Show: HARDBALL Date: November 2, 2016 Guest: John Brabender, Megan Murphy, Tom Bevan, Jennifer Duffy, Jo Mannies, Josh Green, Anne Gearan, Clarence Page
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Close but no cigar.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
Six days from now at 7:00 PM Eastern, the first state polls will be closing in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia. Today, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and their surrogates jetted out across the country to deliver their closing arguments.
In Florida, Trump called Hillary crooked, a liar and unstable. Let`s watch him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: She is a crooked one, there`s no question, crooked Hillary Clinton! You know, that term has really stuck. Everyone`s calling her -- has anyone seen crooked Hillary Clinton today? That`s going to be a great term for a president, right?
She`s got bad judgment! Personally, I think she`s a very unstable person, if you want to really know the truth.
If you`ve watched her last few speeches over the last few days, she has become totally unhinged.
Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency. She shouldn`t be allowed to run for the presidency. That`s why I say the system is rigged. She shouldn`t be allowed to run.
Did you see her at the end of the debates? Folks, she was exhausted! You know what she did? She immediately went home and went to sleep.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, he`s got his golden oldies out there again. He`s been saying that stuff for a long time. He spent part of his speech attacking the media. Here`s Trump against us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Another important issue for Americans is integrity in journalism. These people are among the most dishonest people I`ve ever met!
TRUMP: There is never been anywhere near the media dishonesty like we`ve seen in this election!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Hillary Clinton, also going a bit low again, has called Trump dangerous and a bully. Here she is in Las Vegas just moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Imagine with me what it would be like to have Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office come next January.
SUPPORTERS: No! No!
CLINTON: Someone who demeans women, mocks the disabled, insults Latinos and African-Americans -- what would it be like to have that person in the most powerful office in the world?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: With six days to go, where does things stand right now? John Brabender`s a Republican strategist. He was a senior adviser to Rick Santorum`s presidential campaign. Megan Murphy is Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg News, and Eugene Robinson is a columnist for "The Washington Post" and an MSNBC political analyst.
Thank you. We do define who everybody is here, by the way. We separate journalists from people who are political and we make it clear here and we will continue to do so. I`m quite proud of that.
JOHN BRABENDER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes?
MATTHEWS: You`re in a miserable mood, I can tell, so...
BRABENDER: No, I`m...
MATTHEWS: What`s going on? Let`s just talk about this thing. We all know that there are voters who vote like my parents, like it was going to church, OK? They don`t ever not vote, in primaries. There are some people are like that. So they`re not the ones who -- some people vote most of the time, go to church most of the time but not all the time. So we talk about turnout -- I heard (INAUDIBLE) today. We`re going to have him on later. He`s just -- well, it all depends on turnout. What depends on turnout, from your side...
MATTHEWS: ... the right side?
BRABENDER: ... first of all...
MATTHEWS: Right-wing side.
BRABENDER: ... yes, I am not one of those smart people. I`m a strategist.
BRABENDER: I look at this completely differently. First of all, I do think people have to be careful this year that turnout`s a little bit different. Trump does not have an organization to turn people out. What Clinton is doing is turning a lot of people out early, and a lot of the Trump people are going to come out later. So there`s not this big advantage that people are trying to read into this. It`s just that the time period`s different.
Second of all, none of us thought we were going to be three weeks ago where we are right now.
MATTHEWS: I agree with that.
BRABENDER: There`s one thing, if I was Hillary...
MATTHEWS: In other words, an Electoral College race right now.
MATTHEWS: Who gets 270. It`s a race.
BRABENDER: Absolutely. And if I was Hillary Clinton`s campaign, the one thing that would keep me sleepless at night is all along, she was getting votes of people who still didn`t like her because they didn`t see Donald Trump as a viable alternative. Now as these polls close, it says to them, Huh, maybe it is all right to vote for Donald Trump.
MATTHEWS: I agree with you. Do you agree with that, Megan?
MEGAN MURPHY, BLOOMBERG: I completely...
MATTHEWS: That the numbers themselves justify voting for somebody. He must be OK. It`s almost 45, 47 percent for this guy.
MURPHY: I agree. And also, I think there are several other worrying trends. I think we do see a lower early voting among African-Americans in some states, and we see -- we do see this enthusiasm gap. We see women not committing as much as we`d like her (ph) to see, and she really needs to turn out those young voters, as well, among the Obama...
MATTHEWS: ... demographic problem because (INAUDIBLE) say -- look, I know Trump voters. I`m not one of these people that doesn`t know any Trump voters. I know them. And they`d like to vote 10 times for Trump, and some people would like to vote half the -- half a vote for Hillary.
MURPHY: I think the problem...
MATTHEWS: So there is a -- there`s an enthusiasm, fanaticism on the part of the Trump people.
MURPHY: I think the problem he faces is just the math is still very bad and he has no margin for error. For here, I think the problem is we`re talking about states now like Wisconsin, Michigan...
MATTHEWS: Are you really worried about that if you`re Hillary?
MURPHY: I`m not -- I`m not saying Wisconsin and Michigan...
MATTHEWS: When`s the last time?
MATTHEWS: You`re grimacing.
EUGENE ROBINSON, "WASHINGTON POST," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well...
MATTHEWS: You know, Gene, I don`t see these states falling.
ROBINSON: I don`t see Wisconsin falling. I don`t see Michigan falling. I don`t see Pennsylvania falling. You know...
ROBINSON: ... I mean, I think those are stronger states. The likely voter screens that the pollsters are using are already counting on a lower African-American turnout than 2012.
MATTHEWS: Which was an extraordinary yearn.
ROBINSON: Which was extraordinary. If it were as high as 2012, then we would be, you know, talking landslide. I mean...
MATTHEWS: Well, we have Hispanic voters...
ROBINSON: ... but...
MATTHEWS: ... like the cavalry.
ROBINSON: Well, we have Hispanic voters coming out in perhaps higher numbers...
ROBINSON: ... than -- than anticipated or than before. And so, you know, whose hand would you rather play right now? I would still much rather play Hillary Clinton`s hand. She`s got...
ROBINSON: ... paths to 270 and Donald Trump has one.
MATTHEWS: I said close but no cigar. Anybody here think it`s really up in the air?
MATTHEWS: You do?
BRABENDER: I absolutely do. I`ll tell you what. I think Pennsylvania and North Carolina are the key to this...
MATTHEWS: I agree. Thank you. I agree with that. So if they -- if we`re watching -- well, I don`t know why I keep saying this. We`re not going to know at 7:00 o`clock at night. It`s going to be a lot later because, mainly, North Carolina didn`t come in until almost 11:00 o`clock last time. SO we`re going to have to wait a while. Anyway -- which is good.
We got a slew of new polls from battleground states today. Here they are (INAUDIBLE) back up Gene here. Donald Trump leads by 5 points in the latest Quinnipiac poll. He seems to be building a strong argument in Ohio. He`s ahead by 5 in Arizona in a CNN/ORC poll. He`s up by 6 in Nevada. And he has a 9-point lead in Georgia, which is now safely Republican again, all according to an Emerson College poll.
Hillary Clinton is up 2 points in Florida, according to the new CNN/ORC poll. She`s up 3 points in Colorado, 3 in North Carolina. She`s ahead by 4 points in Pennsylvania -- that`s down -- according to two different polls out today. She`s ahead by 5 in Virginia and she leads by 6 points in Wisconsin. That`s according to the brand-new Marquette law school poll, which, by the way, is considered the gold standard in that state.
So Megan, it seems to me that it comes to the same thing that most of us have been watching. Gene, as well. And we`ve been thinking about this for a long time. Firewall`s a boring word, but it`s real. North Carolina, for whatever reason, doesn`t like Trump. It`s young people. It`s college- educated people. It`s advanced -- advanced university system down there. People are educated. They don`t like Trump. Women, African-Americans, more and more Hispanics every year -- that state has just turned against him. And Pennsylvania has never turned toward him!
ROBINSON: He has no pathway without North Carolina, just like he has no pathway without Florida. But the issue is for him, as well, one thing I think we have to take into consideration (INAUDIBLE) but I don`t think anyone who went through Brexit and went through that kind of vote -- and what we`re saying is, potentially, are we really underpolling? We always think we underpoll Trump. Are we underpolling disenfranchisement, white working class...
MATTHEWS: But there`s no evidence of new white...
MURPHY: There is no evidence of it...
MATTHEWS: ... working class...
MATTHEWS: No new registration of white angry people...
ROBINSON: Yes, exactly. We...
MATTHEWS: ... from (ph) the country.
ROBINSON: We haven`t seen any signs of this hidden Trump voter...
ROBINSON: ... who`s going to suddenly appear on election day. I would argue it`s just as likely that there would be a hidden Hillary Clinton voter. After all, you know, she supposedly, you know -- you know, compromised ethically and this and that. So it`s not exactly socially acceptable in some circles to say you`re for Hillary Clinton, either, as, you know...
ROBINSON: ... and so...
MATTHEWS: And that map we`ve been looking at.
ROBINSON: Exactly. And you know, one can imagine voters going into the sanctity of the voting booth and saying, Well, actually, I don`t think this guy Trump...
MATTHEWS: Let me...
ROBINSON: ... you know, but -- but in -- I -- just think back to 2012. In the last week before the election, there were national polls that had Mitt Romney a little bit ahead. You know, in Pennsylvania, President Obama was up by 4. He ended up winning it I think by 6. So you know, this doesn`t look that weird for the Democrats...
MATTHEWS: OK, let me ask you a basic question. I`ve been going through my head, like I`ve been doing this whole election, thinking back 20, 30 elections. (INAUDIBLE) It seems at the end, when there`s a close election, whether it`s Nixon-Kennedy or it`s Humphrey-Nixon or it`s Carter- Ford, the last decision making of the weekend tends to go back toward the incumbent. It`s a safer -- you tend to go, Oh, you know -- you know, it went toward Gore, I think -- you know -- what do you think? Is there -- is the tendency of that last block to loosen up, to go to the safer Hillary or the wilder Trump?
ROBINSON: You know, I -- I would hesitate to predict that this year because I could see, you know, last-minute voters saying, Oh, what the hell, you know?
ROBINSON: I mean, that -- that sort of thing.
MATTHEWS: Shoot the moon.
ROBINSON: However, I just don`t think there are a lot of last-minute deciders right now.
MATTHEWS: ... showing up!
ROBINSON: Well, you know...
MURPHY: But I think...
MATTHEWS: Do they vote?
ROBINSON: Are they going to vote?
MURPHY: But I think the Comey letter -- that`s what is so unbelievable about that incident last Friday is that even if it doesn`t change any votes, the entire narrative was shifted. We`d be sitting here, talking about how big the landslide was going to be...
MATTHEWS: I agree.
MURPHY: ... and how big the margin...
MATTHEWS: Brabender, your question. What`s your -- answer my question. Do the last-minute deciders, the ones that don`t read the paper every day - - are those -- (INAUDIBLE) somebody once said when you absolutely have to make a decision, that forces a new reality. You`re going to make a decision because you have to. And you`ve never done it before. How are they going to break?
BRABENDER: Here`s where I...
MATTHEWS: Safe or wild?every day.
BRABENDER: ... think this year is different. I think last time, whether you liked President Obama or not, he had a vision and a message and people could say, Well, I like a lot of things he`s saying. Hillary Clinton never set that stage. She never had a vision, never had a plus message. It was just Donald Trump is a risk.
What`s happened in the closing days is people think this race is really ugly. And if it`s truly ugly and I don`t like any of them, I might as well go with the guy who I can (ph) take a shot (ph).
MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) Do you think it works, him saying, Hey, go ahead, vote for Hillary. She`ll be bothered by committee investigations from day one. She`ll probably be impeached, and that depresses the liberal voter and say, I don`t want -- I`m not going to be bothered.
ROBINSON: Well, we`ll see. I mean, you know, negative campaigning historically does depress turnout. and so if you`re just dour and angry all the time, then that tends to make people not eager. You know, you say the whole thing is a mess, the whole thing is rigged, I mean, that tends to depress the vote.
MATTHEWS: I know somebody who`s not dour, President Obama.
MATTHEWS: He is the happiest campaigner since Hubert Humphrey. Here he is, Hillary Clinton`s top surrogate. President Obama, warned today that the fate of the world was resting on this election. In fact, he said it at Chapel Hill, and he said the election depends on -- the universe, he said, basically, depends on how voters in North Carolina vote. Let`s watch the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All the progress that we`ve made over the last eight years, all the progress we hope to make over the next eight years, all of that goes out the window if we don`t win this election!
I hate to put a little pressure on you, but the fate of the republic rests on your shoulders! The fate of the world is teetering, and you, North Carolina, are going to have to make sure that we push it in the right direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: So Gene, all three of you -- would he beat both of these characters?
ROBINSON: Yes. I mean, easily. Easily! Look, one thing we`ve learned is Barack Obama is consensus, unanimous first ballot Hall of Fame in running for president. He is as good as it gets, right? I mean, he knows how to do this. And he knows how to fire up a crowd. He knows -- and -- and meanwhile, he built that Democratic machine that is turning out the early vote now and that will be turning out the vote on Tuesday. So...
BRABENDER: Yes, but they don`t have the excitement for her that they did - - I mean, you saw the joy on those people`s faces while he`s talking. You do not see that behind Hillary Clinton!
MATTHEWS: You do see it with some women, women my age or younger.
ROBINSON: Yes. Yes.
MATTHEWS: Go ahead, Megan. Speak loud.
MURPHY: ... in the last week, I think, that they`ve made is -- since Comey, they turned to, you know, this Trump and his Russia ties. They got a little bit distracted by that...
MATTHEWS: Well, wait a minute. We goes low, we go high?
MATTHEWS: No. That`s not true.
MURPHY: Exactly. And what she hasn`t done this last week is make her closing argument to voters with exactly the same kind of message that he has made...
MURPHY: ... which is that, Yes, the fate of the world rests on our shoulders. Yes, this is a binary option. It couldn`t get more binary. And here`s a message of optimism.
MURPHY: Here`s a hope -- here`s a message of hope.
MATTHEWS: By the way, she wrote a great speech for the Al Smith dinner at the end. She apparently wrote it herself at the end, the last part.
MATTHEWS: I think you got to get up at the end -- Cuomo always said, Leave people with hope.
MATTHEWS: The last -- the last thing you do is make them feel hopeful.
MATTHEWS: You said that.
BRABENDER: Yes, well, there`s nothing...
BRABENDER: But you don`t hope voting for Hillary.
MATTHEWS: ... one more punch?
ROBINSON: ... a lot of people who have fun doing it.
MATTHEWS: Thanks, Brabender -- John Brabender, and have (ph) Megan Murphy and Eugene Robinson.
Coming up -- so after the sights and sounds of the candidates and their closing arguments, what does the fight for 270 electoral votes really look like right now? We`re going to get the latest battleground map to show you and a closer look at the states where Hillary Clinton`s showing strength and where Donald Trump is looking to make inroads. They`re both working their edges right now. That`s ahead.
Plus, the latest installment of our series on the battle for the United States Senate. Tonight, the focus on Missouri -- or "Missour-ah" -- different part of the state -- where the Democrats think they`ve found a rising star.
And Trump and his allies are dampening enthusiasm among Democrats. They`re promising investigations, trials, even impeachment if Clinton is elected today -- anyway, today President Obama`s fighting back, as we say.
Finally, with six days to go, my "election diary" on how Trump`s message might prove better than Trump.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Tonight, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both hitting the campaign trail hard. Trump will be holding a rally in Pensacola, Florida. That`s due to begin with the hour. And Clinton just wrapped up her event in Las Vegas. Later tonight, she`ll be in Arizona making a late push on a state that last voted for a Democrat in 1996.
We`ll be right back after this.
MATTHEWS: When it comes to either candidate`s margin of victory next Tuesday, a look at the state of the electoral map itself could come as a reality check to supporters of both candidates. Trump needs more than he`s got, and Clinton`s lead is more fragile than it looks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The polls are all saying we`re going to win Florida. Don`t believe it. Don`t believe it. Get out there and vote. Pretend we`re slightly behind.
HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We cannot take anything, anybody, anywhere for granted. Are you ready to work hard and win this election?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That`s Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton motivating their supporters to get to the polls on election day.
When it comes to either candidate`s margin of victory next Tuesday, a look at the state of the electoral map itself could come as a reality check to supporters of both candidates. Trump needs more than he`s got, and Clinton`s lead is more fragile than it looks.
The latest NBC battleground map still Clinton with more than 270 electoral votes, but her advantage has faded over the last week. New Hampshire and North Carolina, which previously leaned toward Clinton, have now moved into the toss-up category, while the states of Georgia and Iowa, which had been competitive for Clinton, are both leaning toward Trump.
According to RealClearPolitics, if the results of the Electoral College match the current average in all the swing state polls, Hillary Clinton would win the election by only 3 electoral votes. Look at that! Even in that hypothetical scenario, Trump would need to pry at least one more state from Clinton to win.
I`m joined right now by Tom Bevan, co-founder of publisher of RealClearPolitics, as well as Ed Rendell, the former Pennsylvania governor and MSNBC analyst.
I`m staggered -- I want to start with Tom. I`m staggered by the look of this map. It shows basically everything red except for the peripheries up at the -- on the -- on the -- what we call the left coast and on the up -- the Northeast.
How do you come to that conclusion that, for example, that North Carolina should belong in the Republican column?
TOM BEVAN, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Well, North Carolina, actually -- this is all -- our map is based -- we have a -- we have a map that includes toss-up states, and then we have what we call a no toss-up map. And as you mentioned, those are...
MATTHEWS: How do you force a decision?
BEVAN: Whoever is ahead in the average of the polls.
BEVAN: And so in Florida, for example, Trump is ahead there by less than 1 percentage point. On average, it`s 0.7. North Carolina is actually a dead tie. So we default back to the two-way race, where Trump has a .2 percentage point lead in North Carolina. So he`s got that state for now. But again, one -- one poll that shows Clinton ahead by a couple points could shift that back into her column.
MATTHEWS: Why do you exempt the possibility of people voting for Johnson or -- or Jill Stein?
BEVAN: We don`t. The map is actually based on all the four-way numbers.
MATTHEWS: OK. OK. Fair enough.
MATTHEWS: Let me go with the governor.
Governor Rendell, you were on today. And I was watching. I think you had it right. But the fact that Trump is now looking to Wisconsin and Michigan, these are states that don`t normally, in a close election, vote Republican, as an alternative route, if you will, to get around Pennsylvania, where maybe he`s given up. I can`t tell.
ED RENDELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I don`t think they have given up in Pennsylvania. They are going to be here and they`re pumping ads on TV.
But I think Pennsylvania is a tough stretch for them, but it`s not by any means out of the question. If our people think it is a lock, that`s what I mean, by turnout. If our people think Pennsylvania is a lock and don`t vote -- that`s what I mean by turnout -- they can win. But if our people vote, we will win Pennsylvania.
Wisconsin, I thought the best news for Hillary tonight, today, was the Marquette poll showed almost no movement from the last week, when she was seven points ahead. That`s great news. I think Michigan, the Arab American vote, it`s not huge, but it`s going to be 95 to 5 for Hillary. I think Michigan is going to be secure.
But I will tell you what, Chris. I disagree. I -- before I brush my teeth, I look at RealClearPolitics. So, I have great respect for what they do. But they`re wrong on Florida. Hillary is ahead in the most recent polls. Plus, the early voting, as MSNBC had with the William and Mary study, the early voting, she`s clocking him.
I think Florida is going to go for Hillary. And that is going to be all she wrote. If Hillary wins Florida, she could lose Wisconsin and Michigan and still win.
Brabender, John Brabender, I respect him. He was just on. He`s a conservative. He knows his stuff. And he said that, Governor, he also -- he said that the Hillary people, because they have much better ground game, much better organization, Trump has none really, that they can force their voters out early. But the Trump voters will come out later. I don`t know what that means. How do you know they`re going to come out later. But he says it.
BEVAN: Well, that`s the theory. Right?
MATTHEWS: What about Florida? Why do you call Florida for Trump?
BEVAN: Well, Florida is actually one of the states we have a decent amount of polling. We have got eight polls that have been taken in the last seven days. Five of those -- I think five of them have Hillary Clinton ahead, but only by a point or two. And a couple of polls have Donald Trump up by four points.
And so he is actually leading in the average. So, we have got a decent amount of data there. But I think, look, again, it is less than 1 percent. It`s within the margin of error. So that state is basically a coin toss.
MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about what happened last Friday, believe, Governor, we all know that something happened, that FBI announcement. And you were critical of it because you thought it didn`t give accurate information, sufficient information for a voter to decide what it means.
I don`t know what it means, but Trump has been able to define it. My brother up there in Pennsylvania, they`re all giddy about this. The Republicans are all giddy about this. They think this is going to do something.
Do you think sense that, Governor, that this is going to get Republican excitement out, where they could actually change where they were last week?
RENDELL: Yes, I think it will produce a higher Republican turnout.
I think, last week, at the beginning of last week, there were a lot of the non-fanatical Trump voters; 53 percent are enthusiastic; 47 percent aren`t. That 47 percent had pretty much thrown in the towel and were not going to vote, a lot of them not voting.
But now with the FBI thing making it look like it`s a closer race, I think they`re coming at them. And that`s where you`re seeing I think the Trump movement. So, I think it has definitely been hurtful.
And the way it`s -- again, you heard me say, if Comey thought there were going to leaks, maybe did he the right thing sending the letter, but he should have said in the letter, Chris, this should not -- no inference should be taken from this letter. We haven`t seen any of the e-mails. We don`t know if they`re duplicates. We don`t know if they pertain to our investigation. No one should take any inference from this letter.
MATTHEWS: As a former DA, as a former prosecutor, do you think just -- you brought me into something I really care about. Do you think that Comey owes the country and the voters, the electorate, some more information by the end of the week, that he sort of puts up some constraint on what you can speculate out of this?
RENDELL: Yes. He should stand up and say, look, one thing I didn`t make clear last week is, it is going to take us months to go through 650,000 e- mails. We don`t know whether they`re duplicates. We don`t know whether they pertain to the investigation. And so no one should draw any inference from this, other than there is a newly discovered area of the e-mails, but we don`t know any more than that.
He should say that.
Let me ask you, Tom, we were just talking a moment ago about the possibility that when people talk -- and the governor gets this. When you start hearing that Trump is running head to head or close to head to head, and you start hearing that he`s getting up in the mid-40s, does that give him credibility just that way, so the voter who may be a little turned off by his personal behavior over the years and what has been coming out, and his brash manner, might say, well, wait a minute, maybe he is a legitimate candidate?
Do the numbers move the numbers?
BEVAN: Well, look, I certainly think there is a thing as momentum. And Trump has it right now. And Ed is right.
I mean, part of this is...
MATTHEWS: Does it give legitimacy?
BEVAN: ... Republican voters are coming home.
Probably to a certain degree. People want to vote for a winner, I think. And if Trump has momentum and Hillary Clinton is playing defense -- and the other part of this, though, is, I think what the FBI letter has done is depress her marginal voters.
Those millennials who liked Bernie Sanders, were looking at Gary Johnson, had warmed to Clinton over time, but I think might be -- if they end up staying home in some of these swing states, it could make a difference.
MATTHEWS: Maybe it will force Hillary to go positive and say something about being a better president and a better country, make us feel better.
Anyway, thank you, Ed Rendell. Governor. Thank you.
And, Tom Bevan, it`s great having you on.
MATTHEWS: Up next: the battle for Senate control. This is fascinating. Democrats have a real shot at Missouri right now, where their candidate, a veteran of the Afghan war, burst onto the scene with an ad showing him assembling an assault rifle while blindfolded. It`s the race that could determine whether Democrats win the Senate.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
DARA BROWN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Dara Brown. Here`s what`s happening.
A law enforcement source tells NBC News the man suspected in the execution- style killings of two police officers in Des Moines had a history problems and mental issues. Scott Michael Greene surrendered to authorities early this morning.
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, but says the case for an increase has continued to strengthen.
And tonight in Cleveland, the Cubs and Indians go head to head in game seven of the World Series. The Cubs haven`t won a World Series since 1908. And for the Indians, it was 1948 -- now back to HARDBALL.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON KANDER (D), MISSOURI SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: For 20 years, Senator Blunt has been protecting the status quo, because the status quo has been great for him, his family and his special interests donors.
Today, Senator Blunt lives in a $1.6 million mansion in Washington and only visits Missouri when he has to.
SEN. ROY BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: I have been listening to Missourians. I have been fighting for Missourians. I have been trying to find solutions. I hope to continue to have a chance to do that. But that`s what voters get to decide on Election Day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
One race that has -- far from anybody`s radar at the beginning of the year was the Missouri Senate race. Missouri is a deep red state where the incumbent, Republican Senator Roy Blunt, is a household name and has served in Congress for about a generation there.
But As Donald Trump has ushered in an unpredictable and fiercely anti- establishment sentiment across the country, Blunt has gotten caught up into the undertow, as Democrats paint him as the quintessential Washington insides.
Blunt`s Democratic opponent, Missouri`s 35-year-old Secretary of State Jason Kander, has emerged as the breakout candidate of 2016 across the country. Kander, an Army vet who volunteered for a tour of duty in Afghanistan, grabbed national attention last month when his campaign released a TV ad that went viral. In the ad, Kander defends his support for background checks while assembling an AR-15 rifle blindfolded.
Let`s watch him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KANDER: I`m Jason Kander.
And Senator Blunt has been attacking me on guns. Well, in the Army, I learned how to use and respect my rifle. In Afghanistan, I volunteered to be an extra gun in a convoy of unarmored SUVs.
And in the city legislature, I supported Second Amendment rights. I also believe in background checks, so that terrorists can`t get their hands on one of these.
I approve this message, because I would like to see Senator Blunt do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, even though Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by a whopping 15 points out of Missouri, the Senate race has remained neck and neck for weeks.
The latest poll just out today shows Blunt and Kander tied at exactly 45 all.
Jo Mannies is a political reporter with the Saint Louis public radio station out there, and Jennifer Duffy is a senior editor for The Cook Political Report.
I want to start with Jennifer here about this race.
First of all, you can`t get a -- there`s no mansions in Washington, D.C., that you can buy $1.5 million. This is a very expensive real estate market. And I don`t think there are many mansions to start with. But that sounds good out there in Missouri, I will sure.
JENNIFER DUFFY, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT: Oh, it sounds -- it sounds like a mansion in Missouri. They usually say it is in Georgetown, you know, which is pretty posh -- yes, posh, universally known.
We haven`t seen...
MATTHEWS: Is it in Georgetown?
DUFFY: According to the ads, it is in Georgetown.
But we haven`t seen an incumbent`s house frequently so -- we haven`t incumbent`s house so much in an ad since 2004, when John Thune ran against Tom Daschle.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I think that Santorum used it against Doug Walgren too at one time way back when.
What is this thing about, this race?
DUFFY: This race is really about a Democrat who is drafting onto Donald Trump`s message, anti-insiderism, anti-establishment, drain the swamp. And Roy Blunt, frankly, is a good representation of being a Washington insider.
MATTHEWS: What has he done wrong? Anything?
DUFFY: I don`t know that he`s done thing wrong, except that his wife and three of his children are lobbyists. And they`re featured in about every single ad.
MATTHEWS: Jo Mannies, thanks for joining us.
How does that affect voter out there? Can you tell? The word lobbyist is never a positive word.
JO MANNIES, SAINT LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO: Yes.
Well, because Missouri has had a lot of controversy lately in the state capitol over lobbyists and lobbyist misdeeds and that sort of thing. So, Missouri voters are -- already have sort of a dim view of some of this.
And then Kander -- frankly, Blunt, I think, underestimated Kander. I have known Blunt for a long time. I think he underestimated Kander. A lot of people did, until that ad. Then, all of a sudden, things changed really quick.
Now, Blunt is underperforming, as you mentioned. He is underperforming Trump in the state. In fact, all of the Republicans running statewide are underperforming Trump.
And Trump`s activists actually will not put their operations in the Missouri GOP buildings because they want to be separate, because they have some independent Democrats who they think are with them, blue-collar Democrats in the southern suburbs of Saint Louis.
So, Kander is trying to kind of mark this path. Now, the Republicans have come in big time in the last few days with a lot of attack ads, some that have his face morphing into Hillary Clinton`s. So it is going to be interesting to see if he can hold this off.
MATTHEWS: It reminded me, looking at Vice President Biden there, that`s what Biden did he when he was 29 years old. He beat a guy who had been governor a couple times, senator a couple terms, congressman a couple terms, unbeatable, Caleb Boggs, and beat him, when he was 29.
DUFFY: Yes, exactly.
And the thing is, there`s a real generational difference between Blunt, who is 66, Kander, who is 35. Voters see that. Voters see him as an agent of change.
MATTHEWS: Are gun owners out there, Jo, are they going to be willing to vote for a guy who says he is not anti-gun, but is for gun background checks? I have always wondered whether the NRA people, who really are Second Amendment people, they don`t like the background check thing. They think that is gun control, don`t they?
MANNIES: Yes. But here`s what he`s doing.
Our candidate -- the Democratic candidate for governor, Chris Koster, who is also in a tight race, has been endorsed by the NRA. So, Kander and Koster are now traveling in a bus around the state.
MATTHEWS: I got it.
MANNIES: So, in some ways, Kander, I think, is trying to neutralize some of that by having Koster, who is backed by the NRA, and to kind of make it more gray.
And Blunt, while he does have the NRA endorsement, it`s not like Blunt is a big hunter or anything. So, it is more complicated than what would look like on the face.
But usually senators are ideologically picked by states. A state like Utah can pick a Democratic governor once in a while. They`re not going to pick a Democratic senator anymore. Eastern states are not going to pick Republican senators, but they will pick a Republican governor once in a while, because they like to divide up the power and they don`t mind giving some power to the non-ideological position.
You pick Kander, you`re picking a Democrat to be your senator. That`s a big deal.
Anyway, Blunt and Kander had this exchange over guns in their debate last month. Let`s watch it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KANDER: Now, Senator Blunt is about to talk to you about his NRA rating and about mine. But I would happily put my Army marksmanship badge up against a political rating any day of the week, because I fundamentally believe that there is no conflict between being a supporter of the Second Amendment and wanting to show you -- one of the ways to protect the Second Amendment is to make sure that terrorists and criminals don`t have the same access to guns that you and I have.
BLUNT: Apparently, Secretary Kander wants to be able to have a gun, but he`s not nearly as concerned about whether other people can have guns or not.
He got an F from the NRA in the Missouri General Assembly, not easily done. So he can stand here and say "I`m a defender of the Second Amendment," but nobody who watches these issues believes that to be the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Jo and then Jennifer, is it possible that Trump can carry Missouri comfortably and Kander can also win?
MANNIES: It`s possible.
All you have to do is look at 2012. Romney carried about the state by 12 points. Claire McCaskill carried it by almost 15 points. It can happen.
MATTHEWS: It`s a ticket-splitting state, right?
MANNIES: Yes. Yes.
DUFFY: I can actually see Chris Koster getting elected governor, and I can see Kander winning, absolutely.
Well, people are voting anti-establishment this year.
Anyway, Jennifer Duffy, a pro.
DUFFY: Thank you, sir.
MATTHEWS: And, Jo Mannies, thanks. Nice to meet you, Jo. Thanks so much, Ms. Mannies, for coming here.
MANNIES: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Up next: Trump and his allies are sounding the alarm that, if Hillary Clinton wins, there will be investigations, trials, impeachments. They want to blunt voter enthusiasm for Clinton, don`t you think?
But now President Obama is fighting back. Let`s watch what happens.
You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
With less than a week now, only six days until the election of 2016, Donald Trump is pushing forward with his closing argument. Much of that argument from Trump is full of doom and gloom. Should Hillary Clinton be elected president?
Watch how he is working the crowd to stay home, I think. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She`s unfit and unqualified to be the president of the United States. And her election would mire our government and our country in a constitutional crisis that we cannot afford.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, it`s an idea, a popular one you might say picked up by fellow Republicans down the ticket. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin told a newspaper out there that Hillary Clinton could be impeached and Newt Gingrich told "The Washington Post" the Hillary Clinton presidency would be very much like 1998 when we impeached Bill Clinton. Of course, Newt was busy at that time.
Earlier today, President Obama took those Republicans to task.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You`ve got some Republicans in Congress who are already suggesting they will impeach Hillary. She hasn`t even been elected yet. It doesn`t matter what evidence. They`ll find something. That`s what they`re saying already. How can -- how does our democracy function like that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s the president down in beautiful Chapel Hill, the southern part of heaven.
For more on this, I`m joined by our roundtable: Josh Green, senior national correspondent for "Bloomberg Businessweek", and Anne Gearan, of course, national political reporter and superstar for "The Washington Post", and Clarence Page, columnist for the Washington -- actually, the "Chicago Tribune", always has been.
CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: That`s right.
MATTHEWS: Let me talk about, Anne, you first. What`s Trump up to when he`s saying, she may win, but if she wins, it`s going to be all mishegoss, disaster or whatever? Go ahead.
ANNE GEARAN, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. He`s doing two things. He is absolutely throwing red meat to the crowd that`s in front of him and helping really energize down ballot, making Republicans -- kind of giving Republicans something to cheer for and change the subject.
The other thing he`s doing is invoking for anyone else listening, every kind of ick factor about the Clintons that makes, that could potentially make wavering Democrats, or Republicans who are turned off by Trump and were considering Clinton, not consider her anymore.
JOSH GREEN, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: I think that`s right. And he`s not just doing it from --
MATTHEWS: Is it to get the votes to change or to get the votes not to show up?
GREEN: No, to get them not to show up. I mean, he did say today, look, if you`re in some early voting states, technically, you can change your ballot.
GEARAN: I don`t think he`s going to get a lot of those votes.
GREEN: I don`t think he`s going to get a lot. But if you look at what he`s doing, it is not just on the campaign stage. His campaign as we report in "Bloomberg Businessweek" this week has a three-pronged effort to go out and specifically depress the votes of black voters, liberals --
MATTHEWS: The look I`m giving you right now, the look of a guy who just got flocking for something. But go ahead.
MATTHEWS: No, anyway, thank you. No, I think -- I think the question is, he said if you vote Wisconsin, you get two more tries. You can go back and do -- you know, it`s like one of those houses you bought something, like "Glengarry Glenn Ross", you can get out of this deal in 24 hours. I never knew that.
But is he saying to people, take back your ballot and rip it up? Because we don`t want you to vote at all.
PAGE: Only what, four states where you can do that any way. Trump has been very good at giving out false information, by the way. There`s a woman who`s arrested in Iowa last week, trying to vote twice. For very certain reason, she thought that it was legal. But, you know --
MATTHEWS: I think he`s right about Wisconsin.
PAGE: Yes, in Wisconsin, he`s right. But, you know, is this kind of change people -- I mean, look how much the vote is baked in right now.
MATTHEWS: Yes. OK, I`m talking about the 7 to 10 percent that keeps floating out there. Some of it is going to end up voting for Gary Johnson for whatever reason or Jill Stein. But a lot of it is floating out there.
PAGE: Trump is banking on the lack of enthusiasm on the other side compared --
MATTHEWS: I think it`s 10 percent in play right now, at least. Your thoughts?
GREEN: I think it`s probably more like 5 or 7. You can keep the Hillary voters on the couch, that is a win for Trump.
GEARAN: Yes. I mean, it still ends up being, you know, a net advantage for Clinton.
MATTHEWS: Hillary, can she do the other thing? Can she stop Republicans? I think Republicans are energized. They just love this Comey report from last week. They`re all thrilled.
PAGE: Oh, yes. Well, certainly, those around Trump are. But they`re filtering out all the, by the ways, you know, like we don`t know that any e-mail came from Hillary Clinton, for example.
MATTHEWS: I know, I know. They seem to give them hope and they didn`t have it last Friday morning. It`s a Lazarus-like recovery, if you will.
GEARAN: Yes, and Trump has been doing a very good job of using it for that purpose. He`s also been making stuff up as he goes along, and says, kind of fills in the blanks the way he might like.
MATTHEWS: As a matter of fact, Hillary said, she quoted Michelle Obama said, "when they go low, we`ll go high." Well, she`s not going high anymore. They`re both going low. It`s a fact. They`re both doing it because they have to. Why do they both go low at this? Why is the next week just be crap?
GREEN: Well, because --
MATTHEWS: I`m sorry to use the word, but I think it`s going to reduce voters. All I hear is, even the president said today, even politicians get tired of politics.
GREEN: Here`s why -- I mean, the one critic that I think the Trump folks have right about Clinton is she really does have trouble inspiring people. And it`s easy to talk positive when you`re up 10 points. But when suddenly things narrow, her best narrative is to remind people what they don`t like about Donald Trump and why they shouldn`t vote for him.
And Trump, you know, he`s really only got a negative case against --
MATTHEWS: So back into the stats of golden oldies that have worked against him and assume that the voters now paying attention and haven`t heard that or have forgotten it.
I think the voters have about a three-day attention span right now, memory. And it seems like if you don`t have something new in the last three days, starts all over again.
GEARAN: Well, yes. And the things that they`ve used over and over again - - I mean, they`ve recycled the same 18 crazy things that Trump said, divisive things, for a year and half. They`ve been using the same stuff.
MATTHEWS: Making fun of people`s behavior.
GEARAN: The kids watching television and now saying, what are we telling our kids?
GREEN: Amazingly, there has been no new Trump scandal in six, seven days. I mean, that`s like an eternity.
MATTHEWS: See, that`s my argument out there.
Clarence? I have a theory and I watched like all of us, this is what we do. And I`ve noticed whenever there`s a week or two of nothing bad, it goes back to 50/50 country again. I`m not saying Trump wins, it goes back to the county we really are, which is a 50/50 country.
PAGE: Except Trump hasn`t gotten 50 yet, or even close to it really. I mean, this is a big bloc of voters that he hasn`t penetrated or been able to hold very long. That`s what Hillary is banking on. That folks at least know her.
With Trump, he`s going to push the fact that he is unreliable.
MATTHEWS: Right. So, she`s a safer bet.
PAGE: Serial liar, et cetera.
MATTHEWS: Safer bet?
PAGE: Yes, exactly.
MATTHEWS: Safer bet.
The roundtable is sticking with us. And up next, these three will tell me something I don`t know.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: We are just six days away, as I said, from election night. That`s next Tuesday, of course.
Keep on it MSNBC for all the latest developments. They keep coming including a special two-hour edition of HARDBALL this Sunday night. Tune in at 7:00 Eastern on Sunday for everything you need to know in the final days, actually two days of the presidential campaign.
And we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: We`re back with the HARDBALL roundtable.
Josh, you start. Tell me something I don`t know.
GREEN: All right. For all the talk this week, all the focus on what swing states we didn`t expect that Trump is visiting, talked to a senior official on the campaign he said, what we`re focused on is Miami-Dade County, Florida, the most important county in the country for us, could likely decide Florida. Florida decides the election for us. There you go.
MATTHEWS: That`s Cubans, Jewish voters, a very mixed meringue down there, right?
GREEN: Hispanic. Yes.
GEARAN: So, there`s been something of a resurrection on the Hillary Clinton plane in the last week. Philippe Reines, her long time aide, one of the funniest people around her, but also a man with many enemies has been on the plane twice. This is after more than a year of being essentially banished from public view as a way to show that this campaign would not be like 2008 with the drama.
MATTHEWS: They needed him.
GEARAN: They need him and also, he was outed by the Podesta e-mails.
MATTHEWS: Outed as a participated.
GEARAN: Yes, just at arm`s length.
PAGE: Yes, Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican pollster Whit Ayers got together hired by RespectAbility, a disability -- well, pro-disability organization. And the poll found that over half of American voters have -- either have disabilities or have a disabled person in the family. And they and voters in general overwhelmingly in favor of politicians who will pass some --
MATTHEWS: It`s a Bob Dole issue. It`s a Bob Dole issue, too. It`s not a Trump issue by any means.
PAGE: By any means.
MATTHEWS: Josh Green, thank you. Anne Gearan, thank you, Clarence Page.
When we return, my election diary for tonight. You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Election Diary Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016.
Six days to go to the election, I find it important how close this election is drawing. Not close enough for Donald Trump to win, I remain convinced, but enough for the ruling class to pay attention. By that I mean the people who think they have it all together and think the regular people out there should leave them to run the show, letting them continue to alternate Democrats and Republicans, one party replacing the other in the revolving door of routine establishment politics.
If this election is close, if Donald Trump carries big states like Ohio and Florida, if he comes within a couple of states of winning the presidency, if someone carrying his trainload of baggage is able to seriously challenge someone with Hillary Clinton`s resume, it`s an election for the record books. The people of this country will have spoken very loudly, so loudly even a deeply flawed candidate like Trump gets hoisted up all the way to the finish line, because if Mr. Trump can get enough votes say in the mid- 40 percent, that means he could have won this thing without all that baggage he`s accumulated year by year.
If he could manage in one year of campaigning to get close to winning after all those years of behaving like he did, it tells you something about the power of his message. I believe he was on to something in this race. I believe that half the people in this country maybe more have had it with establishment elite politics. They`re tired the of the same best and brightest who took us into Vietnam, went for broke there and then come back to take us into Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya and Syria and God knows what next desert war.
They`re tired of watching whole wastelands of this country where manufacturing once was king or the government to establish an honest immigration policy all Americans would be proud to see work. They`re tired of the elite making decisions or failing to make them and dump everything on the working people. The ill-conceived wars, the global economics that destroys so many local economies, an immigration flow that affects where working people live, leaves the elite to live where it has the least possible impact.
If Trump comes close, if he gets a popular vote in the mid-40 percent, the ruling class ought to note the percent he got, not the percent he came short because that 40 percent could soon be looking angrier and for a leader, even stronger.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, "ALL IN" (voice-over): Tonight on "ALL IN" --
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`re almost at the end.
HAYES: Six days out, a campaign frenzy.
TRUMP: But we`re really at the end of the beginning, if you think about it.
HAYES: Tonight, inside the new blue state polling that`s looking pretty good for Democrats.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fate of the republic rests on your shoulders.
HAYES: As the president drills home the stakes and takes on his own FBI.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END