tv Campaign 2024 Political Analysts Discuss 2024 Elections CSPAN November 12, 2021 3:05am-4:08am EST
17. among moderates, democrats were plus three and republicans were minus 26 and i think that there's something going on here that the obstructionism on the part of the republicans in congress could really bite them badly in the next election because voters are generally frustrated with washington but it certainly seems not withstanding the president's ratings being as strong as he'd like at this point. republicans in congress have a pretty big problem to overcome i also think donald trump might exacerbate for hem. >> we are out of time but we're going to leave it field. the importance of voting i think is a good way to think about it and a good note to thrive on so thank you all for joining us and we'll be back with the next panel shortly.
election. this runs an hour. >> hi, everybody. at this point vice president for the brandon center for justice. i'm really pleased to be here with our good friends in n.y.u. to talk tow about 2024. and i'm happy to be joined by my friends here on this panel. doug frennel. the head of the international advertising department. the journal. edmond is one of the most plugged in officials period of time next to him, instead of any cutter, the founding partner of
precisions strategies. a data digital sculpting firm. stephanie is also the former deputy campaign manager and senior advisor to perspective obama and at the far end of the room, my friend rob collins, a veteran strategist and partner at public affairs, previously the national director of the national republican senatorial committee where we -- he helped reelect 12 incumbents and 12 new republicans. part of the largest gain for republicans ever. they've given us the charge of talking about 2024 and the first thing we're going to have to dispose of is that thing that political strategists everywhere adore. tell us what's going to happen in 2024, who's running? let's go through the list. who's running, who's not running
and who's going do get primaries? doug, let's start with you. >> where's my crystal ball? look, obviously if president biden decides to run on the democratic side, i would be very surprised if anybody would primary him. if he doesn't run, i think you're going to have a big primary. of democrats. i don't think they're -- while we do have vice president kamilla harris who is, in her own right an historic figure and fantastic candidate but most haven't don't get like a free ride to the denomination. we've seen that with gore and mondale and george h.w. bush so i would expect it to be a pretty big field of folks starting with another californian, gavin newsom, possibly pretty muchen when it more. steve bashir gets re-elected from kentucky, he'd be an interesting candidate.
cory booker might take another look. maybe mayor pete tries to jump in i think it's going to be a brett big field of democrats running and then on the republican side, i think trump gets in unless there's something extraordinary that happens that prevents him from getting in. and i think anyone else would have a hard time beating trump. if trump doesn't get in then i think it's going to be a pretty wide-open contest. >> so the trump/no trump question is key here but more important i think this some ways, i'm really curious about the question that was touched on earlier. republican candidates, are we going to see more candidates like youngkin or more like margerie taylor green?
>> i think you can say that about political parties in general. are you going to see more leaner candidates, i guess is probably the question and yeah, the answer is, with the amount of money in politics now, fridge candidates always have trouble getting their message out. i think we're going to go through a period of the wings of the party having louder and louder voices. i think there's a huge will here along the question that doug got into and that's biden and that's going to well set that field because there's not a great plan b if he doesn't run. so it's going to be a touch choice for the democratic party to say, you know, we have a president who's mid to sub 40's. high negatives on the economy and inflation and energy and the boarder but as a high positive on covid and what do we were if we lose that? and should he run again, will he
run again? and i think we have the same challenge with trump, which is that he remains the most popular figure in the republican party. his policies poll 48-48. so some segment of the american people say i'm not on board with trump. but if you ask him about his policies, they poll better than biden's right now. that's a little effect that every president gets when their gone but as a candidate, he would start out with a huge advantage. if he decides nod to -- not to go, you're going to see a really wide-open field. you could see three candidates from florida, three candidates from south carolina. it was hard and expensive and i took a lot of toll but i think in 2016 it was actually a good process. it call -- actually churned a lot of ideas and kind of gave
the republicans a wide field to choose from and they chose from, obviously. and the speck strum. chris christie, jeb bush, marco rubio, you saw the spectrum of ideology. i don't see a wild primary and i always wonder why there's always in pressure to get it done. i think, you know, it's -- it's the thunder dome and you might as well have a long contest to see who can survive because at the end of fortunate day the job you get is to run the country and i don't think we should decide a nominee in 30 days. >> yeah, that thunder dome sounds about right. stephanie, your turn. >> i'll be honest, i'm not sure i have much to add beyond what these guys have said. i do fully expect that biden will run. i don't think he'll be primaried. if he decides not to run then i
agree with doug that there is no presumption that the vice president will be the nominee. she will -- if she decides to run, she'll be running against a number of people. i do think if gretchen when it miles per hour survivors her he election -- re-election in michigan that she would be a formidable candidate. i think for democrats, electing somebody outside of washington would be a smart strategy for us if we plan on winning the white house and on the republican side, you know, rob is the expert but -- i think the only reason trump wouldn't run is if there's an indictment of some sort or if he's making a lot of money doing something else but if he doesn't run, there's a whole host of people -- somebody
i think about is nicky hailey, whether she would run. she's very good at morphing. he's in her various roles and i don't think she carries the trump baggage that a lot of other people do and i think republicans would be smart to run a woman, particularly a woman of color. >> let's pick up on something that doug mentioneds and that's this notion of looking at -- i think the hottest take of all the many, many hot takes this week in the twitter verse was in notion that democrats have adopted a social and economic radical inch that turns off some of their voters. maybe many of their votes in the same way that trump propelled some reference. i'm curious in the wake of virginia, whether you think that's meanleful and where are people really outside the twitter verse, doug, you want to take that? doug: i think the democratic
party has an identity problem. i don't think that they really know who they are and what they stand for and i don't think most of the american people know either. i think 30 or 40 years ago we were perceived as the party of working folks, back and white. that's not the case anymore and i think we've had a really hard time over the years. everything with biden. biden did i think a really exceptional job with his messaging and his campaign. he was kind of an anomaly, though, recently. i think we have a hard time talking about economics in a way that really meets people where they are. i think that there's all this talk about the fight between mod lass and progressives and less of a focus on how do i reach these people who are being hurt by the comply feeling like
they're left out, feeling like the system doesn't help them. so i think the next year-plus is going to be very important for democrats to sort that out and figure that out. how do they define themselves because i do think the image problem that we have is real and if we don't address it asap then we're going to be in deep trouble not only in the mid terms baugh tv but there 2024. >> stephanie, how do you approach this? >> no matter what we do as democrats, we get tagged by republicans as socialists, no matter what the policies are. so let's review the policies. we passed the american rescue plan, which could hardly be calledded a socialist plan. it's helped reopen our schools. helped save small businesses. put money in people's pockets, put shots in arms. and is one of the big reasons
that we are 80% vaccinated today. then we have the bipartisan infrastructure plan. there's nothing socialist about that and then we were what we used to call the family plan. now it's called build back better, which we can do better branding on that. i think what has happened is -- and we've been down this road before and any obama colleague joel benson knows this well. democrats like to kill democrats and that's what we've been doing over the past six months in negotiating what's in it, what's not in it. the mod rattle versus the progressives. john mnuchin and kristen against everyone and as a result we've lost the messaging around it. it's now about the price tag and social programs. fortunately, it doesn't cost anything and second of all it
will make a real difference in the majority of americans' lives in terms of reducing costs, lower inflation, putting people back to work and we have to get back to that and so because we have not been successful in getting in bill done, and nancy pelosi is trying her damnedest to get it done. we've lost the new englanding war on -- on it so it's easy to tag it as a socialist program. if we can pass that this year and get that into the mood stream and limp let -- imp left it, people will realize it's a policy to strengthening the middle class. there's nothing social about it. it reminds me of what we went through in the health care bill. democrats were knifing democrats and it got dragged out. the safest senate seats in the entire united states, ted kennedy's seat, we dot a kick in
the butt and finally passed it. by then we got clobbered, the mid terms, because we had lost the messaging war. i think everybody has their eyes open in trying to prevent that and get ahead of it but the clock is ticking, we have to get it done. >> your republican colleague on the last panel talked about the republicans being the party that knows how to public and democrats ares party that knows how to policy. you agree? >> no, i actually thought they were quite wrong. and i was going to talk to them later. and i'll remind them and the folks watching that, you know, we're the party of the contract with america. george bush when he ran had a book on what he would go do when he was going to govern. just this year, chuck engaged with the white house on a lengthy weeks ultimately the
democrats couldn't agree to. republican senators came together with the democrats to implement the infrastructure bill. although it's stadium out right now. and just last week, senator sullivan and braun came together with an energy plan to start addressing the potential energy shortages we're going to face this winters because of biden policies. on immigration, on the economy. the democratic party is the party that's trying to shut down robin hood. when you look at innovation and where the republicans are on crypto and other financial instruments and other opportunities for people to diversify their portfolio, expand to new technologies. silicon valley doesn't love us but we've always protected their right to exist where folks on the left, want to break them up and do other things to them. with policies, we're actually
pretty sub stan active in a minority situation, especially when the other side, as my co-panelist said is destroying themselves. look at mccarthy. he formed seven working groups which is going to produce an agenda for a governing majority when we take the house back next year so we're already planning to have our committees ready to go from day one so, you know, it's a nice talking point but it's not cram. >> can i ask you a question, this en? because the perception -- he talked about the numbers, which is, of course, his favorite thing to do. and imagine being married to that all day long. [laughter] all day long. [laughter] so biden and trump both have some of the lowest approval ratings in recent history. approval ratings of congress
fell to the lowest point of 2021 to just 21%. so you have low faith in party leadership on both sides but i believe joel's also indicated that the numbers for republicans in congress are even lower than that low so there is certainly a projection out there that this is the party playing politics, not playing policies. how do you fight back? >> senate opportunity fund is a work i do with that does a lot of apology and they just came out of the field and who would you like to have control of the senate? democrats are up four, which we'll take that all day long if -- democrats are at four, which we'll take that all day long as republicans. anything under double digits we can live with. so i'm not sure it's a perception that we don't know how to govern. it's a -- you have multibillion
dollar organizations in msnbc and fox saying don't trust them, trust us and you have a general world view of don't trust institutions at large. so all the institutions from the media to religion to even the military have suffered in the last 20 years as a result of that. but i'm not going to sit here is and and defending congress and say they should get their approval ratings. -- up. it's just kind of the function of our govern twoing system. and i think john kerry spent 91 million in his race for president. we just spent 21 billion last year in politics. the spending is rarely here's the cool stuff i think -- i'm going to do. when you spend $15 billion every year to destroy the governing
body. that bad guy, it does have a crowsive affect on the institution. now if we spent $15 billion on the great things congress does, it might bring their numbers up but not going to happen. >> the former president has made endless false claims about election frauds. making them since the day after the election. those claims seem to all but guarantee that similar disinformation tactsics are going to be deployed around the midterms. instead of any, what do government and party and elected officials need to do to counter this narrative of distrust and protect our elections? >> the distrust around elections? >> yeah. >> well, i mean, the distrust is on one side. and i'm not putting it to you.
>> that's ok. i'm just glad to be here. [laughter] >> uh, uh -- you know, it's a double-edged sword for whoever is breeding that distrust because, you know, even for president trump, it suppresseds some of his votes. people didn't trust mail-in ballots because of his pledging. so how do you restore that trust? number one, you have to change the mouthpiece. but number two, you know, it really -- i don't think it comet would be helpful from the tom down if there were positive messaging around it. that doesn't seem to be possible, although you didn't hear much about election fraud after virginia whether the republican won so maybe when republicans win we can restore the trust. but i do think that local
officials, secretaries of state, local election officials, people like that, people who are getting threatened every day are important messengers on a home level to people to think locally about whether the -- their vote is going to count. it would be helpful if we could finally pass legislation that would establish some uniform rules of the road, of what you were entitle ised to when you were casting your vote and right now there's one republican who's allowing the detective to open on the voting rights bill. if we truly want to make our election system solid and trusted, it needs to be a bipartisan e. and that's one of the reasons joe mnuchin wasn't for the people's acts because he felt like it needed to be a
bipartisan effort. otherwise it wasn't a worthwhile exercise. i don't agree with him holding up that bill but he does have a valid point. if we want to restore trust, it has to be a bipartisan effort. >> we're looking at the john lewis act and the freedom to frerotte act. these bills, democrats and nonpartisan centers certainly believe these are critical for the democracy for claims of election fraud and other things we'll come to later. rob, do you see any chance on republicans coming around on either of these gills bills? >> no, the because they weren't built to be bipartisan. they were built to suppress. i'm not an expert on this issue
so i'll have to defer a little bit but i've always been behalfed by the concept it took two forms of i.d. to sit in this chair today. we don't see airline seat fraud because you have to have an i.d. and ticket. we seem to have worked that out. we can move trillions of dollars of money around through bank captains and venmo and phones but we still have this byzantine system of no i.d., just show up and vote. and until we solve that problem, which we've involved in 99% of our lives, except which everyone here says is our most important rights, which is voting, i don't think you're going to see the republicans budge because it doesn't make sense to us. >> you're more likely to get struck by lights thing than finds a case of voter fall. >> why not do it? >> this is why i'm so confused.
>> it's so important, there's so little reds herring on your part. you guys throw this out here without sort of any real interest in doing anything on the voting rights act. we -- i think it's just the sort of shiny object that's punishment out there by reference and there's no real interest in doing anything on voting rights on your part. >> let's be clear that the voting rights acts and the right to vote act are about much more than voter i.d. there are things that i think republicans could support. on campaign finance reform, for instance. on a lot of things that we punishment in place during the last elections and we ran free, fair, safe elections in the middle of the pandemic and so many of these things would be putting those things in place. stephanie, what do you hear from
people in your universe when they are looking at these bills. >> on voting rights? they're concerned. and just as reference acertificates that there is voters fraud, despite the evidence, there is real evidence that there are efforts to suppress the vote >> you can example -- you can see it. best example is florida. the images of people spending 10, 12, 20 hours in line, in certain precinct, not everywhere, but in certain precincts that happen to have a lot of democratic voters, and many of them dropping off because they have to go to work or take care of their families because of the restrictions around voting that were put in place precisely for that.
that is real. that does happen. there is evidence of it. that is why we need these laws be at all these laws do -- it does not advantage one side or the other. it just take the politics out of it so that a republican secretary of state cannot remake the voting system to advantage one side or the other end same thing for the democrats. it is just a systematic, uniform rules of the road so people can exercise their vote and not worry about which way the wind is blowing politically. >> i don't know if tom is here but if you can put up that slide for the voters out there -- since the election, 19 states have enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for americans to vote. there are more of these to come here these laws typically have had a disproportionate or will have a disproportionate impact on racial minorities. rob is a republican -- is this
approach going to create long-term difficulties for your party in winning elections as our population becomes more and more diverse and how do you see it impacting midterms and beyond? >> i did not take law school but i will try to answer your question as a political strategist. the strategist in me says there is a persistent myth that republicans want fewer people to vote. on the 20 campaigns i have been involved in, the millions of dollars -- hundreds of millions of dollars that we spent on getting people to vote is contrary, in my experience. the idea -- yes, are there examples of both sides pressing their advantage, especially in places they have a lot of control? absolutely. it's terrible and should be stopped. that said, you know, donald trump got the second most votes
in the history of the country. if you look at the virginia elections early exit polls show we made inroads with the same groups you just listed and if you look at the diverse to be of our candidates, of the republican ticket in virginia, not only did we not -- we have not seen any serious republicans call for fraud or call it fraudulent even in new jersey where we lost very closely. you know, everything i have ever seen is that our ideas, our principles, are generally more popular, supported by a broad section of people. we get outspent in most of our races. when we have the money for mechanics on turnout, we do pretty well. i think the republican party has an overreliance on consultants and they always want to buy digital and tv.
and our operations suffer and it's always the job of the political parties to force campaigns to spend money on turnout because it's not fun. it's human beings talking to human beings. it is expensive and gnarly and things happen because -- it's not as profitable as tv that i do think you see the winning campaign, the ones that do the best, especially the ones that do the best in purple and blue states, they are the ones that focus on getting out early voted that they can find. >> i want to run through a few of these laws that we are going to be looking at in 2024. we are going to see these laws. they have already been signed. i would like you all to comment on these purity don't have to know a ton about them to understand what they are trying to do, but i'm curious whether you see these things as a real threat to the races you will be running. georgia legislature passed a law
on party lines to put a legislature appointed chair in charge of the state elections board. the secretary of state -- a legislature appointed chair. in texas, the governor signed a law that targets election officials and poll workers with new penalties, empowers partisan poll watchers which we have already seen as an issue in terms of suppressing the vote in certain states and cuts down on access to voting. in oklahoma, legislators have introduced even more extreme bills which did not pass that would have allowed these officials to directly overturn legitimate election results. in an atmosphere where we are seeing challenges to the legitimacy of the vote, to the legitimacy of our elections, how much of a threat is this? >> the georgia law in particular is really threatening, to have a politician basically who is
empowered to essentially determine the outcome of the election. unfortunately, what happened in a lot of these places, there was attentive pressure from trump supporters who brought into the big lie that there was this massive fraud that occurred in their reaction was to do these things and you know, i think that democrats -- if you are poor, if you are young, if you are a veteran, if you are older, if you are a person of color, it generally is harder for you to vote in this country. it has been that way for a while. i think that there is -- i think that every election including the most recent one, folks have figured it out but they should
not have to figure it out. big turnout, you look at virginia, you guys won. we should have huge turnout. elections should be safe and fair and empty of fraud but easy to do an easy to implement and for people to vote. i don't understand resistance on the part of folks on the right to sort of continue to erect these obstacles that clearly have one thing in mind and that is to deter certain people from voting. that is my view. >> rob is someone who worked on the national level and represented the republican party at the national level. should the republican party be taking on state legislatures that are putting up these kinds of laws? >> you have to look at the root cause and say why are -- you know, we have had a history that
predates trump of elected officials challenging the results of elections. so but the question is why have we suddenly had this? it is a state-by-state system. the secretary is elected or appointed by the governor. they are politicians making decisions but also looking to do other things. though it's always been a political apparatus so the concept that you -- you know, from a perspective, i am always the one in the chair getting yelled at about voter rights. why are there so many americans questioning the integrity of the election? do they have a right to ask these questions or change the laws to address some of the cracks they see in the system? you get a lot of you don't know what you are talking about which
shortcuts the conversation. i cannot speak to these individual state bills. i have not read them. i don't know what they are changing. what i can say is, you know, i think there are solutions that you could get to that would help take out your objections to what is happening in georgia and these other states and texas but also would address the broader republican challenges about one person, one vote. you know, when you see a bill crafted by a majority -- that was crafted as a campaign document that does not have one republican in the house supporting it. it sends a signal that, you know, you can point to john lewis -- i'm sorry to hear other one. yes. that is that is there when i was thinking of yet i'm sorry.
my coworker used to work for john lewis. i am embarrassed i did that. i guess the challenge is that these feel very campaign documents and partisan and it does not feel like there is a serious conversation. you know, it has all the same rhetorical highlights and hallmarks of the immigration debate which is republicans don't want to do anything yet bush did it, the gang of 12, the gang of eight. how many have republicans put forward? since your attempts to try and address the issue, and they have always crashed against a sea of politics so this has the same debate. there is more energy on the left with regards to legislation but they are in the majority so that makes sense. at the federal and level, you are seeing more energy on the right because they are in charge of the state legislatures but it's not addressing the larger issue that no one is trusting each other because no one can have a conversation about it.
for me, as i said, i am not an expert at this but i always had a fundamental issue with the fact that, you know, you have to have an idea to get on a plane but i can walk when i would go vote in d.c., i would just tell them my name and they would say here is your ballot. >> i thought there was a voter id provision? >> there is. i am not an expert on these issues either. the bulk of the john lewis bill was to restore the voting rights act which traditionally was a bipartisan effort. stephanie, why don't you describe what it did and why it is important. >> i think the section that it restores his section five which, you know, if there is a historically systematic racism in an area, then basically, it
gets extra scrutiny. i am hugely simplifying it. the supreme court overturned that and it has huge consequences for districts all over the south, even in the west and in virginia even. which allows for some of these changes that are being made to our voting system in these states and if the voting rights act were still intact, then these states would be protected and i just want to say a couple of other things. at least to your original question. you know, the reason why the republican legislature in georgia is putting their own person in charge is because the republican secretary of state would not do what trump wanted and stood up to him and would not overturn the election results in georgia.
and where there was a democrat or republican that stood up to trump, the legislatures are changing the laws to go around that so it does not happen again. it's as a result of donald trump. democrats and republicans have had debates about voting rights and especially the id piece of it for years. but it was a very different debate than what we are having right now and that's because donald trump was a president who started challenging the boat even before any work cast in the 2020 election and calling it fraud and now, you know, 50% of the united states agrees with him that there is incessant voters fraud despite no evidence and republican-led investigations coming up with nothing despite spending millions of dollars trying to find that one fraudulent vote. we have to take a reset which i think it's only possible if
donald trump does not run about how we restore the integrity of the elections. let me rephrase that. not the integrity of the elections, the trust in the integrity of the elections, but that cannot happen as long as donald trump is hanging around. >> we are going to move to some questions from the audience. so i was going to bother mclean -- where is that woman? >> up there. >> you and i talked a little bit. what is that? we are going to go to students as well. we were talking a little bit about the process an order of business in these elections and i was wondering if you could raise that question with our panel? >> any predictions about the calendar of primaries, the role that they played, growing
dialogue for the past four presidential cycles. >> historically, the argument was that i and new hampshire should go early because they gave up close access to candidates. and then the argument becoming iowa, to extreme for democrats the liberal side, two conservative democrats, but technology has made candidates far more accessible. social media. let's talk calendars. >> my first job was working on the iowa caucuses. i think given what happened in 2016, and given the dynamics and makeup of the democratic party, i think it would be -- i think it is time that they revisit the order in the states that play such a huge role in the first part of the primary season.
you know, i think if you look at new hampshire and iowa, they do not reflect the diversity of the country. they do not reflect the diversity of the party. so i don't know exactly, you know, the order that they should do. i think south carolina and nevada make a lot of sense. i mean, do you move to sort of like super regionals where you have four areas of the country, you know, one month after each other? i don't actually know but i do know that the current layout does not make a whole lot of sense anymore, does not make any sense. >> i agree. a lot of work has already been done to group diverse states together at key moments to shorten the primary process. the big problem is iowa and new hampshire going first and it has
always been the third rail of democratic politics that you could not touch, particularly if you planned on running for president but there is a growing movement and i think that there is a high likelihood that we will see that changed in the coming months of whether iowa goes first, whether new hampshire is the first primary, and effort to have a contest, at least an early contest that reflects the makeup of the democratic party. >> questions from students in the room? and introduce yourself if you would, please. >> hello. thank you for speaking with us today. i am a freshman here at new d.c. --nyu d.c.
voter rights acts and id laws seem to be contradictory. what can we do to build a middle ground that builds trust on a state or federal level? >> i prepped for a panel on the 2024 elections so i apologize but i will answer your question. you said something i should have said which is thank you for having me. we appreciate nyu sponsoring these debates. in d.c., we have a tendency to move in our own circles and it's always great to debate these issues with people who come from the other side of the aisle and think differently. i guess i would say how do you build trust? it is simple. for me, i think it is simple, which is have very clearly defined rules of the road and you know, in my experience, from campaign -- practical experience -- any time start to change
things and make it improved, coming from d.c., i find it generally makes it harder and more inefficient, so you know, i think that there are probably some simple reforms that could occur in this modern age where we use a face and a thumb plan to do 90% of our commerce. we can probably figure out a way to make everyone feel like not only is my vote secure but i know everyone else is playing by the same rules. i don't know that they will ever federalize voting. it's too ingrained to be a state right and you have too many power centers that would oppose it. but you know, like i said, i have just always been a big id person. take 80% of the republican problems with what the left is trying to do to our voting system. >> so we have to zoom.
>> this is really about putting a finger on the anger that donald trump sort of area jointly identified, regardless of what you think about him, whether you are a supporter or in opponent or the anger he put his finger on and mobilized in 2016 and 2020. what is each party doing to address the source of that anger? >> you know, a lot of people are angry. you know? we saw after george floyd died or was murdered that there were a lot of people who were angry about the way in which that people in general are treated by law enforcement, by some people in law enforcement. certainly not the majority. and there are folks who are, you know, who are on the trump side, who are rightfully angry about
feeling like no one is listening to them, that their jobs have been outsourced and shipped overseas so i actually think that there's a lot of common ground between some of these people who are, you know, maybe in urban or rural areas because they are in anger at a system that they do not believe works. i just think that, you know, look, i think that congress in washington in general, you know, i think that there is an opportunity there. folks sort of decided to do this where they are, you know, they picked a handful of issues that both sides could work on together, try to get past, and maybe that would start restoring some faith into the institution
of congress, which for many years has been plummeting. i just think that right now, we are at each other's throats and the strange thing is if you look at the folks who are part of this group, we have known each other for many years. we are republicans and democrats. we have a ton of respect for each other. we disagree on certain things but i think he is one of the smartest guys, just a super nice guy. you can have that type of relationship with folks in this group who are republicans and democrats. i would think maybe the people in congress could try and figure out, you know, something similar. >> that's right. we are here to give you hope. another question from a student in the room. >> hello. i am also a first-year student. the question i wanted to ask was -- sorry.
we talked about how democrats have lots of messages. i do see people on the republican side being pro-trump compared to democrats. democratic values. do you believe that sense of identity loss for democrats will be affecting bidens reelection? what i see online is most people are advocating for trump 2024 again classified and, it is not as much emphasized. >> that is a great question. there is more intensity on the republican side for trump and he has an extremely loyal following for certain sections of the republican party, which is growing, not shrinking.
and he is not in office. therefore, people are energized to get him back into office. so biden, you know, it's rare to beat an incumbent president and it's typically a referendum on the income and joe biden was excess will in making it a referendum on trump. and being the plausible alternative, to be the solution to some of the trump problems like unity, competency, focused on getting things done and taking the politics out of it and things like that. but the intensity was about removing trump. not to say he did not come into office with high approval ratings and lots of hope around him. we can get into what has happened since he has become president. i'm not particularly interested
in doing a full critique of it. but you know, there were some serious problems that needed to be fixed. my getting this country out of a pandemic and having to do some things that are not that popular. in the meantime, not getting some of the things that were promised on the campaign trail that are popular with certain constituencies like climate change. we are getting things done on climate change but not to the scale that the hopes we are attaching to it. that can depress the energy around a candidate. we are stuck in this democratic infighting that can depress the energy around a president and a party. you know, when you are president, you are president of all the problems and it's hard to keep your approval rating up and that's across both parties but what i will say is that we are towards the end of 2021. november of 2024 is like 10
lifetimes away from where we are right now. maybe 20 lifetimes. i remember when we were getting ready for president obama's reelection campaign and we had come off of the terrible midterms and then we went through the debt ceiling crisis and the market plummeted and nate silver gave us a 17 percentage chance of getting reelected one year out from the election, that we had a lot of work to do but we had a lot of time to do it. we had a year which in an election is a long time. biden has work to do to get himself to that place. it is not impossible. we have no idea what is going to be happening between now and then. i will also say that, you know, people on both sides have a remarkable ability to rally
around their candidate when there are two people on the ballot, when there is a comparison and a choice. if trump is on the ballot, i guarantee you, we will be in the same place we were coming into the 2020 election in terms of a unified effort to reelect joe biden. it is the probably -- that is probably the best thing that can happen to him. another zoom question here. >> let's see here. sorry. >> i have one. >> go ahead. yes. >> i would like you to take this question. in the same way the democrats have some party divide, you guys do as well. so does trump just carry the day for your party or is there enough of a problem that you have to figure it out as the new governor of virginia? longtime listeners of these conferences will remember back in florence, i sat on a panel
with stephanie and i said i do not know the outcome but the republicans fight amongst themselves and we spent hundreds of millions of dollars fighting to see, you know, to party and far right and the right and everything. at the time, i characterized where the left just embraces them. on a previous panel, there was a discussion that the democratic party, the captive of that are left, and twitter reinforces it, and you saw that in the elections, in the suburbs, a pretty massive one your swing in the suburban quote. if the question is, does it make me nervous that republicans are going to eat the heck out of each other? no, we do that on the time. it is funny to me that everyone always -- they tried this in virginia. we spend so much energy as a party just pounding each other in primaries and rhetorically.
the left does not have talk radio. eight of the 10 biggest audiences in the nation are center-right talk show hosts so there's no self reinforcing so you know, there is not this huge apparatus that is constantly holding a mirror up to a politician -- are they republican or not? the question is, if we are going to have a big primary and a big bait about the ideas, uncomfortable. we have survived those before. i would say, word of caution, that before, you know, changing primary systems to reflect the country is a good goal. however, i would say that it favors the name id and the ones with the money. smaller states offer an opportunity to do two things. authenticity is the most important thing these days paid we have seen candidates implode when they are not authentic.
iowa and new hampshire forces you to be that way. also, i think it allows you to see somebody one-on-one with a voter. some of the most memorable moments with biden was when he was confronting voters. we can debate whether those it actually made him human. and i think, there is no way senator grassley is going to allow iowa to not be first. it doesn't change the fact -- and trump has got to go there, and it could be a coronation like the last time, but it does or is these candidates to ask questions and get asked tough questions. there is a question for rob
about what happened this week. to what extent are you seeing new jersey as a missed opportunity for republicans? a lot of the high name recognition of boats on challenging murphy in new jersey , and given how close a very little-known guy came to beating murphy, should someone like tom keene have run? >> it is terrifying that the pollsters are accepting the possibility. that we don't need to improve our polling. at least after we blew an election, the posters need to stand up and say what we knew to do better. and i couldn't understand it, so
i have two critiques. one, if we are going to invest in polling, we have to hold our pollsters to a higher standard. they get cranky when i say it. but saying i blew it again is not good enough. we have to keep innovating, it is just a fact. as to any person who invests in politics, they say i don't invest when i see the ball. beth and bud, that output. -- bad input, bad output. thorough $5 million in new jersey and just see. in a $14.7 billion economy, what is 5 million, put it into the state and see what goes. it is frustrating that you see
is some media paul says new jersey -17, republicans will say maybe we did not get enough immigrants. the donors will then say dead man walking. i was in a big republican retreat of weeks ago and all the people were saying dead man walking. but in new jersey it was like something is going on, and it was frustrating as someone in politics to see these happening again. it always seems to happen to the republicans, cuccinelli was down all summer, dead man walking. and we always get the call the week before, this thing is tightening up, we have to pump
all this money into it. and then he loses by a few thousand votes, and we are like garnet guys. -- darn it guys. when they are getting is five dollars, $25, they deserve the best. we have bad outcomes, and it is maddening. >> we have an upper age limit on presidential candidates. >> no. >> rob. >> no. >> that's what i four. >> i am very grateful to all of you for putting up with the wonkery of renin center
questions on voting rights. you can't imagine how happy this makes us. >> thank you all. american politics, you have done it again. insightful, provocative, always entertaining discussion. this is your 15th year. that is why we can't have term limits, or probably age limits either. at some point this starts being counterproductive. but think about all the changes over the past 15 years. of shifting political alignments,, to chase -- and say nothing of the pandemic.