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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/05/13

Guests: Chuck Todd

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: All right. Listen, thanks to you at home for your joining us this hour on election night. I feel like I`ve been waiting all day to do this. I`m just going to take my time and do it properly. Please cue the election night music. (MUSIC) MADDOW: Always has the same affect on me. It is a very positive effect. No matter what is going on in the election, no matter what the stakes are in the particular election, just the fact that it is election night, is itself a very exciting thing, if you are a civics dork, which some of us are. These are the results we have got thus far: NBC is projecting that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been elected to a second term tonight. Right now, with 19 percent of the vote in, in New Jersey, Governor Christie comfortably ahead. And that race is called by NBC News. New Jersey Question 2 was the New Jersey voters being asked if they wanted to raise the state`s minimum wage by $1. Right now, New Jersey state minimum wage is federally minimum, which is $7.25. Question 2 would raise it to $8.25. Right now, it is a big margin yes, with 5 percent in terms of -- so, it`s a small proportion of the vote in, but a big margin thus far in the early returns in New Jersey. In Virginia tonight, the governor`s race there, NBC News is characterizing that race as too close to call at this hour, with 76 percent of precincts in right now, Ken Cuccinelli with 48 percent of the vote and terry McAuliffe with 45 percent of the vote. And Robert Sarvis, the independent libertarian candidate polling well at 7 percent. We do now have a projected winner in the lieutenant governor`s race. The Democrat lieutenant governor candidate, Ralph Northam, defeating firebrand preacher, Republican E.W. Jackson, in the race for the number two job in the state of Virginia. In the race for attorney general in Virginia, it`s still too early to call in the race. Right now, with 81 percent of the precincts reporting in Virginia, Republican Mark Obenshain is ahead of Democrat Mark Herring, 52 percent to 48 percent. This is the one race in Virginia that Republicans were most confident in, between the governor, the lieutenant governor and the attorney general. But, again, too early to call on the attorney general`s race thus far in the commonwealth of Virginia. In terms of the big mayor`s races right now, in the mayoral race in Boston, 26 percent of precincts reporting. Right now, this is too -- at this point, with only 26 percent in, there`s no projection in this. Obviously, it`s two Democrats running against each other in Boston as you can see from the onscreen graphics here right now. Martin Walsh leading John Connolly, 52 percent to 48 percent. But that`s just with about one in four precincts reporting as yet. In Houston`s mayoral race, we only have early voting results so far, as you can see, they show Mayor Annise Parker with a healthy margin of victory, but this is 0 percent in, this is the early vote only. So, we`ll be keeping an eye on Houston. In the great state of Alabama tonight, we have been watching a primary race to fill a House seat from the first congressional district in Alabama. It`s southern Alabama to the area around mobile. And the primary there is between two Republican candidates. It`s between Bradley Byrne, who`s the Republican establishment candidate, versus Dean Young, who`s more of the Tea Party fire brand candidate. He`s also a very proud birther. At this hour in the race, we don`t have any results to report. This is going to be closely watched as a sort of maybe a bellwether, maybe a sign, maybe a microcosm of the larger in party Republican fighting on in the country. But that Alabama race is going to be fascinating. Now, technically, that is not a general election. There will be a contest in December against a Democrat in that race, but it is South Alabama. So, the Republican primary tonight is thought of all but definitive in terms of who is going to Congress from southern Alabama. But, again, the big story tonight, as yet s what is happening in Virginia where NBC News is characterizing the Virginia governor`s race as to close to call at this hour. Right now, a slight update, 86 percent of the precincts reporting, Ken Cuccinelli with 74 percent, Terry McAuliffe with 46 percent of the vote. Again, in the lieutenant governor`s race, Democrat Ralph Northam is the projected winner in the Virginia attorney general`s race at this hour. That one is also too close to call. Virginia always holds it`s governor`s elections in off off-years like this one. It`s not only an odd year, it`s an odd, odd year, right? 2013, a year after the presidential race. But that`s the way that Virginia always does it, and heading into tonight`s elections, Virginia had a really stark and really stable and really specific record of who the state of Virginia would elect to be governor. So, really streak pattern -- since 1977, in every single governor`s race in Virginia, the state has elected a governor who is the opposite party to the president of the United States. So, whenever there`s a Democratic president, Virginia elects a Republican governor. And whenever there`s a Republican president, Virginia elects a Democratic governor, and that has held true for 36 years now. Will that streak be broken tonight? At least with these very close results, these too close to call results at this hour, Virginia is closer than ever to breaking that streak, and it looks to be largely on the strength of women voters. Both the Republican and Democratic candidates in Virginia`s gubernatorial contest are obviously guys. But leading up to tonight`s election, there has been a huge gender gap in the polling in this race. In the last "Washington Post" poll for the Virginia governor`s race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe was leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli by 12 points among registered voters in total, 12 point lead. But he was leading by 24 points among women. Exit polling tonight in that Virginia race shows that Ken Cuccinelli is losing women to Democrat Terry McAuliffe by 16 points. Again, that`s according to the exit polls. When Virginia voters were asked tonight the single most important issue they took into the voting booth, surprisingly a high number of voters chose abortion as the single highest motivating factor for their vote. Twenty percent of Virginia voters tonight, one-fifty of all voters tonight said abortion was their issue. And of those voters who said that abortion was the most important issue to them, 65 percent of them voted for the Democrat in the race, for Terry McAuliffe. Joining us now from McAuliffe campaign headquarters, is Chuck Todd, NBC News political director and host of "THE DAILY RUNDOWN." Chuck, thanks very much for being with us. CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Of course, Rachel. MADDOW: So, NBC News originally said it was too early, now it`s too close. What can you tell us about what`s changing and what you`re expecting? TODD: Well, here`s what we can tell you about what changed, frankly as the raw vote count came in, sometimes they can hold a have a margin of error. And then as the night goes on, the polls get corrected a little bit. But as we know, the vote was out, there`s about 20 percent of the vote that`s still uncounted, almost all of it is exclusively in northern Virginia, why does that matter? Well, northern Virginia is now a heavily Democratic area of the state. And so, as you have noticed, as the vote count has come in, McAuliffe has closed the gap on Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli performed essentially at Republican, normal Republican levels in the race of the state, the question is, what`s going to happen in Northern Virginia? And you underscored what happened. If McAuliffe does end up performing at where Democrats normally do in northern Virginia and he does eke out a victory, he`s going to have northern Virginia, the issue of abortion and women to thank, because it`s going to be essentially a tale of two states in Virginia, the state of northern Virginia voting in one direction, and the rest of the state going in more of a swing state, more in another direction. And that`s where this conversation is going to be had, that`s where Republicans are going to have a conversation about did they underfund Cuccinelli. You know, he didn`t spend a lot of money advertising in the last 10 days in northern Virginia. It`s the most expensive TV market. Terry McAuliffe was all over the airwaves. Those ads on contraception and abortion were all over the airwaves. But from the rest of the state, from Roanoke to Richmond, to the Hampton Roads to Norfolk, Cuccinelli was at par with McAuliffe in organization and money and things like that. And so, it`s interesting, as we watch this northern Virginia vote come in and you never know what happens until you count the vote, but just keep that in mind, the big fundraising gap, the big money gap, the lack of presence here of Cuccinelli in the northern part of the state and the issue of abortion, women and all the other issues you brought up, that is the recipe there, if McAuliffe wins, that`s what he`s going to have to thank for it. MADDOW: Chuck Todd, in terms of those northern Virginia precincts being slower to come in, essentially the northern part of the state is what we`re still waiting for, is there a reason, is there anything to read into why those precincts are still outstanding? Or is that just always the way it goes in Virginia? TODD: It`s always the way it goes. I can go back in 2006, the last precincts, Fairfax County, that`s basically just on the other side of the Beltway here in northern Virginia, they were the last precincts to report. That put Jim Webb over the top of George Allen. This is just -- you can thank Fairfax County. They`re the Cuyahoga of Virginia, in a traditionally -- there`s always that one county or two that are very slow to come in in the state of Virginia, that county is Fairfax, and in this state, it`s a huge Democratic number. So, the question is, how big was turnout for Democrats? We know Democrats are going to win the county big, we know Terry McAuliffe was going to win it big? But how big? What`s the raw vote? That`s the unknown, that`s why all of our models say too close to call, it`s always in the margin of error. MADDOW: Let me interrupt you just for one moment, Chuck, to tell you that we do have another race that we can tell you the results of, or at least the projected winner, is the New York City mayor`s race. Bill de Blasio is projected to be the winner in New York City. The means New York City, contrary to popular impression, will have a Democratic mayor for the first time in 20 years, but first time since 1993. This is not an unexpected result tonight, but that is now the projection. Back to that Virginia race, Chuck -- I did just have one question for you, mentioning the importance of turnout. Are you hearing anything from either from the McAuliffe side or the Cuccinelli side, or any informed observers, about what they`re taking from what they saw of turnout today? Anything anecdotal or impressive either way in terms of how many people turned out and what kinds of voters turned out? TODD: No, other than talking to the Republican campaign, Cuccinelli`s in particular, the numbers purchased at level. There was a lot of nervousness among national Republicans, the backseat driver in Washington, D.C., who were not big fans of Cuccinelli, who thought turnout was going to crater at the end, that there wasn`t going to be motivation. So there`s going to be a little hand wringing, a little second guessing, a little backseat driving on there, considering we know no matter what happens tonight, this is a very close race, the governor`s race, there`s a lot of Republicans who sat on their hands and didn`t give the money normally would have given to Republican candidate in Virginia, and when you look at these numbers, there`s going to be a lot of second- guessing. Ken Cuccinelli, could more have helped him? That he`d been more money, would he have been more competitive? Now, that said, there are a lot of Republicans who believe, it doesn`t matter, he couldn`t compete in northern Virginia, and northern Virginia is the growing part of the state, northern Virginia is the blue part of the state. But it`s blue only by default these days, it`s more this is where swing voters are, they`ve just been swinging in the same direction for the last few cycles, particular in federal -- whenever the race gets nationalized, Rachel, Bob McDonnell, the Republican governor that`s outgoing, he didn`t do that. He made it best to not nationalize the race, so he did better than most Republicans do in northern Virginia, and that`s essentially when you look at what happened in Virginia this year and what may happen, what we`re seeing in northern Virginia, you can chalk it up to that, I think, the nationalizing of the issues in northern Virginia. MADDOW: NBC news political director Chuck Todd, I`m sure we`ll be checking back in with you, Chuck, thanks for being with us. Much appreciate it. Chuck Todd joining us tonight from Terry McAuliffe headquarters in Virginia. Can we put up that board, the Virginia governor`s race too close to call. At this point right now, 81 percent of precincts, Ken Cuccinelli with a narrow lead over McAuliffe in Virginia, a difference of just 20,000 votes. Chuck again cautioning, in terms of the interpretation of these results is that most of what remains to come in this state is northern Virginia counties, which in a typical year would be thought to be leaning more blue, leaning more Democratic, but you can`t predict these things until you see them, particularly on election night. Joining us now, Steve Schmidt, Republican political strategist. He was senior strategist for McCain-Palin and he`s an MSNBC contributor now. Steve, thanks for being here. It`s good to see you. STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you, Rachel. MADDOW: Looking at these Virginia findings, thus far, they`re not results yet, what`s your first reaction. SCHMIDT: Well, the first reaction is surprise, and I think the political establishment across the country is surprised by it. This race was supposed to be a blowout. It was supposed to be called at the moment the polls closed. That hasn`t happened. We`re into part of the night where we have 20 percent of the vote left to be counted, Cuccinelli maintaining a slight lead. If in fact the northern Virginia votes come in like we expect them to be, then Terry McAuliffe should win by a small margin. But what that will mean, in the race that Ken Cuccinelli was so badly outspent, that the decision by Republicans not to invest in this race, not to fund this race and the net effect of the Ted Cruz-led government shutdown will have disabled his candidacy, not his position on social issues, which were out of touch with northern Virginia, for example, but a series of tactical mistakes that prevented him from getting over the top in a really close race. One of the things, when you look at this Cuccinelli campaign is the fact that he was nominated through a convention -- MADDOW: Right. SCHMIDT: -- a sign of something, I think is a dysfunction in the Republican Party. And you see in New Jersey, an expanding party versus when you get into a convention, a contracting party, where in the name of purity, all right, you try to exclude voices who aren`t in total agreement on any one of a number of issues. And so, this was a race that Republicans should have won, should have beaten Terry McAuliffe, a very flawed candidate. The fact that Cuccinelli is running this close at this hour shows that it may have been a twice missed opportunity, both by nominating the candidate who could potentially lose to McAuliffe out of the convention process, and then two, once you have him as a candidate, not properly funding him. But this is much closer than anybody anticipated. MADDOW: And again, the next 19 percent of the vote coming in, who knows how the vote is going to change or how it`s going to move from the side. So, we don`t want to project too much, 81 percent in and it is too close to call. That is kind of a scientific judgment. At the same time, I feel like the reason that more external funding from traditional funding sources didn`t come in and support Ken Cuccinelli because he was polling so, so terribly. He hasn`t led in the polls since a single sort of sketchy poll had him up in the middle of the summer. And that lead that Terry McAuliffe has had shrunk a little bit as we got closer to Election Day, but it was pretty solid. I don`t know what -- if we end up closer than that tonight, what you think when you see the polling and election night results not end up -- SCHMIDT: Well, it`s just not the public polls, the private polls and the public polls have all matched up this race and they show a commanding lead for Terry McAuliffe, then you have the shutdown which is a horrific period for the Republican Party, it`s dropped the Republican Party`s national brand to the lowest record ever recorded in polling. But what`s happened over the last week is the debate on energy and politics has turned over to the implementation of the president`s health care law. And you see the millions of people who are now being off of their insurance. You see the president`s serially misrepresenting statements that have come out on this. MADDOW: Steve, do you think people -- (CROSSTALK) SCHMIDT: I think that you see the president`s numbers now are pushing into the 30s. He has a major credibility problem on his hands. He has a major political problem on his hands. The country is profoundly unhappy with politics across the board. Not just with Republicans, but with everybody. MADDOW: Sure. SCHMIDT: The only good news for Democrats is comparatively they`re not the congressional Republicans. But there`s a lot of downward pressure on everybody in politics. But when you look at a state like Virginia and you look at this health care issue the way it`s played out over the last week, it`s some possible explanation for some of that downward pressure or some volatility that would make this race closer. But everybody who`s watching this tonight is assure you is deeply surprised that it is this close at this hour. MADDOW: Yes, and we`re going to be watching it closely over the course of the next hour. It should be noted that while the lieutenant governor`s race has been called, E.W. Jackson, the Republican fire and brimstone preacher, losing to Democrat Ralph Northam, there is no call as of yet on the attorney general`s race, which is another statewide race with a lot of the same contours as the governor`s race. That`s going to be fascinating to watch. Steve Schmidt, thanks for being here, much appreciate it. Steve, of course, a senior strategist for McCain-Palin, now with us here on MSNBC. All right. As MSNBC`s coverage of election night 2013 continues, it is a big night for the future of the Republican Party, not just tonight, but the next big election, too. Next up, Chris Christie gets re-upped as governor of New Jersey for the moment. And Kentucky Senator Rand Paul 2016 hopefully grudgingly admits that he may have a problem. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: We await results in the Virginia gubernatorial election. Most of the political news in the country is obviously about it being Election Day. But in Springfield, Illinois today, the big, big political news was not about elections, it was about marriage equality. The Illinois House today voted for legal recognition for same-sex marriages in Illinois. The state senate has already approved it in Illinois and the state`s governor. He`s a Democrat, Pat Quinn, approves it as well, and says he`ll assign. So, this passing the House today in Illinois puts Illinois on track to be the 15th state in the nation to legally recognize marriages for both straight and gay couples, 15 states. This is the map of marriage rights in the country right now. This is the states of equal marriage rights, with this vote today, Illinois becomes the largest state in the heart of the country to recognize marriage equality after Minnesota and Iowa have gone before them. If you`re wondering which states are going to be next, the debate is on right now, and the legislature in the state of Hawaii. So that vote could really come at any minute, suspected sometime this week. In New Mexico, it`s matter is in court right now. There`s no state law for or against marriage equality in New Mexico. But a court ruling clarifying the matter in that state is expected sometime in the next few weeks. So, 15 states it`s a done or basically a done deal, Hawaii and New Mexico may be next. Before today, the big vote in Illinois, the last state to OK marriage equality was New Jersey just a couple of weeks ago. The state legislature in New Jersey had OK`d marriage equality but Governor Chris Christie vetoed the law. When the courts overruled Governor Christie and said marriages can go ahead in that state, Governor Christie appealed that ruling. He vowed to fight, to stop same sex rights in New York. Then after the state Supreme Court weighed in against the governor again, Governor Christie eventually gave in and let same-sex marriages go ahead. Well, tonight, Governor Christie was re-elected in New Jersey by the large margin that was expected heading into Election Day today. New Jersey voters also did not by and large agree with him on his marriage veto but they like him well enough anyway to have reelected him governor. New Jersey voters also did not by and large agree with him on his veto on raising the minimum wage either. The state right now in terms of -- about with 22 percent of the vote in, this is the vote right now on New Jersey`s Question 2 on whether or not the state should rage the minimum wage to $8.25. The legislature had voted to raised the state minimum wage. Chris Christie had vetoed that measure. This essentially, Question 2 is essentially the state taking the opportunity to overrule the governor on this issue as well. So, we`ll be keeping an eye on those results. But despite being out of step with his state on some big policy issues and despite Governor Christie saying that he might not serve out his second term in office, that New Jersey just selected him to, the state picked him overwhelmingly anyway. And so, yes, New Jersey you may think you have just voted for Christie for governor, but what you have really done is launched the Chris Christie for president campaign for 2016, in exactly the way that Governor Christie wanted it to be launched. And because Governor Christie apparently has an angel in heaven somewhere who owes him favors, today was also the day that Senator Rand Paul decided to meltdown to "The New York Times." Thus, potentially, clearing out of the way one of Governor Christie`s highest profile competitors for that 2016 nomination. After a week now of plagiarism revelations about Senator Paul`s writings and speeches, Senator Paul sat for an interview with "The New York Times" today, in which he told them that he will change the way he handless speeches in publications. Quote, "If it will make people leave me the hell alone." Whoa, easy, tiger. The senator who "The Times" described today as, quote, "drawn and clearly shaken by the plagiarism charges, said that his office had made mistakes." Then, there was the senator`s explanation for why this whole plagiarism thing has happened. And this may in fact be the real explanation, but this is the kind of explanation that the senator is going to have a really, really hard time ever living down, if he ever does intend to run for president. Listen to this: "Mr. Paul attributed some soft of the sloppiness to the hectic life of a senator in high demand." Quote, "Things are done quickly and in a hurry, and sometimes I get some things sent to me while giving a speech. I`m looking down at my phone saying, read this for approval in 20 minutes," he said. "We write something every week for `The Washington Times` and I literally am riding around in a car in between things trying to figure out if I can approve it. We need to get stuff earlier, but it`s hard," Mr. Paul said, "We probably take on more than we should be doing." If you cannot handle the workload of a once a week column for a penny saver newspaper, on top of the burdens of being 1/100 of a legislative body in which you are the most junior member, or one of the most junior members, that is a hard admission to kick off your case to the American people that you deserve a promotion to president. If you can`t handle being a senator without screwing up like this, why should you get the really big job? And so, the day goes to Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, re- elected hugely by a state that does not agree with him on a lot of really big policy issues. And Chris Christie is down one major rival for the job that he wants way more than the one he just got tonight. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Updates. We have some update to bring you right now on some of the big races that we are watching right now. All eyes continue to be on the great commonwealth of Virginia right now. Here`s where things stand at this hour in the race for governor there: with 87 percent of the precincts in, NBC News is calling this race, too close to call. Forty-seven percent of the vote for both Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe, as you see, just a little over 3,000 votes between the two candidates at this point. Chuck Todd telling us earlier in the hour that the remaining outstanding votes, to the precincts they`re still waiting to get in are mostly northern Virginia counties. In a typical year those would tend to lean Democrat, but there`s no reason to projects from past years, it all matters what happens tonight. The race for lieutenant governor in Virginia was not as close. NBC News has now projected the winner in that race, and it is the Democrat Ralph Northam over the fire and brimstone preacher, E.W. Jackson. There`s also a number of big mayoral races that we`re keeping an eye on tonight, including in the city of Boston, where voters are choosing a replacement for that city`s long-time mayor, Tom Menino. Boston does not have a new mayor in 20 years. And tonight, with 87 percent of the vote in, Martin Walsh with a narrow lead over John Connolly, both of these candidates are Democrats. Martin Walsh is seen as being more of the choice of the labor movement, frankly, in Boston. John Connolly seen as somebody who`s prioritized education above all of his other issues in this race. It was thought going into this race it was going to be a close one, and it indeed looks close right now in Boston. This is 87 percent of precincts reporting. I love election night, it`s like Christmas morning and birthday and New Year`s Day. Stay with us. We`ve got much more ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Happy election night. It is an off year, indeed it is an off, off year in elections, that doesn`t mean there isn`t a lot going on in terms of tonight`s elections that`s going to have a big impact not only in the relationship between the parties but in the way that a lot of cities and states around the country are governed. Obviously, the headlines that are already in tonight are that in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie has secured his re-election effort there. That was largely expected. Everybody is going to be watching to the bitter end of that vote count, maybe even to the vote certification there to see what the margin is because we have invented this idea that somehow projecting from the total margin by which Chris Christie was able to win reelection in New Jersey will be able to divine something about how people do in the Republican primary effort to win the presidential nomination in 2016. I have never quite understood why we should be able to project from one to the other? Because nobody`s ever made the case that the New Jersey electorate is like the Republican primary electorate. But there you have it. This is the race right now, it`s called again, the projected winner but only 44 percent in, at this point it`s a 22 point margin for Chris Christie, people will be watching to see if he breaks the record, in terms of New Jersey margins of victory by previous governors and making stuff what those results means for him running for president. But this is the status right now in New Jersey. Across the river in New York City, the race is also being called there in the mayor`s race. New York City, obviously, the largest city in the country and it has been governed in recent years by Mayor Mike Bloomberg and before that Rudy Giuliani. There has not been a Democratic mayor of New York City since 1993. It`s been 20 years since there`s been a Democratic in Gracie Mansion. But Bill de Blasio winning handily tonight in New York against Joe Lhota, a Republican who had distanced himself from the Republican Party nationwide. But we go now to Terry McAuliffe`s campaign headquarters in Virginia where this hour, the governor`s race is as yet undecided between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Polling has been strongly in McAuliffe`s favor heading into tonight. But at this point the race is still too close to call. Chuck, what can you tell us? TODD: Well, you`re hearing the cheers, because they`re now, the folks here at headquarters are seeing what we`re seeing in our boiler room, the raw vote now has McAuliffe in the lead. So, exactly what I was telling you, Rachel, about 45 minutes ago, as Fairfax County comes in, we`re about 57 percent of the vote in Fairfax. The Terry McAuliffe vote keeps growing. In fact, we think it will grow -- his lead right now is down under 10,000. And there it is. MADDOW: There it is. TODD: It went on the board with me. MADDOW: That`s right. TODD: We have done this before, Rachel. MADDOW: We have. I have the pleasure of interrupting Chuck Todd to tell you that NBC News projects that Terry McAuliffe, Democratic candidate for governor, has been narrowly elected in Virginia, defeating Republican Ken Cuccinelli. I imagine the crowd with you there at Terry McAuliffe headquarters in Virginia is hearing this as I say it, Chuck. What can you tell us about how people are feeling there? TODD: Well, exactly. Well, actually I don`t think word has trickled in. They`re watching another channel and I`ll just leave it at that, Rachel. (CROSSTALK) TODD: If they choose to get slower news, what are we supposed to do? I think word will trickle in that maybe they ought to change the channel if they want to know who won the Virginia governor`s race. If this all goes to what we were talking about 40 minutes ago, which is northern Virginia put Terry McAuliffe over the top. And, you know, we can chalk it up to a number of things, the issue that terry McAuliffe advertised in northern Virginia very much focused on swing women voters, issues having to do with contraception. Frankly, it was a very similar campaign in northern Virginia that Barack Obama ran in 2012 -- the government shutdown, there are nearly 200,000 federal workers and guess where most of them live in northern Virginia. That is when I was told by both campaigns that McAuliffe`s biggest lead that he ever held in any of the private polling took place during that government shutdown and, of course, it was the constant theme of the McAuliffe campaign going there. Towards the end, it was a theme that Obama hit on Sunday. It was a lot closer than a lot of Republicans thought this race would be. This is about where a lot of people thought this race would be, two weeks ago, that it would be somewhere, two, three points. And our projection by the way, our models, we`ll see what happens, that ultimately, McAuliffe will end up winning this case somewhere by 1 1/2, to 2, maybe 2 1/2 points. And, Rachel, in a race that close, Steve Schmidt went over this with you, I heard him after I was done -- there is going to be some internal finger pointing and there`s going to be a couple of sort of unintended consequences. You and I both know there are a lot of national, non-Tea Party Republicans that were almost hoping Cuccinelli would lose. They want to send a message. They believe the Tea Party overall is hurting the Republican Party nationally. But a lot of conservatives and Tea Party folks are going to look at this Cuccinelli result and you know what they`re going to say, but for more help from national Republicans, Cuccinelli might have won. So, I don`t think the decisive result, the establishment wing of the Republican Party was kind of hoping for tonight, which was a big Christie win, and a big Cuccinelli loss, they`re not going to get that, which means the Tea Party is not going too feel cowed by anything that happened as far as this race is concerned. MADDOW: And again, we will be watching I think the overall margin to see, actually both in the New Jersey race and in this Virginia race, to see if there is anything to be divined from the margins, that you can divine from who gets the win. But, you know, the streak that`s being broken here is the striking thing, Chuck, since 1977. As you know, Virginia has picked a governor of the opposite party of the president, every single time they have voted for governor. What explains why the Republican Party diverted from that pattern in the way that they haven`t done in more than 30 years? TODD: Well, look, the reason of that trend -- that was a quirk. That was because usually about 11 months into a presidential term, you start getting essentially voter fatigue, swing voter fatigue with the party in power. And so, Virginia being so close to Washington, it`s a natural occurrence frankly. So, it isn`t surprising. What was different, what Republicans decided to nominate somebody more conservatives. They went that convention route. I`ve heard plenty of Republicans complain about that. There`s going to be a lot of people that are going to say had the current lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling, who never endorsed in this race, Republican Bill Bolling decided not to run because he couldn`t win the nomination. A lot of people are saying if he were the nominee, then he would have beaten McAuliffe head to head. But I think there`s going to be -- people talking about shutdown. The fact of the matter is, and I had a Democratic pollster say this to me about sort of the state of America politics right now and the state of the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party -- voters right now are furious with the Republican Party, but they`re not fully ready to reward the Democrats, that there is this concern particularly with independent voters about the healthcare rollout, concern about some things. So, they`re not enthusiastic about the Democrats. But they know what they don`t like, right? They don`t like the direction of the Republican Party. And we saw it I a lot of the polling when a lot of Terry McAuliffe support, it was people said -- more people said that it wasn`t that they were voting for Terry McAuliffe, they were voting against ken Cuccinelli, and that matters. And that tells you sort of where the direction of the party is. So, I feel there`s something to glean from this in this close race. And this is a big deal. And this is about the Republican brand right now, too conservative for a place like northern Virginia which will support moderate mainstream establishment Republicans, if given the chance in Virginia. They weren`t given the chance. MADDOW: NBC News` Chuck Todd -- Chuck, thanks for being was, and if you want to do everybody a favor and just head over and change the channel, you`ll probably very popular based on what they see once they get to us. TODD: I think they turned off, by the way, they did turn off that other channel realizing there`s other stuff going on. I think they`re looking for the remote now, trying to figure this out. Keep putting up the board -- hey, Rachel, keep putting up the board and people see it. MADDOW: As a public service. Hey, look, the news is here. Thanks, Chuck. Appreciate it. Again, NBC news projects that the winner for the governor`s race in Virginia is Terry McAuliffe, projected as the narrow victor in the governor`s race in Virginia over Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Again as Chuck was just explaining there, the historical trend is that Democrats -- excuse me -- that the commonwealth of Virginia will choose a governor who is of the opposite party to the president. So, when there`s a Democratic president, Virginia picks a Republican governor, when there`s a Republican president, they pick a Democratic governor. That streak has been broken for the first time in more than 30 years, as Virginia once again goes blue. Election night, we`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Happy Election Day. We have got some more results for you. In the Boston mayor`s race, 95 percent of the vote in and "The Associated Press" has called this race for Martin Walsh. This is Democrat v. Democrat in Boston, the first time in many, many years that Boston had not had an incumbent mayor standing for reelection. Martin Walsh defeating John Connolly, he was seen as having the support of labor more than Connolly did. Martin Walsh, a former union official, but he will be the next mayor of Boston. Again, "The Associated Press" is calling that race with 95 percent of the vote in. We also have a call from "The Associated Press", interesting ballot measure in New Jersey. In New Jersey, the New Jersey state legislature had passed a rise in the minimum wage. And New Jersey`s Republican governor, Chris Christie, was re-elected tonight by a large margin. He vetoed the rise in the minimum wage. Supporters of a rising minimum wage then put it on the ballot for a statewide vote tonight. And the voters essentially overruled their governor`s veto at the same time they turned him back for another term as the state`s governor. "The Associated Press" has called this race, New Jersey Question 2. That will bring New Jersey`s minimum wage from the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour up to $8.25 an hour, and then it will also get annual cost-of- living adjustments. A big change for minimum wage workers in the state of New Jersey. More ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: NBC has projected the winner in the Virginia governor`s race tonight. It`s the Democrat in the race, Terry McAuliffe, over Republican Ken Cuccinelli. You know, when you read the Beltway press about this race all along, there has been the gauzy wonder about how it is that Terry McAuliffe is doing disproportionately well among women. What is it about Terry McAuliffe? Is Terry McAuliffe particularly appealing to voters of the lady persuasion? Is Terry just an androgynous name, maybe people think he is a woman? What could this be? Why would women has such a strong partisan preference in this governor`s race? It may be hard to believe. This is not the way we are wired as a country to understand politics, but it could possibly be a matter of policy. The last Virginia governor`s race before this one was in 2009 when the state elected, a deeply conservative, buts sort of mild-mannered Republican named Bob McDonnell, as an adult grad student. Bob McDonnell written a master`s thesis at televangelist Pat Robertson`s Regent University. His thesis was about how public policy should be used to punish, in his words, homosexuals, cohabitators and fornicators. Bob McDonnell tried to play down that part of his background as a candidate for governor, but once he got elected, he and the Republicans in the Virginia legislature got to work on just those issues. Part of his legacy as he leaves the governorship is the raft of new anti-abortion TRAP regulations that started shutting down clinics across that state. Even before that though, Virginia Republicans under Bob McDonnell moved to force unwanted and medically unnecessary ultrasound exams on any woman who wanted to try to get an abortion in the state of Virginia. Do you remember the commemorative Bob McDonnell vaginal probes, right? "If you can read this, your government is too close. Small government." "This violation courtesy of the Virginia Republican Party." Or, this one, "I can see the White House from here." That`s not supposed to be the vaginal ultrasound probe talking. It`s supposed to be Bob McDonnell, who at one point, before the whole Governor Ultrasound thing was thought of as a top tier contender to be picked as vice presidential nominee of his party. But you know forced medically unnecessary ultrasounds ordered by the state government at your expense, even if you don`t want one and your doctor doesn`t want you to have one, that proved to be a wand too far for the governor. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to ask you about this red hot story that has gotten so much ink, so many women in particular fired up. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Virginia drew national attention for the proposal that was -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did they? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My understanding is that they did. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a bill, an abortion bill that would have mandated women get what`s called a transvaginal ultrasound if they were getting an abortion. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you were educating yourself on this bill. Did you originally not realize it might mandate an evasive procedure? GOV. BOB MCDONNELL (R), VIRGINIA: You have to realize, this wasn`t my bill. Normally, a governor would review the hundreds and hundreds of bills, when they get to your desk. You are so busy advocating, you don`t read every legislator`s bill. We can`t always help what the media decides to focus on. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Actually it was your bill, sir, in the sense that you co- sponsored it when you were in the legislature. And then, as governor, you signed the ultrasound bill. So, governor ultrasound was not picked as the Republican Party vice presidential nominee. And the governor ultrasound nickname kind of stuck even as his governorship ultimately dissolved in a corruption and apparent bribery scandal. Prosecutors will take a decision whether to criminally indict Bob McDonnell sometime between now and Thanksgiving. But now, heading into tonight`s race in Virginia, the Beltway press, the national press have sort of mystified at this big gender gap in the Virginia polling. It turns out, you know, Ken Cuccinelli is not that much of a mystery. He is the harder to spell, dark haired, human embodiment of Bob McDonnell`s social conservative agenda. Even after shutting down the abortion clinics, which Mr. Cuccinelli was the prime mover on, even after the forced ultrasound, on top of that, Republicans are asking Virginia women to support this guy who`s been pushing a bill that wouldn`t just ban all abortion in the state, it would ban the birth control bill, it would ban hormonal forms of birth control. There was a kind of normal conservative Republican, mainstream Republican available to run for governor in the form of Bill Bolling, the lieutenant-governor. But Ken Cuccinelli and social conservatives outmaneuvered the rest of the party. Got the party to hold their nominating contests at a convention of activists instead of at the voting in a primary, and through that the Virginia Republican Party, through that, the Virginia Republican Party got themselves not only Ken Cuccinelli, they got a statewide slate of fire and brimstone candidates. Ken Cuccinelli ran alongside, E.W. Jackson who lost tonight. He`s the one who says that gay people are sick. The military has been homosexualize and President Obama kind of seems like the antichrist. They picked for attorney general, a state senator stood with Cuccinelli and trying to get the birth control ban, but also himself proposed that any woman who suffers a miscarriage has to report the miscarriage to the local sheriff within 24 hours of having it. So the sheriff presumably can investigate the circumstances of the miscarriage, because, you know, small government. And so, yes, history says Republicans should have had this election tonight in Virginia in a walk. There is a Democratic president. For more than 30 years now, that means it has been guaranteed a Republican would win the Virginia governorship. If you ask Virginia men tonight, that would have been the case, but Virginia women are so strongly against the way Republicans have been governing in Virginia and propose to keep doing so that they have changed that political streak entirely. The Beltway press has never seemed to understand that this is about policy. And honestly the Republican Party doesn`t seem to recognize that this was about policy. The final list of candidates who Ken Cuccinelli campaigned with, heading into tonight`s election results, the people who he tried to turn people around, to his way of thinking on. His last list of big name surrogates were Senator Marco Rubio, anti-abortion guy, Representative Ron Paul, anti-abortion guy, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, those were his last list of surrogates, all of them anti-abortion, male, Republican candidates. Where is this gender gap possibly coming from? How did the Republicans lose this governorship? Well, NBC News, again, projects tonight that the winner of the gubernatorial race in Virginia is the Democrat, Terry McAuliffe, the lieutenant governor`s race also called tonight for the Democrat Ralph Northam. That does it for us, this action packed hour. We`ll be back here at midnight with more. Stay with us. MSNBC`s election night coverage continues with "THE LAST WORD" and Lawrence O`Donnell. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END