What The Media Got Wrong (And Right) About The Midterms | Dave Weigel | TMR

By | November 14, 2022

Sam and Emma host Dave Weigel, author of the “Americana” newsletter at Semafor, to discuss the state of play less than 2 weeks out from the midterm elections. Dave Weigel dives right into the disconnect between polling and the actual state of democratic candidates heading into the midterms, exploring how the last few weeks have slowly revealed failures in the democratic messaging leading up to November. Stepping back, Dave, Emma, and Sam explore the particular failures of letting Republicans pretend the future of abortion isn’t actually at risk (when Roe was actually overturned) while also allowing them to fearmonger around crime (when no major police departments were actually defunded). Parsing through the house races in New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, Dave looks at where and against whom the GOP was able to successfully center crime, before they shift the conversation to the Democrats’ failure to consistently hit on any of their inflation talking points. Wrapping up the interview, Dave walks through the Democratic House seats that are seriously endangered, and why beyond losing the House, they’re likely to drop the Senate as well.

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CHECK OUT MORE from the MR crew:
Matt Binder DOOMED
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Emma Vigeland ESVN


Check out more from the MR crew:
Matt Binder DOOMED
Brandon Sutton THE DISCOURSE
Emma Vigeland ESVN

It is a pleasure to welcome back to the program Dave Weigel. Last time you were with us Dave and by us I mean of course Emma and I thank you you were working for the Washington Post and now you’re working for this organization called semaphore. What’s that all about? Is this the Illuminati? I mean come on Dave. well they’re all the Illuminati. It’s all the media. We have the same meeting every Tuesday at noon. Just the All Hands to figure out the narrative this week. But no , it’s a startup with a bunch of journalists who have worked at other places and thought okay there’s some issues here where people don’t trust the media. not just for Republicans ginning it up. but for hey this coverage is awful. and we kind of have a different sort of format where we break down like our analysis from the reporting. which has been pretty fun. we’re very Scoops focused. I mean I’ve been the last couple weeks doing the same thing I’ve been doing for like a decade which is just going to places talking to candidates writing stories. so I have more that is coming but it is good and like the post is fine everyone everyone should keep reading it. we’re just trying to try something new. but I have found there’re Republicans who didn’t want to talk to me at the post who will talk to me now. Which I feel is unfair to the post but yeah good. for me right well I do enjoy the little David’s view thing at the end of I mean I I like that I like the explicitness. it gives you guys license to be explicit about your perspective on this. all right well let’s start with I mean you brought it up let’s start with this this whole question of like the The Narrative that you guys get together with on Tuesdays to determine as a. and there’s like a lot of controversy around this nate cohn assessment piece I guess that was a function of four house races. which ostensibly has gone from showing that Democrats are in trouble to showing that Democrats have some hope. he points out Pennsylvania’s eighth and Kansas is third New Mexico’s second in Nevada’s first. Broadly speaking, let’s just start with this and then we can go into this. where are we relative to the polls because the narrative has been Democrats are in increasingly bad shape. but the polls don’t seem to reflect that in terms of generic polls. or maybe you know specific polls around the country.

It is a pleasure to welcome back to the Program Dave Weigel uh last time uh you Were with us Dave and by us I mean of Course Emma and I thank you Um you were uh working for the Washington Post and now you’re working For this Organization called semaphore what’s That all about is this the Illuminati I Mean come on Dave well they’re all the Illuminati it’s all it’s all the media It’s all the we have the same meeting Every Tuesday at noon just the All Hands To figure out the narrative is this week Uh but the the uh no it’s it’s a startup With a bunch of journalists who have Worked at other places and thought okay There’s some issues here where people Don’t trust the media not just for Republicans ginning it up reasons but For hey this coverage is awful reasons And uh we kind of have a different sort Of format where we break down like our Analysis from the reporting which has Been pretty fun we’re very Scoops Focused I mean I’ve been the last couple Weeks doing the same thing I’ve been Doing for like a decade which is just Going to places talking to candidates Writing stories so I have more of that Coming but but it is it has been good And like the the post is fine everyone Everyone should keep reading it we’re Just trying trying some trying something

New but I have found there’s Republicans Who didn’t want to talk to me at the Post who will talk to me now Um which I feel like is unfair to the Post but yeah good for me right well I Do enjoy like the little David’s view Thing at the end of uh of I mean I I Like that I like the explicitness it Gives you guys license to be explicit About your perspective on this all right Well let’s start with Um I mean you brought it up Uh let’s start with this this whole Question of like the The Narrative uh That you guys uh get together with on Tuesdays to determine as a uh and There’s like a lot of controversy around Um this uh nape cone Um uh assessment piece I guess that was A function of uh four house races which Ostensibly Has gone from showing that Democrats are In trouble to showing that Democrats Have some hope Um he points out uh Pennsylvania’s Eighth And Kansas is third New Mexico’s second In Nevada’s first Um Broadly speaking let’s just start with This and then we can go into this where Are we relative to the polls because the Narrative has been Democrats it’s are in Increasingly bad shape

But the polls don’t seem to reflect that In terms of like the generic polls or Maybe you know specific polls around the Country Yeah I thought this set of polls was Good because it validated a theory I’ve Had from really from going around the Country uh which is in places where Suburban voters with college degrees uh Suburban women where people are not you Know maybe they were doing better at Some point in their lives but they’re They’re not like just destitute right Now Um in those places people are still very Focused on on abortion on threats to That in red States in particular where Republicans when they when they’re Taking power are are Banning abortion or If they’re winning the election they’re Going to do it in Bluer places Especially kind of working class uh Democratic districts either white Working class or Black Or Hispanic uh Democrats are doing worse and and They’re doing worse again in states Where Democrats run everything that’s That’s been this theme the for part of That the demographic stuff I kind of saw Popping over the summer the rest of it I Didn’t see until recently I mean I think There was inconsistency between you know If you’re in Michigan or you’re in New York or whatever Democrats were doing

Really well saying don’t let her public Win because they’re going to ban Abortion it is I think Republicans have Had more luck switching the issues Around in New York for example uh in Michigan a little bit in places where They say don’t worry about it I mean the Republican message on abortion has Evolved into don’t worry about it and Also Democrats want uh babies to be Killed as they’re crowning that’s kind Of those two things have been a little More effective you can’t really say that When you’re in Kansas and Oklahoma is Right underneath you and they literally Banned abortion you can’t say you cannot Say don’t worry about it there that’s Interesting so uh I mean this is It’s conceivable with what the picture You’re you’re drawing is that we’re Going to have a very unique Where we see the distribution of races That may flip in the house It’s going to be a like a unique it Seems to me it’s going to be a unique Off-year election because generally we Have these sort of like what we consider Be front line districts that are in Purplish States or their purplish Districts but like we’ve got Sean uh Patrick Maloney Um who is the D simple D Triple C chair Who bigfooted uh mondare Jones and Basically uh stepped into his district

So that he could lock up his victory and He seems to be at the very least Um in enough Jeopardy that uh the Republicans are expending their Resources there like what is that is That like indicative of this of the of This situation and Democrats are Spending some resources uh yeah that one Too because and I was in the district During the primary uh during that Primary in a couple hours in the region Uh Maloney had after after Jones moved To to the city he had Alessandra Biagi The state senator uh from Westchester County he’s running against her and uh He was saying at the time like there’s This is this is some stuff I represented In the new stuff which is like Rockland County you know other side of the Hudson Uh from Westchester he’s like that’s Going to be tough and it is tough and so You have a republican assemblyman member There who’s pretty well known and it’s Just a been a Relentless uh crime Message which getting to what we were Saying before I think has been pretty Effective because in New York Democrats Do run everything uh so it’s it you know You sound silly at least you sound silly To me and you uh if somebody says Democrats are on the federal government Like oh yeah that’s why all the stuff They want is passing through the Senate Good point but in New York they can say

That and the big hit on Maloney has been Hey when this guy ran for attorney General in 2018 he supported cashless Bail and you know you guys talked about This like the way that Cassius bail has Been boulderized it is from it’s you it Is the the complexity of the policy how It’s like instead of just giving people A dollar some we’re gonna rate their Dangerousness you know if you get busted For like some weed in a place where it’s Not legal you’re going to be treated Differently than somebody who’s shoved Somebody from a subway platform the Republican adverse of this is cashless Bail equals rapist coming to your door Immediately and so that has been pretty Effective in the in New York it has been Less effective uh if you mentioned Pennsylvania a little bit less effective In like Scranton because remember I can Run the state legislature and everybody Knows like that’s the Democrats didn’t Do like Larry krasner exists but like if You’re a democrat in Scranton you Weren’t doing any and any of the stuff That they’ve demonized there complicated I mean like uh they’ve really been going After the crime’s not the only issue I Just think that one has been popping Differently and abortions from popping Differently depending who’s been who how Beluga red the state is Um the the crime thing is fascinating

Because the You and Benji sarland I think it is who Is also now at semaphore wrote a piece Uh about the about about gab showing That people’s concern about crime is as High as it’s been in decades Crime isn’t as high as it’s been in Decades but it has gone up through covid And I mean I I just is is crime really Up that much in Westchester I mean you know like I mean that’s the Thing it’s like I it’s just this sort of Like General overall sort of anxiety That seems to me to be almost like you Know the Caravan in 2018. yeah there’s I Mean there’s a lot of social science on This uh that uh was really fun to come Into like every time I link a paper That’s 53 Pages I’m surprised oh people Don’t want to read the whole thing uh But yeah in Westchester County not as Much uh you do have powerful tabloids Powerful local news in New York where Every time a crime happens there’s you Know the angles of it there’s the Security cam footage uh front page the New York Post and then it gets splashed Into Fox News I mean just the the media Uh like like funnel system for crime News is is is just enormous every any Crime Story in it maybe a crime story That might not have been front page when Like Trump was President uh uh not Around the country because what was the

Narrative you know the narrative is Maybe it’s De Blasio’s fault or Something uh that that gets blown up big But I’ve heard from Republicans a bunch Of places I was Wisconsin writing one of Those stories a couple weeks ago and They were saying you know not uh not one On the record really the Republican Running for attorney general Um was saying like yes well crime is not Up everywhere uh if you’re in rural Wisconsin I mean there’s there’s Counties where it was like higher four Years ago that’s lower now and there’s Some where there was a fluke you know One thing where five people died but Then no crime this year Um but Milwaukee is up 70 and it’s it And so crimes from Milwaukee get Statewide coverage uh the impression People have if you’re you know even Three hours four hours away from Milwaukee is that Democrats have turned The city into Mad Max the I point out That this Waukesha um parade killing and The the killer was convicted this week Daryl Brooks uh Republicans have just Run millions and millions of dollars Just showing that that imagery again and Again uh you know to the complaints of Some people and saying this is because Uh Democrats in Milwaukee uh let have Like anti-police sentiments and they Have light bail systems so even when

It’s not crime happening next to you uh It is message that way and the other Thing in some place cases but their Social sciences mentioned was dis like Disorder and crime or different things Disorder is I go outside on the street And there’s a tent there and I feel Unsafe Um because the homeless person who knows What’s going to happen there are people Who are not victims of crime per se uh But they think things have gotten worse And they think that could spiral into Crime and that feeds in when you see a Story about a a person with mental Mental issues uh pushing something on a Subway train The mindset you can you can walk your Way through it like that has been Happening in some of these places where Even if there’s not crime uh from day to Day you see b-roll I mean Fox News has Lots of this b-roll b-roll the tan Spiral people shooting up in the streets The idea is uh I think the meta idea Over this is Democrats have a promise That we’re going to reform uh we’re Gonna listen to protesters and reform The criminal justice system a little bit And crime went up therefore Democrats Literally are killing you you need to Get you need to get rid of the rid of Them they will not solve these problems We will

Um that that is kind of clicking Everywhere and sometimes polls say that Crime is not the top issue but in the Paid messaging it really it really is Relentless well well can you talk about Wisconsin a little bit more specifically Because uh you mentioned the uh that Footage that’s being used against Mandela Barnes in particular but uh one He’s a he’s a black candidate right so That that the crime messaging from Ron Johnson I feel like is racially coded And probably hits a little bit Differently in Wisconsin Um but he’s literally saying you know Mandela Barnes responsible for inciting Violence and things like that that Debates and what what has that been the Focus of Johnson’s campaign now when he Was kind of struggling a few months ago A little bit to coalesce behind a Message and didn’t have an answer for Gay marriage or abortion or anything Like that has this kind of been where He’s he’s focused now yeah a big focus Of that campaign and what uh what has Has happened there in a couple other Places is statements about Criminal Justice Reform and about non-violent Criminals things that Republicans might Have said three years ago or two years Not two years ago or three years ago When Donald Trump was Gearing up for reelection you know the

First step back he was very happy to Talk about it there’s Democrats who just Said things about how hey there’s a lot Of non-violent uh prisoners who have Been or people who’ve been rehabilitated We can let them out without causing more Crime and that is kind of being thrown Back at people Barnes said a lot of that Uh there is no I asked him do you think This advertising campaign is racist it’s Hard for a candidate to say that without Blowing up the news cycle and making it Is he it’s very fraught it’s one of Those questions you ask a candidate you Know there’s not a perfect answer but he Said yeah I think they found a good foil Uh he thinks they they found somebody Who they can splice together with a Scary criminal in an ad but they’re Doing that with uh with John fetterman They’re doing that with like any Democrat who endorsed this stuff they’re Also in many cases just like lying which I think is a key part of this that as I I in a lot of these debates especially House debates I see uh Republican Candidates just say my opponent like is Putting criminals back on the street and They’re talking to like a Democrat who Never did that I mean there was not a The extent they did it was they Supported the first step back which Donald Trump supported sometimes they Just kind of make it up like there was a

Claudia Tenney was debating Um her Democratic opponent uh in over The last week I mean the video kind of Was circulating yesterday and she says My opponent’s supported by Bernie Sanders who Champions to fund the police Like literally the opposite if you’re Covering this in 2020 Bernie was in they Got in some hot water with activists Because he got asked about to fund and He’s like this is a terrible idea uh Here’s my letter to the by Administration how we need like more Police funding but more accountability He never said the fund he like adamantly It was against a fund many times and They just say yeah well anyway he’s Further fun I’m gonna say it and get Away with it in this debate so like Democrats are getting hit on the fronts Of both like everything from just flat Out lying to uh actual decisions they Made because there are I mean this is Everybody’s nightmare if you’re a Progressive prosecutor you let somebody Out of prison you let 500 people out of Prison one of them reoffends and the Whole the whole project is challenged Right that’s been happening that was Happening in San Francisco Um and then in the middle you’ve got People who just were for Criminal Justice Reform that everyone supported Everyone Republican Democrat did like a

Few years ago and now that is being Turned against them as this person wants You to die this person wants criminals Out of prison you know if you fetterman Example the main examples will say we You could let a third of people out of Prison and crime wouldn’t go up he is Talking very clearly about you know you Can let the guy who got busted with a Joint or uh the guy who just couldn’t Make bail because he had a bunch of Speeding tickets you could let that guy Out and people won’t die they’ve turned That into he once led a third of Prisoners out prisoners ipso facto Include murderers uh the Boston Bomber Things like like it’s it’s really and I Think also we’re all kind of Desensitized but but Republicans were Not this blatant about this stuff in the Last few years they were in the 80s it Has really ramped up in a very kind of Proud um uh I wouldn’t say Shameless but Like a very trumpy way like I’ll watch Some of these ads and I’ll say you know It was six five seven years ago at this Point Trump says like uh Mexico is Bringing uh uh drugs and rapists over The border and there’s a sense that that Is offensive and you shouldn’t do that Maybe people will be will react Negatively and I just see that messaging Everywhere you know like here’s a scary Criminal here’s a here’s a border wall

Uh immigrants coming in the country Means you’re gonna die of fentanyl Poisoning like that is just mainstream Now Uh I I This may be a little bit outside of your Your portfolio but I mean it does feel To me like the relentlessness Of the right over the past really two Plus years uh of like sort of Um reassessing The black lives matter uh protest of of 2020 reassessing this stuff and Hammering it has been very effective and I think on some level you know even the Stuff like with their January 6th in the Absence of when Democrats went away in The month of August essentially in September on January 6th it felt like it It the the to the extent that January 6 Hearings had built up some momentum and There was some cohort of people who were Concerned about you know threats to Democracy and Republican leaders who Were not uh sort of uh acknowledging What happened on that day that seems to Have at least dissipated at least in the Context of the narrative and I and I Feel like a similar thing happened in Terms of police reform I just saw Something today I think I can’t remember What school it was a university had Um had committed to uh doing some

Some program to to you know assess uh Racial Injustice and now they’re they’re They’re dialing that back like there was There there it feels like there was this The the the classic thing that happens With Democrats they win a presidential Election and then it’s everybody goes to Sleep and says it’s we solved it and uh We don’t have to worry about it until The next Donald Trump or George W bush Uh gets elected Uh I think they’ve actually been pretty Responsive on a lot of this stuff and I’ve been pointing out like Wisconsin Again the Democratic position there the Governor the Attorney General both want More funding for for police and you can Part of this is just you’re right the Momentum people had for reform or ideas That were that were just not let’s let’s Put more people in prison that is gone That is reversed but Democrats have been Prepared and they’ve been messaging on This they have not done they’ve not been Lazy I mean the January 6th commission Exists it got me the attention there is I think this sort of uh self-hating Masochistic Tone in a lot of the coverage though not The coverage but like the columns about It the take the take industry where no Matter how compelling something is from January 6 the test is well there’s a Trunk voter and a waffle house is not

Going to find this interesting because This isn’t real where and whereas a ad That’s bashing uh somebody for saying You should free some non-violent Prisoners well this could have this Might affect the guy who voted for Biden But also eats in a waffle house so that Is real and so I think that Democrats Are having a problem convincing people That all this I mean I don’t know what The the climate would be if inflation Was at two percent Um but I’m not sure it would be that Different because yes there are there Are various economic problems but if you Go back to other midterms the held under Conditions like gas has been higher for People uh in some elections that that The incumbent party did fine in uh Interest rates were higher like in 1974 Uh inflation was double digits I mean It’s never hit double digits under Biden It hit double digits under Nixon uh Sorry under under and like Democrats Were able to like do it you know sorry Um the reincumbents we were able to win In those years uh I think it’s it the Media environment is the new thing and Republicans have a very effective uh Operation that when there are things That are real I mean it is real like People don’t like having to pay more for Something they did uh two years ago but The idea that that is a crisis that you

Just need to flip the blue switch to red And that will fix it Um I that I think a function of of the Media dominance of the right because uh There’s not like a I can’t tell you what The Republican plan to fight inflation Is and I can tell you some of the ideas That they propose are things that when They’re tried another I mean other Countries like what has happened in the UK when somebody says all right in this Moment of inflation we’re going to cut Taxes uh markets say wait no that’s That’s wrong that is the opposite that Will actually increase inflation more Money yeah no that’s the thing that I Think this media environment uh does and I’m not saying oh that poor helpless Democrats just that is the thing about Political coverage that is somebody who Like you know joined a startup to do Different coverage it’s something that People rightly find annoying is that There is the conversation is not what Does this plan how will affect inflation It is why can’t why are Democrats losing In the polls why are Democrats not being Taken seriously and you know this is the Question you see is hey you’re a Democrat why should they vote for Joe Biden and given that inflation is up uh And there’s no contrasting of like what Are you going to do what do you well What were their plan would do what

Republican plan do but again the reality Is Democrats have been like I think the Problem is they Instead This is Transitory it wouldn’t be a huge issue They’ve identified some problems they Fixed some problems uh but that they They were overconfident I mean if you Asked a Democrat a year ago would Inflation be eight percent by the Election they would think no because of All the of of the way that the supply Chains were going to be fixed and they Were inflation was still up Um but some of it you got to feel I mean I said you don’t have to feel sorry for Democrats sometimes say too because uh What’s the FED doing to to fight Inflation is Raising interest rates what Did that result in oh now you have Campaign man saying mortgages are higher Than ever right reasons More rent things like that I mean I Guess uh and I started with those uh People who a year ago did not think that This inflation would be as durable but I Also still contend when you look at the Inflation numbers from around the globe That this is not a function of of of Monetary inflation where we have too Much demand we have gone through like a Worldwide shock to supply lines and in Addition to having obviously a war going On and that that story it seems to me They’ve been a little bit late in

Feeling like they needed to address that That like make it clear that like we’re Going through this but you know There’s only so many umbrellas to hand Out when it’s raining like like what’s Happening now is not a function of of Policy or absence of policy Um at least one that can be addressed so Quickly like it and part of it I think Is we have a problem in just in in Expressing Um What inflation is because there’s you Know we have again monetary inflation Where where you know uh where there’s Just too much money sloshing around for The number of goods Um or we have inflation that is a Function of supply lines like you know I Use this example all the time like you Don’t go down to Parts uh in Florida Where hurricane Ian is hit and said like We have inflation because bottles of Water are now selling for twice as much As they did before the uh you know Before we got hit with this hurricane or Or that you know sandbags are more Expensive no it’s because there was There was a massive sort of like uh Disaster that um we weren’t quite uh In a position to deal with yeah I mean Then we’re seeing the return of this Talking point you saw when Obama was President which was uh when you took

Over gas was this much and now it’s this Much it’s like what happened in between You know January 2009 and November 2012 Uh there was a global recession and and It and it ended and demand came back Same thing happened this time and so Again I’m not trying to like do Advertising for Democrats but like Biden Will say something like gas prices are Coming down problems say yes but they Were lower uh a year and a half ago the Point is that they’re coming down in the Last few weeks and you see Democrats Kind of reach and grabs reality I think An overall problem and I’ve talking to Bernie Sanders about this uh which is Going to be up in semaphore today uh his His idea is that Democrats just need to Shift the conversation with an actual Policy which is we need to say inflation Is The Fault in so in part of companies Taking advantage of the moment keeping Prices high in in getting profit so we Need a windfall profit it’s tax and he Was late and he was saying Republicans Will never do that it’s you can you can Outflank them on that because they’re They’re going to say inflation’s bad you Can say well we should text just shell Doubled its profits we should tax that Uh and what is the Republican response Going to be you know some version of uh It’s Biden’s fault but they’re not doing That this white house uh doesn’t do that

There are candidates who do do it uh There are kids who don’t because they Have a pollster who say well people Don’t believe that because and you get Into this Ouroboros of you know the news Cycle and the the Fox News existing well Our polls tell us that voters don’t Believe that because they’ve heard that Inflation is Biden’s fault so some of Them they can’t change the conversation But I keep mentioning the UK situation Because they’re also Capital has the Ability to strike and change policy like It doesn’t it it doesn’t in South America all the time doesn’t around the World just did it in the UK Um and some gov every government that is It all Progressive uh it all left us not This is a leftist government but it’s Trying something that is a shifting uh The bet the the the balance of the Economy and trying to take it take more From the wealthy there are things that Like companies can do and we’ve seen We’ve seen that in a few Cycles I mean The version of this when Obama was President is oh these uh businesses are Not investing uh much because they’re Uncertain about the about the tax Picture uh they what they want is is a Very favorable uh regime where they make Lots of money and their taxes are low And they can you know protest when That’s not happening you and I could

Talk about that and people can post About that that’s not the Democratic Message and you know what is the issue There is there a reason why Democrats Can’t can’t can’t blame corporations Very clearly for raising prices uh I was You know talking around that I think It’s just they’re not in a vacuum They’re in a media environment where They’re they’re one voice shouting that 99 voices are saying Um it’s because you passed the advice Reduction act that’s what did it I mean I don’t know how much you quote Ross Galfit on the show but I do think a Point he made that was right is Um like by at the start of his Presidency delivered on reversing some Of the Trump border policies and and Ending the Keystone Pipeline if you look At the the actual Biden immigration Policy since then it’s been pretty Strict if you look at the energy policy It’s been much more liberal in terms of Granting leases than what uh he ran on Or what any Democrat ran on but because Those people remember those Republicans Talk about those they’re probably a Message is why is your gas cost more Well this one time a member when Biden Canceled the Keystone Pipeline remember When Biden canceled the Keystone Pipeline repeat five million times and That that I don’t know if Democrats have

The ability to say well actually it’s This not even that complicated set of Factors actually it’s gouging I don’t Why can’t they say it’s gouging it’s not That he cancel this pipeline why can’t They say it’s the Saudis this isn’t Anything top out with Sanders it’s the Saudis cutting the supply that’s the Reason it did it that’s true they have Like OPEC cutting the supply is a reason The gas prices went up uh the war but I And I’m talking I I don’t have all the Answers here because I’m saying these Are stuff that is true that Democrats Could talk about they don’t is it their Fault because they’re just bad at Politics which is an argument uh or is That like they just can’t they’re just Like trapped under trapped under glass Bang on the glass underwater because the Conservative messaging is so good that They can’t break through I think it’s a Combination they’re both bad and it’s Hard it may be it may be it the it may Be hard it but we would have been able To assess that if the Democrats had Attempted to do it in Earnest right like I mean Warnock on two separate occasions In his debate with Walker mention Corporate profits but but but it was Like almost an afterthought like I mean If you’re gonna message it you’ve got to Message it and you’ve got to really hit It and and again if warnock’s the only

One doing it Um then it’s a problem but if you have 25 you know uh Democratic senators going Out there and saying this every day uh And you have house leaders and and Senate leaders talking about corporate Profits if uh Biden you know was to Bring in the CEOs of uh you know 20 of These companies and go you guys are Gouging there’s no way that you should Be making record profits in this Situation like there you know that’s a Concerted effort if that doesn’t work at That point then I think Um you know we have solved that riddle As to you know is it that they’re bad at Politics or there’s a bad media Environment but they never attempted to Do it and Um not consistently you’re right they Would say it and sometimes they’ll Because I watch the debates and I watch The ads I’ll think well they actually Did it people you know people are not Giving but you need to do it Consistently right yeah you need to Message a sentence without saying my Opponents want to defund the police Exactly exactly all right so so broadly Speaking in terms of the house where do You think we’re at at this point like I Mean do you I I we had the Siena College Polling that that Cohn wrote about those Four races Democrats are up in all of

Them except for uh Nevada’s first and And Titus as far as I know hasn’t run a A Um uh a competitive campaign against a Republican in in I don’t know how many Years uh multiple times they Redistricted so not since 2010 really Yeah not since so she came she comes Back when they they create a safe Vega Seat so it’s been a while yeah so so I Mean not necessarily Adept at at Campaigning I mean what we’re trying to Do is get a sense of like is there a is This is there gonna is there a national Trend right as opposed to like sort of The secular Um a party out of power Um uh loses seats what’s yours what’s Your sense of this at least in terms of The house yeah so there are a couple Different kinds of Democrats who are in Trouble I mean Republicans are a great Position to win the house uh and but the Democrats in trouble are people in Districts that are uh very hard to hold On to like I could abide one by less Than ten uh there’s Democrats in Districts that sometimes are safer than That who have never had to run who not Had a heart run a hard race either ever Or recently and they’ve made some Stumble I was just in Texas where that’s One of the issues there is is like the First or second cycle where some of

These guys have had to run hard and They’re screwing some stuff up they’ve Got you know scandals that no one paid Attention to and suddenly opposition Researchers turn on them Um and then there’s you know there’s Democrats who are you know in tough Races and are good at running tough Races uh demo a month ago felt much Better he felt more of their candidates Were in that zone right you’re they’ll They’ll talk about Abigail spamberger They’ll talk about Alyssa’s lock-in Etc Uh who are are ready for a ton of money To dump on there that’s the main thing Is do you raise a lot of money do you go In the air early to Define yourself are You ready when they come at you they’re All very good at that uh it’s just this This this combination of issues is so New uh that I think the all those Category like those first two categories Of Democrats have been in trouble like The the ones who are breaking out of the Pack well no after November 8th who was Actually good at this Um but they’ve done they have done Frankly like a lot of hippie punching a Lot of I’m not like those other Democrats a lot of embracing uh you know Saying and like I voted with Trump on on On this things that make people angry Online but but do still kind of Click uh And they’ve you know it taken advantage

Of their opponent’s weakness it’s been It’s been very hard for for for Democrats kind of everywhere but I do I Was saying this at the beginning you are Seeing people in places where it’s like A suburb of a state where Republicans Run everything uh and Texas doesn’t have To make close races but you know you’ve Got you’ve got Democrats doing pretty Good in Kansas like uh pretty good in Oklahoma for governor just places where Republicans run everything it’s very Clear that they’re going to do unpopular Right-wing stuff if they win uh they’re Doing better generally Democrats are Doing kind of worse overall and the Thing that I think scares Democrats this Week is there are people who they Thought were in the We got this on lock we’ve run tough Campaigns before category who in the Final weeks once a group spends 200 Million dollars not that much video Right right 10 million like like Richard Uline can say hey things look good Here’s another 10 million remember this In 2018 like uh Sheldon Adelson would be Like 50 million dollars several times to These Republican packs like there is Stuff that that is moving the one thing Probably don’t have is they really don’t Have a turnout issue right now they’re a Little bit worried about youth turnout But this is not like 2014 where they

Could not convince people there’s an Election happening they’re pretty good At the turnout it looks more like Virginia 2021 where Democrats know how To hit their numbers and they know and They’re better than McAuliffe in a lot Of cases worse than some at like Refuting arguments early uh but they you Can get shocked at the last minute That’s the Maloney story Maloney has run Tough races most of his races actually Been pretty tough but he has not had at The very last minute uh what might be You know in the end like it’s four Million now it might be much more than That suddenly saying he wants all the Criminals to kill you it’s Um I mean I feel like there’s been races There’s been years in the past where These influx of money has been so uh Dramatic and and decisive but I feel Like this could be the year and we Almost saw like that APAC Associated Pack Um we talked to uh Grime Grimm about This last week the influence it had in These primaries and we’re almost we’re Seeing sort of like the next iteration Of that it feels like this late late Money because we have because there’s so Many billionaires out there who you know The idea of dropping 20 million dollars uh 50 million dollars In the last couple of weeks of a

Campaign is really sort of like Functionally like you know me saying I’m Going to get a nice pair of boots for This winter I mean it it it it it’s it’s The same sort of effort I am going to Get a nice pair of boots incidentally For this winter oh good yeah I have all These comfortable sneakers that are Actually freezing exactly please yeah I Don’t they honestly this is the thing I’ve been talking through Democrats Messaging and I feel They there’s there’s a lot of attention This last week to oh they’re pivoting to Social Security and Medicare well They’ve also been running on that it is The the issue is are you talking about The thing that is on my TV at the moment And that’s something they can’t really Control and frankly you have a president Who is not good at changing the subject To what he wants I mean Donald Trump Could change the subject of stuff and it Would become less popular that might be Happening that might happen if Biden did It but uh the very right they’re not Running like campaigns that I think People look back at and say oh they Forgot to talk about this except they’re Not trying anything bold nobody has Tried the exception like a John Fetterman uh Sanders who’s not running For something this year nobody’s really Said we can’t like fight on this Turf we

Need to like take new ground and say What about this policy that we will do If we win they’ve kind of lost that Because of the the overwhelming uh Republican messaging Advantage just from TV to the rest of the press I mean Really just like watch any kind of Interview like it is it I don’t want to trash the other Reporters but I I learned nothing from Like these interviews with like White House staffers because it’s not like What will this policy do it is can you Respond to how bad you are uh That’s I interesting I guess but like I Don’t know I don’t know what the stakes The election are when I hear that all Right let’s run through uh some of these Uh key Senate races get a sense of what You’re thinking in the senate in Georgia Uh Chuck Schumer says Um Walker is gaining on Warnock Um what’s your sense of that Yeah I think that it is Warnock has run a good campaign Walker Has run a Very good consultant campaign every time He talks he says things that are silly Uh but one factor there is that Republicans really have have inculcated The idea that if there is a scandal About a republican it is fake like uh They ever the only every Scandal is uh Anita Hill Clarence Thomas which in the

Republican Cosmos was fake and so you’ve Solve Republicans pretty boldly saying You know oh Walker was accused of having An abortion that’s not because hurry Paying for an abortion uh that’s not Because he did that’s because liberals Don’t like him and so they’ve locked in Their base there and it is entirely just Can’t are into power in our Independents Who are undecided on this convinced that Walker is competent enough to like be a Senator who will fight inflation you Know kind of very substance free uh on That stuff it’s just like can a mediocre Candidate who voters kind of don’t hate But don’t think is good uh can he just Ride that uh by denying everything Negative about him that’s kind of that’s Been the story of that race Um are you going to make a prediction Because if you get enough right I think that’ll still go to run off I Think that’s going to piss everybody off By going to like a runoff that lasts for A month not two months they changed that Law Um Wisconsin Oh yeah I think Johnson’s got that he’s Going to win that it’s not going to be Huge probably a single digit win again That’s a state where uh it’s very clear To voters that if Republicans win Everything or sorry not as clear as

Democrats want it to be but it’s from Republican campaigning and the bills They pass in the legislature it’s it’s It’s it’s very clear that Republicans They take the state would ban would Limit abortion all that sort of stuff Those those issues are good for the Statewide races uh for the federal I I Do think Barnes very early on was Defined as a radical who hated cops and He did not respond to it quickly I’m not Sure how he could have uh but yeah I Think that if I I I know Democrats have Been starting to write that off for I Mean before Barnes the nominee you like This is a thing where Democrats very Quietly were saying we’d rather just Some guy some white guy some generic Democrat is the nominee running this Campaign than a you know black Lieutenant governor who said some things That can be turned into attack ads so They’re they’ve been pretty gloomy on it And I think he’s in trouble Uh Pennsylvania I still I only see polling since the Election but that’s that’s it raised for Like the Delta between the debate yeah Yeah the the debate was was like bad for Fetterman I think the Spin The Campaign Did was like absolutely the best thing It could have done uh I mean and I was I Talked to fetterman a week before that And this is this is really like if he

Loses that race it’s just it’s just bad It’s just it’s as much as like he had a Bad night I’ve when I interviewed him he Was stumbling over some words and Mushing some stuff together He had a worst night at that debate he Did you know these hour-long editorial Boards you can watch the video if you Don’t trust me uh he was not as bad as He was on the stage so I think that did Some some damage to him but like Oz has Been so unpopular and as at the last Minute is doing something that you know Desperate candidates do which is like People are already early voting and he’s Saying he’s reintroducing himself as a Moderate you’re like aren’t you tired of The Extremes in Washington I’m not one Of the extremes he’s doing this because His his favorables are like in the 30s People just don’t like that this Celebrity doctor who doesn’t live in Pennsylvania came there to be a senator So I feel like that is a still a Fetterman Advantage unless a lot of Voters change their minds because of the Debate Uh New Hampshire Uh that is close I remember joking Republicans like you guys are going to Spend like 40 million dollars to lose by Three points I still think that’s gonna Happen Um the issue that they keep hitting

There is that heating oil like prices Are going up in the state I mean and They also uh what’s Ross Barkin has a Good story New York Magazine about this Like as soon as Don boldick won the Primary Um Republicans just did like a my fair Lady on him and said okay we have this Candidate who has said some crazy stuff We’re just going to have him run like The same campaign every Republican is Running so I’m against inflation I’m Against High heating prices yada yada Um I just think uh Democrats need to Like lose some more if you know Biden’s Approval in New Hampshire stays like 45 I’m not sure how many voters there are Who want to replace every Democrat uh so I think Hassan still has the advantage Uh but she was never gonna win by a lot She was always going to win A month ago she was going to win by like Six maybe now she wins by three Nevada Is a big one right yeah I think I think That Republicans will will win that uh I Haven’t been there in a few months uh I Just think that is exactly where the Party’s problems with non-college Educated working class white and Hispanic and some black voters and Asian Voters uh I just think they are they’re Going to turn out Democrat they are Turning out Democrats at a very good Rate they’re going to hold on to a lot

Uh but I I ever all the items I see is The more like independent Um and lower Penn City voters who are Being turned out they’re gonna vote Republican because All those factors I mentioned and this Has been written about but just like Vegas was not the right place to have a Shutdown that prevented tourism for a Long time right I mean it was really Devastating to a city that had like come Back from a recession in people’s memory Uh and Republicans have just been Relentless and there’s states where that Hasn’t clicked hey aren’t you angry About what happened two years ago in Their states where it has and that’s one Of them specifically with like working Class voters who usually vote Democratic And they don’t like Republicans but They’re like I I’m never going to Forgive them for making me unemployed For a few months so that that sort of Harry Reid Mojo where uh Democrats go Into the uh election week down in the Polls and then all of a sudden they they Pull it out that’s that that’s gone now I think I think they will do okay but I Think they’ll fall short uh okay just Based based on those patterns like they Still have a very good political Operation Republicans still have a very Bad one Um so that’s the key one because that’s

The one that’s the that is a potential Democratic net would mean net loss I Mean that is the only one where it you Know it’s a a loss at this point Um what about Colorado is that uh is is There I haven’t been there in a little while But I’m I’m I’ve always been skeptical About that for the re where are you Hanging out Dave like you’re not going To those Uber Colorado I was like Texas And Oregon and uh Um Back in DC I’ll ask you about Oregon Next but anyway no in Colorado I think That is the opposite of Nevada and that You have a ton of like college-educated White voters who uh need a good reason To not vote for Democrats uh and you Have a governor in Jared Polis who did Not lock the state down as much and Lockdown is like that’s a later term but He was very very vocal and early about This is bad this sucks let’s open up as Fast as possible and he was opening up When you were still Democrats could Still get you know blown up on Twitter For taking a mask off he was doing that Um so the Republican Republican Arguments in Colorado have just been Like a little a little tone deaf so he’s Been in good shape he has an opponent Who this is this is the race where his Opponent insists that uh kids are being

Given litter boxes in schools like That’s kind of gone off the rails and With with uh you also have Joe O’Day who Republicans think is a great candidate Uh he’s in this trap in a lot of Democrat Republicans uh get in in a in a Blue state which is uh do you blow past A trump question do you make something Up or do you say I wouldn’t vote for him And he said he wouldn’t vote for him He’d campaign against him so he’s just Like not an exciting candidate for Republicans his whole thing is Convincing moderates I don’t I don’t Think I don’t think it’s going to go in That direction I think if things melted Down for Democrats and you know gas went Up to twenty dollars next week maybe but I I think that is that is just the Arguments that work for Republicans are Not there Um let’s just jump to Oregon unless you Think that like there’s a story that we Should know in North Carolina Iowa or Florida why I mean I I know I’ve been Following him a little uh less but that You’ve got both parties gonna wish they Could do like a Freaky Friday of their Better candidates their worst candidates Like you have very good Democratic Candidates in uh in Ohio and Florida uh In in North Carolina Beasley who some Democrats thought was like a little bit Dry as a speaker I mean she’s not but

The candidates being dry is a problem For journalists it’s not a problem for Voters they don’t need to be interesting To like be electable they’re all very Good candidates running very good Campaigns and just everything is Mitigating against them uh and then in In Oregon that’s that’s the race for Governor and it’s the house races that’s One of those things I was talking about Where if you’re in a blue state where Democrats have been running things for a Long time Um your problem is what it what it Republicans can say everything that’s Happened that you don’t like is the Democrats fault and nothing will change If they win again Powerful in Oregon isn’t there research Out there that like in the wake of like Uh of like uh of hurricanes or or Massive storms or losses of like the uh The football team that uh incumbents Will necessarily are at like a I don’t Know one or two point deficit in Elections that that take place within a Certain I mean I wonder you know this is I wonder if the covet is having that Impact in the in these areas where Um the that that sort of almost like Secular bad things have happened people Are not you know It’s been a rough couple of years and And I’m going to blame the people who

Have been who are there now uh just Because I’m mad about it Uh yeah I think that’s um On the margins that some of those things Might affect I think I think basically Just like there’s not any Democrat at This point getting totally taken by Surprise like you mentioned we mentioned Colorado the thing with like Washington State which Republicans have talked About the entire cycle just because they They hate Petty Marine they don’t Understand we’re like a short woman Who’s not very exciting keeps winning Like she did didn’t she raised like a Normal amount of money and not like Rafael Warnock record-breaking money or You know Mark Kelly record Ricky money So there are like not the reasons why The things that would flip people there Some of them exist I mean that is but Like the thing that it’s just generally East Coast bias like Washington had a Pretty good pandemic experience the Decisions that were made during covid Were pretty were popular Seattle voters Who are Democrats like after the after They had a very high profile 2021 Election Where they replaced the city leadership And some and some of the concerns of Crime went down so I I think if I think A lot I bring that up because there are Democrats who I think you know four

Years ago might have or longer than that Eight years ago might have run out of Money and been surprised if something Popped up at the last minute and I don’t Think they’re there anymore I just think There are some people like Murray and uh Uh and Bennett who if things got real Crazy at the end they don’t have like Fu Money that they can dump in like Warnock Or Kelly or uh or fetterman All right so uh uh Democrats hold the Senate No I don’t I don’t think so I think Republicans will win by by a couple so Where is it that they’re going to lose Nevada Uh I think I think Nevada uh I think Georgia in a runoff uh is is very Possible uh I think Pennsylvania or Arizona are both possible I just think Things would need to Democrats and I I Yeah I mentioned Arizona Um a couple times if not maybe sure in That sentence but in Arizona you just Have that’s another one where like the Republicans have a very unpopular Candidate Um who uh you know has a record that has Been very easy to go after on TV it’s Just that is a place where there’s Enough people who are like you know I’m As a working class person I’m not paying A lot of attention but the and nor Should I but like Republicans say

They’re going to fix these problems so I’m going to vote for him I think There’s there’s enough of that going I’m Literally about to head there so I will See how correct I am but I think I think Like I see it’s easier for me to see a Few races breaking their way so they’ve Got they’ve got those seats I mean uh But the turnout so far Democrats are Doing well enough where I don’t think There’s going to be just in 2014 Everything broke against them yeah and Even races where their candidates were Popular people were just like forgot to Vote and that is not happening this year All right well I hope you’re wrong at The very least about the Senate Um oh yeah I mean and like the stakes of This are being not well reported like The fact that they will just like not be Any more people confirmed to anything if There’s a Republican Senate I don’t Think it’s being very very widely Reported oh my God If the Democrats lose the Senate the Only thing that’s going to happen are Going to be the Investigations out of The house that’s the only thing that Happened there will be nothing nothing Will happen Um you know maybe there’s a couple of Things maybe he can do is it as an Executive order but you know half the White House staff is going to be

Dedicated towards the impeachment Hearings and so uh it’s going to be uh It’s gonna be rough uh Dave Weigel Often a pleasure I mean today not so you Know I I was I’m not gonna lie yeah I I Would have it would have been more fun Uh if you have thought that the Democrats are at least going to hold the Senate but I mean yeah I’m out there I’m Seeing what is happening and if things Change I can tell you uh but that’s why Well I appreciate that I appreciate Frankness but nevertheless awesome back On the show you’ve got to tell us what We want to hear don’t you understand Well it’s not just that I mean I’m just Saying that like I you’re being honest And I’m being honest and it’s like more Often than not it’s a pleasure to have You on and I’m just being I’m just I’m Just telling you what I’m reporting Which is today not as much of a pleasure Well I it was it’s been a a pleasure to Speak with you either way so thank you Guys all right It’s just about honesty Um Dave Weigel I really appreciate it I Uh I signed up for your newsletter the Moment it went uh even before it was uh Live so I really appreciate it I think One went out while I was in here unless I missed something well I haven’t read It thank you very much all right uh have Fun I asked I asked Bernie what he

Thought of uh if Tulsi gabbard was like Dividing the left with her campaign and Right now and he said adventurous David My focus is on 2022 so he didn’t want to Talk about that but we have a fun Bernie Interview with his mother stuff from Texas yeah enjoy it it’s a good issue This week or this Friday I’ll check that Out yeah Um we’ll have plenty more to talk about That in the uh in the coming weeks Months years uh Dave Weigel always a Pleasure we’ll put a link uh to your Newsletter it’s time before

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