Guests: Pat Buchanan, Mike Barnicle, Lanny Davis, Mike Barnicle, Pat Buchanan, Michael Crowley
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to this special edition of “Scarborough Country.” We are now minutes away from Election Day, 2006, and hours away from polls opening across America.
Republicans appear to be in great danger of losing control of Congress for the first time since 1994. And while President Bush‘s name may not be on the ballot, tomorrow‘s election is going to be a referendum on Iraq on Katrina and on the Bush presidency.
Now, Bush‘s approval ratings have fallen back to 25 percent. To put that into perspective, that is 12 points lower than Bill Clinton‘s approval rating in 1994 when his party lost 54 seats.
And more bad news for Republicans in Congress, a new USA Today Gallop poll shows Democrats leading Republicans in the House vote by seven points. And to put that in perspective, before their 1994 landslide, Republicans had a similar edge on the eve before that election.
Well, to talk about all these numbers and much more about what is going on in a few hours, let‘s bring in our all-star panel. We have Michael Crawley, the senior editor of the New Republic. With have MSNBC Political Analyst Pat Buchanan. And we‘ve got Mike Barnicle, a Post-Herald columnist and MSNBC contributor.
Mike, let me start with you. What is it shaping up like tomorrow?
MIKE BARNICLE, POST-HERALD COLUMNIST AND MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think the Democrats win the House, Joe, 20 to 21 seats. They retain control—they win control of the House. If I had to bet right now—I don‘t know whether Pat would agree with me—I think the Republicans will probably cling to the Senate by one or two seats.
But, the indictment of this administration and the conduct of the war in Iraq is going to be the story tomorrow.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, what‘s it look like in the House? What‘s your prediction in the Senate?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it could be worse than what Mike Barnicle says. In the House, in the Senate, if I had to make a prediction, there are four major seats up. I would predict that the Republicans could lose the Senate. It I have to be stuck to a prediction, I would say it will be a dead even, 50 all, with Dick Cheney voting the Republicans back into power in the Senate.
SCARBOROUGH: What are the seats...
BUCHANAN: There‘s four seats...
SCARBOROUGH: What are the seats tomorrow that are going to determine the outcome of whether Republicans decide who the next Supreme Court Justice in the Senate is or whether Democrats make that decision?
BUCHANAN: Rhode Island, Chafee; Montana, Burns; Virginia, Allen; and Missouri, Talent. I think that the best shot that we have right now—because he is sort of off on an island by himself frankly and he‘s very well respected himself—is Chafee the liberal Republican from Rhode Island.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, so our hopes, Michael Crawley—our hopes, if we are talking about a split House and Senate, if you are Republican it rests on Conrad Burns in Montana, and Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island. Not exactly two Republican stalwarts. What does it look like for you tomorrow?
MICHAEL CRAWLEY, SENIOR EDITOR, NEW REPUBLIC: Yes. Well, I think I lean towards Barnicle‘s assessment, which is to say that they come close in the Senate, but a little bit short. There are just a lot of close races where I feel like Republicans have what you would call home-court advantage, Tennessee and the Harold Ford race, Virginia with George Allen, Burns up in Montana. I just see that as sort of home-court advantage, the nicks playing at Madison Square Garden or something. And...
SCARBOROUGH: And Michael, if you are talking about home-court advantage also, I always thought the Kerry comments would have a negative impact in Montana, in Tennessee, in Virginia.
Saddam Hussein‘s death sentence, like wise, a positive impact for Republicans in Montana, Virginia, Tennessee. Plus, they really have those states down to a science, don‘t they, when it comes to organization, Melvin and Roe?
CRAWLEY: Yes, that‘s a great point, Joe. Again, it‘s sort of the marginal things, I think, go the Republican‘s way in those places. And so we have so many kind of swing places in the Senate races that are Republican turf.
I do think the Democrats will win the House. It‘s hard to put a number on it. It‘s sort of—the middle consensus of people I trust is in the low to mid 20s. And that sounds right to me.
Although, an interesting story right now, Democratic activists are kind of alarmed tonight about what they say are these harassing Republican robo-calls that are happening all over the country. They insist this is a huge last minute election story that is not really penetrating in the media. And it will be really interesting to see whether that turns out to push some of these House races into the Republican side. People will be really bitter about it if it does.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, it‘s going to be interesting also, Mike Barnicle, when you talk about voting. Now, Democrats have been complaining about being disenfranchised in 2000, in 2004, and 2004. I don‘t want to upset people, but I‘m going to state of obvious. It‘s losers that complain about referee‘s calls.
I make this guarantee tonight here, in front of all of you. Tomorrow, whoever the loser is, they are going to be complaining about all of these new voting machines, these electronic voting machines. I don‘t care if Democrats win. Republicans are going to be whining. They won‘t have Jessie Jackson out there holding protests. Believe you me, somebody will be complaining about it. Well, it‘s a messy, ugly system.
BARNICLE: And that leads back to this latest midnight complaint about these push calls, I guess you could call them, the telephone calls that are going around the country. I don‘t know anybody who has ever hung on the phone for longer than three seconds for a recorded phone call from anyone for anything, Joe. I can‘t see them having much of an impact.
SCARBOROUGH: And that happens in every campaign, Pat Buchanan. I remember 1994, when I ran the first time, they—an outfit out of Texas, called up everybody in my district and basically accused me of everything. Not only was I going to cut Social Security and Medicare and veteran‘s benefits, I was going to go and personally hunt down every senior citizen and kill them. And all it did was really turn my base out, made them angry.
The biggest pain for me was I was fielding their phone calls all night. These last minute phone calls don‘t really help, do they?
BUCHANAN: I think the push polls work. They call up people and they make statements, you‘re for him? Did you know this? Would you still be for him if you knew this? And you get callers. I said no. And they do it—and they do it...
SCARBOROUGH: Even on the night before the election?
BUCHANAN: Well, these aren‘t push polls exactly. These are criminal acts. What they are doing here is they‘re calling these guys up and they‘re saying, look, your voting precinct has been changed. Tomorrow you are to go over here. And people that don‘t get a lot of phone calls, that‘s all the information they are getting, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what? You know what, Michael Crawley? I wish I would have thought about that when I was running for office. Go ahead.
CRAWLEY: Well, just two quick facts so people understand. Number one, people hang up quickly. But what people are upset about is that evidently, the beginning of these calls, which have been reported around the country, the Democrats‘ name is mentioned. So people may think the calls are coming from the Democrat. That misconception has been established.
And the second one is that the calls ring and ring and ring. So you hand up and then this—what seems to be this Democrat, is calling you back again right away. So Barnicle‘s point is well taken. Except that the phone keeps ringing and you think it‘s the Democrat calling you back when actually it‘s the Republican. It‘s very irritating.
SCARBOROUGH: And you know, Mike? You know what? I have got to point out here, I am making light of this, but I‘m making light about it because I‘ve been the victim of it so much. And I still won. But I‘ll tell you what, if I were in a 51-49 seat, I would be very, very agitated tonight.
BARNICLE: Well, yes, this is the latest electronic version of campaign tricks, last minute tricks. Years ago, in Boston, it used to be—I would be running against Pat Buchanan so I would get a bunch of bumper sticker for Pat Buchanan, put them on my friends cars. And then go around town, cutting people off, beeping the horn. And people think it—you know...
BUCHANAN: Herman Tallmadge‘s father, in the governor‘s race—I think it was ‘46 -- a white guy and a black fellow would go out to this rural towns and they‘d get in a fistfight in the middle of the street.
And terrify the whole community. Then go to the next town.
They don‘t like that stuff.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s why Buchanan‘s laughing so much at it.
Michael, let‘s try to restore some order here.
CRAWLEY: I‘ll try.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m going to show you a new poll. It‘s a new ABC News/”Washington Post” poll. Only strong—it‘s only seven percent of Americans strongly approve of the job Congress is doing, 60 percent disapprove of what the U.S. Congress is doing. And, of course, the Republicans are in power. So tomorrow morning, when the polls open up, there is no place for the Republican Party to hide.
CRAWLEY: Well, look, Joe, anything‘s better than guys. The number of stories we have been through, you cannot go back and recount them all, going from Abramoff and Foley and the bridge to nowhere, and the pork. And they really deserve these ratings.
It‘s not entirely clear—look, I think under a Democratic House, things are actually not going to change that much, because there‘s going to be a narrow majority. The Senate, I think, will likely still be Republican. Bush will have a veto pen. So Democrats will be able to do some things around the margin. I think a lot of it will be symbolic.
I think, Joe, by next week, people are going to be talking a lot about the presidential campaign already. And the Democratic candidates for president are really going to be the face of the party, I‘d say.
SCARBOROUGH: I think you are exactly right.
And Mike Barnicle, as Michael Crawley was pointing out, look at what the Republican Party has done over the past three and a half years. You have the war in Iraq that is going terribly. You‘ve got the biggest deficit ever, the biggest federal debt ever. You‘ve got Abramoff, Delay, Ney, Duke Cunningham supposedly trading votes for hookers. I wish they‘d put me on that committee. And on and on and on.
You have the Mark Foley scandal. Now, you‘ve got this Haggard scandal, a close friend—I mean, James Carville said it best. Of course, Carville was a democratic advisor to Bill Clinton.
He said, if the Democrats lose this election—he says, if we can‘t win in this environment, we have to question the whole premise of the party. He said they might as well go into another line of business.
BARNICLE: Get out of the business. If they can‘t win this year, get out of the business. But would it—isn‘t in a sense, the future of the Republican Party, in terms of the White House, dependent on the Democrats‘ behavior once they take the House?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, let me ask you this question. If you are John McCain, would you rather run with this Republican Congress by your side or Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House?
BARNICLE: If I were John McCain, I would want Nancy, the Speaker of the House. And if I am John McCain, I want Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader.
SCARBOROUGH: And Pat Buchanan, I‘ll ask you a question on the other side. If you are Hillary Clinton tonight, and if you are Bill Clinton tonight, do you want to have Speaker Nancy Pelosi running with you in two years?
BUCHANAN: I would want an all Republican Congress, Bush-Cheney White House, them with total responsibility with the war for the next two years. Because this thing is going to be a horror show. And them responsible for everything. So then, you run. Throw the whole gang out.
SCARBOROUGH: And you remember Tom Friedman, at the beginning of this war said, if you break it, you own it.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, if the Democrats take control of Congress for two years, in politics—remember, McMillan said a week is lifetime in politics? If Democrats are in power for two years, then they own part of Iraq, don‘t they?
BUCHANAN: They are going to have to take a stand on Iraq. And you know it‘s going to be a much more liberal stand than Bush. And this war is in very bad shape. And so you have got the real possibility of responsibility for losing another war.
If I were the Democrats—I mean, they‘ve got to play this very, very carefully when they bet back—if they get in there, which they are going to.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, they really need to.
Hey, guys, we‘ll be right back.
And Michael Crawley, thank you so much for being with us.
Mike Barnicle, Pat Buchanan, stay with us.
Coming up next, is the governater unstoppable? We‘re going to head to California and look at why Arnold may be one of the few Republicans actually looking forward to tomorrow‘s election.
Plus, our all-star panel weighs in on the hottest senate races across the country, including Virginia, where Republican George Allen is fighting to keep his job.
And later, the days of shoe leather politics may be coming to an end. We‘re going to you the high tech ways candidates are microtargeting you in this election.
And also, I am sure Buchanan and Barnicle will have a few more old election war stories when we return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: I promise you, I‘ll be back. OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: OK. And one Republican likely to be back and keep his job on Wednesday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The governator is a full 15 points ahead in the most recent polls. And he has done it by distancing himself from the Bush White House.
NBC‘s George Lewis is live with us tonight. He‘s been following the race.
George, talk about how successful the second time around has been for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
GEORGE LEWIS, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe, a year ago, Schwarzenegger was trailing his Democratic opponent in the polls. And he remade himself, did a remarkable turnabout, by moving to the center, embracing the Democrats who control the state legislature, signing measures that they favor, such as stem cell research, raising the minimum wage, a measure to combat global warming and distancing himself from President George W. Bush, who is a highly unpopular figure in this big blue state.
Here is Schwarzenegger on the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I think, to link me to George Bush is like linking me to an Oscar. I mean, it‘s like, you know...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEWIS: The Democrat, Phil Angelides, had tried to say that Schwarzenegger‘s policies were Bush‘s policies. But obviously, the California voters are not buying it.
Schwarzenegger‘s support among Californians is deep and very broad. He pulls 80 something percent of Republicans, more than half of the Independents and one out of five Democrats. So he‘s going to coast to Election Day in just fine shape.
And as far as Phil Angelides is concerned, the one highlight of his campaign, unfortunately for Angelides, was John Kerry stumping with him in Pasadena and making that gaff about President Bush and the war—Joe?
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, my goodness. Not a very successful campaign for him. I remember in 1996, after a terrible year for the Republicans in California, I asked the Republican consultant in California just how bad it was. He said it was like they dropped a neutron bomb. All the buildings were left standing, but all the Republicans eviscerated.
Does this turn around by Schwarzenegger help rebuild that party in some way in California?
LEWIS: Well, the Democrats still control the legislature. So the Republicans have a long way to go before they will make any gains in this state. The Democrats still hold all the key jobs, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks so much, George Lewis, greatly appreciate it.
Now, some perspective on whether 2006 will be a wave election on par with the landslides of 1974, 1980 and 1974.
I asked Tom Brokaw whether, in fact, this was shaping up to be one of those wave elections.
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: It does have the feeling that it could be a wave. And it reminds me a lot of 1974, which was after Richard Nixon had resigned. We don‘t have anything that drastic obviously in the administration.
But as I go around the country, I find a lot of Republicans, including conservative Republicans, Joe, who are just not happy with the direction of the country. And I guess what they don‘t like most of all is it‘s kind of my way or the highway emanating from Washington, D.C. And they want to be more pragmatic.
Now, having said that, I always liken these kind of discussions to all that sportswriter talk before the Super Bowl. Tomorrow morning, they kick off around the country. And the voters will make the decision.
And there will be some changes in the game plan. There will be some unexpected developments along the way. So I am always a little reluctant, even the polls showing as much Democratic strength as they do, to get to far too far ahead of what the actual voters plan to do.
SCARBOROUGH: From what you‘ve seen, from who you‘ve talked to, do you think Independents are going to be breaking Democratic in 2006 because of the chaos in Iraq?
BROKAW: I think Iraq is an umbrella for accountability and credibility. I think the country is wanting more accountability from Washington, across the board, but especially from the administration, and more credibility.
Here we are, this deep into the Iraq war, no weapons of mass destruction. We are not in the throes of the insurgency, plainly. There are these little episodic developments, like Saddam Hussein getting sentenced. But then you have all of Baghdad going up one day or another, a record number of Americans killed in October. And the president saying, late last week, Rumsfeld has a no-cut contract. He gets to stay until the end of his term. And he‘s going to stay with his plan for Iraq, the president said, even if it‘s only Barney and Laura who are talking to him at the end.
I think that raises a lot of questions in the minds of a lot of people. This is a big play on the part of the White House. And it‘s going to be interesting to see how it turns out.
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you so much, Tom Brokaw, greatly appreciate it.
SCARBOROUGH: And you, of course, can catch Tom Brokaw tomorrow night as part of NBC‘s coverage. We‘re going to be with you throughout the evening, and early into the morning on NBC, MSNBC and other NBC cable news networks.
Coming up next, Stephen Cobear (ph) gets a Reagan-style make over.
An all political edition of “Must See SC,” next.
And later, getting out the vote means more than just pounding the pavement these days. We‘re going to show you the high tech ways you are being targeted by candidates.
SCARBOROUGH: It is time for a special political edition of “Must See SC.” Some video you‘ve just got to see.
First up, John Kerry‘s botched joke threatened to derail the Democrats‘ chances of taking over Congress. But Jay Leno has evidence that the junior Senator from Massachusetts has a history of poor comedic timing.
(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, HOST, “TONIGHT SHOW”: You know, John Kerry is usually hilarious. I can‘t believe it. Have you ever seen Kerry try to tell a joke?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, man.
LENO: Take a look.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: I‘ve got to tell you, its tough traveling with a vice president who‘s the sexiest politician of the year. Ben Affleck, sexiest man of the year. I felt like, hey, what am I, that SAT question that says which one of these is different, you know, remember?
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
LENO: This is not a job for amateurs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Geez. And finally, election season has many conservatives nostalgic for the days of the Ronald Reagan. Well, the Gipper‘s son Ron, who‘s on the Cobear (ph) repartee, trying to re-create that Reagan mystic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON REAGAN, SON OF PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: What the hell are you doing?
COBEAR (ph): I am giving you—let‘s just take a look here. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. That‘s pretty much it. That‘s what we call...
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
COBEAR (ph): It‘s (inaudible). Nice. That‘s what we call the full Gipper.
REAGAN: Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And coming up next, we are just half an hour from Election Day.
And next, we‘re going to break down the hottest races around America, including what could be the major bell weather, Missouri.
And later, we‘re going to head to Virginia for a look at the Senate race between George Allen and Jim Webb. We‘re going to show you how both sides are using some high-tech schemes to get out their vote. That‘s when this special issue of the “Scarborough Country” returns.
BILL FITZGERALD, MSNBC NEWS ANCHOR: I‘m Bill Fitzgerald. And here is what is happening. Severe flooding in Washington State prompting a state of emergency in 18 counties. One area has seen 17 inches of rain so far with 10 more inches expect.
Fire crews in San Bernardino, California, say a brush fire there is dying down but they are is still concern winds could fan those flames back to life. The fire is 30 percent contained so far. No injuries reported.
You are up to date. Let‘s get back now to “Scarborough Country.”
SCARBOROUGH: There are four states that are going to keep Americans up late tomorrow night. The Senate races in Virginia, Montana, Missouri, and Rhode Island are in a dead heat.
And it was just hours before the polls open, it‘s anybody‘s guess as to who will take those crucial Senate seats.
Here to help us sort it out, Lanny Davis. He‘s, of course, former White House counsel to Bill Clinton, and author of the book “Scandal: How Gotcha Politics is Destroying America.” A still with us, Mike Barnicle, MSNBC contributor and Boston Harold columnist, and Pat Buchanan, MSNBC political analyst.
Lanny, let me start with you. Where are you going to be going tomorrow as the votes come in?
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOSUE COUNSEL & AUTHOR OF “SCANDAL”: I‘m heading up to Hartford, Connecticut. I hope to be with the reelected Senator from the state of Connecticut, Joe Lieberman. And I think that‘s going to be the result.
SCARBOROUGH: Isn‘t that a fascinating story? Of course, several months ago, Ned Lamont was the political celebrity. Everybody thought that he had finished Joe Lieberman‘s career. The Democrats and the Senate piled up on Lieberman, all of them going to him and telling him to get out of the race. But it looks like Joe Lieberman is going to get the last laugh tomorrow, doesn‘t it?
DAVIS: Yes. And if you were a student of history, though, you could have seen it coming. Because the Lamont campaign, on the left, and the Schlesinger campaign—if there was one -- really allowed Joe Lieberman to be where he is most comfortable, which is he is a good Democrat. He‘s voted with Democrats 90 percent of the time. But Republicans like him because he listens. And he‘s a man of moderation and style, as well as in some of his votes.
And I think that‘s where the country is headed. No matter what happens tomorrow, there is going to be a great center that coalesces in the Senate, as well as in the House. And I think the country wants a bipartisan politics to start to solve problems. And Lieberman‘s election, I think, will emblemize that.
SCARBOROUGH: It certainly would. If Joe Lieberman does win tomorrow, it sends a powerful message to both parties.
Let‘s take a look at the latest polls from Virginia. Democrat Jim Webb is ahead of Republican George Allen in two poles. Allen beats Webb in another pole. And the candidates are tied in, yet, another poll.
Pat Buchanan, this Virginia race, I‘ve got to say, it certainly is the most exciting political race out there this year. How do you think it‘s going to end up?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I don‘t know. I predicted on McLaughlin. And I thought Allen would win it. And then, I think I said yesterday I though Webb, it looked like he would win. This thing has been going back and forth.
If you force me, I would say—because again, Allen is the incumbent. And he had not closed the sale, when he‘s at 46 or 47. There is energy and enthusiasm for Webb. Some of the voting took place early. And when Webb was further ahead than he is right now. If I were forced to come down on it, I‘d say my guess is Webb will win it.
SCARBOROUGH: Then again, if you are an incumbent, if you haven‘t...
BUCHANAN: And I wouldn‘t bet anything on it.
SCARBOROUGH: If you‘re an incumbent, if you haven‘t closed the deal the night before the election, and if it looks like it‘s a year breaking against you, like this year‘s breaking against George Allen, certainly the smart money would be on Jim Webb.
Now, let‘s take a look at the latest polls from Montana. One poll has Democrat John Tester ahead of Republican Conrad Burns by nine points. Another poll has Tester ahead of Burns by two points. And yet another poll has them tied.
Mike Barnicle, could we be up late tomorrow night waiting for the counts to come in from rural Montana counties to figure out who the next majority leader of the Senate‘s going to be?
MIKE BARNICLE, BOSTON HERALD COLUMNIST AND MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: All I know about Montana is this, Joe. This guy, Tester, had one of the best commercials I have ever seen. The crew cut commercial, where he says I approve this message and I also approve this hair cut. He is my guy. Because I have no hair. I want him to win.
SCARBOROUGH: That is a good one? But one of the best jokes of the campaign came when Cheney went out there, not a man known for his sense of humor unless you really know Dick Cheney...
BARNICLE: Not to mention, John Kerry.
SCARBOROUGH: ... talking about Kerry. And, of course, Dick Cheney then says to the Montana crowd, John Kerry was for the joke before he was against it.
BARNICLE: Yes, that was a good line.
SCARBOROUGH: That was possibly one of the few states where George Bush and Dick Cheney visiting actually helped the candidate, right?
BARNICLE: That—and you have to wonder, what is the president of the United States doing, at this stage of the campaign going to Nebraska to campaign? And then, as we were talking earlier, going to Florida and being stiffed by the Republican running for governor of Florida—your state. That, to me, is amazing what happened in Florida.
SCARBOROUGH: I just don‘t understand it.
Let‘s take a look, Lanny, at the polls coming out of Missouri. It‘s so close there that the polls have Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Senator Jim Talent in a dead heat. That‘s how it has been for the past six months. What are you looking for tomorrow when the election results start coming from Missouri?
DAVID: I think this is a key state for us because, as I said earlier, the moderate center of the Democratic Party has to reclaim the Congress and the country, and join together with the moderates of the Republican Party to start to govern and attack peoples‘ problems.
Claire McCaskill is clearly in the same genre as Joe Lieberman and other party moderates. But stem cell research, I still think, is a cutting edge social issue that very, very few people in the center don‘t support. And I think she‘s marginalized her opponent by taking a stand on stem cell research. And I think that will be a decisive—interestingly these culture issues have been used against Democrats. In Missouri, I think that will make the difference and elect her.
SCARBOROUGH: And this is one of the few cultural issues that really does seem to break the Democrat‘s way.
Let‘s now go for the latest polls out of Rhode Island. One poll has Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse leading Republican Lincoln Chafee by three percentage points. And another poll has Chafee leading Whitehouse by one percentage point.
I‘ve got to tell you, Pat, it has been conventional wisdom, for the past couple—really for the past six months, that Lincoln Chafee was finished as a United States Senator. These late-breaking polls suggest real momentum in his direction?
BUCHANAN: They sure do, Joe. And we had written off Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Montana. And we were saying Republicans have to get one out of three in Tennessee, Virginia and Missouri. And now, what we are down to, is the Democrats—you mention those four states, Rhode Island, Montana, Virginia, Missouri. To win the Senate, the Democrats‘ have got to run the table. They have got to win all four of them. That‘s one Republican hope—they all are about dead even.
And Chafee, it seems to me—because this is a personal thing. If he‘s come back, it‘s folks saying, look, Lin Chafee is not like those guys in Washington. He is our guy. And so it‘s suggested they are coming back to the man. And so my guess is that Chafee can take this and save the United States Senate for the Republicans.
SCARBOROUGH: And how ironic, Mike Barnicle, that a guy that told his own newspapers in 2001 that he did not vote for George W. Bush. Maybe the guy that keeps the Republicans in power there—and, of course, you hear Lanny talking about moderation, and people sitting in the middle, which a lot of Americans tell me, at least, is where they want Congress to go. You could have, in Lincoln Chafee, a moderate Republican, right next to Joe Lieberman, a fairly moderate Democrat. Do you think we may start seeing some moderance (ph) in the Northwest or do you...
BARNICLE: Well, the interesting thing about the Chafee campaign in Rhode Island, the Chafee name in Rhode Island is a powerful, powerful name. And clearly, it‘s provided a big magnet for Lincoln Chafee in the last two to three weeks. People coming back to him in the course of the last two or three weeks of his campaign. He is a moderate.
The Lieberman re-election, which appears almost certain, is really, really an important element of perhaps a new Democratic Party going forward. If you get a Jim Webb elected in Virginia—you‘ve the Harold Ford campaign in Tennessee. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, these are candidates in the middle. These are candidates who speak to a Democratic Party that I used to remember from the ‘60s and ‘70s, before it went way over on the left hand side of the aisle. And...
SCARBOROUGH: And, quite frankly, a Democratic Party that right-wing stooges, like Pat Buchanan and myself, loved picking on. We never had to run against a Jim Webb. We never had to run against a Joe Lieberman. W we never had to run against a Claire McCaskill. They were always left-wing stooges that were reflexively antimilitary.
That‘s why the Kerry joke stung so much because people in red state America knew that those McGovern Democrats didn‘t have a lot of respect for the men and women in uniform.
BARNICLE: Well, Joe, who guys had a lay-up for year. I mean, an easy lay-up from these people.
SCARBOROUGH: But that‘s changing, is it not, Lanny Davis?
DAVIS: Well, I just want to remind my old friend, Joe Scarborough, we got to be friends when you were attacking Bill Clinton. And I was defending him. And I though you did a good job. I hated wherever I had to debate you. But the fact is Bill Clinton proved you could be a conservative on fiscal policy. You can be a liberal on using the government, a lean government, to be a friend, not the enemy, as the Republicans depict government. And you could be a moderate on cultural issues and tolerate dissent.
Our new Senator from Pennsylvania is going to be the son of the man we refused to allow to speak at the 1992 Democratic convention. So that hypocrisy on the left of our party is now going to be changed by the kind of Joe Lieberman‘s—and I would say about Lincoln Chafee—my friend Pat Buchanan—he ran as a Democrat. He ran anti-Bush, anti-war. And I would not be surprised if he comes to the Senate and thinks about joining the Democratic caucus. Think about that.
SCARBOROUGH: Think about that.
BUCHANAN: But that would be—that would be dishonest. Look, it‘s really dishonest, if you run for one party—you do the right thing. Phil Gram—I‘ll give him credit—when he shifted parties, he resigned from Congress and went back and ran for re-election. If you run for re-election as a Republican, I think you‘ve got the obligation, because that‘s what you‘ve told the people you would be.
SCARBOROUGH: We‘ll see what happens. But there is no doubt that there is a new Democratic Party out there. And certainly, if Harold Ford, who looks like he is going to lose tomorrow. But if the momentum that appears to be breaking his way in some polls carries through, there will be yet another one of those DLC Democrats. Harold Ford talking about religion, talking about faith. He voted for the Iraq war. A lot more moderation, a lot more mainstream Democrats than the type we have seen in Congress over the past two decades.
Hey, thanks a lot, Lanny Davis.
DAVIS: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Greatly appreciate it. Of course, Lanny‘s the author of the great book “Scandal: How Gotcha Politics is Destroying American.” Obviously, Lanny hopes, as do I and others hope, that we move beyond that, sooner rather than later.
Mike Barnicle and Pat Buchanan will be staying with us.
And up next, candidates are doing more than just knocking on your door this election. We‘re going to look at some of the high-tech ways you are being targeted based on where you live and what books you read.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back. With just hours to go until polls officially open. Candidates have been getting back to basics. They are pounding the pavement to reel in those last minute voters.
NBC‘s Chip Reed has been following the race in Virginia and telling us those are not the only methods candidates are using. Some of them are getting high tech and highly annoying—Chip?
CHIP REED, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe, a busy day campaigning here in Northern Virginia. This crowd behind me, obviously for Jim Webb. They were drawn here, of course, party by Webb. But also because Bill Clinton was here today giving a speech, about an hour later than he was supposed to, but no surprise there.
George Allen was also campaigning here in Northern Virginia today. He rallied supporters at a metro station. And it‘s all about getting the voters to the polls now, Joe. You well know, at this point in the campaign, everybody has made up their minds. It‘s about getting the faithful to the polls. In politics, it‘s known as GOTV, get out the vote.
REED (voice-over): In the suburbs of Philadelphia today, Democratic activists seeking voters the old-fashioned way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE ACTIVIST: We‘re just here to tell you to come out and vote.
REED: Shoe leather politics, in close elections, it often means the difference between winning and losing.
JAMES THURBER, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY POLITICAL ANALYST: The air war, television, is less important now than the ground war. The ground war is turning up the vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE ACTIVIST: Good morning brothers and sisters.
REED: It‘s so important, both parties are spending more than $30 million on their get-out-the- vote operation, manning phone banks, like this Republican operation today, and flooding the post office with mass mailings and showering church parking lots with leaflets.
But getting-out-the-vote is also going high-tech. Both parties are now aggressively pursuing a technique called microtargeting. They collect massive amounts of information about potential voters, everything from where you live to what you drive to what you read.
THURBER: If you take “New Yorker” and “Vanity Fair,” you‘re more likely to be a Democrat. And if you take “Field and Stream,” you are likely to be a Republican. And they take that into account.
REED: Then, thinking they know where you stand, they call, e-mail or knock.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE ACTIVIST: Hi, are you Margaret?
REED: Hoping to convince you to vote.
Another technique, computer-generated recorded messages, known as robo-calls. In Virginia, potential voters are being bombarded. This one from Democrat Jim Webb.
JIM WEBB, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: With your help, we can change Washington together.
REED: And Newt Gingrich on behalf of Republican George Allen.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER REPUBLICAN SENATOR: Please join me in voting for our Republican team, Tuesday November, 7.
REED: Now, in recent years, Joe, of course, we all know that Republicans have had a stronger get-out-the-vote operation with that vaunted 72-hour operation they have. But Democrats are hoping that the passion they have and the anger they have over the issues right now will carry them through—Joe?
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks a lot, Chip Reed.
Hear, again, is MSNBC Contributor and Boston Herald Columnist Mike Barnicle, and MSNBC Political Analyst, Pat Buchanan.
Mike, the really untold story of the election in 2004 was just how affective? The percentage leap that Republicans had of people coming out and voting for George Bush turned out—the voting turnout jumped like 10 percentage points to 62% because of what Bush—and to a lesser degree, the Kerry campaigns did. What does this new high-tech voting mean for voters when they go out?
BARNICLE: I have no idea, Joe. I have no idea. All I know is that the Republicans are clearly much more effective at getting out their vote than the Democrats have been in the past. Why? You know, I have always thought that the lessening of the hold that the unions had—and Democratic families played a part in it—unions across the board.
But the Democrats, for some reason or another, are fragmented in ways, in the past, that Republicans have never been.
This year, I think it‘s different. This year, it seems to me, that when you go state to state, and the states that I have been in, the war is such a galvanizing issue, that that‘s going to be the ultimate get-out-the-vote operation. They are going to need the cars and everything to get to people to the polls. But that war is the trigger that‘s going to pull people to vote.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what is interesting about the war, the antiwar vote, Pat? Every time people talk about how wars cost candidates—obviously you could talk about LBJ—but I always think about 1971, 1972, when the sentiment was at its highest.
Nixon runs against an anti-war candidate. He picks up 49 states. That did not hurt Nixon because he said I am tough on defense. In this case, though, with George Bush could it be that we have a Republican here who‘s going to be hurt because he did not send enough troops to Iraq, because he is mismanaging his war? Because in the end, what Americans hate the most is a loser. And right now, George Bush is losing this war.
BUCHANAN: I think the problem is you‘ve got this daily hemorrhaging and bleeding and ugliness coming out of there. Joe, there is no end in sight. They have been at it for four years. People forget, Nixon came in 1969, four years into that war. Almost every American was out of there. In two months, they were all out of there. And the POWs had came home. So McGovern was running against the guy who had brought the troops home.
The president‘s problem is they are still there. And there is no end in sight right now.
SCARBOROUGH: And so, Mike Barnicle, it does not matter how high-tech your get-out-the-vote operation is, if you do not have a message to sell to your base, the people do not get out.
BARNICLE: Well, the president and Republicans, they have the opposite thing to worry about in terms of the message. They have never answered the ultimate question that people ask about this war. Now, why? Why are we there? What are we doing there? What‘s going to happen? They can‘t answer that question.
SCARBOROUGH: And I always think it‘s fascinating. The person that answered that question the best that I have seen, in United States Congress, in Washington, D.C., Tony Blair. When he came and delivered a speech.
BARNICLE: Absolutely. Absolutely.
SCARBOROUGH: It was moving speech. And I was, like, oh, yes, that‘s why we are there.
Anyway, hey, we will be back with our final predictions. But before we go to break, you can see we are just minutes away from the start of Election Day here on the East Coast. In the next 12 hours, Americans will be flooding to the polls.
We will be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: Here, again working class heroes, MSNBC Contributor and Boston Herald Columnist Mike Barnicle, and MSNBC Political Analyst Pat Buchanan.
Let‘s make a prediction, guys. OK, are you ready? We‘re going to tie you down here, make you predict.
Let‘s start in Virginia, Mike Barnicle. Obviously, a very tight race between Webb and Allen. Who do you give it to?
BARNICLE: I am going with Jim Webb. I‘m going with Jim Webb on the theory that, at this point, no one is undecided about Maraca, Senator Maraca or whatever his name is.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
BUCHANAN: I‘ll base it on the three-point lead that Allen had in the latest poll and say Allen. But I‘m as nervous about this one as any race in the country.
SCARBOROUGH: And I‘m going to say Webb. I think, again, this late in the campaign, I think it‘s going to break. I think there are too many...
BARNICLE: Too Webb‘s, one Allen.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, two Webb‘s, one Allen. I know George Allen, like him a lot. And he should have been planning for his first presidential run two years from now. But he‘s just made two many gaffs. And those usually come back and haunt you.
Let‘s go to Montana where the Republicans are basing their hopes on Conrad Burns.
Pat Buchanan, who‘s going to win it, Burns or Tester?
BUCHANAN: I think Burns will win it. I think he has had all the momentum in the last week. The president was out there. And he has always made Tester and his tax position the issue. Although, you hear Tester‘s coming back, I‘ll go with Conrad.
BARNICLE: You like Conrad.
SCARBOROUGH: He likes Conrad. All right. One down for Conrad.
Well, what about you?
BARNICLE: Well, I know so little about Montana, other than the fact that Brokaw has a house in Livingston. And I‘m going to go with the guy with the haircut, Tester, the Democrat, with the big crew cut.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. That‘s why we have you on our all-star panel. I‘m going for Burns. I the momentum‘s gone his way. I think John Kerry basically elected Conrad Burns.
This is the sort of thing that people in Washington and New York and L.A. don‘t understand, that when you have a Democrat, like John Kerry coming on, and basically confirming negative stereotypes of the Democratic Party—it‘s states like Montana where they really bleed. And I think, in the end, John Kerry just elected Conrad Burns.
Let‘s go to Missouri. This may be the tightest race. And it‘s been level for the past six months, no real momentum either way. And Jim Talent really has not made any mistakes. Claire Catskill‘s run a great campaign.
Mike Barnicle, what do you think?
BARNICLE: I‘m going to go with Claire McCaskill. I think she represents one element of the party, the Democratic Party, that we were speaking to earlier, the moderate win. She is a very attractive candidate, has run a great campaign. The Cardinals won the World Series. I think that plays to her hand. And I am going with her.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m not even going to ask you to explain why a baseball theme helps her.
BUCHANAN: Well, Talent‘s had two rough races. He ran dead even. And this is a horrendously Democratic year. And it‘s 46-46, or something like that. And for the argument you were making, and we made before, you know, they made a decision that—they are still withholding judgment in favor of Talent. My guess is, it slips over toward McCaskill.
SCARBOROUGH: I think it does too. And I think it slips over to McCaskill because, again, they have been down the middle for such a long time now. Jim Talent is a great guy, but he had a rough race last time, and headed into a much more favorable environment.
Again, I think that most years, Talent, Allen win. I don‘t think that‘s going to happen this year because that Democratic tide. These are the type races that are swept over.
BARNICLE: So you are going for McCaskill too?
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, but not because of a baseball game.
We‘re running out of time. Let‘s go—thank, God, there are no professional baseball teams in Rhode Island.
Who do you like, Mike Barnicle?
BARNICLE: I think Lincoln Chafee will pull it out in the end because of the strength of his name.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan?
BUCHANAN: I will go with the right-winger Chaffee.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m going with Lincoln Chafee too. I think that‘s our only unanimous call, Lincoln Chaffee.
And then to Tennessee, a fascinating race.
Do you think Herald Ford can come back?
BARNICLE: I think he can, but it might be my heart instead of my head—and not that I am a member of either party. I‘m an Independent. But he‘s run such a great campaign. He‘s such an attractive candidate—Harold Ford.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. Ford?
BUCHANAN: It‘s too much to close. It‘s Corker.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, I have to say Corker.
Very quickly—we have to go—but I want quick predictions in the House. How many do the Democrats pick up tomorrow?
BARNICLE: They pick up 21 seats.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan?
BUCHANAN: I‘d say 25.
SCARBOROUGH: I will go with 26, Bob Barker. What about the Senate?
BUCHANAN: I think it would be 50-50 or 50-51 for the Republicans. I think the Republicans hold.
BARNICLE: The Republicans by two.
SCARBOROUGH: I think the Republicans hold by one. I think it‘s going to be tough.
Hey, thanks a lot, Pat Buchanan.
Thank you, Mike Barnicle.
That‘s all the time that we have. We are just seconds away from Election Day on the East Coast. Make sure you go out and vote. We‘ll see you tomorrow.
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