Iowa, President Trump, Jeff Link discussed on The Chuck ToddCast: Meet the Press


Good afternoon from New York. I'm Chuck Todd and this is the Chuck Todd cast today. The Senate continues. Its impeachment hearings. We're GONNA have opening. Statements finally getting underway to house impeachment managers essentially with about seven eight hours per day for the next three days telling their stories of what they believe. The president did illegally and why they believe he should be ousted from office but in the business. I'm calling this. PODCAST is what we call a little bit of counter programming You might remember. There's this thing called. The Iowa caucuses. They are less than two weeks away. So we're going all in on on Iowa if you want impeachment news. That's my buddy Kornacki. He's got a wonderful article to podcasts. Go listen to it if you want Iowa listen to this one my guest Jeff Link. He's he's doing something unusual this year. He's not working. For a presidential candidates a longtime democratic strategist and Iowa and he is actually fronting a a nonprofit if it group that is trying to bring attention to rural America. It's called focus on rural America. They did some polling to the most recent poll that is out there. Jeff Link knows a lot about first first and second choice while that matters and he believes his poll later in the show. I'll be joined by Phil Rucker in Carolina there the authors of the new book. That's gotten the president's attention it's called a very stable. Genius Richly reported well source book with a lot of new detail about the president's behavior office. And what those around him did or did did not do but first jeff link. I think he's a little hesitant. Probably being so public on here I think he thinks his poll slightly better than than and sellers. But find out out we're GONNA find out well and gets high grades. There's no doubt about it. That's right. You're a new student. Good luck excellent. We'll check thanks. It's really good to be with Hugh and We're looking forward to having you out or you hide out I I. I'm hoping to be there more than just a night. it is it is All of that's up in the air for all of us Me and I'm going to have a team of people there. I'm a lot of it. Depends on where we are in the Senate trial and where duty calls on on that front. But it's It's let me ask you this. How far less than two weeks away? How much has the impeachment trial trial? been like a wet blanket on Iowa I. I don't think it's been that much of a wet blanket. I I I honestly don't think people are tracking the impeachment impeachment. Trial Minute by minute. I people here. No it's going on but You know honestly whether below zero the last three days. That was more of of a topic of conversation than the impeachment trial largely. Because I think people believe McConnell has put the fix in on this and it's just a matter of how long it's it's GonNa take before McConnell does what he wants to do anyway It's unfortunate for the senators that that are stuck in DC and are able to campaign out here in New Hampshire But I I don't think people are really kind of on the edge of their seats with this one all right Not You and I have. I've I've been a source on multiple caucuses I we've been through four or five of these competitive Democratic caucuses in one way or the other Compare this one to eight four in two thousand and sort of you know I. I think this feels more like oh four than any of the others in in sort of the last couple of decades. But you tell me Yeah I swell and I'm old enough to remember eight. I started Working on the first Joe Biden for president right about eight hundred eighty eight or eighty four very similar so yes. I'm glad you brought up eighty. Yeah I think bigger field so I think it feels like Like eight in. Oh four in in eight. There were a lot of candidates but essentially at this point. It was all about Obama Obama and Clinton and Edwards. Let's not forget it was a genuine three way race. Yes it was. It was but this is different because you know we have Ford five way race. You think there's four four different potential winter or not and I do I think it is just as plausible for any of the top four to win and as it is for any of the top four to get fourth. How about fifth and is in his at behind? uncommitted or behind me Well you know we. We asked in our poll whether if your first choice was not viable meaning not at fifteen percent of the people that attend your precinct What will you do will you Caucus for somebody else we go uncommitted stay uncommitted or will you go home and Seventeen percent said they would stay uncommitted committed and that means that we could have a number of precincts that elect a delegate to the county convention as uncommitted. Well it's not the uncommitted as one one before people forget Jimmy never won the Ivankov. That's right. He finished second right He did what the new rules on. UNCOMMITTED I WANNA fill people in unlike previous years. You could sit on committed when you got to your precinct. And if they even whether whether the uncommitted grouping made threshold of fifteen percent or not and you could still leave it this time. The rules indicate that uncommitted treated like a candidate. And if you hit fifteen thresholds been made and you can't lose support. Yeah Yeah it's it's a big change And I- in any group. If you're if you're with a candidate who's viable you can't move and you know in the past If you were say you were with the with the candidate with the most people in your caucus sometimes you would send Some of your group Group To another campaign so that they could get a delegate Right to keep your your opponent the most dangerous opponent from getting the extra trudell at you. You send people to somebody else and that sort of gamesmanship is gonNA be Either more limited or it's going to be a little trickier to execute cute. Let me. Let's go through things a little bit here. The top four candidates who's who of those four who's got the the the least amount of statewide coverage if you get my drift right. I my guess. Is that both Bernie and Biden have wide support support. Meaning they'll probably be make threshold in the most precincts. Is that a fair assessment. Or Am I over looking Warren here. A little bit I think Nick Warren probably makes threshold in in most precincts as well and Pete is a little uneven I gotta I I think all four make threshold in a lot of places you know. There's you think that fifteen is a hard floor even for Warren I look. I'll be honest I have. It feels like warns bleeding support. Well but remember. She had the strongest organization the earliest they have been everywhere. They have strong relationships. CBS throughout the state with their precinct captains and with their organization. So I remember being told that about Dick Gephardt two thousand four. How did that work out? Well I I would. I would put the Warren Organization up against the Gephardt Organization in. Oh four Any Day of the week They they really have done a nice job. And you gotTa give them credit had it for that And so I think that's that's kind of sustained her even though she was down in our poll from where she was in September. She's still in second place she's she's still above viability I think I think she's GonNa be a factor Amy Yang Star. Yup I assume amy has basically her strength is probably I assume north. You know the closer to Minnesota a stronger she gets. I think so and I think she'll do pretty well in western Iowa. Okay spent more time there than most right. She's done the floods she she made. Yeah upstairs she she made a big deal out of being. Hey this is like the iron range. Yeah that's right. And she did the ninety nine counties so she's she's been everywhere where although she hit like twenty seven counties in two or three days in December so everybody knows that trick. Yeah okay that graphic but I I gotta tell you I was. I was having coffee with somebody. This morning. who is expected to be a warrant supporter in she said. Yep I think I'M GONNA end up with with closure I think I think club could Have a good night on On Caucus night to mourn register endorsement. You know newspaper. Endorsements mean less and less all the time per democratic primary voters in certain communities still care about certain newspaper endorsements and is that still the case with the register You know the registers GonNa have an impact in centralized. I think it state-wide imprimature is is not what it once was. I mean you know back in the eighty eight cycle or Ninety two or two thousand I think thank statewide. It had more of an impact didn't really help Edwards and four. I mean Edwards basically went from fifth to second and I think it was a surprise. Yeah when when it's when it's news I don't think they're going to endorse two candidates. I bet they pick one But I think It'll be interesting to see I. I wouldn't be surprised if they pick KLOBUCHAR or if they pick budget I had somebody. That's what I keep hearing is that it's down to those two somebody tell me that it really depends ultimately what the editorial page team thinks their mandate is meaning. Are they there to protect Iowa's place in the process. And if that's that's the case that's one type of candidate and if they're there to represent mid Westerners then that's perhaps another rationale for who they pick pick like it of it as someone said to me who's been through the process with the editorial going through the interview it's clear saving preserving Iowa's status as an important first state matters a lot to the editorial board and that will have some impact on who they pick. Well it'll be interesting to see what their rationale is You know I think the register editorial board will be in a similar position to a lot of Iowans right now. And that is the really conflicted. what we saw in our poll Five or six candidates. Seven candidates have extremely high favorables You Know Net plus sixty plus sixty five The Iowans like this field and I think that's part the reason why they're having such a hard time settling on a candidate. is because that they're satisfied with the field they like what what Each of these candidates is saying A and and how they're representing themselves and I think that's why the reason that they're satisfied with the field or they like all these candidates but they haven't been convinced either one any the Mar- the are the answer to be trump. Well certainly the the premium is is if someone could look in the mirror and say oh well this is the candidate that can beat trump in November..

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