRICH, YOU CAN SEE THE
SMILE ON HIS FACE– YOU CAN LOOK AT THE OLD C-SPAN FILES AND SEE
THIS– BECAUSE HE’S BROKEN HOUSE RULES. HE MOVES THAT THE SPEAKER’S
WORDS BE TAKEN DOWN. THAT’S SOMETHING THAT’S NEVER
HAPPENED. IT’S A BIG DEAL IN CONGRESS. THE PARLIAMENT ARYAN WHO IS A
DEMOCRATIC APPOINTEE RULES AGAINST O’NEILL. “MR. SPEAKER, YOUR WORDS ARE
TAKEN DOWN.” HE TAKES HIS SEAT. GINGRICH GETS TO KEEP TALKING–
AND WHEN KING RICH FINISHES, KING RICH FOLDS UP HIS BINDER,
WALKS UP THE AISLE IN THE HOUSE. THE ENTIRE REPUBLICAN SIDE
STANDS AND CHEERS. AND HE’S GIVEN THEM A TASTE OF
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE. THAT KIND OF POLITICS. AND I THINK THAT’S THE KIND OF
POLITICS THAT POWERED HIM, POWERED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND
IS A HUGE PART OF THE 1990s.>>Stephen: HE ALSO SAID TO
THE REPUBLICANS ONCE HE GOT INTO POWER, HE SAID, “YOU CAN’T GO
PLAY WITH THE DEMOCRATS. NOT ONLY YOU CAN NOT FIGHT WITH
THEM. YOU CAN’T GO HAVE LUNCH WITH
THEM. YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING WITH
THEM.” WHICH LED TO, I HAVE ALWAYS
UNDERSTOOD, THE TRUE DESTRUCTION OF ANY BIPARTISANSHIP IN
WASHINGTON BECAUSE “YOU CAN’T BE FRIENDS WITH THESE GUYS” IS SORT
OF THE FIRST STEP YOU CAN’T HAVE A COMMUNICATING GOVERNMENT WITH
EACH OTHER.>>WHEN HE CAME TO POWER, 1995,
REPUBLICANS TAKE OVER THE HOUSE, NEWT GINGRICH BECOMES THE
SPEAKER. HIS MISSION AT THAT POINT WAS
NOT JUST TO FINISHAVE BILL CLINTON– BILL CLINTON WAS STILL
THE PRESIDENT. PEOPLE THOUGHT HE WAS WEAKENED. HIS MISSION HE THOUGHT WAS TO
FINISH OFF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND MODERN LIBERALISM, L.B.J.,
THE GREAT SOCIETY, AND HE PICKED A FIGHT ON MEDICARE FUNDING AND
BASICALLY CHALLENGED BILL CLINTON, DARED BILL CLINTON TO
SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT ON IT. CLINTON CALLED HIS BLUFF, TURNED
AROUND THE CLINTON PRESIDENCY, AND IT REVEALED THIS GREAT
CONTRADICTION INTO SORT OF HOW WE AS AMERICANS APPROACH
POLITICS. CONCEPTUALLY WE LOVE SMALL
GOVERNMENT. CONCEPTUALLY WE HAVE A LOT OF
CONSERVATISM IN US. BUT WE LIKE OUR MEDICARE. WE LIKE OUR SOCIAL SECURITY. AND THAT’S THAT GREAT– BOTH
PARTIES HAVE BEEN TRYING TO NAVIGATE THAT DIVIDE I THINK
EVER SINCE. THE BOOK IS “THE RED AND THE
BLUE.” THE MAN IS STEVE KORNACKI. THEY’RE BOTH AVAILABLE RIGHT
NOW. WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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