Lanes Emerge In The Democratic Primary

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

He said we were Compton loaded to retaliate last night. I don't think cocktail unloaded as a standard freight. Definitely not. It's locked locked loaded. Acta moated gets very much. In two. For that. Hello. And welcome to the fivethirtyeight politics, podcast. I'm dealing drew the first democratic primary debates are scheduled for later this week. But the candidates are already butting heads. So former vice president Joe Biden's comments about his past work with segregationists in the Senate earned him some pretty strong pushback from Senator Cory Booker last week, and then Senator Bernie Sanders appear to be taking a jab at Senator Elizabeth Warren, when he tweeted an article about centrists coming around to her side. So today, we're going to take a look at how much of the conflict in the primary is happening within particular lanes. And whether those lanes are evident in the polling at the start of the campaign, we talked about the lanes that each of the candidates were theoretically occupying, but we also questioned the extent to which those lanes were real or actually meaningful for voters. So we're going to get into that today. We're also going to key in specifically on Biden's comments about working with segregationists, how he's dealt with the blowback and the possible repercussions are. And here with me to do all of that are editor in chief. Nate silver. How's it Garnett? It's going well, Gaylon. Thank you, and senior politics, right? A clam alone. How are you? Good and managing editor mica Cohen. How's it going good? Thank you for having me later in the show. We are also going to discuss President Trump's stance on Iran, and how Americans feel about potential conflict. But I as I mentioned, let's zoom in on Biden's comments last week. He was at a fundraiser talking about being criticized by the new left for wanting to build consensus across party lines. As an example, for how this could be done. He brought up his relationship with two segregationist senators, and this is what happened according to a press pool report written by Ken Thomas of the Wall Street Journal quote, I was in a caucus with James Eastland. Mr. Biden said briefly channeling the league Mississippi Senator southern drawl, Mr. right instead of Mr. easily quote. He never called me boy, he always called me son. And then he went on to say about a deceased Georgia Senator, a guy like Herman Talmadge, one of the meanest guys, I ever knew you go down the list of these guys. Well, guess what? At least there was some. Civility. We got things done. We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side, and you're the enemy, not the position the enemy. We talk to each other anymore. Okay. So he said that these comments were taken out of context. What specifically are people reacting to in his comments and hasn't been taken out of context? I think that people are probably having the strongest reaction to the dairy off color. I don't know if you call it a joke, but the thing he said about he never called me. Boy, he'll was called me son. That's obviously a very racialist term when you're talking about, you know, whether or not a southern segregationist, Senator, would, you know, call a black or white man's son, or boy, that's just biding, I think, trout into territory, he should not have tried into, I think the, the stuff about civility, I mean, it's interesting because it's become such a if you follow political Twitter, the term civility has become almost a joke, but I think. Biden is not operating on that political Twitter realm, and he was sort of trying to make the point. I think that listen, these people were my colleagues in the Senate in the seventies, I think he said, he one of them was like a disgusting guy or something something to that effect. He's. But we still pass things together, which is sort of been the part that Congressional Black hawk as leaders have glommed onto, which is they're saying, listen, Joe Biden was colleagues with these people who've been in the Senate. I long time and he's still got stuff done. But I think that definitely the first part of his comments are what people are reacting don't what's been the overarching response to those comments. I mean, I don't know if there's an overarching response, and this is a case where somebody backup a bit. Right. There's a history of Joe Biden saying things or doing things that people on Twitter tend to get very upset about an predict. It's a big problem for his campaign, and then the poll comes out the next week and shows, nobody has changed their mind about anything. I mean he's the Trump of the. Twenty democratic primary. Okay. Gaylon you know, but there is elements where like real. He maintain the thirty one percent of the electorate he has where they're mostly older voters, actually are a lot of African Americans in that group and so on and so forth. And so I'm not sure you can necessarily use like media Twitter as a good guide and even be contrary indicator for how Biden stuff will occur. I mean I wrote a little item last week saying, this seems like the kind of thing where it touches on a lot of sensitivities is Perry wrote in his piece, a lot of Democrats now are very concerned about racial Justice. But what has the reaction been right? So, like political Twitter. You said reacted strongly. What about outside of political Twitter? Well, it'd be nice to have some polling data. And we don't have any yet as of this recording on late Monday morning. We do not have any polling showing how voters reacted Cory. Cory Booker reacted strongly and by not only did not apologize to Booker but said corporate apologize to me and use his name Corey, they were number of members of the Congressional Black caucus who defended Biden, there were actually maybe related, maybe not. A couple of members of the CBC who endorsed come Harrison the data's was all happening for Biden. You had I think when Biden staffer leave and make some noise about it, and you had some kind of backbiting in the press, and stuff like that. I mean look for various reasons, ranging from the fact that he does have a number of own abilities to the fact that he has a complicated record on stuff like racial busing. Right. But also the fact that, you know, he's been the front runner for a long time. People are more that story, the fact that reporters, and people who are influential in politics, increasingly school younger, and more liberal. And so they will be happy to blow up controversies. I'm gonna put it like this, there is a big appetite at this moment in time to find negative storylines about Joe Biden, but at the same time this was, I think a real mistake, but you're not saying that that's what this is. Are you are saying that that's what this is? I'm saying that like Hillary Clinton should be more careful with their emails because it would have blown up a medium sized mountain until, like the Appalachians or something. Right. And this is. I think in the similar vein where like also medium sized mountain. Yeah. Okay. Medium sized mountain into a whole range of mountains. Why? Unless they're the Rockwall never mind by USA one thing, though. Which is like when you could have read that original Wall Street Journal story, and kind of Reconceptualise it for me kind of like, oh, actually context, okay? It's a little different than the reaction you get after after chewing on it. And seeing people's takes for a week. I think people should read Perry's piece, because, as I said, we don't have polling about how the public is reacting to this. But Perry makes a good point about, you know, Biden is leading with black voters far and away and yeah, this could have an effect. But Perry also has this. I think very good insightful lime in the peace, where he talks about, you know, talking to voters and talking to other reporters who've talked to black voters. They say that one of the reasons why they like Biden is in part because of the fact that he has, like this more old fashioned approach to. Talking about race and working with Republicans that black voters, see him as having more appeal to white voters, and therefore having an appeal electability wise. In other words that he was, he would still be the strongest electoral candidate in part because of his antiquated for Twitter approach to these issues. Right. Like black voters, of course, are also weighing candidates electability is when they're making their choices just like everybody else's right? And I think it's something along the lines of listen. Oh, eight and twelve were an anomaly and the, the logic of a black voter who supporting Biden. They'll say, oh, eight and twelve were an anomaly when we, you know, elected a black president America has elected a person who has been race baiting made racist comments. Maybe we need kind of a person who can be the middle ground, and talk, the way white voters might talk amongst each other. Right. That's kind of, like, the, the reason a pair of goes through. Yeah. I think that's right. I think there was kind of a strain in the coverage of these remarks originally the. That underlying it was like, oh, Biden is doing really well among black voters discount, hurt him among black voters because it's about a racial issue. And I think what Perry walks her is like it doesn't really work like that. First of all, white Democrats have grown increasingly liberal and rate, racial issues increasingly high in terms of how they're prioritizing their issues and also black voters as you guys were just saying care about electability and have a whole set of issues. They're, they're looking at like any but, like any other voter the other thing, though, is like, look, whether this affects his standing in the in the polls or not, I'm not sure you know, it sort of breaks down along the, the people who I think will be most upset by this. So let's say college, educated, white liberals to oversimplify, and let's say younger black voters aren't in inviting camp anyway to begin with. So, so maybe it doesn't hurt him that much, but to me, and I'm not sure that's true. But to me, this is indicative of the kind of fundamental question at the heart of Biden's candidacy, which is like, get what Claire was saying, which is like, Kenna candidate, who, frankly, feels more from, like the mid two, thousands, or even the late nineties win in, in this modern Democratic Party even the way he first of all this all rose because Biden was responding to push back on comment. He made that he could work with Republicans, right? And Democrats were like bullshit. That's not going to happen. And then, even his response of like, oh, I don't have a racist bone in my body is like an understanding of racism that, I think, kind of feels a little date, once again, the rhetoric that he's using is rhetoric that I think political reporters or peep, political, like, see as outmoded not a racist bone in my body body, civility, right? These are things that people are kind of taught to, you know, it's like your eighth grade English teacher. Saying, don't use that word so much and people, I think people are very much they react to Biden's, even use of specific words to describe his feelings, because they do feel we talked about this twenty sixteen that Trump called out people's generic political phrases. Right. You know, remember he called out Marco Rubio, for sort of being like a robot or was that those Christie? Well, anyway, twenty sixteen did a lot of that. Like we see what you're doing. We know what that is. And we're calling it out, and that's a little bit with the I think the Biden rhetoric felt like his resp- his sort of response to it immediately. And just in case listeners are looking for the article that we've been talking about from our colleague Perry bacon junior is called how will Biden's latest comments affect his standing in the Democratic Party, and he lays out various different statistics, including that he's getting more than fifty five percent of the democratic primary vote among black voters over the age of forty five compared to thirty five percent among blacks under the age of forty five so very strong over forty five and still relatively strong as you get young. Earlier, and he also lays out, for example as you were mentioning, Mike, that white Democrats, in general increasingly have like very liberal views on race, according to a higher percentage of white democrat seventy eight percent. Then black democrat seventy one percent, said that being white helps a person get ahead in America today. So those views of white Democrats have evolved, a lot, of course, since Joe Biden was in the Senate working with segregationists, or even when he was in the Senate in the nineties, worked on the crime Bill, for example, and maybe this gets into a little bit of what you're talking about about his style, and who we appeals to to begin with part of the story is your and not apologizing. Why did he make that calculation? Well, that's sort of the campaign strategy so far. Yeah. Feels like they've made kind of a meta decision that the kind of bar for them explicitly apologizing is going to be very high during this campaign because he's had, I think they're the internal logic is he's been in politics, for forty years. He's been like like. A middle of the road democrat for all of those years. And the Democratic Party party is obviously gotten a lot more liberal. So I think that, that's sort of I think it's smart. I think when you, apologize you kind of, well, it depends on how you apologize formalize it as a you legitimize, these critiques, right? And yeah. I think if you don't want to actually show that like that. You're wounded, I think there's something to be said for that. I mean, we should make when to sanction which is like Biden right now has about thirty percent of the vote. And I think there's maybe a pretty decent chance. That, that thirty percent won't be swayed by this. There is another seventy percent. And there's some evidence that has built a ratings have gone down still pretty good with the other seventy percent and thirty percent is not quite enough to win on its own given that Democrats don't have any winner take all rules. Meaning that, you know you really have to improve that thirty percent. And if he's at thirty percent and Warren's at twenty and Harris at twenty in pita judge. Pitch fair repeat that fifteen or Bernie somewhere in there. The name we can't Pedo closure Buddha. Shar pedo. Yeah. But if he seems like he's running a factional campaign then that's dangerous to him. It's the same reason why I'm pretty scuttle of Bernie Sanders has chances because he is definitely running of actual campaign. Although he is fifteen percent and not thirty thirty might almost work, but can Biden be the Representative of the Democratic Party consensus than stuff like this might make it harder. Do you think Biden in a more holistic way by the has this really long record as Claire, bench and that now feels out of step with where the Democratic Party is, you know, the bussing thing, of course? But like even to the crime Bill even on abortion, you know, he'd just flipped on the Hyde amendment. But I wonder if he's going to have to kind of keep doing this throughout the campaign, and if he should be just be like listen. I've been in office for decades a bunch of stuff. I did doesn't reflect who I am. Now, here's who I am. Now, I'm I'm really interested to see how he handles. It in that in the debates. Yeah. He is running more almost like like he's running this from the White House kind of campaign. And I think that's we talked about this a little bit. He doesn't have to introduce himself to the world. So he does spend a lot a lot more days meeting with advisors or doing sort of more private press events that don't have the public rally feel so the debate does have a bit of the Valence of there's been a lot of stuff that you've been reading about me in the press lately. Here's my hero here. I am. Here's what it is. But I wonder if so they probably figured everybody knows who Joe Biden is, I don't have to introduce myself, the Biden campaign has not released a bunch of policy proposals in the way that that war or, or a bunch of other candidates. Have I've wondered if they miscalculated there because in the absence of that, what is the media looking at it's looking at this long record, which in many cases is now out of step. Now all that said, maybe the campaign is like, hey, I. They will start unveiling this, and the even went to stuff on immigration. They had a thing today in the I think it was in the Miami Herald. He would not bad about his immigration plans. But I'm sure that's I think that's probably purposefully hooked to debate. We, they haven't answered a bunch of policy questions from a bunch of media outlets biding compared to most of the other candidates has been relatively blocked box in terms of what policies but four I wanna move onto our next conversation, which is about lanes within the democratic primary. But before we do that, there's a part of the conversation about Biden that gets at that theme. Right. Which is one of the strongest reactions was from Senator Cory Booker, what was going on. What was the dynamic between Booker and Biden last week? It was super interesting. I mean I mean Booker statement was direct and, and pretty strong. You know, he said, quote, you don't joke about calling black men boys, men like James o Eastland, used words like that. And the racist policies. Is that accompanied them to perpetuate white supremacy and strip black Americans of our very humanity? Vice president Biden's relationships with proud segregationists are not the model for how we make America is safer among police have place for black people. Anyway, he goes on to call directly calls for for Biden to apologize. It was like a direct shot at Biden. Now, since then, they've sort of made up not made up that, that makes it sound like some like personal call. But they had a call, and apparently Booker sort of indicated now the moving on. But the calculations behind bookers they, you know, I, I don't know if we want to get into that because it's, it's sort of hard to say, maybe just kind of felt strongly about the issue. Maybe it's about Biden has majority of black support right now. That's a, that's a group that Booker needs to make inroads with Booker, has to, you know, so bigoted get increased in news coverage. So he was the fourth most. Covered candidate last week, which for Booker is high. He had been often, you know, sixth or seventh in some weeks. And so, you know, I think he certainly, you know, well positioned in very reasonable to make the statements that he did. And it was a well phrased statement. So it could have been the right thing to do, quote, unquote. But like it's also like he someone who is a very plausible rationale for being the nominee, and who has kind of fallen into the background. And so, you know, to take opportunities like this is smart, technically, I think, at least I agree. But it is interesting that I mean, we talked awhile ago about the fact that Harrison Booker both want to get some -dorsements from Congressional Black caucus leaders at it is, perhaps, interesting to note that most of them are I think, Biden behind, Biden, but those couple who decided to maybe make a statement decided to endorse Harris not Bucker awarded make of that. But I mean, I think we'd probably have to make that she's higher in the polls than than. Booker. Yeah. And, and that if any if nothing else that sort of obsta the incentive for the Booker campaign to take some risks, the try to, to try to make a splash. All right. Well, let's talk about some of the tension in the democratic primary more broadly, and whether it teaches us anything about the competing lanes. But first today's podcast is brought to you by light stream looking for a way to save some extra money this summer. 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And offers I subject to change without notice visit light stream dot com slash five three eight. For more information we're back and we just talked a little bit about the conflict between Booker and Biden at the end of the week last week. But it seems that there's a larger trend perhaps emerging in the democratic primary of conflict between candidates, and potentially conflict within particular lanes, the progressive lane, the lane that's trying to shore up support with African American voters. You know, maybe there's some conflict within the moderate lane or the likable, white guy lane like a work and booth or something like that. What are the trends that you've picked up Claire over the past week or so? And how the candidates have been treating each other in the run-up to the debates. Well, I think the most interesting thing to watch. His been the Sanders Warren, vibe shallow vibe. Yeah. What is that a euphemism for? We the youthful audience and we're just trying to speak their lingo. I think that Sanders. Well, we know now it's been reported that Sanders in Warren had a nonaggression pact. Historically, those worked out so, well, but Sanders tweeted something pretty soon as account, we should say, tweeted something that, you know, in response to a political article that said, you know, the democratic establishment is now on everyone, but Sanders movement, and it was an article about how war and is becoming more seen as more acceptable by the political establishment. Now, we should note that Elizabeth Warren endorsed, Hillary Clinton has always has been a democrat rather than independent Sanders is throughout her tenure in the US Senate. So she is by definition and has always been more in with the establishment than Sanders. But this was seen as a pretty shot across the bow kind of tweet. And I, I would guess that some of that has to do with. Yes, there's a big coming up, but. The polls are tightening a little bit more Warren, I think, has has has been nudging up a bit. And I mean, I guess maybe Nate will will now talk about whether or not lanes exist, but I do think that because there are so many candidates, there is kind of natural like like on man, picking, you know, maybe picking one person to kind of, like lash out at a bit on the title of the article that he retweeted or the politico tweet that accompanied, the article was centrists are coming around to Elizabeth Warren as an alternative to Bernie Sanders, so he retreated that and then said the cat is out of the bag or somebody from his account, re tweeted that and said the cat is out of the bag. The corporate wing of the Democratic Party is publicly quote anybody, but burning and then he went on to say more, but, like, well we re the rest of it because it's relevant contact. He said, they know our progressive agenda of Medicare for all breaking a big banks taking on drug companies, and raising wages is the real threat to the billionaire class, which is far as I know. In favor of all these things really has Bernie's healthcare plan Medicare for all, you know, she's the one with the with the wealth tax that he doesn't have. But he also then went on TV and was like, no that tweet was not about Elizabeth Warren. It was about the democratic establishment. It doesn't make a lot of sense. I doubt Bernie tweeted this, I think he has some people on his campaign that are pretty feisty and social media. And I think he probably was happy with the person who tweeted that from his account. All right. That's conjecture. But let okay but here's some here's John conjecture. I think Sanders is making a mistake and has been mistaken for much of the campaign about doubling down and doubling down on this on the Sanders anti-establishment base, which is just not enough on its own to win the primary, and I think he should instead be more of a, you know, a kinder gentler Bernie who is saying, hey, look, my ideas are now at the forefront of the Democratic Party awards endorse. My healthcare planets, therefore natural. That is someone who had so much support last time around the person that you that they should back. So, you know, are there lanes? I mean, sorta halfway right, the kind of halfway between, oh, people are just kind of not paying attention and their views a really random, because we go out like talk to random voters. They'll be like, oh, yeah. I like I'm either into Bernie or John Delaney for something. Right. And it doesn't make any sense. Like, that's how real boaters vote on the other hand, clearly were in has taken some support from Sanders. If you kind of back up look at where the polls now as opposed to three months ago, Warren is up seven points and senators is down seven points and it's probably not a coincidence. I think overall also we've seen more evidence for lanes develop over the past several weeks, or whatever then the were originally, which which is kind of what we expect human against lanes. If you take polls at least a few months ago and you said who's your second choice, it was pretty random kind of who's people second choice was relative to their first choice. Well, it wasn't just random, it was we were looking at Biden, and his voters, the people who preferred Biden, their second choice was Sanders and people who supported Sanders, their second choice was Biden. So it seemed like everything was based off of name recognition and not actually like a specific preference. Based on policy style agenda. Clarify maybe that this let me let me Claire. Defy let me do some clarifying here. First of all, we fivethirtyeight we're never anti lanes. The idea was simply that a very rigid view of lanes, where there's very little crossover between different types of voters. One is wrong. I don't I don't think there's sort of like that bears bears. True in the empirical record but too early on. There's just no evidence at that point, that lanes had really developed in the sense that there wasn't much sign in the in those second choice numbers that, like bar bar, and that Bernie and, and, and Warren's support overlapped or whatever whatever since then one as Nate mentioned, Bernie's support has gone down at the same time warrant support has gone up now is their chance. That's like purely coincidental. Sure, I guess there's a chance, but it's at least the Justice that they're drawing from the same pool and. To Beddoes support has gone down at the same time Buddha. Judges support has gone up something we've talked about before where it's like the hover you want to describe this lane. I said trendy, which Claire doesn't like trendy like it's like the trendy. That's too negative. But it's like. Young young white moderates lean. Yeah, that the khaki lane action calculate, but the other thing is if you look at those same, second choice numbers, there's now, more evidence of lanes. Like if you look at Sanders supported sure Biden is still number one just because he's doing so well, but Warren performs disproportionately. Well, among Sanders voters compared to everyone else. So some of what we're saying is caveat, not that most people aren't paying attention to the campaign, which I think, is a thing we should say every once in a while to remind ourselves a little mantra more than was initially, but also that as people as the campaign develops as everyone is now pretty much in the race. We're looking at USA, stack. And people are like, nominally getting a sense of, like, oh, who is this person? How are they differentiated in like, do I like their personality more, which is a lot of people vote? The people are that people are forming more nuanced opinions. And that more clear lanes will form as as we go down the yellow brick road. But even even then which we are we always expected that you would expect that as voters. Learn more about the candidates, they'll more logically into these lanes. But even then I think the point we were trying to make early on is that the lanes are like or like roads with dotted lines that people can cross over and cut over two lanes at once and I think a lot, I think a lot of them. I mean I do think I. The example of Warren and Sanders are in a very distinctly policy wise. But then I do think like some of the other lanes as we've just described, you know, those aerobic and Buddha. Judge profess a lot of the same or profess similar ideas to a lot of the other candidates, but I think that they're distinguishing lane is their identity right there. Their idea of like aging indie rock deadline. I'm a blue dot in a red state kind of vibe, and I'm white and young and don't you like that? Yeah. So I'm saying a lot of it is, you know, political fair moans personality all that jazz. But I do think Warren and Sanders are in like a specific policy lane. I mean, the problem guys is that there are well, actually. The lanes do crossing one another. You know, and the Audubon it's like the frigging Audubon. It's like it's like New York City traffic in New York City at a three way, intersection or something in the village. Yeah, let's be specific. But like because on the one hand voters can decide based on ideology on the other hand, they decide based on identity and they can decide based on hey name recognition or like, hey, I don't know or who tightening at any moment entire. So let me shake this up a little bit in terms of the Warren Sanders lane because an article came out today from BuzzFeed news that talked to you, the progressive change campaign committee. And this is from Adam green the co founder of the P, triple C, or whatever they call it, quote, people think warrants. Quote, people think warrants challenge is how to take a bunch of Bernie supporters, but he goes on to say the two big honeypots for Warren are actually Biden supporters and undecided voters all of whom are electability voters and looking to go with somebody who can inspire voters in the general election. And so this is part of their launch of this switched to Warren effort. The title of this article is quote. These people are ready to bolt. Elizabeth Warren allies plan to target Joe Biden backers. So is this getting like a different lane? What is that way is elected lighters lane? Or is this I would like a citation required on that. I read the article and I didn't see any actual evidence behind his claim. But look Biden is the biggest block of block voters right now. He's thirty percent. And so you have to like you have to make some effort to play for that thirty percent. And maybe only me, maybe only five percent of that thirty percents really gettable, but, like five percent would be nice, but, you know, I mean I still think she should be more. Concerned. I agree with about undecideds at. But you know, I still think even the diminished Bernie at fifteen percent, I mean you probably get into some point where like what are we gonna wake where it's like eight percent of the electorate says they will only vote for Bernie Sanders and are not considering at the moment. Right. So if it's down to fifteen percent that maybe do get into diminishing returns, now or the remaining Bernie voters are pretty hard core, but you know that would still be the first the first scoop Harrison of ice cream. If you're laughing yet, which is which is interesting among Warren supporters, Harris, the number one, second choice at twenty two percent really outperforms there and Warren, outperforms a bitch. She's the second choice among among Harris supporters. But I do think the part of that article, or the idea in that article that rings true, which I think was getting at is that electability or just desire to be Trump is going to span lanes and mushed together and. And pull voters across maybe divides, otherwise, they wouldn't for example, you know, there was there's some other reporting added like the third way conference over the weekend, where they talked to some people who were like, for at a third way conference, which is like the centrist kind of like my partisan moderate wet green yet. Yeah. And they were like muffs chill string. Sorry. And we and they were like oh, yeah. We we'd be okay with Warren, you, we like that. She has a plan for a lot of stuff and that's what sparked this whole on. You know, I know but, but I'm saying I don't think that's happening in some like wholesale way. But I do think it shows that the desire to be Trump will make people sort of just like be like, okay, I can, I can get on, on, on board that train too many metaphors here. It's as train on the autobahn lanes. And then the electability is like a overpass, it just a Mack truck driving down the lane, yet, crisscrossing tentative, and this is what we call, tortured metaphor. Okay. So we were just talking about Booker and Biden, though, do they share lane. And what is that lane? If so, wants to appeal to black voters. Yeah. And I, I mean, I think there might be like that age split of I think, like you said this earlier. Where Booker might be getting. Younger black voters who are kind of saying, like Yikes to what Biden said, do we want to support that guy and older black voters might tend to think we'll, he's electable? So we should vote for him because we don't want Trump. I don't know. I mean that's like that's no. I think simple split. I think that's a split in Biden support where he does much better among older, block, letters, bookers and can much of any more right now. I mean, booker's in the kind of at the crossroads where he's trying to be like, harasses. They're trying to be consensus choices right? They're trying to be on the scenario, which is not at all crazy, where voters say, you know, at burning a more on urge to far for me. But by news, awfully old and makes a lot of missteps right, and doesn't represent a new party. Therefore, what's the what's it compromise Harris Booker, but that's hard. It's kind of a long game strategy. It does when you're in a lot of cross traffic and competing for different types of voters, it, doesn't you can be a lot of people's second choices like booker's, favorability ratings are perfectly decent. But he's only the first. Choice of two percent of Democrats now or something. And so he doesn't have a particularly easy task. But he's someone who would hope to benefit as other candidates kind of eliminate themselves can somebody actually a lesson are please draw a diagram of all of the different lanes. I love trucks at cetera. And who they are? And what exactly they represent in the democratic primary? I would love that. I would love to see that picture. I also what is the best metaphor for presidential election? A mosh pit. Is it a race? Is it a Qarase? It's Qarase is so much better than the horse race car races better than race now so much. Very violent actually, there's jostle no car races their strategy and a lot of what jostling also car racing. Take a long frigging time horse race over in like two minutes. That's just go around and around. Maybe it's an iron around yet. Maybe it's like one of those, it's an go in the mudder, tough mudder. I used to love watching the ironman on TV whatever it is definitely has to be something where by the end, you're like this needs to be over. So a horse difference, you definitely France. Yeah. Okay. We'll go with a horse race when it's over. You're like wait. I missed it. Like I just went to get a drink for a second. And now it's true. I would like to hear listener suggestions for this. What is the best metaphor for presidential election? But as we wrap this up and move on to our next topic, and please do. Let us now as Mike and also a diagram for all you have different metaphors throughout the podcast, but before we do move on. How do we expect all of this to play out at the debates clear you said last week, it's not really going to be a debate. They're all going to have, like ten seconds to say, whatever they want, and they just got it. Got that sound bite in does the does the week since then kind of change your expectations at all for the fireworks that might emerge. No. I mean, listen, I think some candidates like Biden Sanders will be taking more incoming fire. I feel like we're, we're really going on war metaphors. Now every metaphor is like this. But I think that people like the second third tier candidates are really going to try to get in the statement. Purpose kind of thing if they have an overarching media narrative that they may be think is incorrect, about them or not advantages. I think the debate stage is is a time when they're going to try to use that. So I'm pretty much sticking with my this is not a debate. It's a soundbite fest, which we will be live blogging. If the candidates were driving down a highway, it's like the wastage mega. It's the way station. Yeah. You pull off you get weighed but there's not a lot of interaction and you pull back on, isn't it? Like, like people are cutting you off. Wherever we've crossed the worst metaphor Rubicon long ago in that case, maybe it's time to move on. Yes. President Trump last week, who tresident Trump said that we were on the brink of striking Iran, when he called off the operation. So let's discuss what's going on there? But before we do that today's podcast is brought to you by we work. We work designs builds and operates workspaces for small medium, and enterprise businesses in over four hundred locations and one hundred different cities around the world. We work and fivethirtyeight have partnered to bring you the way we work today. A series of articles that explores the best places to base your business in two thousand nineteen economies and city dynamics vary from market to market, and we're taking in deep dive into which ones provide the best ecosystem for your business to flourish. Of course, while taking into consideration any downsides to be aware of factors, such as the city's investment and economic development tax incentives and rates strength of workforce cost. Living and public infrastructure are only a few key aspects that business owners need to consider when figuring out where to base their business headquarters and satellite locations. Head over to fivethirtyeight dot com slash we work. To learn more about that series of articles, that's fivethirtyeight dot com slash we work. We're back and on Friday morning. President Trump tweeted confirmation of reports that he had ordered military strikes against Iran, and then call them off, citing potential casualties. This was after Iran reportedly shot, down, unmanned American drone flying in international airspace. So first of all, why did we find out about Trump calling off the air strikes? Is this something that could have just happened, and we never needed to find out about it? Why has this become such a public story? Well, I think because it was a last minute thing. And so he had gotten far enough into the process of ordering the air strikes. You know, once you've engaged that many parts of the government, and the military, it's going to leak, I think, and also. Like the Trump administration has never been sort of that oath Paik that's the right answer. Right. I mean, and then he also tweeted about it. You know, he talked about on Monday shot down unmanned drone flying in international waters. He said, we were cocked and loaded not locked and loaded to retaliate last night on three different sites. When I asked, how many will die a one hundred fifty people sir was the answer from general ten minutes before the strike. I stopped it not proportionate to shooting down unmanned drone. I am in no hurry. Our military is rebuilt new and ready to go by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting and more added last night around can never have nuclear weapons not against the USA and not against the world. What is he trying to tell people? Well, let's back up, I think someone is obviously alarmed at the fact that someone convinced the president to take strike at Iran. That is quite an escalation. I'm not sure I entirely take at face value, the president's explanation. Although perhaps it's true that he was only. Informed about casualties, right before or in the midst of the strike. Although I'm pretty sure that that's that's bad. Yoda call. But yeah, I think he is certainly trying to say, oh, I am cognizant of human life. I didn't want to kill people, but around should still be afraid because I might be willing to do this. But I thought it was in general, a very weird occurrence. I mean it just the fact that it got so far, and then it also leaked and then the president commented on it and continue to comment on it. But there's always been this part of Trump for a candidate and a president who lies so much, and Ferdinand ministration, which has sort of like obstructed investigations in a lot of wins. Even if you just look at, like, not responding to subpoenas stuff, there's also been this aspect to Trump of, like hyper transparency, at least intellect his own head. In a weird way, I saw some people make the point, for example, that, like you could totally magin, other presidents, having ordered the strike, and the gear start to turn later being like, oh, I don't wanna do this, but not ordering it off because they knew it would leak and they were frayed of Lucian beak. Yes. I think you're right that we have a pretty good insight into what Trump is thinking to me. I'm also interested in the conversations that happened leading up to that. And who you know what, what people are saying? John Bolton immediately comes to mind, given his long vocal desire to eliminate the Iranian regime, and I would say, if it got to this point, right where they were in the midst of launching an attack who's to say that it wouldn't happen again. Right. That Trump is Trump is kind of like now entered this sort of new paradigm of taunting Iraq, Iran almost right? Like with with. This but also saying, oh, but I'm not doing it. Yeah. We wanna do sanctions. I believe he said, we should enter into diplomatic arrangements, with them and, and try to negotiate this to which my immediate thought was, what treaty did we do the United States pull out of? But it was just an interesting series of transparent thoughts as mica has pointed out. I think it's pretty smart. The bomb. It's good to bomb stuff. No, I think look what you part is smart, narrow letdown. All you wrote a piece of a raider. Fivethirtyeight correspondent wrote a piece about deterrence theory. And there's some game theory involved, right? Where you want to be unpredictable. If your actions are easily readable, then in many, contexts, including wartime, you're easy to out strategize. I mean I is there enough data at this point to say that Trump is not someone who wants it military conflict? I mean, maybe you know, I don't know he's been pretty forgiving frankly of, of North Korea Lissa Iran, and you can get in the reasons for that. But the problem with being to peaceful, as at your you're able to attack. So maybe if he kind of defaults toward on the one hand, being fairly peaceful, or at least not wanting to involve Merican troops abroad, and in their hand being unpredictable enough that he can be a deterrent. You're saying the effect of the last minute switch might be good in the sense of sewing unpredictability in the minds of America's geopolitical. Rive. Vols. Right. Not that Trump sort of plan this, because I would seems a bridge too far to me. I mean they were out the story pretty quickly, right? There was like a lot of denial over it, it could be that bolt. Whatever wants to embarrass Trump presenting. But as with past stories, of course, Trump could have said, that's a lie. I never ordered this airstrike. And it wouldn't have been all that different from your Hoste Niles. Right. He very quickly and clearly said this is all true. This is exactly what I did. And this is why I did it to kind of like simplify a theme that Nate was getting too. And maybe this is too simple of a question to answer but is Trump Dover hawk? What is the supporting evidence on either side? I'm not sure we know the answer to that question was, I think it's too simplified of question, the sense of that. I don't think Trump has an overarching philosophy of international engagement that guide his actions in the way that Bush did or in the way that Clinton did so America first is not that overarching. Principle that guides has actions with tariffs with 'isolation as a he, he did reach a point where he supposedly the trigger for his air strikes against Syria was that he saw images of people who had been gassed with not America first America first. It's a very sort of capricious idiosyncratic kind of. Elation humanitarian intervention doctrine, whatever I don't think Trump has, like an overarching philosophy that kind of undergirds these actions. I think he's reacting on an ad hoc basis with chose in case like this, the hard question they answer is was Trump perceived as a dove, or hawk in two thousand sixteen and did that matter to people who supported him during the Republican primary, Trump was raided by voters as more moderate than the other candidates, or many of the other candidates, and more moderate than you would think based on his positions on immigration, for example. And the reason I think it's stuff like this of, of where he railed against Bush is, quote, foreign adventurism, you know, that kind of stuff or where he broke from the party on social security, and stuff like that, until I guess, I do wonder for like the Obama, Trump voters. Yes. Yes. Like non interventionist right during the campaign, I think that was kind of a line, he had, but also like a hawk domestically. If we can say that, right. Like immigration wise. It was we need to focus on the United States. But part of focusing on the United States was having these crackdown policies, these active policies, not passive will. This is generally our philosophy. It was no Muslims allowed in the United States. It's almost like hawkish nece transferred onto the domestic policy agenda. But just if you look at what Trump has done policy wise, especially legislation, it's mostly been normal Republican stuff. And, and if you look at polls voters now call Trump more more likely to Trump conservative than they used to be as opposed to moderate, right? And so, I wonder if going into into twenty twenty he's treated as more of a normal Republican, and people like the Obama, Trump voters sort of. Abandon him. Maybe we're seeing some of that in the polls or if stuff like this forestalls that to some extent, because he makes these high profile decisions, not to retaliate or not to get involved in, in conflicts abroad. It's ended like you're suggesting that maybe a more isolationist, dovish non interventionist at least approach is potentially attendant of the Trump Republican party. Do you think just people were like, okay? Well, he said this, and I like him, so I'm going to go along for the ride as they did with us on Russia. Or these tariffs. Is there a strong feeling of we need to be non interventionist within the Republican party that would actually be quite upset from any kind of intervention in Iran, or is it just a go with what the president says because I like the guy I don't know is honest answer. I think a conflict with Iran is something that Republicans do not wanna do I think the party still has a hangover from the Bush legacy of intervention. I mean. Bush kind of tramped all over the idea of fiscal conservatism, with those wars, but also the idea that the US could potentially be at odds with both Iran and North Korea at the same time. I mean, those are the two sort of countries on our horizon right now, when it comes to foreign policy, I'm guessing that makes a lot of people in the Republican establishment. Very nervous. What do we know about how the electorate feels about potential conflict? There's not a lot good pulling up to be honest Gaylon. He's that sounds like your confessing to a crime or something, obviously, the legacy of the Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly Iraq conflicts as I think, profoundly for the long term effect, effective, public views on kind of Bush style interventionist foreign policy. I think there's some level on, which Trump has a pitch that is, hey, look, I provide you with peace and prosperity and everything else is fake news. That is a harder pitch to make if we're in a kind of hot war against Iran, or anyone really apart from the words that he's trying to wind down, so no, there's not like a ton of I mean there is pulling it says, like if Iran were to strike us first, then there would be support for a retaliation the district on the stone. I guess. Right. But I think he's probably right. That I think politically, there are more risks. I don't know 'cause, you know, you can make the kind of wag the dog argument and boy, he's really unpopular and people kind of have a rally around the flag effect. Whatever else and like, yeah, if they were to be some country that we're to like. Run a big terrorist attack on the United States on US soil in particular, than, I think you'll be popular too, obviously retaliate. But the notion of like kind of having a war half the world away in the Middle East. Again, I don't think that would be popular earliest think there's more downside risk in upset Trump. Although you can argue that like he's not great position so he can afford to take more risk, feel portfolio, but I think here is instincts are probably right. We should also say, short of war farm policy, tends to not have a huge influence on on elections. And when you do poll about just, you know, how do people feel about how Trump is handling our relationship with Iran in general, it, honestly tracks pretty close to what has approved is overall in a Reuters poll in may so before all this happened. It was forty nine percent of Americans disapprove thirty nine percent approved. But in any case, I am getting word from Tony the. Control room that he wants to go watch the women's World Cup soccer game. So I think that actually means we have to wrap things up, but thanks so much guys. We're, of course, going to be back later this week to cover the both of the debates. We're going to have reaction pods both nights. So listeners, look in your feeds, are they for that? Are they to debates or is it in debate over two nights created new debates, because the people can't talk to each other over different nights, or at least they can't respond to each other like good question debate? It's debate this is like peak Nate. I wanna start a fight readers way in master debater, Nate silver, some punches in any case. Thank you Nate. Thank you Galen. Thank you, Claire thanksgiving. And thank you, Mike. Okay. Draw picture of all the metaphor stuff. What is the best metaphor for the for presidential election and are the debates this week two or one big? That's a lot of homework. That is. Yeah, but get back to us. All right. My name is Gail. Andrew Tony Chow is in the control room. Our intern is Jake Arlo. Can get touched by emailing us at podcast at five thirty eight dot com. You can also of course, tweeted us with any questions or comments if you're a fan of the show. Leave us a rating or review in the apple podcast store, or tell someone about thanks for listening, and we'll see.

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