HH: Here to talk about that and much more, host of NBC’s Meet the Press every single Sunday, Chuck Todd. But it’s not Meet the Press Chuck Todd I want to talk to today. It’s Hot Line Chuck Todd. Before he became international star of stage and screen, Chuck Todd toiled in the Hot Line dungeon looking at numbers, looking, it’s why he knows what he’s talking about. Chuck, we are in a flood of numbers this morning. Which ones stand out?
CT: Well, look, I’m going to sit here and say in some ways, it’s, what stands out to me this week, so last week was the story of erosion for Clinton. This week, the story is Trump is actually gaining, right? Before, it was just Clinton vote going away, and it was sprinkling into undecided, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein. To me, the big trend line is look, and you know, some Democrats will nitpick. Oh, the party ID seems off here in this or that. But the trend line’s the same. He is actually now starting to tick up in the polls. This is, look, everything changes after the first debate, perhaps, but wow. This is going to be a rough ten days. Clinton, nobody needs this first debate to come sooner than Hillary Clinton.
HH: I am, was with Republicans on the Hill yesterday in between these various stops. And the Speaker was in and out, and the Leader, and among the groups there, and in an off the record meeting, I will not attribute to anyone, the confident statement was made, and it wasn’t by the Speaker or the Leader, Republican incumbents are ahead in every race in the country. Every single race, they’re ahead. The data does not prove that Hillary Clinton is lifting up Democrats.
HH: It doesn’t prove the…it just proves they’ve separated the presidential race from everything else.
CT: Totally have.
HH: Do you agree with that, Chuck Todd?
CT: No, I think the biggest development, look, Hillary Clinton may still win by six or seven at the end, right? The debates could fall apart, whatever may happen. That’s still possible. And Donald Trump might win. But here’s what I think is a fact. I think now I would rather be the Republicans when it comes to the Senate right now, the Senate battleground, than the Democrats. I think everything that has happened over the last six weeks has helped, you know, I think you’ve seen more and more Republicans have done a good job separating themselves from the presidential race, period. And I think Democrats mistakenly believed that they could just throw up, hey, Senator X is just like Trump, or Congressman Y is just like Trump, and that that would be effective. That was their whole game plan. Well, now that Trump is, you know, basically having some good weeks, that’s not working at the same time there’s demoralization in the Democratic base with Hillary Clinton right now. All of that is combined, I think, to put the Republicans in a much better position to hold, even if Clinton still wins. I think the message has been received by voters to separate the two in these Senate battlegrounds. Continue Reading