The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/03/14

Guests: Deval Patrick

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