All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, October 27th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 27, 2014
Guest: Steven Hyman, Arthur Caplan, Anna Greenberg, Robert Costa, Nate
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Stay at home for 21 days. We will
pay. Enjoy your family, enjoy your kids, read a book, read my book.
HAYES: Backlash to the Cuomo/Christie Ebola quarantine.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: This will become the national
policy because it`s smart, tough, common sense policy.
HAYES: This as a nurse who returned from West Africa was held against
her will in isolation at a Newark hospital.
KACI HICKOX, NURSE: I feel like my basic human rights have been
HAYES: Tonight, she is finally out and Ebola-free.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: What happened with nurse
Hickox was unacceptable and was unfair to her and disrespect to a hero.
HAYES: Then, Bush 2016?
GEORGE P. BUSH, SON OF JEB BUSH: I think it`s more than likely that
he is giving this a serious thought in moving forward.
INTERVIEWER: More than likely that he`ll run?
BUSH: That he`ll run.
HAYES: The Bush family eyes the White House again.
Plus, the surprising reason behind the dead heat in the Georgia Senate
race. Not surprising if you`ve been watching ALL IN.
And how liquid hot magma is threatening to disrupt elections in
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
A nurse who was held against her will for three days in a mandatory
quarantine is finally free tonight and heading home. While the governors
whose brand new Ebola policies put her there find themselves under fire.
Here`s what happened: Friday afternoon, right before we went on air,
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey
announced a new policy, a mandatory 21-day quarantine, for anyone who had
contact with Ebola patients in West Africa. The new policy was created
apparently with no consultation with the federal government or the CDC and
without even bothering to inform New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
I happened to be speaking with New York`s health commissioner that
night, and when I asked her, it seemed that she, like the mayor, only found
out about the new policy when it was rolled out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The newly announced quarantine would have applied to Dr.
Spencer. Your views on that policy announcement today.
DR. MARY BASSETT, NEW YORK CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: You know, just
made late afternoon, and as you point out -- we don`t heave anything in
writing yet, so I`m looking forward to seeing the written document. I`ve
been assured by the state health department, the commissioner, that I`ll
have a chance to look at it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Don`t have anything in writing yet. The policy went into
effect immediately and Kaci Hickox, a nurse working with Doctors Without
Borders, returning from Sierra Leone, was the first person ensnared by it.
Now, there`s some dispute over whether she had a fever. State public
health officials saying she did. Hickox saying the only reason she scanned
a fever was because she was so stressed out by being forcibly quarantined
against her will.
At the time, even Governor Chris Christie said she was not
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: Today, a traveler arrived at Newark Liberty International
Airport. It was a health care worker, with a recent history of treating
patients with Ebola in West Africa, but with no symptoms. Her home
residence is outside of this area, said her next stop was going to be here
in New York. Governor Cuomo and I discussed it before we came out here.
And a quarantine order will be issued, either here in New York or in New
Jersey. But we have agreed that quarantine is the right way to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Because of the new policy, Kaci Hickox was taken from New York
airport to University Hospital in Newark, greeted by Hazmat thing and put
in this isolation tent, and almost immediately the backlash began. The
White House pushed back, citing concerns about unintended consequences.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases, explained the potential problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID: The best way to stop this epidemic is to
help the people in West Africa. We do that by sending people over there.
Not only from the USA, but from other places. We need to treat them,
returning people, with respect and make sure that we -- they`re really
heroes. So, the idea we`re being a little bit draconian, there are other
ways to protect. There`s monitoring, there`s direct monitoring, there`s
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who as we said had not
even been informed of the new policy before it was announced, had this to
say about the quarantine today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DE BLASIO: What happened with nurse Hickox was unacceptable, and was
unfair to her, and disrespectful to a hero. That was not the smart way to
do it. But there are ways to update our strategies that are thoughtful and
careful and based on science.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And most importantly, the nurse, Kaci Hickox, spoke out,
writing an editorial for "The Dallas Morning News", conducting interviews,
and hiring lawyers, one of whom will join me in a moment.
In the midst of that the governor`s policy and tone on quarantines
shift shifted. Governor Cuomo clarified that people who had contact with
Ebola patients for not showing any symptoms could serve out their
quarantine at home.
Governor Christie changed his tune while insisting he hadn`t changed
anything. As he explained while campaigning for Governor Rick Scott in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Why did you reverse your decision?
CHRISTIE: I didn`t reverse any decision. Why are you saying I
reversed m decision?
REPORTER: Because now she gets to go home -- and yesterday you were
staying she had to stay --
CHRISTIE: If| she was continuing to be ill, she would have to stay.
She hadn`t had any symptoms for 24 hours and she tested evidence negative
for Ebola. So, there`s no reason to keep her. The reason she was put in
the hospital in the first place was that she was running a high fever and
was symptomatic. So, you know, if you have -- if you live in New Jersey
and quarantined in home, that`s always been the policy. If you live
outside the state and you`re symptomatic, we`re not letting you go on
public transportation. It makes no common sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Despite the Christie-Cuomo debacle, the quarantine contagion
appears to be spreading to other states, seven states, not all of which
have adopted the same policy, so the CDC today recommended four categories
of risk assessment, that it would like all states to adopt. Meanwhile,
nurse Hickox is on her way to Maine in a caravan of two black SUVs.
Joining me now is one of the attorneys for Kaci Hickox, Steven Hyman.
Great to have you.
STEVEN HYMAN, ATTORNEY FOR QUARANTINED NURSE: Good evening.
HAYES: OK. Let`s -- can we start at the beginning?
HYMAN: We can start wherever you want.
HAYES: First of all, this photo, which is behind us, you took that of
your client --
HYMAN: I took that photo. I suddenly have a new career.
HAYES: Instantly iconic I think it`s fair to say.
When she arrives in Newark, to the best of your knowledge from what
she told you, how did this go down? I mean, I`m imagine something kind of
public health Miranda moment where they take you and say you have the right
to remain silent but --
HYMAN: They didn`t tell her anything. As I understand it. They
removed her to a separate cubicle where they started to interrogate and ask
her to remain, and then the moved her to a room where they took her
temperature with laser measure --
HAYES: Those things we see in the airport --
HYMAN: Right, which we now know is unreliable.
HAYES: Or not -- nowhere near as accurate as the more standard way of
As I understand it, the first time they took her temperature it was
normal. She was then kept there, interrogated told she couldn`t leave and
there were all sorts of people were coming in and asking her questions, and
then they took it again and it showed, 101. And then they came in with the
hazmat, the PPE, is how --
HAYES: Personal protective equipment.
HYMAN: Right. And they moved her to University Hospital in Newark,
New Jersey, where they took her temperature orally, as is the normal case
and it was normal.
HAYES: OK, there`s dispute about the temperature.
Now, you just heard Chris Christie saying he didn`t reverse his
decision on anything. Is that true?
HYMAN: Of course not. He reversed it completely -- but he is
maintaining she was ill. He continues to do that even though the doctors
at University Hospital have said she is fine. She is -- no reason for her
to be here and they are -- said she is not sick, she is not symptomatic,
she should go.
HAYES: So, you`re saying Chris Christie was lying just now --
HYMAN: I don`t want to -- he is playing his political role. I`m not
interested directly in the attack on Christie other than the fact that he
hurt someone who did good and did well for the country and for the world by
going to Sierra Leone, and he essentially locked her up in a tent that she
HAYES: Which had no -- no shower in the tent.
HYMAN: That`s correct. It was --
HAYES: It strikes me as particularly not thought out.
HYMAN: Not the kind of quarantine isolation chamber one would see in
the movies or one has in Bellevue.
This was a garage type facility, large facility, had tapes -- had
tents, had some guards and people from the hospital there. The hospital
people were really good to Kaci, but the circumstances and how it was
handled was terrible.
HAYES: So, as a lawyer, under what legal authority was this being
done? What was your -- you`re going to sue? What was your legal avenue --
HYMAN: Look, there is a recognize from the Supreme Court, a case
called Jacobson v. Massachusetts. There is a recognized right of the state
to protect and keep people from infecting others, recognized. But it has
to be based on medical fact, not on as the Supreme Court said and other
courts, myth and fear. What you --
HAYES: That`s actually from the opinion, myth and fear?
HYMAN: That`s correct. And so you have to deal with medical facts.
Once there is an issue of medical fact here, this case falls apart.
HAYES: Because there was no support among -- first of all, because
she was not actually symptomatic. But second of all, because there`s very
little support among leading experts for this kind of policy.
HYMAN: There is no -- other than the politicians who have come out in
favor of this. We have Cuomo, we have Christie, we have others saying this
is the way it should be handled, and they are not doctors.
HAYES: How is Kaci doing now?
HYMAN: She is -- I spoke to her. I have not seen her. Norman and I
are in contact with her. She is doing as well as could be expected. She
needs some as we call it R and R. She needs a little time.
HAYES: Are you going to move forward with the lawsuit?
HYMAN: At this point, the initial lawsuit was the habeas to get her
free. She`s now free.
HYMAN: That`s what I and Norman thought we should do that. Of
HAYES: Yes, she`s being detained.
HYMAN: Call the jail, call the Guantanamo, call it Christie`s
isolation cell, and they would have to be a hearing, would have had to be
at the tent since she has a right to be present.
HAYES: I now understand why she was let go.
HYMAN: Right, and medical facts had to come out, and doctors, CDC,
they all are uniform in the fact she is not contagious, she is not
symptomatic, there was no reason to keep her.
And the worse thing is what the governments have done, other than the
present administration of Obama, has infused this fear factor. So, I had
colleagues who say, you were there. I`m not going to touch you.
Foolishness that goes to the extent of complete hysteria.
HAYES: Steven Hyman, thank you very much.
All right. Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie share a lot more than
outsized egos and the Hudson River. They`re simpatico political operators
and Friday`s announcement was the team effort, as was the subsequent no
Governor Cuomo, who earlier reports indicated had sold only 945 units
of his brand new book in its first week of sales, saw an opportunity to
move some product.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: I`m asking those people who were in contact with infected
people, stay at home for 21 days. We will pay, enjoy your family, enjoy
your kids, enjoy your friends. Read a book. Read my book. You don`t have
to read my book. But stay at home for 21 days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC contributor, Brian Murphy, former
managing partner of PoliticsNJ.com. Now assistant professor of U.S.
political history at Baruch College.
These two guys, you could write a whole movie about Andrew Cuomo and
Chris Christie. This just embodied their two leadership styles so much,
which was kind of this, screw the experts -- they didn`t even tell the
mayor of New York City which is just gobsmacking. They didn`t seem to
consult with anyone.
BRIAN MURPHY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Right.
HAYES: We know best.
MURPHY: It`s shocking. I mean, the difference in tone between the
event that Cuomo and Christie did on Friday compared to what Christie --
compared to what Cuomo and de Blasio did could not have been more stark,
right, in one event, the city event. It`s all about the health experts.
The department --
HAYES: The technocrats dismissing (ph) the experts.
MURPHY: And then it`s exciting for me because I see the deep history
of New York City`s public health infrastructure rear its head and come to -
HAYES: Which is an amazing thing with an amazing history.
MURPHY: Right. Then on Friday you see everybody panic, and then --
they`d only announced -- Christie only announced the state`s plan on the
22nd of October, and made it -- gave a dig at the nurses union at that
event. They had only three hospitals designated, all in the northern part
of the state. So, it seemed like they were in the process of getting their
people trained and then they did the tent in the empty building, which is
HAYES: I find the politics, independent over the policy, is
remarkable because it was almost like this woman was just staring death in
the face for a month in the heart of the worst epidemic happening in the
world right now. She comes back -- Chris Christie thinks he is going to
bully here and she is like, I`m not scared of you, Christie. I was just
dealing with Ebola.
MURPHY: And now, Christie is taking heat from the right for letting
her go and caving. Rush Limbaugh criticized him for caving into Obama
today. You could see that they`re trying on one hand, right -- you could
even take away the partisan aspect. Just the fear is enough to drive
conservative votes in a mid-term.
HAYES: Right, because this is fear of cells basically.
MURPHY: But there`s also this aspect of Christie trying to get some
cede with the base on the right and establish himself, and even this wasn`t
enough. And they wanted -- it seems like the right warned him to keep her
for 21 days even though she wasn`t sick, just to sort of stick it to Obama
and give everybody a story to talk about through next Tuesday.
HAYES: Right, because over the course of this week, you saw this
fascinating jurisdictional political wrestling match happening, and you saw
it -- I submit you saw it at the first press conference in New York after
Craig Spencer, where it`s the mayor and the governor and the mayor speaks
first but the governor speaks for longer, and all this stuff looks like to
me as an observer, it`s being negotiated behind scenes in quite a granular
MURPHY: And among two people who, it`s no secret, they don`t get
along well in this case de Blasio -- maybe the first important time, too --
de Blasio, Christie, Cuomo, de Blasio clearly the winner in the sort of who
is responding rationally and acting responsibly game.
HAYES: Right. Public health contest.
MURPHY: That this has become. The dry run for how you handle an
actual epidemic crisis in the city and state.
HAYES: And you also wonder, you know, how much of the walk back -- I
found it interesting, too, because both men are nor -- talking about Chris
Christie and Andrew Cuomo -- very similar personalities and leadership
styles in many ways. That they`re not admitting they`re reversing
themselves. You saw Chris Christie. You saw Andrew Cuomo did the exact
MURPHY: Never even.
HAYES: No mistakes ever.
HAYES: Brian Murphy, thank you so much.
MURPHY: Thank you very much, Chris.
HAYES: All right. It`s one of the most invasive things the
government can do to a citizen to detain you against your will. The
question is when did the quarantine actually make sense? That`s next.
HAYES: The biggest story of the election 2014 isn`t the election of
2014. I`ll tell you what it is, ahead.
HAYES: A mandatory quarantine is a pretty big deal. And certainly
important enough that two media savvy politicians like Governor Chris
Christie and Andrew Cuomo would have done perhaps a little more research
before trotting out their state`s revamp, stricter quarantine policies on
Friday, but somehow it appears they did not.
CHRISTIE: Governor Cuomo and I discussed it before we came out here,
and a quarantine order will be issued either in New York or New Jersey.
But we`ve agreed that quarantine is the right way to go.
HAYES (voice-over): On Friday, the governors of New Jersey and New
York issued a 21-day quarantine for select travelers returning from parts
of West Africa. The next day, they hit the campaign trail. Cuomo,
campaigning for his own reelection in New York, and Christie, stumping for
others in Iowa and Florida.
Their announced policy left Kaci Hickox, 33-year-old nurse returning
from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, stuck in a tent inside a New
Jersey hospital. No shower, no television, no way out. Leaving many with
the impression the policy wasn`t fully thought through.
Quarantine is an extreme step. The public health version of martial
law, and it`s been over 20 years since we have seen one of the scale of
what the two governors had decreed, and it was for a disease far more
contagious than Ebola.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doctors at New York`s Bellevue Hospital say
they`re fighting a new epidemic, tuberculosis.
HAYES: In the early 1990s, tuberculosis rates in New York City war
skyrocketing. Vulnerable populations were getting sick. Among them, the
homeless, and people already infected with HIV. This put health workers at
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Skin tests reveal in many big city hospitals, one
out of five interns and residents is getting infected with the TB germ
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To contain the disease some officials are
considering bringing back the TB sanitarium where victims used to be
HAYES: A quarantine policy for TB patients who failed to take their
medication was debated for months and months and from September of 1993 to
1994, 46 TB patients were forced into isolation in a New York City
The controversial but comprehensive policy was led by public health
officials, with a system of checks and balances. Patients had the right to
a court hearing and five days of isolation if they subjected. A lawyer
paid for by the city, and court review every three months. There was, in
other words, due process.
CHRISTIE: Our state has to be the most vigilant and we are going to
be the most vigilant.
HAYES: But this weekend, the state of New Jersey ordered a nurse into
forced isolation for three days against the advice of leading public health
experts, with no state appointed lawyer, no hearing, or process of appeals.
Of course, the move probably played well on the campaign trail.
HAYES: Joining me now is Arthur Caplan, founding director of the
division of medical ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center.
He`s also a bioethics professor.
So, let me play devil advocates here. What`s the problem with a bit
of caution, right? People, medical workers, they might -- they are exposed
to Ebola. Throw them in a quarantine. What`s the harm?
ARTHUR CAPLAN, BIOETHICS PROFESSOR: Well, one harm is, if you keep
doing that, who is going over the Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea next?
They`re going to say, I don`t think I want to get locked up in a tent in
Newark with no shower? I`d like to help people overseas and remember, if
you and I aren`t going to be sitting here talking about this Ebola epidemic
a year from now, we`ve got to stamp it out over there. That`s where the --
HAYES: The huge downside cost is if you disincentivize these people
who are doing incredibly courageous thing, which is to go into the heart of
the epidemic --
HAYES: Yes, treating people who have the illness -- we have seen our
dangerous it is -- you`re going to add on to that 21 days of mandatory
detention, you`re going to get a lot fewer volunteers going over to West
CAPLAN: Absolutely, and you make it 21 days of hellish detention,
which that was in Newark, who`s going to volunteer?
HAYES: So, what is the thinking around quarantines more broadly?
It`s a fascinating question, right? I mean, this is a tremendous amount of
power, an extreme measure, and yet, in certain circumstances, you can
national it being absolutely necessary.
CAPLAN: Almost hard to imagine that we have a law on the books that
says, for the common good you can take away somebody`s liberty. But we`ve
had it back for a long, long time. We`ve had it back to the days of yellow
fever. You`ve had it back to the days of smallpox.
The classic is, the ships in the harbor, they think it`s got a nasty
bug on it. They detain everybody on the ship or don`t let the ship in,
which by the way is this ancestor of the CDC power to control the airports,
to control who is coming and going. States authority came from breaks that
took place within a state or a county, and that`s why one of the problems,
Chris, right now, is that it doesn`t look like anybody is in charge.
You`ve got the state over here, we`ve got the county in Dallas, the feds
over there. It`s a very discordant symphony right now.
HAYES: Now, what is the balancing test you go through when thinking
about the possibility of a quarantine?
CAPLAN: So, for a quarantine, to take somebody`s liberty, you have to
say they`re non-symptomatic but could be infectious to somebody else and
the price of that infection is high.
Keep this in mind. Measles comes in from overseas, no quarantine.
We`ve had many, many flu outbreaks. They start in Asia, other places,
Australia. No quarantine.
So, here we have a disease that has killed exactly one person. The
flu I would give you 10,000 to 20,000 people a year. The balancing act,
whenever it was, doesn`t seem to have been computed very well yet on Ebola.
HAYES: Yes, you make a good point there, that if the test is they
have to be asymptomatically contagious, right, Ebola fell right there.
Because it is the nature or the disease it is not as matter of biology
CAPLAN: So, how do we know that? People keep texting me all the day
long saying, how do you know? How do you know? It`s because this is the
sixth Ebola outbreak since 1975. We don`t know how to cure it, we don`t
know how to prevent it, but we know how to get it.
So, healthcare workers have been treating Ebola patients in African
countries for decades. It`s hard to get. If you don`t have that fluid
exchange and if they`re not actively infectious, meaning bad symptoms and a
big viral load, you`re not going to give it to somebody else.
I think a court looking at this is going to drove it out, boom.
HAYES: Well, that`s Steven Hyman`s point.
And Blake (INAUDIBLE) wrote a piece this morning for "Capital New
York", had a great line that said, you know, OK, so Cuomo has reversed
himself, as has Christie but may have lost the experts and won the
electorate, in the sense that, right, when you talk about you`re getting a
lot of text and there`s a lot of fear out there, is there a precedent in
history where you have a public wanting stricter, harsher measures, and
public health experts saying, that`s not the way to go.
CAPLAN: Yes. HIV. You`re not going to live in my apartment. Note
going to send your kid to school. I`m going to burp down your house.
People went crazy and none of it made biological sense you. So, what
you needed was the authority to step in and say, you know what, this is
transmitted by sexual contact. The guy going to school with your kid isn`t
going to do anything with your kid.
HAYES: Pulling kids out of school in the face of children that had
contracted it threw blood transfusions.
CAPLAN: Utter craziness.
Let me get to one other interesting aspect about quarantine. You take
your liberty away, it presumes you`re going to enforce it. So, let`s say
the nurse was in the tent and let`s say the nurse came out of the tent.
So, are we going to taser her? Shoot her? Are we going to have a cop in a
moon suit tackle her and drag her -- I mean, one of things you have to
think through with quarantine if you`re going to exercise loss of liberty
is, are you going to enforce that loss of liberty?
Remember that newswoman, she came out and got to takeout, the self-
imposed quarantine, wandering around Princeton, who`s going to do what?
So, I didn`t see any of that in evidence at this press conference either
about, are we going to have quarantine?
HAYES: Arthur Caplan, thank you very much.
CAPLAN: My pleasure.
HAYES: All right. Why Democrat Michelle Nunn suddenly might have a
chance to win Georgia and you already know the answer if you`re a dedicated
ALL IN viewer. That`s ahead.
HAYES: OK, since 1983 the Kilauea volcano on the big island of Hawaii
been spewing lava pretty much continuously. And luckily for residents
closest to that volcano that lave, for the most part, has been heading for
But, in June, a new flow of lava took a turn. And with a temperature
of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, began heading for a nearby Pahoa village.
According to the Associated Press, it`s been moving toward town in
fits and starts for weeks, speeding up and then slowing down. The Hawaii
County Civil Defense Agency says the lava is moving at a rate of about 15
to 20 yards an hour and is anywhere from 35 and 110 yards wide.
Lava has advanced about 275 yards since yesterday and is now,
according to officials, about a football field length away from the nearest
Evacuation notices went out to residents over the weekend telling them
to have all evacuation activities completed by Tuesday, October 28th, which
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALFRED LEEI, RESIDENT: I ain`t planning to leave until the lava
reaches right about there. We have no place to go. We have no place to
go. So this is all we got.
Let`s see what comes Monday or Tuesday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Let`s just see. According to the L.A. Times, although two
escape roads have been built if lava crosses the only highway in the lower
Puna district, it would largely isolate the people who live there.
Now, with the midterm election coming up next week, there`s some
concern about how the lava floow will disrupt voting. But Hawaiian
officials are prepared. The Associated Press reported that last last month
voters in the area received absentee ballot applications in case they had
to flee. And the state opened a special early vote walk-in site last week.
Imagine a state doing everything it can to make sure everyone can
vote. Isn`t Hawaii whacky.
HAYES: Wiht eight days to go until the midterms, it`s looking like
the best chance for a genuine Democratic upset is in the Senate race in the
state of Georgia right there in the Deep Shout. There are not a lot of
people that saw this coming. It`s true. Democratic recruited a candidate
with stellar name recognition in Michelle Nunn, daughter of long-time
Georgia senator Sam Nunn.
But, well, this is Georgia. It`s a state that has supported
Republican presidential candidates in seven of the last eight elections,
the exception being their own Jimmy Carter, a state where not one Democrat,
not one, not one, currently holds statewide elected office. It`s widely
seen as very, very tough terrain for Democrats.
But in the last two woks, momentum in that senate race has seemed to
shift toward Michelle Nunn. A series of polls showing Nunn with a small
edge of Republican David Perdue. It remains a very tight race. And if
neither candidate gets to 50 percent, it will go to a January runoff that
could actually decide control of the entire senate.
Now, most observers have attributed Nunn`s apparent late surge to
Perdue`s weakness as a candidate. He`s had to fend off charges he paid
female managers less than male managers as CEO of Dollar General. And
perhaps even worse, the revelation that when he was asked about outsourcing
jobs in a deposition in 2005, Perdue responded this is concerning
outsourcing, yeah, I spent most of my career doing that.
That has not helped David Perdue. But Perdue is not necessarily the
real story here. The New York Times today Nate Cohn argues that the real
reason for Nunn`s improved standing is that the pollsters had until
recently been understating the black share of the likely electorate in
Georgia. There do seem to be a lot of new voters of color in Georgia.
A liberal group called the new Georgia project, which has focused on
registering voters of color says it has, along with its partners, collected
more than 100,000 completed voter registration applications from across the
state. And as we first reported on this show back in June, the electoral
map in Georgia is actually pretty favorable to Democrats if only
unregistered voters of color would come to the polls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN JEALOUS (PH): There are 600,000 unregistered black people in the
state and 230,000 unregistered Asians and Latinos on top of that. And if
we could just sign up 750,000 of them, it would be almost impossible for
the Republicans to win again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And joining me now is Nate Cohn, reporter for the Upshot, New
York Times politics and policy web site -- self-correction, it was Clinton
who won Georgia in `92.
All right. So how important, just as a broad level, right, when
polling for midterms, how important is it in accurate polling figuring out
who is going to vote?
NATE COHN, NEW YORK TIMES: Depending on the state, in a state like
Georgia,the racial composition of the electorate is the entire ball game.
HAYES: That`s it. Like, that`s the thing you`ve got to...
COHN: ...swing voters in Georgia, Nunn is going to get 25 to 30
percent of the white vote. He`s going to get 90 percent of the black vote,
that`s going to determine the margin.
HAYES: OK. So how do pollsters do that? Because that seems like a
very difficult divination project to predict the future behavior of people,
particularly in a midterm where there`s a lot more variables.
COHN: Yes. And what most pollsters do is they start by taking a
random sample of adults and that sample is invariably unrepresentative.
And so they weight it back to census targets for the population. So, in
Georgia, that`s about 60 percent white and 30 percent black. And then from
there they screen out the people who are -- who aren`t registered to vote.
And they screen out the people who say -- who for various reasons aren`t
likely to vote.
And that latter decision about who is likely to vote is complicated.
It might depend on did you vote in the last election, which last time
wasn`t nearly as competitive. It may depend on how enthusiastic you say
you are, but then you have to decide on where the cutoff is and whether I`m
enthusiastic or not, as a political junky may be very different than you
know a real swing voter.
I might not be very enthusiastic with this election, but absolutely
sure to vote.
HAYES: So do pollsters ask those questions, they ask a series of
questions that are the likely voter screened question?
HAYES: And those are things like did you vote in the last election
COHN: It changes from pollster to pollster.
COHN: And it`s totally arbitrary. I mean, there`s no science to how
HAYES: This is all just art? I mean, this is...
COHN: I don`t -- I mean, in the public polling universe, like, you
know, the NBC/Marist poll, it -- I`m not even sure it`s fair to call it
art. I mean, they are doing the best they can, but the data is just not
very good to verify.
You know, you can`t go back to these people and have a great idea of
whether these questions were doing an accurate job of representing their
intentions. And, from election to election, which questions are predictive
HAYES: OK, so here`s my question that I wasn`t quite able to answer
from your piece, is it the case that pollster`s are looking at these
headlines about all these people been registered and are adjusting their
weighting models accordingly, or is it the case that they`re going out in
the field and hearing more unlikely voters sound like likely voters and
adjusting that way?
COHN: For the most part, it is not that pollsters are changing their
assumptions, it is that, for instance, in Georgia it seems that more black
voters, or fewer white respondents are saying that they`re excited to vote,
are saying that...
HAYES: So this is based on their phone call. They`re getting -- so
they had a certain set of assumptions, they`re now getting feedback from
the field that`s showing them that they`re old assumptions about the racial
make-up of the electorate were maybe not correct?
COHN: That seems to be the case.
HAYES: And we know that there are -- that there has been this big
voter registration drive, there`s also this question of these 50,000
missing forums out there, which you would imagine could have a huge effect
on the outcome if the kind of racial voting behavior you cited before
COHN: In a racially polarized state like Georgia, 40,000 unregistered
black voters makes a huge difference. Over the last decade, the white
share of registered voters has declined from 73 percent to 57.8 percent,
that is why Georgia is competitive today. And, you know, Nunn looks like
she`s at 48 percent or 49 percent of the vote. There are going to be 3
million people or so that turn out. If 30,000 black voters aren`t able to
vote because their voter registration forms aren`t processed, that`s 1
HAYES: That`s 1 percent right there. And we also have the added 50
percent benchmark in this race, which case, which makes it extra
interesting, because you can imagine a scenario in which someone comes with
the percentage of 50 percent, which means avoiding a runoff or not avoiding
a runoff even if they`re ahead.
COHN: If Nunn is at 49, that`s 30,000 votes away and those
unregistered voters could loom extremely large if you know it ends up going
to a runoff and Nunn`s over 49...
HAYES: The avalanche of litigation and lawsuits there are going to be
if those are not processed is shocking. I mean, there`s already a legal...
COHN: I`m not a lawyer, but I actually don`t know what the procedure
is or what happens in that case. I think those registered voter forms
probably have to be processed before the election, otherwise, they`ll be
provisional ballots and
determining how to deal with provisional ballots is...
HAYES: Can you imagine provisional ballots and a runoff to decide the
control of the election in Georgia in January?
COHN: Very easily.
HAYES: It`s not farfetched.
Nate Cohn, thanks very much.
All right, remember what former first lady Barbara Bush said when she
was asked about whether her son, Jeb Bush should run for president? Here`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA BUSH, FRM. FIRST LADY: I think it`s a great country. There
are a lot of great families and it`s not just four families or whatever.
There are just other people out there that are very qualified. And we`ve
had enough Bushes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Thanks, mom.
Now, it seems she may be changing her mind. The possible reason next.
HAYES: All right, so we`re eight days away from the mid-term election
and two years away from the next presidential election and the funny thing
is it`s the second race that appears to be driving much of the agenda on
the campaign trail just over a week from election day.
Case in point, Hillary Clinton who`s been all over the country
stumping for Democratic candidates and honing her message for an ever-more-
likely 2016 run.
At a stop at Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Martha Coakley on
Friday, Clinton even made a point of embracing Senator Elizabeth Warren
whose most populist base within the Democratic Party represents a potential
obstacle to a Clinton nomination.
Telling the audience, quote, "I`m so pleased to be here with your
senior senator, the passionate champion for working people and middle-class
families, Elizabeth Warren. I love watching Elizabeth give it to those who
deserve to get it. Standing up not only for you, but people with the same
needs and the same wants across our country."
And Warren herself, who has recently gotten less definitive in saying
she won`t run for president was in neighboring New Hampshire this weekend
hammering her old opponent Scott Brown in the home of the nation`s first
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: I just want to be clear
Scott Brown and Wall Street. The part that says it most -- you can do it
two ways, you can either track the money and who his biggest funders are,
or you can just look through the summary in Forbes Magazine that describes
Scott Brown as one of Wall Street`s favorite congressman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Meanwhile, Jeb Bush who has been out fundraising and
campaigning for GOP presidents the past couple months is looking like an
increasingly likely 2016 candidate. According to a report from the New
York Times Peter Baker, Jeb is seriously considering a run. And members of
his family, particularly the ex-presidents, are on board.
Quote, "George W. has become an outspoken advocate of a White House
bid by Jeb. `The one person who is really, really trying to get Jeb to run
is George W.,` said a family insider. `He`s talking it up all the time.`"
Jeb`s son, George P. Bush who is running for statewide office in
Texas, told ABC News the odds his father will run have increased.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE P. BUSH, JEB BUSH`S SON: I think he`s still assessing it.
HAYES: Do you think it`s more than 50 percent, less than 50 percent?
GEORGE P. BUSH: I think it`s more than likely that he`s giving this a
serious thought and moving forward.
HAYES: More than likely that he`ll run.
GEORGE P. BUSH: That he`ll. If you had asked me a few years back, I
would have said it was less likely.
HAYES: So the family will be behind him 100 percent?
GEORGE P. BUSH: The family will be behind him 100 percent if he
decides to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But the race in which the 2016 contest is playing the biggest
role this fall, where it`s running into head-on conflict with the mid-
terms, is in
Wisconsin where governor Scott Walker is now neck-and-neck with Democratic
challenger Mary Burke and he`s found just the person to blame for his
potential loss, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the head of the
Republican Governor`s Association, a man who seemingly has every incentive
to let Walker lose and avoid having to face him in 2016 in a presidential
Walker has been complaining about the RGA`s TV ad spending telling
Politico the out-of-state effort on his behalf pales in comparison to
what`s been spent on the other side. And while me appreciates Christie
coming to campaign with him, as he`ll do again later this week, the
Wisconsin Republican is, quote, "not looking for surrogates."
This comes after a group of Wisconsin Republicans blasted Christie in
the Weekly Standard suggesting, quote, "that RGA chairman Chris Christie
tanking Walker, a potential rival for the 2016 nomination."
And although the RGA is pouring an additional million dollars into
Wisconsin ad buys, bringing its total spending on Walker`s behalf to $8
million by the campaign`s end, that`s unlikely to quell the presidential
backbiting the mid-term campaign has already unleashed.
HAYES: We`re back. And joining me now, Anna Greenberg, senior vice
president of Greenberg, Quinlan and Rosner Research, progressive polling
and consulting firm; and Robert Costa, national political reporter for the
Robert, you`ve been doing a lot of reporting on this Walker-Christie
situation, which has gotten surprisingly nasty, I have to say. What is the
ROBERT COSTA, WASHINGTON POST: There is real friction between the
Walker camp and the Christie camp. About an hour ago, I spoke to with
several sources close to both the Republican Governors Association and both
of the governors.
On the Walker side, they really believe that the $8 million that`s set
to come in, the $2 million in the final week for TV is not enough. Walker
is not going to say that very clearly publicly, but privately he`s super
concerned about his race.
And the Christie side, they`re a bit taken aback by Walker`s public
pot shots. They think Walker should have done more in the summer and the
fall to raise money.
So this is a disagreement about the most important thing for
lobbyists, politicians and politics: money. And it doesn`t seem to be
ending any time soon.
HAYES: Well, also, let me just say, maybe Scott Walker isn`t calling
a press conference to say this, but he`s been pretty public.
COSTA: Oh, sure. Well, he sat down with me last week and he floated
the idea that the RGA is not doing enough. Two days later, what happens is
the RGA says it`s spent an extra million. So the RGA is listening.
But for this to spill out with into the campaign with a week to go is
certainly almost an unreal, surreal situation.
HAYES: Anna, one of these things about this race -- and Wisconsin,
what it shows to me at least, is the fact this is a guy who has won two
elections in the
span of three-and-a-half years in Scott Walker. That if you thought this
was going to be a wave election for Republicans like 2010, Wisconsin --
current Wisconsin polling seems to show that`s not actually where the kind
of electorate mood is
nationally, even if Democrats are kind of fighting uphill.
ANNA GREENBERG, GREENBERG, QUINLAN ROSNER RESEARCH: Well, I think
that`s true about Wisconsin, it`s true of many races. It`s true, for
example, of North Carolina. It`s true in other states, like Michigan. You
aren`t seeing either
Republicans seal the deal or you aren`t seeing Republicans winning in races
that I think even a year ago people thought would be fairly easy for them
HAYES: So I want to talk about this Jeb Bush -- front page Peter
Baker-Jeb Bush piece.
Robert, you`re very well sourced in that world, is that broadly what
you have been hearing about the kind of machine starting to gear up?
COSTA: I think the Bush machine is starting to gear up, but if you
define the machine as the Bush family, there`s not a machine within the
Republican Party that`s necessarily ready to get behind Jeb. There`s still
some of that establishment wing that likes Christie, that maybe even wants
Mitt Romney to run.
I think what you`re seeing, though, is Jeb really sees an opening now,
that`s why he`s making this kind of noise with his family and with those
close to him.
HAYES: Anna, do we have polling about Bush fatigue? Because it
strikes me that the response a lot of people have had to Jeb Bush is, you
know, you`ve got to be kidding me? Are you kidding me? And do we have a
way of quantifying how much resistance there is in the electorate, how
defeasible (ph) that resistance is?
GREENBERG: I haven`t seen any polling that suggests there`s Bush
fatigue. And I think that he`s actually a pretty good candidate for a
primary field that looks pretty divided, pretty siloed -- the Tea Party
silo, the evangelical silo, the establishment silo. He actually is able to
span a number of these silos, and because of his wife Latina, it helps him
with a very big problem Republicans have with the Hispanic population.
So I think if they sort of coalesce around Bush he`ll find a way to
overcome the whole notion of Bush fatigue.
HAYES: I`m not so -- it`s all Bush talks about, Chris, is that he
wants to campaign joyously. But he hasn`t been on the campaign trail in
about a decade. And if you...
COSTA: There`s no joy in a modern campaign trail.
HAYES: There`s no joy. There`s no joy.
COSTA: It`s a joyless slog.
GREENBERG: That`s true.
HAYES: It`s a cruel, cruel undertaking.
COSTA: It is. And I don`t see how -- does Bush have the energy, does
he have the commitment to go out to the grass roots in Iowa and New
Hampshire to just wait until Florida? That didn`t work for Giuliani back
We have to see does Bush have the energy. His family may be pushing
him, but does he have the energy and the strategy to compete this year in
HAYES: So, Anna, I`ve long been saying -- because I`ve long been
making this joke that Jeb Bush-Hillary Clinton is the election America
deserves in 2016, meaning as a snapshot of a society that is no longer
producing social mobility that that would be kind of a perfect icon of
On the Clinton side of that equation, is there -- Elizabeth Warren
does seem to be moving in a different direction? We saw her in New
Hampshire. She`s gotten more equivocal about not running. What does the
polling say about the possibility of there being really any legitimate
possible challenger to Clinton in that primary field on that Democratic
GREENBERG: Well, first, I have to go back and disagree with your
characterization at least of Hillary Clinton who, I think, through both the
campaign she ran in 2008 where she almost won and her service in the Obama
administration, as the first -- you know, it would be the first woman
president, I think, actually, is in some ways for someone of a different
generation who is older is actually sort of forward-looking and exciting
even to progressives.
So I sort of disagree with that characterization of Hillary Clinton.
I haven`t seen any polling in Democratic primaries.
HAYES: Wait a second, that may be true, right -- and actually Jeb
Bush is a very accomplished individual in his own right. The thought of
having a Bush-Clinton election, that is really...
GREENBERG: I was only disagreeing about Hillary Clinton, you can say
whatever you want about Jeb Bush. I think that because of who she is and
what she represents, she actually is something different while being a
Clinton. And I think that`s fairly unique to her.
COSTA: But Chris, I don`t buy this idea that Elizabeth Warren won`t
run. The senator has been out there on the campaign trail. Of course
she`s not going to announce anything right now. But she is pushing Hillary
Clinton to the left. And you just have to look at Secretary Clinton`s
comments. She sounds more like an out-and-out there progressive and I
think that`s because of the Warren heat.
HAYES: Is there any -- Anna, do you think -- what do we know about
name-recognition in the modern campaign environment and how important it is
in polling, or in voting performance?
GREENBERG: Well, it`s really important, particularly in a primary,
because you don`t have a partisan label to guide you`re voting. If you`re
in a partisan context, the Democrat or Republicans are going to get
anywhere from 75 to 85 percent of their party`s votes. So in a primary
name ID is everything.
Now, Democratic primary voters are going to be much more likely to
Elizabeth Warren is, relative to other, you know, potential candidates in
part, because her campaign against Scott Brown really was a national
Of course Clinton is going to be better known than her, but I think
that Elizabeth Warren can hold her own.
HAYES: Anna Greenberg ad Robert Costa thank you very much.
That is "All In" for this evening. "The Rachel Maddow Show" starts
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