midterm election

‘That’s not a red wave’ What John King sees so far in midterm elections transcript

Interviewer (00:00:00)

Right now, based on the numbers that we have available this moment, we believe that Republicans are still on their way to achieving what they need to achieve in the 82 total competitive house districts, John.

Interviewee (00:00:17)

Clear favorites Republicans, even now as we approach 2:00 A.M, are clear favorites to win a House majority, but it’s a big but, there is still a small possibility, modest possibilities, shouldn’t call it small, modest possibility Democrats could hold the majority. Did you think we’d be having that conversation at two o’clock in the morning? And if Republicans do win the majority now because we’re getting fewer and fewer races still on the board, it’s likely to be a more narrow majority, is another way to look at it. You just laid it out the smartest way. I’ll get there, building it down from the top. This is where we stand right now, leading the vote. These are not called races. This is leading the vote. But if this were over right now. The Republicans would have a three-seat majority in the House of Representatives. It’s not over. But think about the narrow realm we’re talking about now. You mentioned earlier the night Kevin McCarthy, early in the year, said 60 seats. Some Republicans in the last week have been saying 30 seats. We are not in that ballpark 219, 216 leading right now. In terms of called race is 193 to 269. Republicans clearly are getting close. It’s 218 in terms of the called races. They’re getting close. This is what you were talking about here in the races that are still uncalled, and the Democrats leading in more of the competitive seats, you would say that’s good for the Democrats. It is good for the Democrats. It’s not good enough to prevent the House majority. We’re not done yet again. But where we stand right now, it looks like the Republicans are on a path to get a narrow majority. But I want to step back again and look at this map, Right? That’s not a red wave. That’s nothing like a red wave. That could end up being enough for Republicans to get a small House majority, maybe a modest House majority, depending on how you define it. But that is a very competitive map in which a lot of Democrats in frontline districts scratched and clawed their ways to victory. That includes we talked earlier tonight in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania — I mean, in Virginia, a one-off here with these races are off the board. Let me come up. That’s uncalled. Let me come out of there. And you look, Democrats won two of the three. They won this one here, a more democratic district. They should have won. But if there were a red wave, that would be read. It is not, if there were a big red ripple. Next one down. Sorry, let me come over here to Abigail Spanberger, even a big red ripple. This one would be red. It is not. And so these frontline Democrats scratched and clawed, not just in Virginia, you come out to Ohio, you see all this blue, they picked up a seat. This is a pickup that was a Republican incumbent. That will now be a new Democratic congressman. So on a night when Democrats were supposed to lose a lot, you’d like to pick up some to offset that, there’s one right there in Cincinnati, even though the Republican governor one big, even though the Republican Senate candidate won reasonably comfortably. Marcy Kaptur, again, a veteran Democrat stretching it out against a January 6th participant who lied about military service. Good candidate beats bad candidate here in Ohio, so you just come back out, you can keep going through these races. Let’s go out to Colorado right now. The Democratic governor wins big. The Democratic senator, Republicans said they were going to give him the race of a lifetime. They did not in the House races. Right out here. This is Lauren Boebert. Many of you May have heard of her, a more controversial pro-trump member of the House Republican conference only at 83%. There’s a ways to go here. There’s room for her to catch up, but it’s supposed to be the Democrats on their heels, and here you have a Republican incumbent.

Interviewer (00:03:36)

Just for people to understand, this is a district that is R plus eight. And right now, she still might pull it out. But the fact that it’s so competitive says there’s something going on here that certainly Kevin McCarthy, who we expect to come out and speak live at any moment. Certainly, Kevin McCarthy did not see coming at all.

Interviewee (00:03:57)

Right. And so I’ve been texting with some House Republicans and Republican consultants more who work with the House consultant, and you’re looking at this again, Lauren Barber has time and room with 83%. She may still pull this out. But the sarcastic conversation among Republicans right now is if you’re going to have a five or six-seat majority, would you rather have five and not her? Because she’s one of the agitators, The Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Lauren Boebert, the members of the Freedom Caucus. If Kevin McCarthy has a very narrow majority, are going to be on the phone with Donald Trump all the time. What do you want us to tell him to do? So that’s the calculation now. McCarthy, with a 10, 15, 20 seat majority, has a leash, has some room, has some maneuverability. McCarthy with a very small majority like that. It’ll be a really interesting Washington and Jake, especially if you take this. It’s not a final number, but this is trending toward it. It looks there’s still a possibility that Democrats keep the majority, looks like the Republicans get a relatively narrow majority. And then you come here, and you’re looking at a map where Mitch McConnell right now, if he hasn’t gone to bed, is having one more fine Kentucky Bourbon –

Interviewer (00:05:02)
Interviewee (00:05:02)

Because once again, he has looked at a map and said, I have a chance to be the majority leader, and he’s still possible, but that is not-

Interviewer (00:05:11)

But I also know Mitch McConnell is saying Donald Trump pushed nominees in states that we could have won. And those nominees, whether Mehmet Oz or others, blew it.

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