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MTP Daily, Transcript 10/26/2016

Guests: Susan Del Percio, Bob Herbert, Jon Ralston, Dante Scala, Peter Hart, Carrie Dann, Beth Fouhy

Show: MTP DAILY Date: October 26, 2016 Guest: Susan Del Percio, Bob Herbert, Jon Ralston, Dante Scala, Peter Hart, Carrie Dann, Beth Fouhy

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Yes, it`s Wednesday, the Republican split is on full display as our battleground map continues to take shape.


TODD: Tonight what the intersection of the Republicans past --

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I get asked on a regular basis, why? Why aren`t you running this year? I ask myself that now and then, too.

TODD: And present.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As soon as we`re finished cutting the ribbon, I am off to North Carolina.

TODD: Mean for the GOP`s future.

Plus, how the brand-new battleground numbers play in the fight for the control of the Senate. And what undecided voters say they need to see from the candidates in the final home stretch to Election Day.

This is MTP DAILY and it starts right now.


TODD: Good evening. I`m Chuck Todd here at election headquarters for NBC and MSNBC in New York City. Welcome to MTP DAILY.

With 13 days until the election, the clash of mainstream conservative and Trumpism is everywhere you look. It was in D.C. today. It was on FOX News last night. And it has seized the battleground map which is actually where we`re going to begin the show with some breaking news. We have brand-new poll numbers from our NBC News-"Wall Street Journal"-Marist polling partnership. It`s of likely voters in two key battleground states. First up, New Hampshire, where Clinton has now opened up a nine-point lead in a four-way race. Last month, pre-debates, she led in New Hampshire by just two.

Meanwhile let`s move to Nevada. Our poll shows Clinton and Trump in a dead heat. 43 percent. Last month Trump held a one-point average. Johnson, by the way at 10 percent, Jill Stein on the ballot as well -- isn`t on the ballot in Nevada.

We`re going to dive in deeper to those numbers but that shows you another split inside the party. New Hampshire, a more high educated state. That lead has opened up for her. Nevada, less college educated whites, that is a very competitive battleground state still.

And we`ll also show you the numbers on those two key Senate races in both of those states, which of course could decide party control of the Senate and whether it is boom or bust for the GOP candidates after both of them, Kelly Ayotte and Joe Heck, the two nominees there, abandon Trump.

But we begin tonight with what has been a fascinating 24 hours of -- you could call it jarring and sometimes bizarre coalitions between the past and present of what constitutes the Republican Party these days as it grapples with its identity crisis right here on the homestretch of this campaign.

We started in Washington today with this bizarre world of split screen of Trumpism and mainstream Republicanism. Romney and Trump. The GOP`s current nominee promoted the opening of his new hotel, while just down the road the GOP`s last nominee spoke to the Chamber of Commerce. An organization which traditionally leans Republican, but believe it or not endorsed Clinton this cycle, by the way. I don`t know if you`ve noticed that one.

Mitt Romney took a shot at Trump which we`ll show you in a minute. But what we`re seeing is that clash with GOP donors as well. They somehow pulled together $25 million in emergency bailout cash for Senate races. They are not spending it on Trump. They are only giving it to six down- ballot candidates in the hopes of protecting Mitch McConnell`s Senate majority.

But if you truly want to see an explosive faceoff between Trumpism and mainstream Republicanism, just turn on FOX News these days where a Trump surrogate, Newt Gingrich, lashed out at a FOX News prime time anchor, Megyn Kelly, on the issue of Trump`s character.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: If Trump is a sexual predator that is --

NEWT GINGRICH, TRUMP SUPPORTER: He is not a sexual predator.

KELLY: OK. That`s your opinion.

GINGRICH: You can`t say that.

KELLY: I`m not taking a position on it.

GINGRICH: You could not defend that statement.

KELLY: I am not taking a position on it.

GINGRICH: I`m sick and tired of people like you using language that`s inflammatory that`s not true.

KELLY: Excuse me, Mr. Speaker.

GINGRICH: Donald Trump is not just --

KELLY: You have no idea whether it`s true or not.

GINGRICH: When you use the word, you took a position.

KELLY: So what I said is --

GINGRICH: And I think it`s very unfair for you to do that, Megyn.

KELLY: -- incorrect.

GINGRICH: I think that is exactly the bias people are upset by.

KELLY: I think that your defensiveness on this may speak volumes, sir.

GINGRICH: You are fascinated with sex and you don`t care about public policy.

KELLY: Me? Really?

GINGRICH: Well, that`s what I get out of watching you tonight.


TODD: So the Trump campaign is accusing FOX News of bias. By the way, Trump apparently loved it.


TRUMP: And by the way, congratulations, Newt, on last night. That was an amazing interview. We don`t play games, Newt. Right? We don`t play games.


TODD: Gingrich was defiant today when he spoke to reporters about his confrontation.


GINGRICH: I believe the media bias in this election is the worst in modern history.


GINGRICH: Everywhere.


TODD: Folks, you can debate the future of the Republican Party all day, but here`s what we know with near certainty. Divided parties don`t win presidential elections. Ad by the way, they usually don`t do well down the ballot either.

A little programming note, we were expecting to be speaking to a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, AJ Delgado, here but with 25 minutes` notice, we were told she was cancelling and the Trump campaign had nobody else to provide to replace her.

So we`re going to start with the panel. We apologize for not having a Trump voice here. Just didn`t happen but let me bring in the panel.

Bob Herbert, a distinguished fellow at Demos and a former "New York Times" columnist. Beth Fouhy, a senior politics editor right here at NBC News and MSNBC. And Susan Del Percio, a Republican strategist who says she can`t wait for 2018.



TODD: So, Susan, I`m going to put you on this position here. We`re seeing this clash of -- and the question is, is it a stylistic clash? Is it an ideological clash? What is this clash anymore?


TODD: I don`t know.

DEL PERCIO: It`s everything. First of all, it`s Donald Trump and Donald Trump`s ego. It`s also Donald Trump`s positions. Take for example trade, where it is working in the -- for him on the national level, but it`s really anti-Republican. And you mentioned the Chamber of Commerce in your lead-in. That`s why they are not supporting the Republican nominee this year.

TODD: Right.

DEL PERCIO: They are supporting the down-ballot candidates like Kelly Ayotte but they are not going near him. Plus Donald Trump really offended a lot of people along the way. You want to attack the establishment, that`s your prerogative. But don`t turn around and say, well, I`m not going to win because the establishment isn`t behind me. That`s just ludicrous and again it`s making excuses which is really a problem because it makes people feel like this race is over right now.

TODD: And the last thing a Trump campaign needed badly a surrogate getting in a fight with a prominent woman. And -- I look at here, and you have Rudy Giuliani, you have Newt Gingrich, you have Donald Trump, before you have Roger Ailes. This is not a good face for a -- for a ticket that is struggling with women voters.

That`s for sure.


BETH FOUHY, NBC NEWS SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR: I mean, we just start there. I mean, the interesting thing I think, especially the fact that Newt Gingrich is now saying FOX News in some way is the mainstream media.

FOX News brought Donald Trump to the fore. FOX News conservativism brought him to the fore. It`s not Republicanism that his story being promoted on FOX News. It`s populism, it`s throw the bombs out, it`s rage and fury, any kind of compromise that goes on in Washington, any sort of accommodation to President Obama, that`s what produced the Trump phenomenon. So for Trump`s people to then turn around -- I get the Megyn sort of lightning rod has been for a year now.

TODD: She has been.

FOUHY: She has been, but FOX News in general has been the thing that actually gave birth to Trump.

TODD: Right. And it was always sporadic and it`s not -- you know, Megyn Kelly wasn`t that. It has been Bret Baier, but it is sort of O`Reilly, Hannity, "FOX and Friends," that troika is what I think gave Trump his platform.

BOB HERBERT, DEMOS SENIOR FELLOW: That`s true. But what I think is interesting about the Republican fight, obviously, the party is fractured. That`s an understatement. But the inside is really coming into the real world of the 21st century because, you know, they`re not really making a push for -- well, they`re destroying their brand with women for one thing. They`re not making any kind of a real push for a racial and ethnic minorities, either side. On the economic front their program is still tax cuts and trickle down which really hurt you --

TODD: Sorry, we had a mic issue there.

HERBERT: A little mic issue there.

TODD: I think we were getting a little bit -- sorry. We can show people.

HERBERT: Tax cuts and trickle down, which is not good for people who are poor, people who are struggling, for millennials and that sort of thing. So where does the party go no matter which side wins this fight?

TODD: Well, it`s interesting you bring this up because I`m going to show you here some comparisons of how Trump is doing versus Clinton amongst some key groups, compared to how Romney did, considering we had Trump versus Romney today in D.C. Let`s look at Trump versus Romney in the polls. And the problem for Trump is, you bring up, he is now lagging Romney on all sorts of college educated whites. Trump and Clinton are tied, but look at this, Romney won this group by 13 points.

Non-college educated whites, Trump up 20, but Romney won it by 26, Susan. So it`s not as if Trump is under performing on the white vote. Hillary Clinton is going to do better among whites than Barack Obama. Who would think that -- that was a possibility when this campaign began?

DEL PERCIO: Well, I mean, we could do an autopsy and look at it and say wow, if we just attract more women to the party.

TODD: Wait --

DEL PERCIO: Wait, we did that.

TODD: That happened. Yes.


DEL PERCIO: So, you know, and that went out the window. But what`s also part of -- what`s interesting in this cycle is that you`ve had both candidates` who are viewed -- their unfavorables that are upside down. They are both viewed as unfavorable and untrustworthy by the majority of the people. So that is also affecting the way these numbers skew out.

So even down -- with the down-ballot races, there is no such thing as a (INAUDIBLE), but people went to the polls for Mitt Romney.

TODD: Right.

DEL PERCIO: And there is a big difference saying, oh, he`s not Barack Obama. People went to the polls for Barack Obama. They didn`t say, oh, it`s not the other guy.

TODD: But don`t forget, there was some enthusiasm issues with Romney, with certain parts of the Republican base.

DEL PERCIO: Absolutely.

TODD: And by the way, Donald Trump is winning Obama voters at least in the state of Iowa. There`s no way the numbers are what they are if people that voted Obama aren`t voting Trump right now.

FOUHY: Well, that`s the populous side.


TODD: And that is the populous.

DEL PERCIO: That`s the populous and it`s --

TODD: Mitt Romney didn`t speak to that group of voters quite well.

DEL PERCIO: Right. Exactly. And it`s also a whiter state.

TODD: Yes.

HERBERT: That`s true. But I think most people would agree that if Democrats had a more appealing candidate that this race at this point against Trump would really be a blowout.

TODD: You think Sanders would be up bigger?


TODD: Do you buy that?


TODD: You know, there`s been that idea --


TODD: You don`t buy it?

FOUHY: She is a lot stronger than people are giving her credit for.


TODD: But Joe Biden you think would be up bigger?

FOUHY: Done.

TODD: You think done. That`s interesting. Republicans believe that. Democrats are not 100 percent.

HERBERT: I think that`s -- I think that the Democrats -- the Democrats were hurting because they`ve had a terrible bench for a long time, for a variety of reasons. What they need is a -- even going forward, a younger, more dynamic, more charismatic candidate. You know, and pinned their hopes on that because they`ve got all the issues and the demographics favored the Democrats.

TODD: They just have a leadership.


FOUHY: And I put this to you, Susan. I mean, isn`t really the problem here the establishment Republicanism as we know it is no longer a viable point of view? That the base of the party is not in favor of what establishment Republicans are in favor of, you know, cutting taxes on the wealthy, free trade, a little bit looser policy on immigration, things that the autopsy recommended. That`s not where the base of the party is right now.

DEL PERCIO: I don`t know if it`s the base of the party. Let`s not forget. More Republicans did not vote for Donald Trump in the primary than voted for him. And he --

FOUHY: But he won 14 million votes. More than anybody else.

DEL PERCIO: And he did. He won 14 million votes. And how many -- how many votes is Donald Trump probably going to get? Somewhere around 60 million. Just by default. Clinton I believe will get more. But -- so that`s less than 25 percent. That is a core base, but that`s not where the party is necessarily heading.

TODD: Let me go to earth to here.


TODD: And earth to is would have had Mitt Romney potentially as the Republican nominee running again for one more shot.


TODD: Here`s a little bit more of the highlights of him at the Chamber today. Take a listen.


ROMNEY: I get asked on a regular basis, why? Why aren`t you running this year? And I ask myself that now and then, too. I don`t shrink from saying that America is the greatest nation in the history of the earth. No other nation has had the strength, the capacity, and goodness of heart to do what America has done.


TODD: Is that -- is that brand of Republicanism going to be able to work in 2018?

FOUHY: You know --

TODD: And that`s the question I have. I don`t know.

FOUHY: That`s -- Republicans probably both sides. Everybody is going to draw the wrong conclusion from this race. Republicans are going to draw the conclusion that Trump was a horrible candidate, that Hillary Clinton doesn`t have a mandate because had it been anybody else running against her, but Donald Trump, they would have won. So that`s going to be one takeaway.

And that basically the Trumpers and the Republicanism has been rejected. So let`s go back to sort of the -- the Paul Ryan-Mitt Romney view of Republicanism. That too is probably the wrong answer.

TODD: Right.

FOUHY: Democrats are going to come away with this thinking oh, they`ve got a complete mandate, this is a huge rejection of Trumpism, as you said, the Democrats still have a -- still have problems underneath that they haven`t addressed.

HERBERT: Right. Right.

TODD: By the way, here`s what Donald Trump, how he analyzed the 2012 loss by Mitt Romney. There`s a couple of tweets up here I want to put up. A couple of sentences. Number one, he said, "The Democrats didn`t have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is they weren`t mean-spirited about it. Romney had a crazy policy of self-deportation which was maniacal." Donald Trump, November 26th, 2012.


HERBERT: Why didn`t we hear that before?

TODD: Let me go with another one. "Romney lost all the Latino vote. He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who was inspired to come into this country." Donald Trump, November 26th, 2012.

He may say the same things about himself.

HERBERT: He should say the same things about himself.


DEL PERCIO: If he`s supposed to, then he`ll step on his own message and come up with something else.

FOUHY: The election was rigged.

DEL PERCIO: But let`s go back to your question about governing before. I think the answer really does lie in -- what`s the margin that comes back with the -- with the House.

TODD: That`s right.

DEL PERCIO: That is the whole game changer because if it is, there can be -- whether the Senate states, Democrat or Republican, there are ways to get things done with Paul Ryan. He is proven to be a leader if he has the majority that he needs.

TODD: And what the majority looks like.


TODD: All right. I`m going to pause this. You guys are sticking around for the hour. I`m going to dig deeper with our brand new polling out of key battleground states of Nevada and New Hampshire. That`s just ahead.

And how the latest numbers impact the road not just to 270, but the battle for control of the Senate. Plus there is a potential silver lining here for Republicans, and silver is the key word for Republicans as they fight to see if they can actually limit those Senate losses. We`ll be right back.


TODD: Time for another quick look at the very latest early voting data that we have here at NBC News from the 2016 battlegrounds. We`re going to start with Florida two weeks out from Election Day. And there is a 65 percent increase in ballots being cast already in the Sunshine State compared to 2012. More than 1.2 million Floridians have already voted.

So just who is voting? Well, new numbers from Florida show it is tied up along party lines, Democratic and Republican affiliated voters now each make up 41 percent of the early vote. Dead even. That`s both absentee and in person.

In Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, we can tell you there are more Democratic affiliated voters who have cast ballots so far than Republican. Now another states, there are more Republican affiliated voters who have voted early in Arizona and Georgia 13 days out.

Remember this just indicates the party registration of who`s voting early but it`s about the best sign you can get of voter enthusiasm of the bases for both candidates and both parties.

Coming up, we`re going to dig deeper into our new NBC News-"Wall Street Journal"-Marist polls in both New Hampshire and Nevada. Striking differences in where the race is standing in both places. We`ll be right back.


TODD: Welcome back to MTP DAILY. As we told you at the top of the show, we`ve got some new NBC News-"Wall Street Journal"-Marist battleground state poll numbers to share with you. Two critical states, Nevada and New Hampshire, they may be small on electoral numbers, but they matter a lot. Here`s a quick look again at the top of the ticket in New Hampshire where Hillary Clinton has opened up a lead of nine points over Trump among likely voters, 45 percent to Trump`s 36. By the way, Gary Johnson sitting at 10 percent, Jill Stein at 4 percent.

One of the states where the two third party candidates are not cratering as much as they are in other places. Just last month, by the way, Hillary Clinton led in New Hampshire just by two points. And the debates having a big impact in New Hampshire.

Down the ballot, it`s a much tighter race between the incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte and the Democratic governor, Maggie Hassan. Ayotte is now leading only by an insignificant one-point margin. Believe it or not, she led by nearly double-digits the last time we were in. So clearly this Trump effect is having an impact on her numbers.

Now let`s move to Nevada. Clinton and Trump tied in that state. Both of them sitting at 43 percent in a three-way race. Last month they were only one point apart. Nothing has moved here.

In the Senate race, however, there is a wider gap in favor of the Republican Joe Heck in the race to fill retiring Senator Harry Reid`s seat in Nevada. We have Heck with a seven-point advantage over the Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, 49-42. We know some folks believe that number is larger in our poll than it is in others.

But let`s check in with some people who are experts in their own states on this. We got Jon Ralston, of course, is the man in Nevada politics these days, KTNB political analyst, NBC News contributor. And his counterpart in New Hampshire, a good pal and source of mine, Dante Scala, professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire. They have both studied our poll and will be brunt and honest about what they think.

Jon, let me start with you because the Nevada numbers may surprise particularly down the ballot in the Senate. The most interesting numbers inside are how Hillary Clinton is over-performing the Democratic candidate for Senate among Hispanic voters and yet she has the opportunity of becoming the first Hispanic woman ever to be in the U.S. Senate. What`s going on?

JON RALSTON, HOST, "RALSTON REPORTS": Well, Nevada has been fairly consistent, Chuck. Catherine Cortez Masto, who is a two-term attorney general, but didn`t really do a lot to promote herself, had to reintroduce herself to voters, has taken a long time I think to consolidate that base. There is some evidence in the early voting numbers -- we`ve had four days already, Chuck -- that the Democrats are getting that base out and they`re getting those voters out. They have about a 30,000 ballot statewide lead and looks a lot like 2012.

But let me just say what I think the key is in Nevada to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and Catherine Cortez Masto and Joe Heck. And that is how big the Hispanic vote is. 15 percent in 2008, 18 percent in 2012, may get to 20 percent. And where are those Hispanics are going? Now your poll, you want me to be blunt and honest.

TODD: Yes.

RALSTON: I`ll do my best. Your poll shows Donald Trump with almost 40 percent of the Latino vote. If that`s happening here or anywhere else, we`re going to be at Donald Trump`s inauguration. I`m not sure that that`s happening at all.


TODD: Well, our pollster -- by the way, our pollster said, our Hispanic sample probably was a little too male. I mean, look, we`re not going to overweight things. The result is the result, but it was more heavily male than other Hispanic samples in Nevada. And that may be one explanation of why Trump is over -- appears to be over-performing in our poll.

RALSTON: I guess what I would say real quickly, Chuck, is that Joe Heck is also over performing. He`s ahead by one point over the woman as you pointed out, who could be the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate. That just doesn`t make a lot of sense to me. But listen, polling to me doesn`t mean as much in Nevada anymore as much as -- when you have almost a third of the data in for early voting. And it looks very much like 2012.

The real hope for Joe Heck is you remember in 2012, Chuck, Barack Obama won Nevada by almost seven points. Hillary Clinton looks to be on that trajectory to me. But Dean Heller, the Republican senator.

TODD: Right.

RALSTON: Managed to buck that tide and win by about a point and a half or so. That is what Joe Heck is counting on. But they`re not acting like a campaign that is doing well. They are sending reinforcement to Washoe County which is Reno.

TODD: Right.

RALSTON: As you know, where Republicans traditionally do well. They are not doing well in the early vote. Mike Pence was there.

TODD: Yes.

RALSTON: You have Lindsey Graham and John McCain there. There is something going on in Washoe County which is a swing county in Nevada.

TODD: All right. Let me move to New Hampshire, Dante. Our New Hampshire poll arguably than is probably conforms to what you`ve seen in others. Our Nevada poll didn`t conform as much. Our New Hampshire numbers appeared to do that, nine points. It`s similar to what we`ve seen to some other open - - opening up. And the biggest difference obviously is college educated whites. There is a larger group of them in New Hampshire than there is in Nevada. And that may explain why that lead opened up.

DANTE SCALA, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: Yes. I think we`re seeing New Hampshire display its usual swing state behavior. Hillary Clinton has a high single-digit lead nationally and New Hampshire is acting as if it`s a point or two more Democratic than the nation. So that`s about right. So I think college educated women are certainly an important force here both for Clinton and for Governor Hassan in her battle versus Senator Ayotte. But I think also keep an eye on college-educated males, as well as high school educated females.

TODD: Right.

SCALA: Because to the degree that they move toward Clinton, that`s keeping the gender gap about constant because we`re seeing them trend except for, say, high school educated male voters.

TODD: Right.

SCALA: Which is Trump`s stronghold.

TODD: Let me ask you, you looked at the numbers for Clinton, you looked at Hassan and Ayotte. Where is Ayotte over? How is she over performing? Who is the group of voters that she`s got to continue to count on to pull this off?

SCALA: Well, clearly the Republican base is vital.

I mean, in a normal presidential election year, we -- the state tilts Democratic. So she`s got to pull especially well from the Republican base and she`s got to make sure that her base does not become demoralized by the top of the ticket. So that`s number one. And number two, there are those independent voters, true New Hampshire independents, not just those undeclared on the voter rolls, but truly people in the middle. She`s got to get a clear plurality, even a majority of those independents to break for her against Hassan buy into her mantra that she is a centrist, center- right Republican willing to work across the aisle. Both those groups have to come through for her in 13 days.

TODD: All right. I want to play a quick ad for you, Jon Ralston, because it feeds into a fun little tweet you had earlier in the day. It`s a new ad that Mitch McConnell`s super PAC is running. As we told you, an emergency $25 million for a handful of Senate races, Nevada is one of them. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harry Reid has failed Nevada for 30 years. Now he`s picked a successor, but Catherine Cortez Masto has failed Nevada, too. Don`t let Harry Reid force another failure on Nevada.


TODD: So who`s running? Is it Harry Reid versus Mitch McConnell? One final shot between the two of them here, Jon?

RALSTON: Yes, I mean, this is real. The Republicans started out making this about Harry Reid and saying his handpicked successor, talking about Cortez Masto, they barely mentioned her at the beginning. And now their closing argument, you saw the Senate Leadership Fund ad, there`s another ad that`s just like that that just started.

By the way, Chuck, this is the most outside spending of any Senate race in Nevada history. But they are now closing by trying to morph Catherine Cortez Masto into Harry Reid or maybe vice-versa to try to close the deal.

I have to tell you. I think the Heck campaign and the -- outside Republican spending against Catherine Cortez Masto has been borderline brilliant. They realized she wasn`t that well defined in the electorate`s eyes.

TODD: Yes.

RALSTON: They immediately called her corrupt and started tying her to Harry Reid. If Heck manages to survive, it will be because of that campaign.

TODD: All right. Dante, very quick, outside money having much -- doing much help for Ayotte?

SCALA: It`s -- you know, it`s a battle of attrition at this point. I mean, there are two relatively popular politicians who will become less so overtime because of the --

TODD: They`re running against each other.

SCALA: The outside money back and forth.

TODD: Yes.

SCALA: But Ayotte has proved resilient so far despite the fact that her top of the ticket is such a mess.

TODD: All right. Jon Ralston, Dante Scala, people that truly know their states -- battleground states inside and out. Thank you, both gentlemen. We`ll see you again. I`m sure.

RALSTON: Thank you.

SCALA: You`re welcome.

TODD: New insight from undecided voters in North Carolina. We have given you quantitative analysis. Now we`re going to give you qualitative analysis. Why some say they are holding their nose and voting for Hillary Clinton. Stay tuned.


TODD: A lot more MTP DAILY including a fascinating focus group out of Charlotte. But, first, here`s Hampton Pearson with the CNBC Market Wrap.

HAMPTON PEARSON, REPORTER, CNBC: Thanks, Chuck. We have stocks closing mixed today. The Dow rose by 30 points, the S&P fell three, the Nasdaq dropping 33 points. Boeing gave the Dow a boost after posting better than expected earnings report, it`s third quarter profit closed by 34 percent.

Another drop in iPhone sales dragged down Apple`s stock 2.8 percent a day today after the tech giant posted this quarterly earnings. Tesla beats Wall Street expectations, it`s total revenue more than doubled to $2.3 billion. That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.



GARY NESBITT, BANKING CONSULTANT: The message is not "vote for me because I`m the best candidate," it`s "vote for me because I`m a less of a sleazeball."


TODD: Trump is in battleground North Carolina today hoping to get an edge in the statement Romney won by just a handful of votes in 2012, but a focus group of voters showed 13 days out from this election may have a better grasp.

What turns them off of both leading candidates and what thrust them in? Hart Associates spoke to 12 undecided and recently decided North Carolina voters. One woman said, Hillary Clinton didn`t win her vote. It was Donald Trump who repelled her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I so much wanted Trump. I so much wanted a non- politician. But I don`t trust him and he -- he -- I`m afraid of him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m afraid of him because?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I just don`t think he knows when to shut up. If he would just say I`m a business man, I`m not a politician, I`m gonna make the America great again and stop right there, then I would vote for him. I see a temper -- a temper tantrum like a little boy. I started to listen more to Clinton. I don`t love Clinton. Let me tell you, I don`t trust her, but I think she is the lesser of two evils.


TODD: Despite the repulsion to Trump`s temper, another voter found Hillary Clinton`s controlled conduct unfeeling and distant.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like she is too well prepare and too well spoken that I can`t see her as a human being. She just -- she is prepared and says what she plans to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does she have compassion and empathy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think so.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TODD: Joining me now is Peter Hart who moderated the focus group from the University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg Public Policy Center, and is one of course of our NBC News Wall Street Journal polling team, and our political editor Carrie Dann who went to the focus group, covered it for us here at NBC.

So, Peter, I will start with you. I want to start with those two women we heard. It was striking. What was more representative? Do you think of what we should take away from women in North Carolina or perhaps swing voting women in general?

PETER HART, HART RESEARCH ASSOCIATES: Oh, I think we have just seen the election in that profile. These are women that should be in the Trump camp. Essentially, those are Reagan voters, Reagan supporters, and they cannot support Donald Trump because of his temperament and because of his behavior. They just see him as unfit for office.

And when they look at Hillary Clinton on the other side, she is seen as untrustworthy. So, this is the dilemma for a lot -- a lot of women and it`s working for Hillary Clinton and it`s working against Donald Trump.

TODD: Let me play here a clip where you asked them to describe Trump to the whole group. Here it is. (START VIDEO CLIP)









TODD: Carrie Dann, you met these folks. That sounds like a whole bunch of Clinton voters. Does that mean there was a whole bunch of democrats?

CARRIE DANN, NBC NEWS POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, when you play the same word association game with these say voters about Hillary Clinton, there were equally negative reactions. A lot of people saying liar. This is somebody who I can`t trust. This is somebody who believes that she is above the law. These voters didn`t just have negative feelings about Trump, but equally visceral reactions to both candidates.

They were angry about it though, some of the other focus groups that Peter has conducted and attended, voters have been more viscerally angry. These people were not mad. They were just disappointed that these were their only choices that were left and they felt like they had to hold their nose. The phrase lesser of two evils came up among many of these voters as they were deciding which of these people to pick between.

And it is still a question -- 13 days away from the election. They were asking the same question, the voters after the beginning of the summer, whether this is about Donald Trump`s temperament or Hillary Clinton`s trustworthiness. And it seems like Clinton -- Clinton seems to have a little bit of an edge there at least with those women voters that we played earlier. But at the same time, people are still making the same choice that they were earlier this summer.

TODD: Let me play something here and get Peter to come in on the other side. You asked, Peter, what do you believe Clinton`s motivation is to -- to be president? Take a listen.








UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Motivating herself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say love of country. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Covering her tracks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Money and power.


TODD: Peter, at best, I came up with three positives there. Wow! That`s -- I don`t know who -- who had it worse here, Trump or Clinton.

HART: Well, Trump clearly had it worse, but he appeared hoping to win and lead the nation. Those are the kinds of remarks she want. And at this stage of game, the voters are just having a hard time because what comes out is I just can`t find either of them ready to lead the country.

I don`t feel comfortable. And all the ads have been negative against the other person. The point here is no reason to follow either of them. As Carrie will tell you, they didn`t get even excited about having the first female president. I mean, none of it grabbed them.

TODD: Carrie, before I can get you on that, this is to me, I think the Clinton campaign one thing they have failed to do is offer up anything to fix the trust issue. No pledges on reform, no pledges on transparency, none of this stuff which I think has been a strategic mistake. But Peter asked how does Clinton fix her trust problem. Here are some of the responses from this group.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keep the promises at a minimum so that she can actually meet some of what she is saying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She got to avoid any appearance of impropriety which she has been unable to do. I don`t know how she accomplishes that. I mean, once you have lost a trust like that, I don`t know how you get it back.


TODD: Carrie, that`s the striking thing about that clip, is that you wonder is this fixable for Clinton as president? And if it is, boy, does she have a lot of work to do.

DANN: Well, the issues that these voters cared about were so different than when you look just decided democrats and decided republicans. These were people who didn`t for example bring out the issue of immigration or they didn`t bring up issues of gay rights as much as perhaps primary voters or decided partisan voters would do. They care about things like just generally -- they care about jobs, they care a lot about health care.

They had negative things to say about Obamacare generally. So, the advice that these voters were giving to Clinton was make a couple of promises and stick to them, give us benchmarks to show real change. But as you say, this is something that throughout the campaign Hillary Clinton has sort of failed to do, to give a positive message.

They were talking more about her general sort of atmospheric competence and experience and not about specific policy issues like some, you know, the Trump supporters were talking about for Trump.

TODD: Peter, very quickly, what was the mood of that room when it comes to North Carolina`s role in sort of the political debate, the cycle? I mean, in many ways, it`s ground zero for our culture wars considering what`s going on with HB2? How did that group react in response on that issue?

HART: Well, there certainly was some of that, but it`s a ground zero within their household. They don`t even feel that they can talk to their spouse in civil terms on the election. It is split households, split voters all the way, and the only thing that they agreed on and the only hero out of this whole thing was Michelle Obama. Tremendously well received. She has really become the moral voice for the voters in 2016.

TODD: All right. Peter Hart and Carrie Dann, quantitative and qualitative. Nobody does quality and qualitative like Peter Hart. Thank you, guys. Thank you, Carrie.

DANN: Thanks.

TODD: Still ahead. Why I and millions of Americans find the zombie apocalypse so fascinating? And why that might not be a bad thing?


TODD: Tonight, I`m obsessed with the apocalypse. No, not just any apocalypse, but a zombie apocalypse, and not just any zombie apocalypse. But the zombie apocalypse that appears on AMC and they viewed its 7th season on Sunday, "The Walking Dead."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no door number four. It is the only way.


TODD: Why I`m obsessed? Because 17 million people, 17 million watched that show on Sunday night. That`s more than any show on cable. That`s more than any show in broadcast. It`s more than the number of people who watched Sunday night total. Until the day I had no idea this was any kind of national phenomenon. I can`t even find anyone on the staff of "MTP Daily" who watched it regularly and yes we have plenty of people here in their 20s.

So what`s behind the show`s popularity? It could be a natural outgrowth of American society that is worried that its greatness is dead or could be a metaphor for the election between the two unpopular candidates. Remember it was Hillary Clinton who told the "New York Times," quote, I`m the last thing standing between you and the apocalypse. Or maybe, just maybe, it`s nothing more than a really good T.V. show. Maybe it`s just a show that manages to do something that haven`t done.

It actually brings people together. Believe it or not, there aren`t many T.V. shows anymore that have people on both sides of the political spectrum actually watching it, but people in red states and people in blue states watch the show, all an increasingly rare, enjoyable, collective experience on a Sunday night. Now, what does that mean? I don`t know.

But there is something about the show that somehow can bring people together that no other scripted show does. Everything else were in our corners and it`s something about a zombie apocalypse and watching people interact in a very human way. Deepest human way that somehow I guess gets people hope. We`ll be right back.


TODD: Right now, Mike Pence is in Salt Lake City. Yes, the republican vice presidential nominee, 13 days before the election, is campaigning in Utah. Yep, that`s where the election stands. Time for "The Lid." Panel is back, Bob, Beth, and Susan. Okay, it was bizarre.

The two republican nominees from past and present in Washing D.C. still arguing basically and the running mate is in Utah. I mean, if you don`t have enough evidence about why this race looks to be in the place that it is, just look at the schedule today.

BETH FOUHY, NBC NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR: Right, but then you had Hillary Clinton in Florida. Day two. Fighting it out in the battleground state that she has to win with a robust. Get out the vote program. Early voting. She`s doing it the old-fashioned way. She is doing kind of the nuts and bolts of campaigning in the states that need to go her way. So, basically, when it comes right down to it, the person who is doing the nuts and bolts stuff is the likely winner in this case.

TODD: You know what`s interesting here, Bob, is as we`ve seen this race, in some ways, it feels like it is broken open naturally. But it is interesting that it has been hit or miss on which states follow that opening up. New Hampshire has. Florida hasn`t. North Carolina hasn`t. Nevada hasn`t. There is a larger Trump base in some of these battleground states.

HERBERT: There is a large Trump base.

TODD: You look at the new poll that has Trump up two. And, you know, there are some that say that Clinton is three, but it`s never been more than outside.


FOUHY: Think about that.

TODD: It`s a cross current, yeah.

HERBERT: Yeah, that`s what I was gonna say. A lot of it is counter intuitive. You look at it and you expect Trump to do well here and maybe Hillary here and then it might be flipped. It`s strange.

TODD: Well, Florida is a microcosm. It has everything.

FOUHY: It does.

HERBERT: I did think it was gonna be easier for Hillary though. Especially with the Latino vote. I have been reading that the Cuban vote in Florida was not as right wing as it has been in previous years but it is close.

TODD: Susan, to me, the biggest -- we talked about where Mike Pence was. The other thing to me that dropped like a ton of bricks in the republican ticket is, a whole bunch of republicans said we need money for this campaign. We need to find the emergency $25 million. And not a dime of it is for a battleground state for the presidency. It is all for senate races. If you can find republican donors that will give the senate races that won`t give to Trump.

DEL PERCIO: For a long time, yeah, there are a lot of big donors who decided they will not even give to the RNC. They will go and create their own super pacts and go into these states. Because they don`t believe in Trump`s agenda and they do believe that they have to keep the senate republican.

So, it is a new phenomenon but I think it is something we`ll probably see more and more of. Because as we go forward, you are gonna see many people deciding, picking, and choosing what they want to do.

TODD: By the way, this happened the same time that we got word that Trump said, I`m not doing any more big dollar fund raising. Now, on one hand, two weeks out, you should be done with it.

FOUHY: Right. Hillary isn`t done with it. TODD: But she is not done with it. On the other hand, if there was money still to be had, keeps to be doing it, right Beth?

FOUHY: Yeah, I mean -- but my problem is, that`s true. My problem is it flies in the face of political science that the top of the ticket drives how people vote. It is very unusual to split tickets in a very robust way. And that`s what these republican donors counting on. That people really will split their votes. And I`m not -- I don`t think that is impossible. Certainly, some people will. But typically, that doesn`t really happen.

DEL PERCIO: I think that this is going to be a very unusual year when it comes to it. Just look at some of the polling we see in the states. We just talked about New Hampshire. We talked about Nevada. None of this really quite makes sense. We have Ron Portman doing fantastic in Ohio.

So, there are things. That is in part also what Donald Trump missed as far as not only a field game but an actual campaign operation where you do I.D. voters, where you learn how to do one step and another and you basically run a three-month campaign that you want to win and he didn`t do that.

TODD: Before I let you go, you`re at Demos. It is a progressive, and I assume you guys want to keep some pressure on Hillary Clinton. What is interesting is that the "Washington Post" had a story today about this. This fight is coming. Sanders is prepared to be a liberal thorn in Clinton`s side. It is something about the WikiLeaks more than anything that has I think really surfaced this divide. That exists in the democrat party, too.

The republican divide is out full front. We start today between Trump and Romney, right? Or Megyn Kelly and Newt Gingrich. Sanders is keeping his powder dry. He has not commented once really on WikiLeaks other than to say, well, you don`t want to say what was in our e-mail but on November 9, they`ll gonna start talking about it.

HERBERT: Yeah, but I think that the progressive aspect is gonna be less of a problem for Hillary than a lot of people will because I think that she is gonna make her moves to try and appease the progressive quickly.

TODD: That`s the first one that could appease fast.

HERBERT: Well, one that would do it fast. I don`t know if she will do it right away but that would be tuition-free college. And to push that.

TODD: If you were her, you will push that early.

HERBERT: I would push that early. And really hard. And you know, dare the republicans to push back against it. So, you`re seeing fighting hard for that and the republicans kill it. I mean, that`s a feather in your cap.

DEL PERCIO: But there is one thing, you`re assuming that there is no more WikiLeaks after the election. I think they`ll keep coming out which is gonna be a problem. HERBERT: I don`t think they`ll gonna be talking about WikiLeaks so much after the election.

TODD: All right. I got to leave it there. Great conversation. Thank you. After the break, mapping out Donald Trump`s popularity in the states based on where he owns property. Stay tuned.


TODD: In case you missed it, Trump`s traveling press corps has been taken on a tour of Trump`s properties around the world throughout this campaign including today and that ribbon cutting event at Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., formerly known as the old post office. Trump has held 32 events at his own properties.


TRUMP.: With the notable exception of 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, this is the most coveted piece of real estate in Washington, D.C.


TODD: It cost $6 billion to get that temporary address at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, by the way. Does good business equal good politics? Trump owns 12 golf courses, 700 hotels and one winery spreading out across the U.S. Those properties are in Hawaii, California, Nevada, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, D.C., North Carolina and Florida.

What do all these states have in common? Well, it is possible Trump could lose every single one of them. So what do you make of this? Maybe people in those states have had it with Trump. Maybe most of them are blue states that Trump could never have won. Or maybe Trump`s wealthy customers live in very different parts of the country than his more blue collar voters do.

Whatever the answer, we do know this. Even if Trump`s businesses haven`t been bad for Trump`s politics and perhaps helped his politics, the question is going to be, have Trump`s politics been good for Trump`s businesses? That we may find out November 9th.

That`s all we have for today. "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT" begins right now.