The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/03/14
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you at home for joining us this
There are not a lot of two-term presidents in recent American history.
Before President Obama there was George W. Bush. He, of course, had two
terms. Bill Clinton, of course. Ronald Reagan.
But before Ronald Reagan, you have to go back to Eisenhower to get to
a president who served two whole terms. So if you look at these four, the
only presidents in the last 30 – actually Eisenhower should be Obama
You look at these presidents over the last 30 years to have served two
terms, obviously, they are pretty wildly different as presidents. They
served in different times. They have been viewed differently in terms of
how they`ll go down in history.
But in this rather elite club, these few people who have had two
terms, all of them so far have had the same thing happen to them at the end
of their presidency. They all in their last two years in office had to
deal with the House and the Senate being in control of the opposite party.
Ronald Reagan`s second midterms were in 1986. He, of course, was a
Republican. In his second midterm, the Democrats held on to the house and
his Republican Party lost the Senate.
George W. Bush was also a Republican. In his second midterm in 2006,
his Republican party lost the House and lost the Senate. Bill Clinton, of
course, was a Democrat and his second midterm election, his Democratic
Party did not lose the Senate majority because it was not theirs to lose
but they stayed in the minority in both the Senate and in the House.
Every two-term president of the modern era has had to serve the last
two years of his presidency with both houses of Congress being controlled
by the other party. George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, they
all had widely different presidencies. But this is what happens to second
term presidencies, every time, at least over the course of my lifetime,
this is how it goes.
And before, even if you do want to go back further than that. It was
true of Eisenhower as well.
This is now proven to be almost an historic inevitability about what
happens to presidents when they get to their second term and their second
midterm election. The other guys are in charge of Congress. It must be a
huge drag if you are president to know that`s coming, right?
But although that is the history, nobody knows for sure if that`s
going to happen to President Obama in tomorrow`s elections as well.
Republicans certainly will hold the House. Nobody yet knows if they will
take the Senate. Republicans seem very confident that they will take the
If the Republican Party this year keeps up with history, then the
Republicans will be right in their confidence. They will take the Senate.
Look at this – Since World War II, in midterm elections, the
president`s party loses an average of four Senate seats in each midterm
election. If, however, you focus in on just the second midterms, just
midterms when a president is in his sixth year of office, the number of
Senate seats the president`s party loses on average is 5.8. Let`s round to
So, if the Republican Party performs at historical average levels in
tomorrow`s election, the Republican Party tomorrow will take six Senate
seats from the Democrats and coincidentally, six Senate seats happens to be
the exact number they need to take from the Democrats in order to take over
control of the United States Senate.
So, all they have to do is hit the historical average and they will
get what they want. If they don`t – they`ll have some explaining to do,
All right. So, that context is not about any one race. That doesn`t
tell you what`s going to happen to any individual candidate tomorrow or in
any individual state tomorrow. That`s just the historical precedent for
what happens in elections like the one we are about to have.
And if past is prologue and tomorrow does follow that very clear
historic pattern – well, then, the next thing to consider is what happens
once Republicans do have control of the United States Senate as well as the
United States House of Representatives. If they have complete control of
Congress, what are they going to want to do with it? No idea.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz did a “Washington Post” interview where he said
he`s already not sure about whether he will vote for Mitch McConnell as
majority leader for the Republicans in Senate. Who-hoo, they are already
fighting over the booty when they haven`t raided the castle yet.
One thing does seem clear. If the Republicans do meet history`s
expectations and take complete control of Congress tomorrow, well, OK.
This is the legislative record, the quantitative legislative record, the
record of achievement for what is known as the do-nothing Congress. After
World War II, Harry Truman branded the Congress that year the do-nothing
Congress. That famous picture of Harry Truman gleefully holding up the
newspaper, Dewey defeats Truman. That was an amazing headline, because
“The Chicago Daily Tribune” newspaper got the election results wrong.
But other than the newspaper screwing up the headline, do you remember
anything else about Thomas Dewey. Are you even sure his first name was
No, nobody remembers anything about Thomas Dewey because Harry Truman
didn`t really even bother running against him. Harry Truman ran against
the do-nothing Congress when he ran for reelection that year. He basically
ignored the Republican candidate.
Truman ran against the do nothing Congress and he won. And that
Congress in 1947 and 1948 will forever be known as the do-nothing Congress.
It`s the historic benchmark in our nation for the failure of a political
institution, right? For the failure to act. That Congress did nothing.
For comparison sake, so on the left side of your screen there, that`s
the legislative record of the do-nothing Congress, 1948. The 112th
Congress there, that`s the legislative record of the last Congress we just
They say there`s nothing new under the sun. Bullpucky. We are in our
lifetime setting new records for Congress doing less than it has ever done
before. USA, USA.
So, that`s the do-nothing Congress. Right next to it, that`s the last
Congress, which is officially on record as the least productive Congress in
the history of Congress. And now, this is the record of the current
Congress that we`re in right now. The current Congress, their record so
We might even beat the record which we set last year. Congress has
never done less in the history of the United States of America than it`s
done since the Republicans took control of the House in 2010.
If the Republican Party also takes the Senate, though, I think it is
reasonable to expect that that record of doing absolutely nothing will
change. Republicans in control of the two houses of Congress will probably
find a way to agree with each other enough to pass things because they will
be able to do it with all Republican votes. Once they can act in
Washington, without having to deal with the Democrats at all, my guess is
they probably will start passing stuff.
Democrats will not be able to stop them in the house or in the Senate
barring the filibuster. If the Republicans take control of both of those
bodies, Democrats are not going to be able to stop them in Congress at all.
They will leave it up to President Obama himself.
President Obama alone will be the counterweight to the all-Republican
Congress if the Republicans take the Senate tomorrow. And that is going to
be a lot of fun to cover.
When the same thing that may happen to President Obama tomorrow
happened to George W. Bush in 2006, when the Democrats took control of both
houses of Congress in the sixth year of his presidency, George W. Bush, by
that point in his presidency, had only vetoed one bill over the entire time
he`d been president. After 2006, though, after the opposite party took
control of the house and Senate, he issued 11 vetoes in his last two years
Heading into tomorrow`s elections, President Obama so far in this
presidency has only vetoed two pieces of legislation. Neither of which are
things that anybody remembers. One of them was basically a typo by
Congress. Congress passed a stop-gap thing because they thought they were
not going to be able to pass a spending bill. Then they passed a spending
bill, too, which was just kind of screw-up. It was a nonevent. Only one
of those things could be lost, so President Obama vetoed one of them.
The headline in “The New York Times” the day that President Obama
issued his very first veto as president was this, “Veto from Obama does not
stop presses.” It was not the most important thing. The only other thing
he`s vetoed since being president is had to do with – I`m kidding you, I`m
not kidding you. It had to do with who is allowed to notarize your
Now, no offense to notaries or to mortgage documents, but that veto
was not exactly an earth-shattering political move either. All right? For
all of the politics and the political tactics and the controversies and the
different types of political excitement that we`ve had during the Obama
years, we`ve had precisely zero excitement over presidential vetoes. It`s
happened only twice in this presidency and only one time did it make the
front section of the paper when he did it, nonevent both times.
But if history is right about what`s going to happen in tomorrow a
election, that whole veto thing is about to get a lot more exciting. We`ll
have a big new thing to be controversial and exciting in our politics.
So, looking ahead to how tomorrow`s election may or may not change
your life, if you are interested in politics, you are about to have a lot
more Barack Obama in your politics in the Republicans take the Senate and
if they can get it together to pass legislation both through the House and
Senate. So, it gets to President Obama`s desk. President Obama`s desk is
going to become a much more interesting place than it has been since
Congress stopped doing anything four years ago.
So, that is an exciting prospect. The other thing we know is going to
happen after tomorrow`s election is that President Obama is planning on
doing stuff without Congress. Now, President Obama has said that after the
election, he will take executive action without Congress, on the issue of
immigration. If you want to know what else is going to happen, right, if
history is right and the Republicans have a great day tomorrow, if you want
to know what else that is going to mean in your life and in our political
life as a nation, our friends at FOX News are already so excited about the
prospect of President Obama acting on the issue of immigration that they
have started planning out loud for what they are going to do in response.
What they are going to do in Congress if Republicans get control of
both Houses of Congress starting tomorrow and then President Obama acts
without them. They are already talking about what they are going to do in
I don`t want to give it away but its initials are impeachment. They
are already talking about impeachment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: The White House has basically said he`s
going to, right after the election, midterms, he`s going to issue an
executive action and there was this big story in “The Wall Street Journal”
this weekend that he might take action that would delay deportation. Give
a permanent path not to citizenship but legalization to up to 4 million
I promise you, if he does that, if he by executive action goes against
Congress and legalizes 4 million people who are in this country illegally,
there is going to be a firestorm on Capitol Hill. You`re going to see
calls for impeachment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Impeachment. They are already calling for it. They are
already planning on it.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: If the Republicans
do capture the Senate, there`s no more excuses about impeachment. See,
what we`ve heard so far is why we can`t do that because we would never get
it through the Senate, the House could impeach him, but the Senate would
never convict. They would never – it would just be a waste of time.
Well, if they have control of the Senate, it won`t be. So, we`ll see
how they deal with this post-election if they happen to win the control of
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: That`s Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council, a
social conservative group.
Over at World Net Daily, your source for where`s the birth certificate
t-shirts and bumper stickers, it`s our old friend at World Net Daily, Tom
Tancredo banging the drum for impeachment there as well. Quote, “Given the
likely new political circumstances post-November 4th, impeachment is no
So, on FOX News, on right wing talk radio, and the conservative blog
world, they`ve already got it in motion as best as they can. Tomorrow,
they take the Senate. The day after that, they start working toward
Remember this summer, Republicans in the House came up with a plan
that was to drain some of the energy away from the calls on the right to
start impeaching President Obama for something? House Speaker Boehner said
he`d file a lawsuit against President Obama instead of filing impeachment
proceedings. This was essentially supposed to drain the excitement, right?
This is supposed to divert energies away from impeachment into this lawsuit
against President Obama instead.
Since then, that supposed lawsuit has never been filed. Two different
law firms have now quit after being hired by the House speaker to bring
that case. They just didn`t ever do anything with it.
And the fire on the right and in the conservative media and on FOX
News to impeach President Obama for something some time soon, that fire on
the right is burning hotter than the Beltway realizes right now.
Nobody knows for sure if the Republicans are going to take the Senate
tomorrow. History if nothing else suggests that they will. But then what?
As you can see tonight, I`m at a different desk. We`re at the big new
desk. We`re at the big new set. Lots of head room. We`re all set up for
election night tomorrow night. It`s going to be a big night, no matter
But the best we can tell from this vantage point is that the next two
years are going to be not just a big deal. They`re probably going to be a
big mess, which makes the news business a very fun place to work.
Joining us now is Andrea Mitchell, host of “ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS”
here on MSNBC.
Andrea, it`s great to see you. Thank you for being here.
ANDREA MITCHELL, ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS: Great to be here. Nice
MADDOW: Thank you. I don`t think I get to keep them.
MITCHELL: Oh, well –
MADDOW: We`ll see. This election might go until January.
MADDOW: It is a little bit – I feel like heading into these
elections, that there two interesting things that I can`t get my head
around. And one of them is it feels like it`s very close. If you look at
things like generic ballot, if you look at economic data, you look at
fundamentals, you look at how many races are considered to be a tie or
within the margin of error.
MADDOW: All the turnout stuff. It seems like things are very close.
History tells us it won`t be close. It`s going to be a blowout and
How do you approach something like this?
MITCHELL: Very, very cautiously because it is close, according to all
the polling. Polling can be wrong. But in every place we look, all the
data show that it`s very close. We don`t see signs of this Republican wave
especially in the NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll which now shows it
neck and neck in terms of people who say we want a Democratic Congress and
people who say we want a Republican Congress.
And our best thinking in looking at this is that people are so upset,
so turned off by the deadlock, gridlock, the argument, the commercials, the
money that`s been spent that they are angry at the incumbents, and many of
them are Democrats and certainly the White House is an incumbent Democrat,
but they`re also angry at Congress, which includes a House that`s
Republican. And they really aren`t decided or haven`t decided up until now
which way to express that anger.
Do they stay home? In which case is basically advantages the people
who are committed midterms. That`s often older voters, more Republican
voters? Or does it inspire the base? Are there Democrats getting people
angry enough and fearful enough about what they say will happen if the
Republicans take over that the young people will come out. And we`ve got
early voting and key state, Colorado, which is mail-in voting.
MADDOW: For the first time.
MITCHELL: For the first time, we don`t know if a really important,
very close election in North Carolina, what kind of voter intimidation is
going to take place. That`s been ground zero. As you have reported, more
importantly than anyone else, you`ve done all the homework there. What`s
going to happen when people try to vote?
MADDOW: I feel like looking ahead – I feel like especially looking
at previous two-term presidents, they all had to deal with having Congress
controlled by the opposite party. That`s part of what makes it feel like
an historic inevitability that the Republicans are going to go there.
Is there any way to look ahead toward what changes in Washington if
the Republicans do take control? I mean, policymaking, no policy is being
made in Congress anyway.
MADDOW: Presumably no policymaking will be made in Congress
controlled by the Republicans on both sides because President Obama will
veto anything they want to pass that he disagrees with. Is there any way
to predict based on history or based on the dynamics right now in
Washington what those last two years would be like and how they will be
different from how things are now?
MITCHELL: If you look at Ronald Reagan and if you look at Bill
Clinton, both of whom were struggling in their second terms with scandal.
One impeachment, sex scandal, the other Iran Contra, bad scandals.
Reagan`s presidency was almost going down, it was saved by Howard Baker and
other people who came in in that second term as new chiefs of staff.
But if you look at them, they didn`t have to deal with an opposition
party which was as controlled by the wings as this Republican Party. It
was pre-Tea Party. It was pre-Ted Cruz and there was an accommodation by
the opposition party and the second term president. Ronald Reagan got
stuff done. Bill Clinton got important stuff done.
And they were able to work across –
MADDOW: Even post-scandal, even as wounded presidents and with
opposite party controlling the Congress.
MITCHELL: So, the question now is which Republican party if they were
to win, is going to be in charge? You already saw Ted Cruz saying today in
Alaska, I`m not sure I would vote for Mitch McConnell. Does Mitch
McConnell have to deal with presidential candidates among his colleagues
who are taking shots from all sides? Is it going to be Rand Paul who said
on “Meet the Press” he thinks things can be done even as he`s clearly
ramping up for a presidential run?
Is it going to be the accommodationists who are like Bob Corker and
others, Lamar Alexander, who might try to reach a middle and do something
on tax reform, do something on trade policy, that ironically President
Obama has tried to do but Democrats have stopped him? Or is it going to be
a divided Republican party in three parts? Candidates. Very right wing
Tea Party members who are not running for president and more moderate
people who want to prove that Republicans can get something done, can
govern to position themselves for 2016.
MADDOW: This is going to be fascinating. Seeing them already
fighting over the spoils before they`ve obtained them shows me how much fun
this is –
MITCHELL: And one quick thing, take a look at some of the
chairmanships and that`s a key. John McCain is going to take over armed
services. Jim Inhofe is going to take over the environment. He`s a
climate change denier.
MADDOW: Yes, greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind, he said.
MITCHELL: So, you`ve very interesting agenda.
MADDOW: Andrea Mitchell, host of “ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS”, weekdays
at noon eastern here on MSNBC, Andrea, I can`t wait to help cover this with
you. Thank you very much.
MITCHELL: I have a big guest tomorrow on my show.
MADDOW: Who do you have?
MITCHELL: Rachel Maddow.
MADDOW: Really? I better get up in time to see that.
All right. Just a few hours away now, civics geeks. For wall to wall
coverage tomorrow night, MSNBC is lucky enough to retain the services of
the great Steve Kornacki and his amazing wall.
Please stay with us.
MADDOW: You know what Americans love? Americans love pot. Colorado
and Washington passed ballot measures in the last election in 2012 that
legalized not just medical marijuana, but just sitting around, getting high
marijuana. They legalized marijuana`s use and made its sale a legal
regulated taxed industry in those two states.
And the exact details of the right way to regulate and tax and
implement those laws is still being sorted out in Colorado and Washington.
But in those two states, they have got legal pot already.
As of tomorrow, two more states, plus the District of Columbia, may
choose to go the same way. Alaska and Oregon are both going to be voting
on legalizing recreational pot tomorrow. Washington, D.C., will also vote
on it tomorrow. But in D.C., there`s always the prospect that Congress
will overrule D.C.`s local decision making on the subject, because citizens
of the District of Columbia are second class citizens who are not allowed
to make local decisions the way other people are in every other part of the
contiguous United States.
In Florida, they will also be voting on marijuana. But in Florida,
it`s not for recreational use, just for medicinal marijuana. And the
ballot measure in Florida, it`s interesting – it would be an amendment to
the state constitution. As such under Florida law, it would take a vote of
60 percent in favor, 60 percent of the population instead of a simple
majority would be needed to pass the medical marijuana initiative in
But overall, it`s really an interesting question. Because Americans
love pot so much, right, it`s an interesting question as to what that
marijuana ballot initiative might do to the Florida election overall. The
Florida governor`s race, as you know, super tight. Like so many races
across the country right now are. Florida governor is very much too close
Do Florida voters love pot so much that having the opportunity to vote
for greater access to marijuana in that state will drive up turnout in that
And same question for Alaska. In Alaska, both the Senate race and
governors race are super, super tight. In Alaska tomorrow, they aren`t
just voting for access to medical marijuana, they`re voting for legalizing
it for recreational use. Everybody expects that to be of great interest in
Nationwide polling has nearly four in 10 Americans saying they`d be
much more likely to vote if marijuana legalization was on the ballot. Now,
that`s nationwide. Will that hold true in Florida and Alaska and the
states voting on it tomorrow? Will it drive turnout above where it might
otherwise be if voters didn`t have the chance to vote in those states on
Which we love as a country. Like mom and apple pie. If you are mom
and apple pie also made you want to eat Funyuns and watch cartoons.
So, that`s one thing to watch tomorrow, whether pot being on the
ballot in Alaska and Florida affects the other very close races in those
Nobody knows the answer. It`s going to be fascinating to watch.
Also, the same question and same potential dynamic at work but in even
more pronounced fashion, in these states, because in these four states
tomorrow, they are voting on something that is even more documented in
terms of people supporting it and that has an even clearer track record in
terms of juicing turnout. And that is not the issue of pot. It`s the
issue of money. It`s the issue of raising the minimum wage.
Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, they are all red states,
places there`s no way the Republican legislatures were going to boost the
minimum wage on those states, but it`s not the legislature`s decision to
make. It`s going to be on the ballot tomorrow for a popular referendum.
And raising the minimum wage is really, really, popular. In three of
these four states, in Arkansas, South Dakota, and Alaska, there are top of
the ticket races really close. The minimum wage vote in those states is
Look at these numbers. This is amazing. In Arkansas the ballot
measure there is leading by nearly 3 to 1. In South Dakota, their ballot
measure to raise the minimum wage leading by more than 2 to 1. In Alaska,
in that generally red libertarian-ish state, a ballot measure to raise the
minimum wage in Alaska is up by 27 points.
Raising in minimum wage is a really, really popular idea. Yes, we
like pot as a country. We love pot as a country. But we also really like
the idea of giving a raise to people who are working for the lowest wages
allowed by law. Even in the red states, where Republican politicians would
never touch that.
The red state folks who live in those places – they support raising
that wage. They support it by like 30-point margins. And it`s a
historical proven winner among Democrats and independents and even
So far, wherever the question of raising the minimum wage has appeared
an the ballot, people have always said yes and by very large margins.
I mean, just speaking in historic terms, raising the minimum wage has
been undefeatable and historically it also drives up turnout. People come
out to vote for raising the minimum wage even if they otherwise wouldn`t
turn out to vote in that election at all. So, put that map back up again,
if we can.
Minimum wage is on the ballot in Alaska, where there are super tight
races for both Senate and governor. It`s on the ballot in Arkansas, which
has a really close for Senate. It`s on the ballot in South Dakota which
has that bizarre three-way race for Senate, and the scandal around the
Republican Senate candidate, where everybody thought was going to be a
Putting pot on the ballot and putting raising minimum wage on the
ballot have the potential to change the electorate, to change who comes out
to vote and in what numbers tomorrow. Alaska is doing both of them at the
same time. And nobody knows what that`s going to mean. Nobody knows.
There`s a lot of speculation as to what that`s going to mean, but
nobody knows. A lot of what`s going to happen in tomorrow`s election is
pretty certain already. A lot of it is completely really, really high up
there in the air.
Hold that thought.
MADDOW: Heading into this weekend, one of the most surprisingly
competitive races for governor was happening in Connecticut. Democratic
Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut has been trying to hold on to his seat
there. This weekend he called in the big guns. This weekend, President
Obama campaigned for Dan Malloy. One of the few campaign events the
president has been asked to take part in late in this election cycle.
Dan Malloy in this race is facing not only Republican challenger named
Tom Foley. He`s also facing an independent candidate on the ballot named
Joseph Visconti. Dan Malloy, so far, has benefitted from the fact that
he`s had two opponents. The third party candidate, Mr. Visconti here, is
essentially a Republican running as an independent.
So, if anything, he`s been siphoning off support from the actual
Republican in the race. That`s been good news for Democrat Dan Malloy.
Or at least it was good news for Democrat Dan Malloy. Right up until
this weekend when this happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: A political earthquake today, as third party independent
candidate for governor suspended his campaign. And this afternoon, Joe
Visconti pledged his support to Republican challenger Tom Foley.
JOE VISCONTI, FORMER GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: It wasn`t about me. It
really was about how are we going to take this state back? And I had to
make the call and pull the trigger.
REPORTER: Joe Visconti tells me the deciding moment to leave the race
for his independent gubernatorial did came Saturday after seeing a public
policy polling poll showing Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy ahead of
Republican challenger Tom Foley by three percentage points.
VISCONTIN: If I can help Tom get across the finish line, I thought I
would do that.
REPORTER: The two men in private Saturday. Visconti`s mother`s house
from West Hartford. Visconti says he`s not asking for anything from Foley
in return for his endorsement.
TOM FOLEY (R), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: It was out of the blue. Yes,
I wasn`t expecting from, but I glad I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Did you say mother`s house? Yes, mom`s house.
The independent in this race called the Republican candidate over to
his mother`s house this weekend and then unexpectedly threw his support
behind that Republican candidate. My mom says you`re OK.
The independent guy cannot technically drop out completely. His name
will still be on the ballot. He`s instructed his supporters to instead
vote for the Republican challenger to Democrat Dan Malloy.
This has been one of those weird election cycles where we have lots
and lots and lots of tied races all over the country. Tied governors
races. Tied Senate races. A lot of the top tier races are too close to
When you have as many tied races as we have, that becomes one of those
times when otherwise unremarkable or strange or uninteresting or unviable
third party candidates suddenly are imbued with the power to change these
Joining us is the one and only Steve Kornacki, the breakout star of
the 2014 midterms.
Steve, thank you very much for being here.
Can you take us through some of these races where the third party
candidate could play a deciding role, potentially?
STEVE KORNACKI, UP: Yes, no, there are some really interesting
situations playing out for a variety of different reasons. Let`s take you
through a couple of them. You mentioned Connecticut.
Let`s look at another independent gubernatorial candidate. This is
actually a libertarian. His named Adrian Wiley. This is the third
candidate in Florida. This is Charlie Crist running against Rick Scott for
Florida. And Adrian Wyllie is the wild card here, let`s show you why.
So, this is the average of the polls in Florida right now. And you
see Crist slightly ahead of Scott. Wyllie pulling pretty big 6.3 percent
in average. Now, normally you`d think libertarian, conservative, probably
pulling more votes from Scott, probably helping Crist.
Not the case here. It looks like Wyllie is pulling more votes from
Crist than Scott. Why is that? The reason is probably it has something to
do with the fact that Scott and Crist, more than any other gubernatorial
candidates anywhere in the country this year, both have extremely high
So, what seems to be happening is voters who have turned on Rick Scott
and don`t want to re-elect him but also find Charlie Crist objectionable,
they are using this as their protest vehicle. So, that`s why he seems to
be doing so well. He`s getting 6.3 percent, could actually be hurting
We can show you a few other things that are happening here. This
guy`s name is Sean Haugh. He`s actually a former pizza delivery man in the
Raleigh area in North Carolina. So, you recognize Kay Hagan, Thom Tillis,
the Republican challenger. This is the Senate race in North Carolina, and
the pizza delivery guy who`s running as a libertarian. Now, take a look at
Here`s the polling average in North Carolina, again, one of these
razor-thin races Democrats badly need to win. This is a race, though,
where the libertarian could hurt the Republican because Thom Tillis, to win
the Republican Senate nomination this year, to run against Hagan, he got
competition on the right. He had a very sort of a libertarian-ish
opponent, a Tea Party opponent in the primary who was endorsed by Rand
Paul. He had some serious problems in the primary. So, here`s Sean Haugh
running as a libertarian. That could be significant in this race.
We can look at another race where this is – see something play here,
this is Amanda Swafford, libertarian again, libertarian is a theme here,
running for the Senate in Georgia. Check this out, the key here is if
Perdue the Republican, Nunn the Democrat fail to get 50 percent, it
triggers that runoff which wouldn`t be held to January.
The key to whether they get to 50 percent or not is Amanda Swafford,
sitting here at about 3 percent. And just to say this is – when you hear
people saying the Republicans if this does go to a runoff, would go into it
as the favorite, they are saying that because they`re figuring Amanda
Swafford taking more votes from Perdue than Nunn. So, take her out of the
equation in the runoff, the expectation is more of this 3.2 percent goes to
Perdue than Nunn.
And again, if she`s doing this on election night tomorrow, it probably
means we`re not deciding this until January.
MADDOW: The important thing with that race like that one that might
go to a run off is you not only have the libertarian candidate potentially
being decisive in whether you get to a run-off, but you also then have the
libertarian candidate potentially being a kingmaker between those two
candidates if they decide to manipulate their support in whatever way they
can, once they`re in that head to head race.
KORNACKI: Right. No, absolutely, somebody who could direct
supporters to do anything.
MADDOW: Right. Kind of makes you see why people are staying in the
race even when they know they won`t win.
Steve Kornacki, thank you so much. It`s great.
MADDOW: I should tell you, in terms offer coverage tomorrow night and
lots more Steve and the whole magic swoopy wall thing, our coverage overall
starts at 6:00 Eastern Time. I`m going to be right here at this oversized
desk alongside my colleague MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews and Steve
Kornacki and his magic board, plus a cast of thousands. It`s tomorrow
night starting at 6:00 Eastern. I couldn`t be more excited.
All right. We`ve got lots more ahead tonight, including a little more
election news. We`ve also got the kind of news from North Dakota and
Wyoming that makes your stomach flip over when you hear it.
Stay with us. That`s ahead. Stay with us.
MADDOW: As the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie has spent over a third of his second term in
office outside his home state of New Jersey. He`s been out stumping for
Republican gubernatorial candidates in 36 states. Today, Chris Christie
spent his Election Day eve making it count in four New England states with
an additional quick detour to the Midwest.
Chris Christie started in Rhode Island this morning. That race turns
out to be pretty interesting one. The Democrat there, state treasurer Gina
Raimondo, she`s facing backlash from liberal-leaning unions in Rhode Island
over her controversial decision to restructure the state`s pension system.
She`s now running neck and neck with her Republican opponent, Allan Fung,
was the current mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island.
Chris Christie made his third visit to Rhode Island to stump for Allan
Fung this morning.
Chris Christie`s second New England stop today was New Hampshire,
where Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan is in a tight race with her
Republican opponent, Walt Havenstein. Chris Christie has gone to New
Hampshire five times since June to stump for Walt Havenstein, including
this visit this afternoon.
After New Hampshire, Chris Christie headed to Connecticut where the
latest poll has Democratic Governor Dan Malloy and his Republican opponent
Tom Foley in a dead heat. And that was before the independent in that race
announced he was dropping out and would throw his support behind Tom Foley.
Then, it was off to Maine for Chris Christie where Governor Paul
LePage is facing a tough three-way race. Independent candidate Eliot
Cutler is running distant third and half quit and half didn`t quit last
week. Had Eliot Cutler quit that race that would have helped Paul LePage`s
Democratic opponent Mike Michaud.
But with Eliot Cutler half in and half out, with him sort of still in
the race and sort of out of the race, nobody is quite sure what`s going to
happen in the Maine governors race. But Chris Christie was there to try to
make it happen for Republican incumbent Paul LePage.
So, Chris Christie had a jam-packed schedule in New England. Plus,
the one, quick jaunt he took to Michigan for Governor Rick Snyder. Last
day before the election, busy day, right? Michigan and most of New
But interestingly, not all of new England. Chris Christie did not
make an appearance in Vermont today. That would be futile. Democratic
Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont has been polling healthy double-digits
over his Republican opponent there. So, no use wasting your time in
But then, hey, wait a minute. What about Massachusetts? Republican
Charlie Baker has been running a tight race against Democratic candidate
Martha Coakley in the great blue state of Massachusetts. But amid all of
these other New England states today, no Chris Christie trip to try to help
In a state like Massachusetts, running away from the National
Republican Party is probably the only path to victory for a Republican
politician. But why is that governorship even potentially in reach for
Republicans in a state as blue as Massachusetts is.
Martha Coakley has lost what was once a big lead over Charlie Baker.
She narrowly trails in some of the latest polling.
Yes, in Massachusetts. Yes, in Massachusetts. It means that tomorrow
against all odds, a Republican could very well take over the governorship
in arguably one of the country`s bluest states. And New England maybe
tomorrow could go from having just one Republican governor to having five?
New England, really?
Joining us for the interview tonight is Massachusetts Governor Deval
Governor Patrick, thank you so much for being here this evening. It`s
really pleasure to have you here.
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Rachel, I was looking forward
to being on before your such gloomy introduction.
MADDOW: Well, talk me out of it. I mean, I look at the governors
races in New England and I see five out of six in reach for the
Republicans. Why is this happening in such a Democratic part of the
PATRICK: Well, I think it may be with due respect to your fabulous
team and to you, you are paying more attention to polls than you are to
what`s happening on the ground. The races certainly here in Massachusetts
will be won by the Democrat because we`ve got a really strong grassroots
organization. And we`ve been working them all around the commonwealth for
weeks and months.
And, indeed, real hard in the last few days to make sure they are
focused, the plan is in place. We have to execute tomorrow. We`re not
taking anything for granted, but people beat money and advertising and
polls every time.
MADDOW: In terms of the Massachusetts race specifically, obviously,
Charlie Baker has had statewide losses before. Martha Coakley has had
state losses before.
These are both candidates who have run for high-profile races in the
state. Neither of them has won in the past. Voters are very familiar with
What accounts for the Democrats starting off this race before the
Republican primary, right? Starting off with such a big advantage and then
seeing it get so close.
I mean, how do you explain the Massachusetts appetite for potentially
a Republican at the top of the ticket? I mean, they are just polls, but
the polls look like that.
PATRICK: Well, the first thing I would say to you was that, you know,
we have more un-enrolled independents than we have registered Democrats and
registered Republicans combined. It`s not what people expect of us but, in
fact, we`re quite discerning about who our leadership is in all of our
statewide races. We had 16 years of Republican governors before I became
governor eight years ago.
And I think the contrast between what we`ve been able to produce in
the last eight years and what Republican leadership produced in the 16
years before where we had a series of governors more interest inside having
the job than actually doing it is a pretty strong case in this cycle.
We`ve been out there making it.
You know, you mentioned that governor Christie hasn`t been here in
Massachusetts recently, but his money has been through the RGA. In fact,
the Republican Governors Association spent more money in the last week here
than Martha Coakley has spent in the last year of her campaign. It`s all
been about tearing her down. But that`s where the grassroots is going to
come in more than handy, but frankly, where it`s going to raise its
righteous head and vote for government that`s about them, about people and
not about money.
MADDOW: Governor Patrick, if you were running for re-election this
year in Massachusetts. I say this as a Massachusetts voter and somebody
there every week, spends a lot of time in the state. If you were running
for re-election it seems fairly clear to me that you`d be running away with
it. You`d be the kind of candidate who may be running unopposed at this
What do you want to do next? What do you see as your political future
after this run you`ve had as governor in Massachusetts. It`s been a pretty
PATRICK: Well, you`re very kind. You know, it`s been a great
fulfilling, challenging eight years. I`m proud of the fact we lead the
nation in student achievement and health care coverage and veterans
services and energy efficiency. We`re in a 25-year high in employment.
Our budgets are balanced.
We`ve got the largest – one of the largest rainy day funds in the
country. The highest bond rating in our industry and you can marry
whomever you love. And we were the first state in the nation to affirm
that basic human principle.
But this is the first and only elective office I`ve had. I promise my
wife Diane that after eight years we`d get acquainted again while she was
still interested in being acquainted with me. So, I`m looking forward to
doing something in the private sector. I`m not quite sure what it is yet.
MADDOW: I don`t know if anybody is going to lobby your wife, before
they lobby you. But you are going to get drafted for something if you
don`t watch, sir.
Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, thank you for your time
PATRICK: Thank you so much.
MADDOW: I appreciate it.
We`ve got lots ahead tonight, including as I said news from Wyoming
and North Dakota that will make your stomach go flippety floppety flip.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: If you`re in the news business, and you subscribe to wire
services, you don`t get a fresh headline for every piece of news that comes
in. Wire services usually, they just lump the latest news under a
standard, generic headline. So, like Oregon election or Iowa state weather
forecast. And all the news that comes in under that topic gets filed under
that generic squib headline. That`s how they organize whole categories of
Well, here`s something thaw don`t want to be a whole category of news:
nuclear missteps. That`s not like just for one thing that happened today,
that`s a whole category that “The A.P.” has had to create in order to keep
track of all the news about nuclear missteps in our country. Tonight, they
put that on late breaking news that another two air force commanders in
charge of nuclear weapons have been fired. There are three units that
maintain our nation`s arsenal nuclear tipped intercontinental missiles, one
in Montana, one in North Dakota, one in Wyoming.
Tonight, late tonight, the Air Force has announced it`s firing the
commander of the missile squadron at Minot, North Dakota. And the second
in command of the missile wing at F.E. Warren Air Base in Cheyenne.
So, that`s late-breaking news about the Air Force. If it sounds
familiar, it`s because nuclear mishaps are a thing now, they keep
happening. Nine Air Force commanders fired this spring for their role in a
cheating scandal. Hundreds of Air Force personnel in the nuclear missile
program routinely cheating on proficiency exams.
Cheating scandal was unearthed during an investigation into illegal
drug use by Air Force personnel working with nuclear missiles. What could
go wrong? The number two officer in charge of all nuclear weapons getting
demoted for using counterfeit gambling chips at an Indian casino?
And the top general in charge of all three of the those nuclear
missile bases, getting fired for drunken antics on a trip to Russia last
year. And it wasn`t all that long ago, of course, that the Air Force
accidentally flew six armed cruise missiles across the country from Minot
in North Dakota to Barksdale, in Louisiana, without anybody noticing that
all those nuclear weapons were missing until the next day.
But now, apparently, tonight, we have yet another edition of the
generic wire service story, category, “nuclear missteps”. Two very senior
commanders in charge of nuclear missiles at air bases in Wyoming and North
Dakota relieved of duty tonight. It`s being reported by “The Associated
Press”. There are only three bases that handle nuclear ICBMs in this
The “A.P.” reporting tonight, it`s unusual to have disciplinary action
taken simultaneously against senior commanders at two of those three bases,
but that does appear to be what has happened. As we learn more, we will
let you know. Until then, you can just file it under “oops.”
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Tomorrow night your election night begins with us right here
at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. A lot of important results are due in, in the first
hour of coverage tomorrow night. So, plan to be on the couch with your
popcorn popped already starting at 6:00. We`ll be here with special
coverage tomorrow night for as long as it takes, but it will probably take
a long time, but we`ll see you there starting at 6:00 sharp Eastern Time
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
Good evening, Lawrence.
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