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Zip recruiter, dotcom slash cricket. Welcome to Positive America. I'm Jon Favreau. I'm John Lovett. I'm Tommy Vietor. I'm Dan Pfeiffer. And today we're going to talk about what comes next in the most predictably fucking crazy end to the twenty twenty election where we stand in the race for the Senate and how the hell all of this happened.
How did we get here?
Let's just. You see, Nate Silver was a sports guy. Starts with that.
You followed sports closely.
Uh, let's get to the news. Let's just jump right in, guys. Joe Biden has won Wisconsin.
They just called the second congressional district of Nebraska and has been declared the winner in Arizona by Fox News and the Associated Press, though they are still counting a lot of ballots there. By last report, the Arizona Republic said possibly 600000.
He's currently leading in Michigan and Nevada. He looks like he has a very good chance of winning Pennsylvania.
He has an outside shot of winning Georgia still. And all of this means when the votes are counted in, all the lawsuits are finished, Joe Biden could very well win the presidency.
He is on the path as of right now at 11:00, 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday. And and here's a clip of how Donald Trump has handled this news last night.
This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country.
We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.
So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud in our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we'll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at four o'clock in the morning and add them to the list.
OK, it's so very sad. It's a very sad moment to me.
This is a very sad moment and we will win this. And as far as I'm concerned, we already have won it.
So that was he found first of all, he sounded like a fucking maniac there.
The weird tone, the, you know, didn't make any sense whatsoever.
Let's start with this. What are Donald Trump's actual options here?
What can he do?
Nothing. Dan, I mean, the most he can do is in states where the state law allows a recount. If it's within a certain margin, like for, for example, Wisconsin, if the margin was within one percent, he can ask for a recount there.
But what there is he has no legal authority, no executive authority, no authority at all to stop the counting of ballots. And if he were to stop the counting of ballots right now. At this moment, Joe Biden is one of several electoral votes. So maybe we should be for that stuff. You know what? We'll stop counting in Michigan if you stop counting in Arizona and Georgia. We are done. We'll take it.
Yeah, I mean, as usual, though, like what Donald Trump says is not the same as what his campaign is doing. So they're they're seemingly going to try to invalidate provisional and corrected ballots in Pennsylvania by people who are informed four polls closed, that there is a problem with their mail in ballot and they got rejected and then they cured them. I just saw an AP headline that the Trump campaign has filed suit in Michigan to halt the vote count, claiming it was denied access to observe the opening of some ballot.
So there's there's going to be a lot of shenanigans that you're going to read about in various courts. And it's hard for me to tell how how likely any of them are to be successful.
But a very important thing is when there are legal cases, you very, very much want to be the person who is ahead in the vote count when those things happen. And there's a lot of concern as a Gore guy, as someone who spent 37 days in Florida when Al Gore was down by 537 votes. Yes. You prefer to be the other guy in that situation. And so you'd like if you want, he wants to stop counting votes in Michigan.
He is losing in Michigan and recounts, look, we don't want to take anything for granted, but recounts very rarely move a ton of votes. Even that recount in Florida move like 15 votes in a state much larger than Michigan or Wisconsin. And so he has very, very limited options here other than saying dumb shit in tweeting, unless something were to happen in Arizona and Pennsylvania, which would allow him to get to 270. But other than that, right now, as we stand here today, Joe Biden is leading and enough states to put him at 270.
I thought that the media and even a lot of Republicans, both Republican pundits and politicians, were fairly responsible in how they handled Trump's insanity last night. What did you think?
Yeah, I agree. We talked about this on a previous podcast that Fox News had, we know how we know Fox News has too much power in our democracy, but they had an outsized amount of power last night in determining the way in which Republican Republicans would see the election unfold in the fact that Fox called Arizona for Joe Biden, that became part of the conversation was important. I think there really was a successful education campaign around how long it would take to count ballots.
I think we saw that from the media. I think we saw that from Democrats. I think we saw that even from a few Republicans that where they were the exception that proves the rule. And I was pretty gratified to see that there has been one advantage to Donald Trump not being someone. We generally take that seriously in that he goes out. He says that it was sort of anticipated that he would pull a stunt like that even for him. He was lethargic and didn't really put as full his full, you know.
Body into it, and by the time you got to the morning, it felt like it had been a fart in the wind, and so we started tweeting the same message over and over again. I don't think it is having the impact that he would hope it would have had. So that, I think, is ultimately a good sign. Just one other point, too, as I think what Trump is trying to do, which we shouldn't allow him to do, and I don't think we are, is conflating uncertainty around the final counting of the ballots that are in and uncertainty around the legal challenges.
Right. Like, I think the uncertainty we feel now is around just the counting. We have to finish the counting in Arizona, finish the counting in Michigan, finish the counting in in Pennsylvania. The legal challenges are another matter altogether. I will feel a lot more relief. I feel, you know, we all, I think, feel pretty relieved this morning. But I think relief will set in when we get to the final count in Pennsylvania, regardless of the challenges that Donald Trump tries to mount.
Yeah, I thought it was notable that even Mike Pence, who spoke right after Donald Trump did not parrot his language on We Have One and they stole it and instead sounded like Joe Biden sounded and said, we believe we're going to win. We're on a path to victory, which is a perfectly fine thing to say. Right. You that's you look at your votes out of your votes, like both campaigns say, I think I'm going to win. Right.
Even in Trump's own language. He said some version of in my opinion, I think we have one right. It's like even for him, it was not the it was late and it took them a long time to get him out there. And it was not the kind of I don't know, there is a worse version of Donald Trump in that moment. Not that this one is great. It's awful, but even his heart did not seem fully in it.
So let's talk about like, does he have a chance to win legitimately right now? Like what's happening in I think the states that are out still counting are Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. It does look like he is on the path to defeat in Michigan. Feels like that's probably the most confident. Nevada is counting mail in ballots still, which have been skewing very Democrat. So that's a good sign. Pennsylvania has counted almost like very few mail in ballots.
How many do you know what's going on in Pennsylvania? How many ballots?
I mean, it's when I went to bed, which is not that long ago, which is or the or that December when I woke up, it was nor it was nearing two million, I think I saw somewhere was one point for me and that's how I was going to change my time. Listen to this. But it's over a million and the overwhelming bulk of them being from Philadelphia County, which is a place where Joe Biden is going to do very, very, very well.
The Jeno Bob Bauer Biden campaign call this morning on the election results in the various legal challenges, said that they expect to win Pennsylvania. At the at the time, there were one point four million outstanding ballots. And they were not only from heavy Democratic areas, but they were also vote by mail ballots, which makes you think that they're probably even more likely to lean Democratic.
And that's the lesson from what happened in Wisconsin last night, which is the mail ballots are even more and are much, much more Democratic than the overall vote because Biden picked up margin in Wisconsin, even in more Republican areas when the mail in ballot came in, because that was the bulk of his votes. And so that is a very positive sign.
It's pretty extraordinary.
By the way, just this is something we talked about. This was something that we said could happen, right? This was the exact conversation we had that the mail in ballots will come in later.
There will be a whole video on it. But we put out a whole video edited. But it is a it is a look at just the reality of what it was like to go through. I think there's trauma from twenty sixteen. And look, we still don't know what's going to happen. This is not done by any stretch. Not suggesting it is, but there's obviously a difference between knowing something could happen and experiencing it happening. It was a tough experience.
But again, like this, we are heading towards one of the many outcomes that we would have considered good in terms of the presidential vote.
And if you want more in Pennsylvania, Senator Bob Casey, he actually if you go on Twitter on his Twitter account, he had like a map of Pennsylvania and just like dug into the map late last night, like 2:00 in the morning or actually in the East Coast, it was probably like 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning East Coast.
And he's talking about exactly why he thinks the vote's going to come in for Biden and the right way. Look, this is a guy who won Pennsylvania by a very large margin in twenty eighteen and his reelect. So Bob Casey knows Pennsylvania well, but he feels good about that.
You know, Arizona, the mail in ballots there should favor Democrats. They have been favoring Democrats, though. That is a state where most of the state is used to mail mail voting. So they could be a little more Republicans. It's a little more up in the air in Arizona, though.
I think the Biden campaign feels good there, too. And then George is the one. What do you guys think about Georgia? I keep forgetting that Georgia is still out and it's still possible for you to win. It is quite possible it was put this way.
I think it is more possible looking at the vote in the vote out for Joe Biden to win Georgia than it is for Trump to win Pennsylvania.
Now we know less lot we know less about Pennsylvania because Morosini ballot, but it's an eighty it's eighty three eighty four thousand margin as we're recording this, all the ballots left are in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. I, I can't do the math on this. Exactly. But my suspicion is that if they come in at a similar way that the Milwaukee mail ballots did in Wisconsin, that Biden could come very close if not exceed that margin. Now, there are some other votes out there, but eighty three thousand with that, right.
With several hundred thousand ballots left to go is something that would make me very nervous. Was the Trump campaign in North Carolina is definitely leading, like leaning Trump's way. But there's a there are still a lot of outstanding outstanding ballots and we don't know how many are outstanding because North Carolina counts ballots for a few days after that, postmarked before Election Day, but come afterwards. And so there is there's outstanding vote there. We don't and we have no way of knowing how much that is.
Of course, the the counts in Atlanta, in Fulton County was delayed because a pipe burst in the room where the ballots were being stored. So that makes sense. Got it. That's cool and just I'm sure a lot of you have done the math, but just in case you haven't.
So now that Joe Biden has Wisconsin, the Nebraska second and it looks like Michigan, he needs either Arizona or Pennsylvania or Georgia to.
When the presidency to hit 270 doesn't need all of them, he just needs one at this point and he needs to hold Nevada, so few things need to happen. But he is close. He's definitely much closer at this point than Donald Trump is. So we will keep counting the ballots because we like counting ballots here.
That's what you do in a democracy.
You count the ballots and then the winner wins as long as they do it in a relatively original set of states that get up to 270 instead of the overall votes. Because then this would be.
Yeah, right. Right. Which is very, very American.
OK, let's talk about how the fuck this all happened. Yes, we are in a tight situation that a lot of people did not expect we would be in. For example, in Florida, the final five thirty eight average was Biden plus two point five. He lost by three point four in Wisconsin.
The polling had Biden up eight point four and he just barely squeaked it out by less than a point.
In Michigan, he was up seven point nine.
He's also leading now by less than a point and so on and so on and so on in most of the battleground states.
A gigantic fucking polling. Miss, can I just fly a couple of fun ones?
October 20th or twenty fifth ABC News Washington Post poll of Wisconsin, Biden plus 17, Biden plus 17.
In Maine, the last polls were Gideon plus eight plus four plus two plus two plus one. You have to go back to July 2nd to find a poll where Susan Collins was winning. This is upsetting to me.
I will also say to the obviously the ABC Washington Post won in Wisconsin is fucking crazy. You know, the Marquette Law School poll is like a gold standard poll in Wisconsin. It basically nailed the twenty eighteen result it, but it did not nail famously the 2016 result.
There is something big going on with polling that is problematic here around Donald Trump and Donald Trump electorates that we should probably, like most pollsters, have known since twenty sixteen.
Many of them, to their credit, tried to fix it. They have failed not just public pollsters, private Democratic pollsters, a lot of private Republican pollsters, like Donald Trump's pollsters, sort of saw this coming in fairness to them. But a lot of Republican pollster that working for a lot of Republican campaigns did not they? They did, too. So like, what the fuck's going on with Boeing? Anyone want to hazard a guess? Well, it's a funny it's a it's a sort of a philosophical question, because how do you figure out how do you figure out what's wrong with a process that we use to define what people think when what we're learning is that the polls were wrong about what people think the problem is in the polling is wrong.
If the polling is wrong in one direction, every time like you're going to hear a lot from these pollsters are going to say, well, the margin of error is two point five for the margin of error. Like that means that we should get sometimes polling that is too is good for Trump and sometimes point that is good for Biden. And then in the end, the average Joe put us in the middle. That's not what happened. We are addicted to polling.
We love the public polls that lets us pretend to be political strategists for we get in the crosstabs like we we get into every little word that Nate Cohn writes, but that none of that matters. Like who gives a shit like that affects the narrative on election night. Like if we had accurate polling, we probably wouldn't have spent so much time focusing on Ohio to break our hearts or thinking that a loss in Florida was was a downside surprise for Biden.
But Nakhon, having a functioning needle does not matter. There is a real concern that Democratic polling is struggling to understand what the electorate looks like with Trump on the ballot in a presidential election year at least. And we were wrong everywhere. Senate races are shocked by what happened. I'm sure the Gideon campaign is absolutely shocked about the result. Cal Cunningham is probably greatly surprised by this, by the result Democratic House races like we've been talking about Dave Wasserman, how he kept saying throughout the time that the district level polls were showing Trump was struggling.
He's not those are not media polls. Those are campaign polls that are being shared with him as the editor of The Cook Report. And so as the campaign polling, that is wrong. And that's a huge problem. I will say, though, to the Biden campaign's credit. While I think their model may have been a little rosy in some ways, they had the states in the right order, like if you saw the presentation that gentlemanly Dylan did on Election Day, they basically said, we feel good about Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Nebraska to.
Florida, North Carolina, Georgia tossups, Texas and Ohio stretches now there. They're off by a few points because I think they thought they were two points. Maybe they're five points or seven points. But we have to fix this because we cannot make strategic, good strategic decisions about where to invest resources, where to send candidates if we have an incorrect picture of the electorate. It's like trying to choose your which place to run if you don't if you have the wrong idea of what the score is in a football game.
And this absolutely. This is a big project. Like there's going to be huge like Nates conference about how to figure this out for media polling. That does not matter. We should not give a shit about that. How the pollsters and the people who do data for Democratic campaigns figure this out is very, very important. And that has to get fixed sooner rather than later.
Yeah, it was also but just won like Minnesota.
They I think the 538 average was like Biden plus nine and he won by seven point two. So there are states, including Midwestern states that are like analogous to some of the other places we're talking about that were accurate.
But then on top of that, look, I put zero stock in exit polls, especially this year when the methodology was all different.
But those numbers were way too rosy, way too rosy for Joe Biden as well. And those are supposed to be like massive surveys. Fifty thousand people like lower margins of error. Yeah, there's something just completely broken here. And like you're also seeing demographics that are traditionally more democratic, either not turn out, break the wrong direction. I mean, there's a lot to unpack, I think. I think in a month this conversation will be a hell of a lot better informed.
And we'll understand things just because people will pull together like, you know, precinct level data and will actually be able to compare it. But right now, I do feel like we're all in the wilderness.
Yeah, I mean, what I said one more thing on this. You know, after 2016, David Shaw has to work at Civis Analytics. And he he used to read his interview with Eric Levitz about this from New York magazine.
You know, their theory was there's the QAI Trump voter theory, which a lot of people dismissed because you see a lot of Trump supporters out there. They don't seem very shy.
But there's another theory, which is like people who have low social trust in institutions in general, who don't trust the media, who don't trust institutions, don't want to pick up a call from a pollster, don't want to talk to a media organization. And it's not necessarily that they're shy about saying that they want to vote for Donald Trump. They just don't want to talk to these people.
They don't want to take the survey. And if you have low social trust, you are more likely to be a Donald Trump supporter. And so that's how do you fix that? I don't think anyone has a good idea. But I do think, like, it's I am very angry about the systemic Pollinger.
I do not think the answer is to, like, throw out all polling, because like you said, Dan, we need to have a good gauge of public opinion if we're going to do politics, not just to win races, but as we talk about issues and say, like this position is popular, this legislation is popular, you know, like everyone from across the ideological spectrum benefits from that.
And if you are basing on a numbers and data that doesn't mean anything, then we're all sort of fucking in the dark, you know. Yeah.
I also think, too, it's like part of I think the lesson I think we have to figure out what's going on with the polling. Obviously, one other point about sort of shy Trump voters, everybody shy when it comes to answering the phone and doing polls now. Right. Like response rates are low across the board. But also there is a part of this that's about how do we I see I see people doing the recriminations which are incredibly premature about like how we should not use polling at all.
Disregard it. Right. We need to the diner conversations are not the answer either. But there is a kind of balance of figuring out thinking about how to how to be data driven without being data obsessed. Right. Like thinking through the way data plus common sense can impact our decisions as we move forward when we have been confronted by such a big pulling and like one thing we had all talked about, and when I receive texts from, like cynical friends weeks ago is that unlike 2016, there was real comportment across the board, right.
From national polls to state level polls to local polls. Right. Like there was a consistent problem all the way down that was reassuring when it shouldn't.
Party of America is brought to you by Squarespace guys, a dream is just an idea that doesn't have a website yet make it a reality with Squarespace.
Anyone got a cool idea for a website, maybe a website that will count all those ballots faster?
I have an idea. It's a website that takes The New York Times needle and shoves it up. The New York Times, his ass.
There's no need. There is a needle this year, John, breaking fucking news. They're not doing a national needle, but they're doing state needles. That is news for you. And I am angry about it.
That's the worst news I've ever heard here on Monday before Wednesday. When you hear this, maybe it'll be better news then or worse news then. I can't tell. But right now, here in Monday, it's awful news. Tommy, what do you have to say for yourself?
Sorry, I'm Tex banking back to someone named Tony in Florida who just responded to me, Joe. So I'm trying to work through that.
Are you and Travis just text banking each other? Is that what's happening? No, but amazing experience we had yesterday. Travis got a bunch of questions about Joe Biden's vote for the crime bill. And then Priyanka and I got on a texting with him and we messaged a bunch of talking points. Then half an hour later, he talked the guy into voting and he voted Joe Biden.
It was amazing, amazing, huge success. We, again, feel good about that now on Monday.
I know. I know. I know. Anyway, turn your cool idea into a new website. Go to Squarespace dot com slash crooked for a free trial. And when you're ready to launch, use the offer code cricket to save 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain party. America is brought to you by door dash between never ending laundry cycles and incoming emails. You've got plenty on your to do list. Give yourself one less thing to worry about and let Jordache take care of your next meal.
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We got ourselves a very close race.
I don't want to draw broad conclusions before all the votes are in and we get like reliable data on who actually voted and why. That could take, as it often does after elections, weeks, maybe even a month to really dig in, especially since the exit polls are trash.
But what are some of the things we know right now about why this ended up so close and why we're in the situation we're in right now? It looks like Latino voters, especially in the Miami area, broke much harder for Trump than I think even the conservative estimates thought and or didn't turn out for Biden. And I think that is something that people ought to be looking at closely, which is building on a trend from 16, which we saw again in 18.
And it's certainly true in Miami and certainly true in parts of Texas, you know, the interesting thing and exit polling, Carlos Odio and Stephanie Valencia, and we've had Carlos on the on the pod before. They sent out a memo afterwards. And, you know, they noted that one challenge is the Latino community isn't a monolith. Right. And that in Arizona and Colorado and New Mexico, Biden did very well with Latinos. Right.
And did very poorly in Texas, very poorly in Texas.
And then, of course, with the Cuban-American community in Florida.
And so, yeah, that's that is absolutely one thing to look at. I think the other big thing is like Trump just and we all said this might happen. This was a fear that I talked about this fear in our last part.
Before the election, Trump got just un fucking believable turnout. Joe Biden got unbelievable turnout.
Joe Biden turned out more voters than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in either of his two races. More young voters, more black voters, more voters of all groups of all ages across the board.
And yet Donald Trump like just just juiced his turnout from twenty sixteen and did exactly what we had thought we were worried about, which is found a bunch of noncollege educated white voters registered them and who didn't vote in 2016 and brought them out to vote in twenty twenty. That, combined with doing slightly better among non-white voters, was enough to get him to where he is. Right. Am I missing anything else? No.
I mean, look, just to add to you know, it's just not not in Miami, not a Cuba problem. I mean, Patrick Svitak, Texas reporter, pointed out that Zapata County, which is just north of the Rio Grande Valley along the border, Trump won that by six points, is 53 to 47. The last two presidential elections there were Hillary Clinton, plus three, Barack Obama plus forty three. So there is a broader challenge with the Democratic Party earning the votes of Latino voters.
We need we need to we should not base these assessments broadly on exit polls because that is often proven to be wrong and sort of locks us into that narrative. But it is very possible that Missenden Donald Trump will have gotten a higher percentage of the non-white vote than any Republican since Richard Nixon. And that is something that we need to explore very deeply as a party because it upends all of our Pryors narratives that we put forward. And we have to figure that out, because the entire idea that we are just biding time until demographics give Democrats this gigantic advantage depends on holding our margins with black and Latino voters.
And if we are not going to do that and Donald Trump is going to hold his margins with white working class voters, we're in serious trouble at every level. And so there has to be like we have to get this these votes counted, get Joe Biden in the White House and we then we have to begin the project of figuring out what this election told us and how we go about addressing those problems before twenty twenty two or twenty twenty four.
So the worst outcome of the night so far is the Senate or Democrats needed to net three seats to take control of the chamber. We've so far flipped Republican seats in Arizona and Colorado where Mark Kelly and John Hickenlooper won their respective races and are heading to the Senate. Unfortunately, Doug Jones lost his Senate seat in Alabama. Gary Peters has just pulled ahead of John James in Michigan. So that's good. Hopefully he pulls it out when all the votes are counted.
But Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, Steve Bullock in Montana, Teresa Greenfield in Iowa, Jamie Harrison and South Carolina, MJ Hager and Texas, Amy McGrath in Kentucky, Sarah Gideon in Maine, and Barbara Bullier in Kansas all lost their races. John, USCIRF is trailing David Perdue in Georgia, though. There's an outside shot that goes to a runoff. And Reverend Raphael Warnock in Georgia will be facing Kelly Loffler in a runoff. What happened with the Senate?
I mean, I think the Gideon race in Maine is the one that is that is baffling because the public polling showed her so far ahead. She had tons of money. She seems a great candidate. It was a top target and it just completely broke the wrong direction. The rest of the races you listed were pretty significant stretches. The one that we had hope in down the stretch was Cal Cunningham in North Carolina. Now, I don't know if the very Lahm very public sexting scandal hobbled him in the last few weeks, like that was one of the areas where there was a local race that had sort of a big news story that might have changed things.
But, you know, South Carolina, Kentucky, like those Kansas, those were all very, very you know, we're trying to expand the map and it's very difficult to do that. Well, but what do you think?
Yeah, I mean, look, I think, you know, some of these races were places we had hoped we win. If they if the the ultimate outcome and reflected public polling. And we saw something in between. What happened in a way. Right. There are some places we could get in a big wave. That's was the hope for something like South Carolina or Iowa. There was Cao Cunningham's race, which we hope if if the numbers were a little bit better, that he would be someone that could be swept in.
But, you know, it's hard. It's hard. Right now, to go race by race, that will take time, especially when any individual conclusion seems to be overwhelmed by what we're seeing in the House races where we face trouble in Senate races across the country. It just wasn't as good a night as we hoped it was going to be, and that affected us just about everywhere.
Well, the the challenge is, is it split ticket voting is mostly dead. And the Republicans won in the states that Donald Trump won and Democrats won in the states that Joe Biden won.
Which is why I mean, I say this with the big exception of maybe there is a lot to figure out with me in there.
I was actually surprised, Sarah Gideon conceded, because, I mean, they must know that Collins is going to end up at over 50 percent because in Maine, if you get an under 50 percent goes to rank choice voting. But the absentee votes must be in the 2nd District in the more Trumpy parts of Maine. This goes to the speaker of the Senate and it speaks to everything else. We should talk about the consequences of not winning the Senate because they're pretty devastating.
Yeah, but if you were to ask us the day after Super Tuesday when Joe Biden essentially becomes the nominee, like what this is going to look like, we would have said. Joe Biden's path is the only way this race is going to play itself out is Biden has a chance to flip the three blue wall states that Trump won and maybe win Arizona and maybe win Nebraska to. Like we did, like maybe if you remember to begin the cycle, priorities famously did not put Florida on their list of competitive states.
Ohio was never in the conversation. Iowa was never in the conversation. North Carolina was a stretch. Georgia was never in the conversation. Texas, another conversation that all shifted over the course of summer in the Senate. We would if we felt and this didn't turn out to be correct, but we felt Doug Jones is going to be in real trouble. Gary Peters will probably be OK. We thought we had a really good shot at Colins Martha, a great shot at Martha McSally, but in part because Arizona is moving blue and Mark Kelly is such a great candidate for that state.
Cal Cunningham, North Carolina is a tough one, but he's a good candidate. And so it's sort of we lived in this fake reality politically for months because we were all consuming garbage polls. So so it's like garbage in, garbage out. And so we thought these things that were not true because of how polling was done in this pandemic and it sort of played out the way we thought. I mean, it is devastating that we did not win the Senate.
Right. It is going to have consequences for years to come. There are consequences for down ballot losses that are going to be devastating. We did not get the Texas house. We lost them, the legislatures, but. Trump's voters came out and we were playing a lot on Trump's territory, and you do not win. Democrats do not win in Republican states when Republicans turn out at the highest level in any presidential race in more than a century.
Another weird thing, though, guys, was the Colorado Senate polls were spot on. Cory Gardner got smoked. Hickenlooper is going to be a senator.
Those polls were accurate, like the state by state accuracy and then completely off nature of these polls is just driving me crazy. One thing that we may find out over time is that there is a legitimate impact when a state is told they are an incredibly important swing state in which turning out may determine the presidency. Right. Minnesota didn't get a lot of that noise for a while, but and Colorado didn't either by the time we got to the end. But Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, they did.
Georgia didn't. Right. And we have a real shot at Georgia.
So the other thing about Colorado, Tommy, is Colorado is one of the only apples to apples comparisons we can have because their election ran exactly the same as they would without a pandemic, because they've been doing mail voting system before. So if there was a pandemic related Pollinger, the one place where it is unlikely to show up would be Colorado.
Yeah, I also, you know, one of the things I think I was realizing, I really did try to avoid just even in my in my own thinking, like to have a prediction. Right. We were really trying to just focus on what would happen without trying to kind of prognosticate. But I realized, you know, my hope was that. A terrible pandemic, an economic crisis that it would be enough to overwhelm some of the misinformation forces, the propaganda forces that have loomed so large throughout this race that that that would be enough to drive enough people away from Donald Trump to overwhelm the incredible turnout that we really did expect Trump to have.
Did we know how big it would be? Of course not. But one of the lessons of twenty eighteen was their success in turning out their people, despite Democrats doing a slightly better job of turning out their people in that race. And yet, to me, one of the big lessons as this is unfolding, given how vast the underperformance is, that you can't point to any one failure, any one candidate is. We really are in the midst of an incredible threat via Fox News and Facebook and misinformation.
That's not just about left versus right. That's not the polarization. That may ultimately be the most important. It is between people who pay very close attention and consume a wide array of news and people who don't pay attention and then or and or consume are really narrow band of news via via right wing propaganda or their friends and family who are exposed to right wing propaganda. And that challenge, I think we always knew was huge, always knew would loom over the next few years, if not longer.
But I think we are really confronted by just how big a threat that is.
I would thinking that this race was at times it felt like it was 20, 16 again last night. But really this race was twenty eighteen the midterms with just more Republican turnout.
And what happened in twenty eighteen, we won statewide races in Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. We lost Florida. We didn't have a big one in North Carolina. We almost won in Georgia again in twenty eighteen.
But we didn't quite get there, didn't quite get there in Texas. And so it was a replay of that.
And again, like some of these Wisconsin polls, even they had, you know, up five, six, 10, 14, Tony was won by a point and a half in twenty eighteen in the midterms against Scott Walker.
Despite the fact that we had a pandemic, you know, demonstrations against racial injustice, a recession, all of these things that happened, it wasn't too much different than the midterms we saw in twenty eighteen.
Only in the midterms it felt different because we could win a whole bunch of House seats in California and take back the House. And here we needed those statewide races to add up to 270. And that was the real that was the real difference, you know, and that's the whole thing about like North Carolina.
And hoping for Cal is the fourth seat because in North Carolina, we haven't won since two thousand and eight.
And and I think I think, again, we are the difficult thing is we are trapped demographically between these northern battleground states, which are slowly slipping away from us because of the percentage of noncollege white voters up there and Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the Sunbelt, which looks attractive to us because Democrats are doing better there.
So Joe Biden could win Georgia very close. That's where he vastly improved on Hillary Clinton's margin or in 2016, very possibly wins Arizona. Hillary Clinton lost it by three and a half points. So those states look good, but we're not quite there yet either. So we're sort of trapped in between.
And that's what's allowing Republicans to keep winning.
I mean, it is interesting that we have treated those Midwestern battleground states as if they were moving in this Republican direction because we're using as our baseline Obama's numbers in 08 and 12. And what I think one of the takeaways from this is Obama was the abnormal, not the normal. Right. Obama won Wisconsin by 400000 votes in 2008, 200000 votes in 2000 and 12. There was a recount in Wisconsin in 2000 between Gore and Bush. Kerry barely won it.
And so it's actually reverted back to normal without Obama. There are there are some other shifts happening. Obviously, Arizona has moved in our direction. Ohio has moved in the other direction. But they're like we we are back to the Gore Kerry maps where you were just it is within it is one state here. There, the wide playing field that happened in 2008, 2012 was the exception, not the rule.
So one other thing to say about the Senate races is there's been this like cynical. Take that. Why did Democrats waste waste so much money trying to defeat Lindsey Graham and elect Jamie Harris? And why do we waste so much money trying to elect ass off in Georgia or Cal Cunningham in these tough states or even in Kansas or Alaska? And I think it is fair to say that there were some smart Democrats who knew better, who gave people the absolute wrong impression of the likelihood of success in Kentucky running against McConnell.
But other than that, we have to run good, strong races in red states.
If we ever want to make those states not red anymore, we will have a better chance than at the state level in presidential years and everything else in South Carolina because of the money that was invested. Jim Harrison's race, we are more likely to turn North Carolina blue in 2022 when there was a Senate race in twenty twenty for the potential because of the organizing that was done there. And so just like you cannot say that every time you lose a race, all that money was wasted, that is not true.
That builds up sustainable democratic organization that can be used to change the map.
I do think the Booker staff and the Amy McGraths team in Kentucky probably did a ton of organizing that will pay dividends at the local level and that will also over. There were definitely people who are like being silly about how, you know, giving Amy Magrath one hundred million dollars is the way to win the state. No, that was not true. But those field teams did a lot of really important work, I think, in Kentucky.
Also, like we know very clearly, demographics are not destiny, but you can look to a state with favorable demographics that are getting more favorable.
And that is a state where you should absolutely invest a ton of money on organizing every dime that Stacey Abrams and her organization and everyone else poured into Georgia is well fucking worth it, because Georgia is now going to be competitive in every single election. The work that Beddoe, O'Rorke and so many other people have done in Texas is worth it because that state needs is going to be competitive for future. Like you can look at it.
Same thing in Arizona, right?
Like you can look at these states with the demographics in South Carolina where the demographics are getting more favorable and those are good places to invest your time and resources and to organize.
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It's nice to get it right. So let's talk about if Joe Biden wins. What a Biden McConnell policy Washington looks like.
Not great. Not the best ideal, but what what can Democrats get done and what can't we get done? I mean, I think the first thing is we have the power of the executive order. We will immediately go back into Paris. We will immediately issue climate executive orders, retract Trump's executive orders that are harmful to the environment, harmful national parks, harmful to gay people, harmful to trans people. Muslim immigrants like there will be a Muslim ban.
There will be a host of manage the pandemic that manage about that. So that's number one one absolutely the most. But absolutely, you know, it's for all of a sudden, like, you know, we're all this is the first thing this these past 48 hours has so consumed us. All of a sudden this morning, I just saw, you know, we're almost at a thousand deaths again. You know, this is ongoing, the crisis ongoing.
And all of a sudden it struck me that, like, oh, my God, that's right. Like, there's so much on the line. Like we like the focus on the returns, the focus on all of that. The this just for a moment, the stakes of the election, I think we're lost. But just the the promise of having an administration that takes the pandemic seriously is so important, so central to what happens in the next year, which is bracing to be reminded of those numbers after a brief moment of focusing on something else.
Anyone want to do challenges to Tesla and Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell, just after work, sitting together over drinks, solving the world's problems?
Hey, Joe Biden. Hey, Joe Biden.
You know, I think it's like it's Mitch McConnell is going to be Mitch McConnell, but like suddenly Susan, Susan, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, you know, you get those two votes plus all the Democrats. Maybe you can pass things that are more moderate. I mean, it's and then hope in twenty twenty two you flip a few more seats. That's it. That's that's the path. And it's really fucking tough. And it means that a lot of the democracy reforms that we had hoped for are going to be tough.
Obviously no filibuster reform.
A lot of the remember we had a conversation about rebalancing the court.
Like that's not really going to happen.
Although, you know, I do think I guess if if there's another Supreme Court justice appointment, you know, you could get theoretically a Collins and Murkowski to be on board for that. Maybe I don't know, Dan, I mean, I want to try to find the right balance between being very realistic about the fact this is going to be a game of inches, but the things we care most about are going to be very, very hard, if not impossible to get through legislatively.
And Biden is going to have to take all of the brainpower you can possibly find in the Democratic Party policy apparatus and put it towards doing the most aggressive, most impactful executive actions possible. And obviously, that includes undoing all of the terrible shit that Trump has done. And you could do that every day for the first term. If you did one thing a day for the first term, you could have massive impact on the world just by undoing Trump stuff, but then thinking very creatively, what is the single, the most aggressive, most impactful way to go to go after climate in this situation?
What's the most impactful way to help the economy? There is going to be opportunities, I think, to get some things done economically. This is not exactly 2009. In 2009, Mitch McConnell could tell Barack Obama to to go screw himself because Democrats controlled all the levers of power. Mitch McConnell has his hand on the knife. And so if he refuses to pass economic relief right to try to fix the economy while defending Senate seats in some tough places, that's going to be very hard.
He has a different political calculus than he did in the first few years of the Obama administration. So it's going to be very hard. I just want to be honest in your heart, but I don't want to take away from the fact that if Joe Biden is president, isn't Donald Trump is no president, since that is a gigantic fucking thing that is going to make such a difference in every way, shape or form.
And I will say, like, if if we knew like that v. Arizona how it was done and that Pennsylvania was done during this podcast, it would be a different tone.
Right. Like we are cautiously, as we as we were saying yesterday, monotonously optimistic that Joe Biden is going to go is going to is going to pull this out here.
But if we knew that for sure, it would be a lot different. Right. Like, yes, we have said from the beginning, right. That Donald Trump is a symptom and not the cause of all the problems facing our democracy. We clearly have some enormous challenges that we are going to face if there is a Joe Biden as president and a Republican Senate. We know that. And especially we haven't even talked about the state legislatures, the courts, all the things that we're facing like this battle is here and it is going to be fucking tough.
But Donald Trump is an immediate threat to our democracy, like none we have seen in a long time. And if we can remove him from office and if Joe Biden wins, that will be to say it's an enormous victory is a fucking understatement.
We should be dancing in the streets.
I think I think that like I think what we are facing is that we have we are very hopeful at this point that we have removed the symptom. If Donald Trump is a symptom, our job to tackle some of the underlying causes just got much more difficult, right? It just did. Right. Like we had.
We also now have Donald Trump, isn't there? Of course. Of course. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Also not to be morbid, but like things happen, like Congress is full of very old people. They retire. When Ted Kennedy passed away in 2010, that dramatically changed our political fortunes when we lost that Senate seat in Massachusetts. There's like a lot of ways the ball could bounce that we can't predict right now. And so what's going to be needed to be there to take those opportunities when they come? Sustained activism, paying attention, fighting for things you care about?
That's our only option. And people should be proud just for everyone listening.
We're talking like there's a little bit of uncertainty right now. Everything is unbelievably close with an election this close. What you should all realize is that every single phone call or doorknocking shift or text bank you did made a difference. In fact, the text bank shift or phone bank you did might have been the difference between winning and losing. So the difference in some ways between 16, I think, in this cycle is there were a shitload of people, a lot of them listen to the show who are wide awake, paying attention, volunteering their time, donating their money and really, really, really engaged.
And that could be the reason Joe Biden is president. I just want to make sure people get that.
Yeah. I mean, that is the margin in Wisconsin. That is the margin in Michigan, Arizona, maybe Pennsylvania. Like what happened was the turnout in Milwaukee and in Dane County where Madison is was much higher because people in many of them listeners to the show, been organizing that state since the day Donald Trump won. And that's that is why we won. And so one of the lessons from this is polling is wrong, but activism works. Yes.
No, I do. You know, we're going to because we have so little info still. And this is you know, this is still a live ball. We don't have too much more to say today, but we'll have more in the weeks to come. But I do just want to reiterate that, like I mean, you know, think about Ben Wikler in Wisconsin last night, our friend Ben, the Democratic chair in Wisconsin.
And like all the times, everyone, you know, all the organizing he did in that state and all the money.
That everyone donated and all the phone banks that went into that state and same thing with Michigan and same thing with Arizona all like all of these all of these, like little acts of organizing and volunteerism, added up to a very small margin of victory in these states.
And everyone should feel like like everyone should feel enormously proud of that.
Yeah. And I also one thing that I think will be clear is we are going to have. Over the next year, some of the biggest political fights we have ever seen in our lives, we are going to be enormous over keeping the government open, over taxes, over responding to the pandemic, over the courts, what have you, a real knockdown, drag out fight. And I hope people stay engaged through this period of time because what we said before this election, I think continues to be true, which is that once Trump is gone, the next year, the next year, the first year of this Democratic administration can be one of the most consequential and important ones we face as we head into a midterm in which we will once again be fighting for a majority.
And I just hope that everybody understands that their work really mattered. And while this will while removing Donald Trump is one of the great reliefs and achievements that anyone could ever point to in politics, not winning the Senate means that there's a fucking ton of work we're going to have to do.
No one's going back to brunch. It's true. But everyone, hopefully, once this is called, can take a fucking breather because everyone because everyone deserves it.
You know that. Brunch is just overpriced again. Let's go to lunch or dinner together we can, which we can have together because we're in the middle of a fucking pandemic again. Yeah, again. But, you know, if Joe Biden pulls this out and we are, you know, and again, like this, the other thing to everyone should feel like we don't know what the final tally is, but fucking feel confident.
Put on it.
Put on a happy face out there, guys, because like when you were in a recount situation like this, a post-election, you know, the team that exudes confidence is often the team that prevails. Right. Dan Gore, Bush twice.
Is that what you saw on the other side?
Yeah, I saw tremendous confidence from little whippersnapper Republican attorneys like Brad Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, Amy CONI Barrett.
But it's also it's oh, man, the math is in our favor here, right? We have. We have. You would much rather be just a wish and a hope. Here we are leading and more in enough states to get to 270. So feel good about that. And also, we cannot allow the Trump 2016 to make us hide under our desks until this is called, because the Republicans are out there and they are questioning the legitimacy of this election.
They're spreading misinformation. And that's not just about helping Donald Trump win. That is trying to neuter Joe Biden's ability to govern before he even gets to the White House. And so we have to go out there and we have to trust the process. We have to exude patient confidence about what is going to happen here, seem serious because that we have every right to feel that way. We should feel it internally and we should feel it externally.
I also I just one last point, which, of course, is lost in all of this. Joe Biden got more votes than any person in the history of this country. And that does matter. That matters. It just matters. He has that mandate. The fight goes on.
The fight goes on. All right. We will we'll talk to you guys soon. Hopefully we'll have more of a vote count, but we don't know when it could be.
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