The Fix Live

Jun 29, 2012

The Fix's Chris Cillizza discussed the latest political news.

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Good morning everyone! Sorry for missing last week's chat -- I has a wisdom tooth out.  Not fun. Trust me I would rather have been chatting with you.

Kind of a busy week in American politics.  So let's get to it.

A few months ago, I thought Democrats were out of their minds to believe that Obama had the race wrapped up. Now, I think Republicans are out of their minds to believe that Romney has the race wrapped up. This still looks like a very close race to me.

Yes.  The truth is that NOTHING seems to move the numbers on the presidential election. NOTHING.

The vast majority of people have made up their minds on the race already. There are somewhere between 7-12 percent of undecided voters still out there but no one seems to know what will move their votes.

It's a very odd election. Lots of big things are happening but they don't seem to effect the underlying dynamics of the race.

I guess there's no one else to put on the Veep list when you include the governor of Puerto Rico. That's not just thinking outside of the box but on a completely different project.

I think the top 5 are people who could genuinely be picked.  Beyond that I think it's people who the Romney folks want mentioned for a variety of reasons and/or people who want their own names mentioned for a variety of reasons.

Speaking of the Veepstakes, here's my last ranking:  Link

I was interested to see Pat Toomey did not make your top 10 VP list. Given his conservative credentials and position as a senator from Pennsylvania, I would have thought he'd get more consideration. Any particular reason for the omission?

Not really. I have pegged him as a potential darkhorse pick. I think it's still unlikely -- hence "darkhorse" -- but his resume on fiscal conservatism and the fact that he is from a swing state (or a potential swing state) is intriguing...

Chris, I heard you on NPR last night discussing the Eric Holder issue. Just want to ask how you can stay so in the middle when the partisans on both sides are going at it.

Well, I don't have a dog in the fight -- as hard as that is for some people to believe.

I am fascinating by the political strategy, how the two parties and their candidates deal with the ever changing political landscape. That's what I care about and coming at things from that perspective makes it a lot easier not to take sides.

Powerfully rank these teams' chances to win: Portugal, Germany, Spain, England, Italy, France. (Surprise me, Greece.) I still like Germany.


Germany lost yesterday to Italy.  The final -- Italy vs Spain -- is Sunday.

So, I like Italy and Spain. Spain will probably win but I am rooting for Italy. They are, after all, my people.

Why are large Democratic donors so skittish about giving to Super PACs? Complacency? Discomfort with the post-Citizens United universe? Disappointment with Obama? Are they starting to get the message that Obama will probably be outspent on the airwaves this year?

I think major D donors, for the most part, believe there is too much money in politics and don't want to exacerbate the problem.

They also tend to want to give to good government groups and policy-oriented efforts as opposed to things like super PACs that are purely political.

I go back and forth--about whether I'm surprised. Teens are mean. They are petty about immutable traits. Did people not know this?

Bullying sucks -- no matter how old or young you are.

Connie Mack IV has run a pretty bad campaign so far, but polling shows he's still close to Bill Nelson. Does that indicate an unhappiness with Nelson (and maybe Democrats generally), or do voters think they're voting for Connie Mack's dad, Connie Mack III?

A little of both.

Nelson has never been super popular with Florida voters. He's been somewhat lucky -- remember that in 2006 Republicans inexplicably nominated Katherine Harris and Nelson crushed her.

To be clear, Mack has not done much right in the campaign to date. But, he does have a golden last name in Florida politics which means he is going to win the primary and will give Nelson a run for his money in the general.

Of her three primary opponents, who would Claire McCaskill most like to face? Who would she least like to face?

I think sd like to face Todd Akin because he's a sitting member of Congress, which isn't a good thing is this environment.

Brunner has a good outsider profile and personal money, which could be challenging for McCaskill. At the same time, he is a first time candidate which comes with its own problems.

Do you think that Democrats will be able to convert Darrell Issa's contempt citation against Holder as proof Republicans still want to play political games?

I think the vast majority of the country -- outside of the 2 party bases -- either doesn't know or doesn't care about the issue.

That makes it hard to score political points -- either way.

So, is it Eric Holder or every UVa grad in DC?

We went with Antonin Scalia. (Holder won the last 2 "Worst Weeks".)


I saw with interest a few days ago the Bloomberg poll that had Obama up by 13. I doubt that anyone other than the pollster who did the poll believes it (I don't believe it), but most polls show the election as being close, which I tend to believe. But all these polls say they have a margin of error of about 3 percent. How can they all have a margin of error of 3 percent and yet be so far apart. I'd also note that Rasmussen often seems to be about 3 or 4 points more Republican than anyone else. Any comments? Are there polls we should just ignore?

Ann Selzer, who conducts the Bloomberg poll, is a very good (and proven) pollster. We did, however, write a fair amount about what might have made that poll and outlier.

Here's what we wrote:  Link

And here's what Ann wrote on the poll: Link

How does the Romney campaign like the national GOP sucking the air out the room with Fast and the Furious? The only advantage Romney has is on handling of the economy. He's better off with Congress doing nothing, which isn't hard, than with his party doing something that resonates with just his base and shows Republicans not fixing the economy.

Assuming that most people are following "Fast and Furious" closely seems like a mistake to me.

Chris, we all know the toss up states because that's where all of the campaign action is. If you had to guess, which lean state would not surprise you if it flip. Not in a so called wave election, but within the current dynamics, is there state that most consider to be slightly leaning towards Mr. Romney that could unexpectedly go blue and vice versa?

For Romney: PA

For Obama: AZ

I think PA is more likely to for Republicans than Arizona is to go for Democrats though...

Have The Mix Live. Cocktail chat!

Good idea. Particularly at the end of this week. I think we could all use a cold one.

How soon do you think the Dems can win Texas in a Presidential elections? The big cities are already blue and the demograhics are changing. Thank you.


Have you read Jeff Goldberg's piece in The Atlantic about Bruce Springsteen and Chris Christie?

This piece:  Link

Not yet. But I hear good things. It's on the reading list.

More likely presidential candidate in 2016 -- Cory Booker or Rahm Emanuel?

Neither. But Rahm.

True/False: Jon Huntsman has no future in Republican electoral politics.


Huntsman has as must chance of re-emerging in GOP politics as the Wizards second pick in the NBA Draft (Not Bradley Beal) has of being a star  -- ever.

If Cory Booker doesn't run for governor in 2013 against Chris Christie, which seems more likely, what Democrat steps up?

GREAT question.

Frank Pallone?


Rob Andrews?

Does the polling we're seeing in the North Dakota Senate race just reflect the fact that many voters haven't engaged and the Republican tilt of the state will reassert itself as we get closer to the election? Or is Rick Berg just not very popular?

Little of both.

I still think that North Dakota race leans toward Republicans because the top of the ballot drag on Heitkamp is going to be tough.

True/False: The North Dakota race will be more competitive than the Missouri race?


I think McCaskill is a slight underdog but I think he wins before Heitkamp does.

OK fix, did Boehner schedule the Holder contempt vote yesterday so that it would be buried by the Health Care ruling coverage? Or issa no truth to that rumor?

I have no reporting that can prove anything conclusive.  That said, there are a total of ZERO coincidences in politics.

How excited are you that we have someone crazy like Balotelli to counter Spain's snorefest? And is there a more attractive European crowd than Spain-Italy?

I am thrilled about Super/Crazy mario being in the mix. But I feel like Spain is (again) going to take the air out of the ball, dominate possession and win 1-0.

Pitts and Syracuse are leaving the conference. If you are the conference commissioner, what are your plans?

Are Pitt and Syracuse still accredited institutions of higher learning?

Are you a fan of Political Wire? Fivethirtyeight? RealClearPolitics?

Love them all.

Also really like what Buzzfeed is doing in covering the campaigns. And read Molly Ball at the Atlantic. She is good. And Ashley Parker at NYT. And you need to read everything Dan Balz writes about the campaign. It's necessary.

Does the Romney money raised in 1 day a big deal?

Not really. It gives them a way to push back against the idea that this was a big loss for them though.

They were very fun at Wolf Trap last night, FYI. Brandi Carlile was amazing.

I freaking love them. I am bummed I missed it.  Set list? Email me at

Hi, do you think Mitt Romney has already gained the independent vote, and must "only" be focused in latin and black votes? Thanks.

Um, no.

Was the contempt action any more than political Kabuki in terms of concrete impact on life as we know it?

Here's my take:

The SCOTUS announcement brought some excitement back to a sleepy race. What is the next big story in the election we should be looking out for?

Next Friday's June job numbers.

Um, that question was submitted last week. Look at the date.

AHA! That explains a lot.

should be Dana Carvey's "Chopping Broccoli."

For the win.

Is there any possible way Fast & Furious appeals to people who otherwise might have voted for Obama?

Is there ANYONE in the Republican base who was thinking of voting for Obama? I doubt it.

The next time you answer a particularly difficult question on MSNBC or Hardball, you should rip off your shirt and pose like Balotelli.

If I was built like Balotelli, I would NEVER wear a shirt.

From a fellow Hoya, how disappointed are you that Syracuse came out on top last night in the nba draft? #HoyaSaxa

If Dion Waiter is a big star in the NBA I will eat my hat.

Does Don Verrilli get some redemption for his WWIW back in March?

YES. Read:

What's the best political film you've seen? And what are your thoughts on VEEP?


Best political book ever: "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren. I am open to suggestions on best movie.

How does Cristiano Ronaldo not even take a PK?

Too busy fixing his hair to get it to look just right.


Folks I have to beg off a little early because I am -- self promotion alert! -- guest hosting Andrea Mitchell's show at 1 pm and I need to, you know, prepare.

Thanks for reading. And make sure to pre-order your copy of "The Gospel According to the Fix". It's out July 10!


In This Chat
Chris Cillizza
Chris Cillizza is the managing editor of PostPolitics and he writes "The Fix," a politics blog for The Washington Post. He also covers the White House for the newspaper and website. Chris has appeared as a guest on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and CNN to talk politics. He lives in Virginia with his wife and son.
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