JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: All right, Thank you so much, Representative Charles Booker, Jamie Harrison. I really appreciate you all. That is tonight`s REIDOUT. And "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. All the President`s mess, a total failure on Coronavirus and a historically bad economy puts this historically bad president right in league with Herbert Hoover, which explains the ongoing attacks on democracy for the campaign of Donald Trump. Stacey Abrams is here on what you can do to protect the election.
Plus, Senator Gary Peters on his new investigation of the sabotage of the Post Office. The new 2020 ads from the Biden campaign that may be the perfect antidote to Trump`s non-stop lies, when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. How do you campaign for reelection when the country`s falling apart? How do you try to get four more years when what`s happening now is this? Today the President was in Ohio for what were basically campaign events. At one event, they actually played the song Live and Let Die on the sound system before he took the stage, which is a strange choice during a deadly pandemic. It`s a sort of a Paul McCartney`s version of "it is what it is," I suppose.
Now, the plan at this event had been for the Republican governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, who`s done a pretty good job of actually managing the virus there, to greet the President when he arrives. So Governor DeWine got tested in advance of meeting the President. And guess what, the test showed that he has the Coronavirus.
Now, instead of greeting with Donald Trump, he is in quarantine, making him the second governor in the country that we know of to have contracted the virus. That was not the best news to kick off the President`s trip to Ohio and it did not get better. The President`s remarks the airport were built as being about "economic prosperity," but they came on a day that 1.2 million people filed for unemployment benefits for the first-time last week. That`s the 20th straight week of claims of about a million.
And here`s the thing to look at with this, many of those job losses are permanent. I`m sure you`ve been hearing about it. We`ve been hearing it. We`ve seen it. People are getting laid off, corporations are cutting back, and those jobs are not coming back. There are simply no way to get around the fact the country is in abjectly terrible shape.
We now have officially lost more than 160,000 of our fellow Americans to the virus. That`s almost certainly an undercount. And while many other countries had the virus contained, we are still seeing over 1,000 deaths a day, more than 1,100 so far, just today. If you look at all that the utter failure to contain the virus, the historically terrible economy, it is hard not to wonder and I will admit to wondering this a lot and maybe you do too. Honestly, how is anyone supporting this guy?
I mean, seriously. Six months ago, in January, I could understand. Now, I mean, Donald Trump is hugely unpopular. He`s only at about 41 percent approval rating, but that still means about two every five Americans, after all this, after all this, still approve of the job Donald Trump is doing, which seems crazy.
So I was thinking about this, and I decided to just take a look back at what happened in some of the biggest presidential blowouts in U.S. history for a little context. Now, in 1932, there`s Republican incumbent President Herbert Hoover. He was running for reelection in the midst of the Great Depression.
There were food lines across the country, thousands upon thousands of Americans living in shanty towns which are named after the president called Hoovervilles. We did not have the modern welfare state, so people were like literally starving to death. It is fair to say it was not the ideal environment for a president to get reelected.
And President Hoover did lose that 1932 race to FDR by a big margin. It is remembered as a massive blowout, and it was. But look at this, even amidst the Great Depression, with shanty towns literally named after him, Hooverville, Hoover still got nearly 40 percent of the vote. 40 percent, and that is the thing to remember. No matter how much of a blowout we think a race was, the losing candidates still usually gets around 40 percent.
In 1984, another big historic blowout, right? Walter Mondale, right, got his butt kicked by Reagan. He won 41 percent of the vote against Ronald Reagan, in a race that most people probably remember is a much bigger blowout. In 1980, amid stagflation, the Iran hostage the second oil crisis, right, Jimmy Carter, who also remembers as running amidst profound national crisis, he got 41 percent of the vote.
That`s the thing. If you`re running for president in a two-party system, with two candidates, two major candidates, you pretty much start at 40 percent. It`s just the way it is. That`s the floor. 40 percent is the floor for a major party candidate. But if Donald Trump only ends up around where he is now, with around 41 percent of the vote, it`s still a huge deal.
If he gets that vote, if that is what people vote, it is not only a historic repudiation, it will have huge implications for the entire federal government, for Congress, because he will drag down his party with him. And right now, Democrats are seeing some very encouraging state-based polls even as the national race looks to have tightened a little bit a tick or so in the last week.
Look at the Senate, all right. Iowa, new poll has Democrat Theresa Greenfield with a lead, all be it within the margin of error, on Republican Senator Joni Ernst. That was not seen as a top tier pick up opportunity for Democrats. So that`s Iowa.
South Carolina, South Carolina was viewed as a Hail Mary. South Carolina was one of these things were Democrats get excited but it`s not going to happen. A new poll today has Democrat Jamie Harrison tied, tied with a Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
Even in Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in this latest polling, has only a five-point lead over Democrat Amy McGrath. These are not the races that Democrats need necessarily to win to take back the Senate. Those are the ones they are not supposed to win, but here we are.
Look, it`s a big fractious country, 350 million people. We disagree about all things, nearly everything. But the thing is there still actually a lot of unity out there. The polling shows most of us, most of us understand the importance of things like wearing masks to combat the pandemic, for one thing. And while it is not an overwhelming majority, 55 percent of the country does realize that the guy running the country is doing a terrible job.
And right now with you know, 90 plus days to Election Day, the only way out is to flex our Democratic muscles, and for everyone to come together across all sorts of lines in American life, mean, people that don`t necessarily agree with each other, right, to deliver the same verdict that Americans delivered to President Herbert Hoover, way back in 1932.
For some historical perspective on this race, I`m joined now by historian Rick Pearlstein. His most recent book is Reaganland: America`s Right Turn 1976-1980. Rick is one of the great historians of modern conservatism and presidential politics. And I thought, maybe Rick, we would start with this idea of the 40 percent because in a weird way, I`ve kind of found it comforting to go back through these, these margins.
I remember tweeting at one point as we headed into this pandemic, that we might be able to find out what would happen if Herbert Hoover had Fox News. And it turns out that like, even without Fox News, they`re still 40 percent of the country that voted for him.
RICK PEARLSTEIN, HISTORIAN: Well, he had the Chicago Tribune, but I`m about to discomfort you, Chris, because I kind of made a pledge to myself the morning that Donald Trump tweeted that we might not have an election on November -- you know, the first Tuesday in November. And I said, anytime someone asked me to kind of analyze this election in the context of previous American elections, I would point out that we might be coming to a point where we need to think about parallels like, you know, Chile in 1970, and Italy in 1922, and in Germany in 1933.
And with Donald Trump at 40 percent, you know, Herbert Hoover didn`t face the possibility of going to jail if he didn`t get re-inaugurated on January 20th, or back then, it was in March, I should say. So the fact that he`s at this point where he`s desperate, and he has, you know, a strong plurality of supporters who probably won`t accept as legitimate an election that happens by mail if the other guy wins, it`s not as simple as the Electoral College meeting in January and casting its votes for the person who wins their state. So, we`re in a -- we`re in sort of a more uncharted territory.
Now, that said, most people just don`t really follow politics day to day They don`t watch CNN, they don`t watch MSNBC, and you know, they have party loyalty, right? And they heard that the Republicans are the good guys and the Democrats are the bad guys. So, there is yes, that floor. You know, Barry Goldwater had it too.
So, you know, maybe he can, you know, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and some will just pull the lever for the Republicans because that`s what they`ve always done.
HAYES: Yes, but that -- so I think -- I think these two are related in this way, because I think about this too, and I agree with you, right. Like, I think that we`re in -- and I`ve said this a lot on the show, like we`re in a democratic danger zone, real fundamental, like, does American democracy, like survive kind of territory. You know, the President talking about already sabotaging the legitimacy.
But I do think there`s a connection between the two because I think there - - if he was at -- if he was pulling at 55 percent, the anti-Democratic moves would be more worrisome. And when you`ve seen people like that have made sort of anti-Democratic moves popularly like Erdogan in Turkey, there was a period where he was both sort of edging away democracy and genuinely popular as a figure. Those two things played off each other.
I do think that this -- the fact that there`s a majority of the country that does not like this guy itself, and the street protests itself, actually proved to be like the only check we really have in some ways. Like that`s the kind of force of gravity on the other side.
PEARLSTEIN: Absolutely. And the fact that he is kind of tried his Reichstag fire in Portland, you know, he`s tried to kind of drum up this terror of, you know, Antifa, mobs, you know, abducting your daughter or something like that. And it`s completely backfired with the voters he needs most, which are those suburban swing voters, demonstrates that if he`s a fascist, he`s just not a very competent one.
Now, hopefully, that will be enough. You know, on Election Day, we have to realize that it might not be called on Election Day. You know, you guys will do your job and, you know, spread that message and our -- you know, gatekeepers and our strong institutions, you know, have to hold the line and prepare for the worst, right? Because he calls the shots and we have to anticipate them and the Democrats have to fold them into their plan for Election Day.
HAYES: Final question for you, and I know sort of historical parallels are inexact, but there was -- something that`s jumped out of me about 32 and 80, right, which are both sort of iconic examples of first (INAUDIBLE) president running for reelection getting their butt kicked in the midst of a country that was not in great shape objectively, right.
And what I think is important about those two moments, and you write about this, obviously, with Reagan in the 80s, is they were also sort of the beginnings of different eras and epochs of American governance. I mean, 32 marks the beginning of FDR and 1980, you know, marks the beginning of Reagan. It`s an enormous change in America. And there`s a relationship between big victories and being able to implement an agenda, and I think that that`s not something to take lightly, as we head towards November here.
PEARLSTEIN: Yes, that`s our friend Corey Robin`s argument that Donald Trump is such a frenzy -- you know, he`s reaching with such frenzy for this smaller and smaller chunk of the electorate, because we do seem to be coming to the end of his historical regime.
And that`s why it`s so important if you`re a Democrat or if you`re a leftist or if you`re a socialist, even if you`re in this strong blue state, you have to vote because we have to pile up such an overwhelming popular victory that normally is, you know, does Trump leave the White House but we have to delegitamate the fascist turn to the Republican Party in the most resounding possible way. You know, so basically, we look OK in the eyes of history, and we can turn our back and reconstruct the country and the image we want to see it.
HAYES: Yes, Corey Robin, who you just gave a shout out to wrote a piece very soon after Trump`s election saying, is Trump the conservative Carter which at the time people were like, what are you talking about, but there`s something in it. Rick Pearlstein, whose book -- new book on Reagan is out now if I`m not mistaken. You should definitely pre-order it. Rick, thanks so much.
PEARLSTEIN: Thanks, Chris. Cheers.
HAYES: Thanks. All right, for more on what is going on with the polls, I want to turn now to Julian Brave Noisecat. He`s the vice president of policy and strategy at the progressive think tank Data for Progress. They just released some really fascinating state polls, including in Iowa and North Carolina.
Julian, it`s interesting, because today -- there`s a bunch of state polling today, and if you look at national polling, it does seem to indicate that, you know, the race has tightened a little bit a point or two between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. But the state polling that you guys have shows Trump and Republicans a lot of pressure -- in a lot of trouble. What did you find an Iowa for instance?
JULIAN BRAVE NOISECAT, VICE PRESIDENT OF POLICY AND STRATEGY, DATA FOR PROGRESS: So firstly, thank you so much for having me on, Chris. We polled four states that could determine which party controls the Senate. Iowa was one of them. Iowa, for example, we had Trump up by just one which was obviously not in Republican`s game plan, but we had Democrat Theresa Greenfield up by two against Republican Senator Joni Ernst.
And I think that that story of what`s happening in Iowa where Republicans are, you know, losing ground quickly in places where they really don`t want to see that happen is a very good story for team blue. You know, your last guest, Rick Pearlstein was just talking about how we might be at the end of an epoch for the Republican Party in American politics. I`m more of a basketball guy and it`s kind of like the end of the third quarter. And you know, team blue is seeing some really good signs and team red is seeing some significant warning signs in our numbers.
HAYES: North Carolina is another interesting race to me because again, I didn`t have this -- I mean, the three races, you know, everyone going into here I think in this year saw as Democratic pick up opportunities, the strongest were Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner in Colorado, Martha McSally in Arizona.
And there`s a variety of reasons in Colorado. That state has trended very Democratic, Maine has as well. Collins, you know, voted for Kavanaugh, and then McSally has had a hard time Arizona trending. I did not have North Carolina really on my list of competitive races. Thom Tillis though, he`s pulling way underwater in you`re pulling in a lot of people`s polling. And I have been surprised at how consistent it is given that it was not a race I expected to be this competitive.
NOISECAT: So, in North Carolina, we actually have Democrat Cal Cunningham that Senator Thom Tillis` challenger up by eight. So, he`s up by eight against the incumbent Republican. And we have former Vice President Joe Biden up by four against President Trump.
And Chris, you`re like completely right about this. This was again, you know, no usually something that would be on people`s radar in a normal general election year, but things are going incredibly poorly for the Republican Party. And one thing to note is that it`s actually not a better story down ballot for Republicans.
We found that incumbent Republican senators are with the exception of Senator Susan Collins, actually polling behind the president. So, this is - - this is not good news for the Republican Party.
HAYES: That`s a really interesting point that has come out that they`re actually pulling behind the president, that Trump`s actually outperforming both Tillis and Ernst in those states in North Carolina and in Iowa, and that Collins actually is doing a fairly good job in relation to Trump. She`s only three points behind I think in your poll.
But there`s also -- there`s the Quinnipiac`s South Carolina poll, it`s not your poll, but Quinnipiac poll in South Carolina, again, this was one of those sort of Hail Mary races. Jamie Harrison, who we`ve talked about, he`s raised a lot of money, that -- you know, I mean, that Presidential race, top-line number, South Carolina being five points and that Senate race is being tied.
Again, that is not what the average of polls is showing, and I think that`s probably one of the best polls Harrison has gotten, and I wouldn`t expect the race to be that close. And yet, that is like, it`s hard to express how much of a four-alarm fire that is for the Republican Party if they`re seeing anything like that in their internals right now.
NOISECAT: I mean, I think that it just shows how far the Republican Party is behind the electorate on a number of issues that matter. I mean, whether you`re talking about the coronavirus, whether you`re talking about the economy, and also whether you`re talking about issues that you might not expect to be high priorities this year, like climate change.
So, we actually asked voters about issue areas like climate and we found that they tend to be siding with the Democrats on a number of issues. Whether that be investing in clean energy, you know, environmental justice, ensuring that funds are going to the communities that are most impacted by pollution.
So, you know, it`s really -- if I was a Republican consultant, which thankfully I am not, you know, it would be hard to say what they have here. They`re grasping at straws.
HAYES: Yes. And that grasping at straws is precisely where right now people`s unemployment insurance has run out and there has been no deal struck while the president sort of looks on and isn`t really even a party in negotiations because the Republican Party doesn`t actually know what it wants. It doesn`t know what it stands for aside from like railing against cancel culture every night. Julian Brave Noisecat from Data for Progress, thank you so much for being with me.
NOISECAT: Thanks so much for having me, Chris.
HAYES: Next up, Trump`s Postmaster General confirms he is slowing the mail. And tonight, Democratic Senator Gary Peters of Michigan has announced an investigation to find out why. And Senator Peters joins me next.
HAYES: The new head of the U.S. Postal Service has acknowledged the new policies that he put in place have caused mail delays. We know this thanks to a letter from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the top Democrat in the Senate Chuck Schumer detailing what the new Postmaster General Lewis DeJoy who also happens to be a Trump donor told them in a meeting just yesterday.
Quoting from the letter, "At this meeting, you confirm that contrary to certain prior denials and statements made minimizing these changes, the Postal Service recently instituted operational changes shortly after you assume the position of Postmaster General. We believe these changes made during the middle of a once in a century pandemic now threaten the timely delivery of mail, including medicines for seniors, paychecks for workers, and absentee ballots for voters that is essential to millions of Americans."
All those slowdowns are having other effects, as well. For example, because most Veteran Affairs prescriptions are fulfilled by mail, veterans are now reporting longer wait times to get their medications. Well, today, Senator Gary Peters, the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, which has domain oversight over this, just launched an investigation into those delays at the U.S. Postal Service. And Senator Gary Peters, Democrat of Michigan is here with me now.
Senator, it`s great to have you. Let me start with that -- with that letter that Pelosi and Schumer sent and what the sort of top-line concerns are from you and other Democrats? SEN. GARY PETERS (D-MI): Well, there are a number of top-line concerns, Chris. And thank you for really highlighting this story because I think it`s incredibly important for the reasons that you -- that you mentioned. We have folks who rely on the Postal Service for our checks, Social Security checks, paychecks, prescription medicines that are coming in. You mentioned how the V.A. is now realizing that these mail delays are impacting the ability to get essential drugs to veterans who require this. This is incredibly important that we deal with.
And as the ranking member of the committee with oversight over the Post Office, we`ve been trying to get information from the Postmaster General. It has been slow. We`re finally starting to get information. Just late today, we`ve got answers to some of the questions we asked but there are huge gaps as well as you mentioned at the top of the segment.
We know that a number of changes have gone in place to basically limit over time. So, if you have a surge of mail, mail will pile up because it`s not taken out of the Post Office as it usually is. You`re also seeing transportation trucks going back and forth are being delayed as well, are not being fully utilized. You`re also seeing some of the processing, that machines that process and sort are also limited in what they`re doing. All of these things basically mean that mail starts piling up.
You know, I`m hearing from folks, letter carriers, and postal workers. They`re saying, they`re seeing piles of mail that they`ve never seen before in their post offices. I`m hearing from constituents all across the state of Michigan. My colleagues are hearing from their constituents all over the country that this is happening. This cannot occur, especially, as was mentioned, in the middle of a pandemic.
People rely on the postal service to provide critical mail to them in a timely way. And that`s not happening and we need to get to the bottom of it and try to understand why would they put these changes in, clearly it looks as if that`s slowing down the mail, without actually testing to find out does this even work. The implications are so, so huge, it`s irresponsible to think you`d be putting in these kinds of changes without understanding exactly the impact that will have on reliability.
HAYES: You know, it`s -- I`ve been in contact with a ton of people, both customers of the U.S. Postal Service, and mail carriers, and former retired mail carriers. It`s almost inside the Post Office. It`s almost a point of like, you know, religious devotion that you don`t let mail pile up. That mail goes out as fast as you can get it out. You do what it takes to get it out the door. And that`s the sort of like cardinal operating principle that has now been upended.
And I guess my understanding of the argument from those implementing this is that this is cost-saving, that essentially, you need -- the USPS has tough finances, that it needs a lot of money from the federal government right now. There`s -- we can talk about the causes of that. And that this is intended to limit oversight -- overtime, to limit labor costs, so that you bring the overhead down. Is there a good faith argument there? Like, is that -- is that an actual argument?
PETERS: Well, we haven`t -- we haven`t seen any of that analysis going forward. But you know, bottom line, if you`re -- if you`re a company, you want to provide first-class service. Just like first-class mail, you want to provide service to your customers. And when you start backing off on those kinds of service standards, and people can`t rely on the mail, you know, there are other alternatives that people can use for mail service for a variety of products.
And if you start taking and providing less service, people are going to look for alternatives. And you`re going to be in a downward spiral. You have to continue to provide the kind of service that people expect from the Postal Service or you`re going to be in bigger trouble.
You know, there are a lot of folks who believe the Trump administration basically wants to privatize the Postal Service. They want to basically throw a wrench in the wheel so that they can justify basically privatizing the service. That is unacceptable. This is the only agency or the only entity that actually delivers to every single address in the United States no matter where you live.
It`s absolutely essential to folks in rural areas that rely on the Postal Service. We`ve got to make sure that this proud history of this organization of over 240 years continues to deliver the mail. And as you mentioned, very, very accurately, you know, postal workers say they never want to see a bag of mail laying on the floor. They want to get it out immediately.
And sometimes you get a huge surge. When you have a big surge of absentee ballots, you need more people. You need more manpower and hours in order to get it out. And that`s what we expect the Postal Service to do, and we`re going to demand that we get that kind of service from the Postal Service going forward.
HAYES: Final question, but briefly, it has not been established definitive to me that Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General and Trump and RNC donor is the source of these changes. Is that established to you? Like do we know for a fact that this is Louis DeJoy`s doing?
PETERS: Well, we got a letter this afternoon, just this afternoon that said yes, these changes are going forward, but it wasn`t from the Postmaster General or someone within the Postal Service. But it looks clear that this is something that they put forward which leads to the other questions, did you test this? Did you do you have any kind of data to back up that this is actually something that`ll work? And how are you monitoring it? How do we make changes if it is indeed slowing down the mail?
HAYES: All right, Senator Gary Peters, thank you so much for taking time and I`d love to have you back as we learn more on this topic we`re going to stay on.
PETERS: Right. Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, Stacey Abrams is here. We have a lot to talk about, including how you, yes you, can fight back against the President`s attack on your ability to vote safely. Stacey Abrams joins me next.
HAYES: We recently got an e-mail from a viewer asking for a little bit of advice during this time of unprecedented uncertainty. The viewer wants to know what to do with all their rage and anger and despair about where we are right now and suggested maybe on the show I could, you know, live in a little bit our normal delivery of the catastrophe every night. And there`s a small insignificant thing we can do that will matter a lot, so listen up.
According to recent Washington Post analysis, nearly 180 million eligible voters are able to vote by mail in November. So visit your state election office Web site or your county Web site, it might be one or the other. Figure out the rules for obtaining an absentee ballot and request one. You may have already had an application mailed to you already. Lots of states have done that. It`s made Donald Trump angry.
Then, when you get your ballot, fill it out, double-check to make sure you have done it correctly, and mail it in the first day you can. Do not wait to ask for the ballot or to mail it into the last minute because you will make it as smooth as possible on the administrative end. It`s just one way to do your part. It`s a small thing but it`s empowering thing. Get your ballot, get your friends and your family and everyone you know to get their ballots, and then remind everyone to get them in early.
Joining me now is someone who has been fighting the ballot -- the battle for ballot access and helping people do what they can to make sure their votes are counted, Stacey Abrams, the founder of Fair Fight Action, an organization to address voter suppression, and Fair Count, an organization fighting the fair counting of the census in America as well. She`s the author of the recent book Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America.
It`s great to have you on, Stacey. And I thought of you because you have -- you have had to fight on two levels, both in your campaign and in the work you`ve done, which is at a sort of structural policy level lawsuits and policy fights to open up access to voting and fight back against disenfranchisement, but also the personal level, like getting -- making sure people do go and vote, that they do jump through the hoops that have been created by other people for them so that they can actually exercise their franchise. And it seems to me that`s a useful model for thinking about this election.
STACEY ABRAMS, FOUNDER, FAIR FIGHT ACTION: I hope so. I mean, part of the work that I`ve been committed to doing since I was 17, has been about making sure people understand the power of their vote. My parents would take us to protest, but they would also take us to go and vote with them when they would cast their ballots, and they wanted us to understand that both are necessary. One is about demanding what we need and the second is about ensuring that we get it. And if we don`t put those two pieces together, wrong will win. The other side will be victorious because we only fight half the battle.
HAYES: There`s some news out of Georgia which is it`s such a fascinating state right now. I mean, it`s always been a fascinating state, but because of the changes that are happening there, because of the -- how hard-fought that state is looking like it might be, and it might be in the -- in the presidential election, DeKalb County, which is trending towards the Democrats, they`re they want to send to everyone the county absentee ballots. And the Secretary of State has sort of stepped in to tell them don`t do that. Don`t send absentee ballot requests to everyone that you have on your voter rolls. What do you make of that action by the Republican Secretary of State?
ABRAMS: Well, it`s even more than that. So, DeKalb County is actually a deeply blue county. It is a majority African American, and it has the ability to add tens of thousands of votes to the rolls if every eligible voter cast their ballots. And so, what we are hearing from Secretary of State Raffensperger is fear. That if everyone who is eligible to vote, particularly those who last voted for Barack Obama, if they show up and vote for Joe Biden, that this will tip the state of Georgia.
Because what we have to remember, we have seen dramatic declines in the margins from eight points in 2012 fo4 Barack Obama, to 1.4 percent in my election. And they know that if every eligible voter, not every active voter, which is a list that cuts off those who haven`t voted in the last five years and stretch them towards the process of being purged, if every eligible voter knows they have the right to vote, and can do so by mail, they`re deeply terrified that this will be the death knell of Republicans winning the state of Georgia. And they know if we can win the top of the ticket, that means we`re going to win two Senate seats, flip a House seat, Democrat, and that we can likely flip the chamber in the House of Representatives.
HAYES: It`s such a great point. I want to just reread this quote, right? "He wanted to reconsider sending absentee ballot request to both active and inactive voters." That`s not a real category. That`s not like that`s not in the Constitution. That`s not a category in democratic theory. That`s not a category called active or inactive. It`s not a use it or lose it situation. Like you`re a voter. You can vote, you can vote. You can vote if you want to or not vote, but you don`t -- like inactive isn`t some like second class of voter.
ABRAMS: Exactly. Well, and that`s what they used. Right now, in 2020, Georgia has roughly 7.4 million registered voters. But in June, when they send out absentee ballot applications, they only send it to a little under a little -- they sent it about 6.9 million voters. They left off all of the inactive voters because those are voters they`ve tagged as voters that they don`t think we`ll be able to vote in a few years and so they`re slowly moving them out of the eye of voters and out of the eye of candidates who would otherwise reach out to them and pull them back into the process.
That`s actually one of the things I talked about in my book, the shenanigans used not simply to disenfranchise those who are active voters, but the way they try to dissuade and discourage those who may have chosen not to vote in recent elections, so they actually get moved out of the conversation altogether.
HAYES: You also have an organization focused on Census -- on the Census. And obviously, the President has sort of waged this kind of war against the Census, the famous citizenship question case in which they were defeated at the Supreme Court. This new executive action and now they`re cutting the vote -- cutting the count short, by a month.
The Census is another place where people can take some small action, which is if you`re watching this right now and you haven`t filled out your census form, go fill out your census form at census.gov and get everyone you know to do it. But what are your concerns more broadly about where we are with this census?
ABRAMS: We need Congress to take action. When the next covert relief passes, we need the census to be extended to the end of October. We have to remember that the non-response follow-up period when people come and knock on your doors, that is usually how the historically undercounted communities actually get included. That means it`s absolutely necessary for communities of color.
Right now, Latinos are lagging by 12 percent, African Americans are lagging by 14 percent, Native Americans are lagging by 25 percent. Even the Asian American population, which is doing the best of communities of color is behind by two percent. If they cut off that period, they`re not simply ending it early, they`re going to then use a statistical tool called imputation to guess the race and needs of those communities. And when they guess, they tend to guess white.
They tend to guess that the people who are not being included, that they look like the majority that actually performed, and that means that communities of color get erased, not simply for the Census count, but that then means that racial gerrymandering would be permissible because you can`t prove that they were gerrymandering communities of color. Even though everyone in the neighborhood knows it, they have no ability to prove it.
So this is even more nefarious than people realize. And we need in addition to completing the census. We need folks to call on Congress to statutorily push the date to October 31st. Do not let them end the census early. Make them do their jobs so we have an accurate census and an accurate count of America.
HAYES: All right, Stacey Abrams, always great to talk to you. Thank you for making time tonight.
ABRAMS: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Ahead, the Biden campaign takes a new angle in their latest ad and persuasive appeals from one of the President`s biggest audiences, that`s coming up.
HAYES: The Trump reelection campaign basically is two rhetorical modes right now as they`re flailing. One is pander to the base and turn that pandering up to 11, so you get stuff like this in Cleveland today where the President said Joe Biden is going to hurt God.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He`s going to do things that nobody ever would ever think even possible, because he`s following the radical left agenda. Take away your guns, destroy your second amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God. He`s against God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: No religion, hurt the Bible, and hurt God, which is hard to do. I don`t even know how you heard God. Now, that kind of rhetoric is designed to fire up the base, so that`s one mode. The other is try to convince people, the not hardcore, true believers that they have some solution to the once in a century pandemic that has now killed over 160,000 Americans, including more than 1,100 fellow Americans just today alone.
But from the outset, that has been part of a series of kind of music man style promises of some future magical solution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We`re going down not up. We`re going very substantially down, not up.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: It is being contained. And do you not think it`s being contained?
LARRY KUDLOW, Director, United States National Economic Council: We have contained this. We have contained this. I won`t say airtight but pretty close to airtight.
TRUMP: It`s going to disappear one day. It`s like a miracle, it will disappear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As one Kellyanne Conway in March 6th, it is being contained. You don`t think it`s being contained? No, I don`t think it`s being contained. The latest script is that the vaccine is always just around the corner. Today, in typically clottish fashion, the President speculated the vaccine could be here by November 3rd, which also happens to be Election Day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, what`s the earliest we can see that vaccine?
TRUMP: Sooner than the end of the year. It could be much sooner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sooner than November 3rd?
TRUMP: Oh, I think -- I think in some cases, yes. It`s possible before, but right around that time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You know, maybe November 2nd, maybe the day before the election the vaccine magically appears. It would solve it then. And so, as President Trump stares down a pandemic that is both terrible in the real world and for him politically, he`s getting more extreme, more desperate in his rhetoric, the Biden campaign has taken a very interesting turn with a new ad that does exactly the opposite. We`ll talk more about that right after this.
HAYES: In 1964, Lyndon Johnson ran a now-iconic campaign ad against Barry Goldwater, where a little girl counts Daisy petals until her counting becomes the countdown to a nuclear explosion. The idea being, President Goldwater has come elected and started a nuclear war because he`s a madman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six, eight, nine --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero. These are the stakes. You`ll make a world in which all of God`s children can live are to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The stakes are that your adorable little daughter gets nuked. Now, even though we`re not living through a nuclear winter, we are living through a version of disaster. I mean, a national disaster resulting in thousands and thousands of deaths day after day after day. And a new ad from Joe Biden goes against the grain, in many ways is the opposite of the grand life and death scale of the daisy ad.
The new after the Biden campaign relates what a bummer this current disaster is. It doesn`t focus on deaths, and evictions, and close schools. It says this virus is ruining the little things like seeing your grandkids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband and I have been gifted with two beautiful grandchildren. We try to see them as often as possible. And it`s been six months and it`s way too long. And while I don`t blame Donald Trump for the virus, I blame him for his lack of action. And because of that, we`re sitting here, zooming or facetiming with our grandchildren instead of hugging and kissing them, and that`s hard.
Joe Biden knows that every moment is precious. I trust Joe Biden to get this virus under control.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m Joe Biden, and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It seems like a really real smart, relatable ad for a portion of the population that Joe Biden is trying to focus on. This is for all the people who were sold on idea that there was some normal around the bend during the Trump years, because there is no normal during Trump. That was false.
Joining me now for more on the different approaches the two campaigns are taking is Adrianne Shropshire. She is a veteran Democratic strategist and executive director of BlackPAC. She had a lot of experience in politics, community organizing, and ads as well. And I just -- I was so struck by this ad Adrianne because it`s so understated in so many ways, given how terrible things are, and given the kind of micro-targeted median voter he`s trying to reach, you know, an elderly couple or senior citizen couple in Florida.
ADRIANNE SHROPSHIRE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BLACKPAC: Yes. I mean, the reality is that, you know, voters understand where we are. They understand the crisis that we`re in. They do not want to see campaign ad after campaign ad reminding them of our national misery, right? I`ve said it in focus group after focus group, and what people -- you know, the message that voters say that they want to hear is one of national unity. They want to hear a message about a path forward, how this mess is going to get fixed.
And I think the brilliant thing about that ad is that while it appears to be targeted at, you know, one segment of the electorate, the reality is that that is all of us, right? That is my entire family every Sunday night sitting around with the Zoom call, right? So it is -- it is -- there was a moment where the multi-prong crisis that are facing the country are literally touching every single one of us.
And what`s brilliant about the ad is that, you know, it leads toward that unifying message, right? It is every message, quite frankly. Every ad I would hope to see that comes out of the campaign is a way to unify, to tell a message and to tell a story that connects people about the moment that we`re in. It`s really -- you know, if you think about it in this -- in this way of having a national unity being a campaign strategy all by itself.
HAYES: That`s a great point. There is something -- you articulated it in a way I hadn`t quite been able to think through, that the sort of counter -- like the badness of current reality, the situation we`re in is so obvious, so manifest in people`s lives, that the ads don`t have to hit that home.
I`ve often felt that way about sort of Trump`s character too. Like, people know what Trump`s character is. That the thing that you have to hit home is that like, the idea that there is some way out or there is something better that is a possible alternative right now is the key message.
SHROPSHIRE: Yes, that`s right. I mean, you know, we can think about it in terms of Obama`s ads, right? Like, we all knew the devastation that the country was facing at the time, and he brought us, right?
SHROPSHIRE: It`s the -- it`s a similar situation the conditions right now that people are facing are so severe, right, both from the healthcare impacts of COVID, the economic impacts of COVID, the racism and police violence that we`re seeing that obviously, galvanize people. I mean, I think there`s a way that we should also be thinking about the Black Lives Matter Movement as one of those unifying messages that have actually brought the country together, which is so striking.
We think about the ways that you know that -- you know, in the previous segment when, you know, listening to Trump speak, you know, a week ago or two weeks ago or whenever it was when he was trying to scare suburban white women, as Pearlstein said earlier, that this idea that the Black Lives Matter, you know, hordes of marchers are coming to your neighborhood, when the reality is that those suburban white women, it`s their kids who are populating those protests, right.
And so this sort of juxtaposition of this, you know -- this you know, the masses are coming for you, when, in fact, you have those same children who are those kids, teenagers, and in their 20s coming back from those protests and saying to their parents having dinner table conversations about the experience that they just had, how unifying being at those protests were for them, having a family conversation about what it means to be anti- racist.
So there is -- the country wants a unifying message. Trump certainly cannot provide that because he`s incapable, but Joe Biden can.
HAYES: That`s it. That is another great point. I mean, I think that, you know, one of the things you see is that they -- there`s been such -- they`ve been so counting on a set of sort of divisions, cultural wedge issues, the famous Pat Buchanan memo to Nixon back in 72 basically saying "we can crack the hunter country in half, but we`ll get the bigger half," they`ve been doing that with the smaller half, right?
And the sort of antidote to that tonally is unity over division, which is a very big kind of basic and accessible message. It was in many ways Barack Obama`s 2004 speech, and then his campaign and it was a very effective message.
SHROPSHIRE: Yes, that`s right. And it is what people want. People want a way out of where we are. The pandemic is affecting everyone. You know, in a minute everyone will, you know, will know someone who is about to get kicked out of their house, right, is about to get evicted. People know folks who have lost jobs. People know someone who has had the Coronavirus. People know someone who has died from Coronavirus.
Like, we are all affected in the same way right now. And I think that being able to understand that, use these campaign ads and the messaging to tell each of our stories is across and create the sort of unifying -- you know, unified country to fight what we`re going to need to fight on the other side of this. That`s going to be really important for them to use these campaign ads and these messages in that way.
HAYES: Adrianne Shropshire, that`s -- that was great. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
SHROPSHIRE: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW" show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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