The Fix Live

Apr 18, 2014

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

Follow @TheFix on Twitter.

Happy Friday!

Washington is shutting down early today because of the long Easter weekend but not before we do this chat. Priorities, right?

Before we start, the basics:

Soundtrack: Ambient noise

Drink: Caramel Latte

Location: Panera, yo.

Let's do this.

How worried should Cochran be about this primary challenge? And does McDaniels have any difficulty winning a general election?

Worried...although McDaniel has had a terrible last week as drips and drabs of dumb things he said as a radio host in the mid 2000s have come out.

I think McDaniel is more problematic as a potential nominee than he was a month ago, a point Cochran allies are trying to drive home -- reminding people of what happened with Akin and Mourdock in 2012.

If the Dems, hold the Senate, the House stays about the same and Dems gain a few governorships (thinking PA, FL and ME), what is the narrative coming from the GOP and would 2014 be considered a failure for them?

Stop after your first clause.

If Democrats hold the Senate, 2014 will be a failure for Republicans. Period.

Who would you rather be heading into November -- Landrieu or Pryor? Do you believe the recent string of polls showing Pryor up over Cotton?

I'd have said Pryor up until the last few weeks when Democrats who know stuff have convinced me Landrieu is actually more problematic.

I think both of them are in serious jeopardy unless the national political environment improves some.

She has no political future in Kansas, right?


We wrote on this:

What do you think of the chances that Chelsea Clinton's unborn baby has in the 2064 presidential election? I think we can safely say the fetus is clearly the frontrunner at the moment and has the donor network to scare off potential challengers to the nomination.

Don't forget the built-in name ID  he/she brings to the table...

Remember when she said she would only serve two terms? I guess she's the senator from Maine for life at this point, right?

She has that seat for as long as she wants it. The 2008 election convinced me of that. Bad year for Republicans, swing state and a real D opponent. And Collins won with more tha 60%.

Chris, I'm a big fan of your column and these discussion, but I do think this writer from has a point. Do you care to respond?

Well, calling me a "buffoon" is a nice start to a serious analysis.

What happens if we have a few more months of upbeat news about the Affordable Care Act? Nothing's going to change Republicans' minds, but what happens with Democrats and Independents?

The key for Obama/Democratic candidates is that the improved news on the ACA makes Democratic base voters more enthusiastic about voting this fall.

Right now, the issue isn't the relative popularity of the ACA. It's the passion gap. Republicans HATE the law. Democrats generally like it.

That passion mismatch is trouble if it sustains all the way through the fall. The more Democrats can close the gap, the better chance they have of breaking even in November.

I hate putting my contacts in my eyes. Just felt sharing.

True story: About 2 months ago, I got 2 new pairs of glasses.  While we were at the store, Mrs. Fix suggested I also gets contacts. I said sure.  In order for them to give you contacts though, you have to be able to put them in your eyes by yourself. After 20+ minutes of failure, I gave up.

Glasses 4 life.

Going for governor in 2016 -- is the only question mark his health? Republicans don't have anyone of note to challenge, right? And his last name clears the field on the Democratic side, correct?

He walks to the governorship.

Can a non-Joe Manchin Democrat still compete in a federal race in West Virginia?

Almost certainly not.  And not in a midterm election with the president as unpopular as he is in the state.

How did the Fix Family mark the Post's Squirrel Week last week? Is there any way you can top this awesomeness?

We ignored it. I hate that son of a bitch.

Did you happen to see the poster for Chris Klein's movie in which he wears dark-rimmed glasses? I mean, you could use that as your own pic and nobody would know.

I always thought I looked more like Brad Pitt....

Happy Political Reporters Day! I just made it up. Put me in charge of making stupid holidays.

Thanks so much. This is me celebrating:

Let's give a shout out to The Artist Formely Known as Fix Felicia in China.

Absolutely. A GREAT Twitter follow -- still!

but he performs quite well in polls of 2016 Republicans. Why? Name ID? The Fox News gig? His appeal to social conservatives?

Name ID + his 2008 campaign was a sort of feel good effort. He didn't really get attacked, he was happy all the time, he played in a band.

I think Huck knows that if he ran again, he would get savaged for his record on taxes and spending while governor of Arkansas and would have a ton of trouble re-creating his success from 08.

Is there a funnier character on TV than Jonah from Veep? Give him the Best Supporting Actor Emmy now.

Hepatitis J?


And I assume you saw this?

He has some nerve arbitrarily ranking people without ever having firsthand experience in the process, right?

I know exactly who sent this question in. And, I don't share his distate for MKJR

Nobody will sign up. They did. Oh, it's who signs up, I mean. Come on-Obamacare is not the albatross the Beltway media is portraying it as. It's a codeword for conservatives but it's no different in that regard from Benghazi. The gloom and doom for Democrats due to the ACA is way off.

Don't disagree. But Democratic base voters need to show they feel the same way. Again, the issue isn't the overall numbers on the ACA, it's the intensity question.

Every Republican 2016 poll produces a 6- or 7-way tie. But I would say that, for all the flak he's received from conservative activists, Jeb Bush polls pretty well among most groups of Republicans.

Jeb is the frontrunner if he runs. No question.

If not, it's a free for all.

...that by November Obamacare is working well (in terms of quality of care available, and without too many people experiencing jolting premium increases) and the economy continues improving, so that the Democrats can hang on to their Senate majority?

Hmmm...maybe a 35%-40% chance.

Remember that one of the big issues for Democrats is the states where these targeted Senate races are happening.

Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia...not a lean D state among them.

. . . still five months to Election Day; will there come any point at which you re-think your position that Obamacare is an albatross for the Democrats?

It's not my position.

Polling data suggests -- and has suggested for quite some time -- that Republicans loathe the law while Democrats like it.

Midterms are base election and when one base is far more activated than the other, it usually spells trouble for the less activated side.

As I said above, if the news about the ACA of late energizes Democrats, we could be looking at a far more even election. But it's not shown up yet in polling.

In his chat earlier this week, Aaron Blake said he would beat you in a steel cage match. Care to rebut?

I would waste him in a tables, ladders and chairs match.

Who is more likely to lose McConnell to Grimes or Reid to Sandoval (assuming conditions are relatively neutral)

Reid to Sandoval.

1. New album from "The Both": Aimee Mann and Ted Leo! 2. New music from Jamestown Revival! Kinda country-rock. 3. Not new, but please check out Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart . . . if one song, give "Waterlily" a listen.

LOVED the Tiny Desk Concert of Aimee Mann and ted Leo.

Also, I really like the new "War on Drugs" album. And the new Sun Kil Moon.

Odds that Vance McAllister loses his House seat if he runs for reelection in November? And that a Democrat could gain it?

VERY likely he loses in a GOP primary if he runs.  VERY unlikely a Democrat wins the seat.

The program is doing far better than many expected six months ago. If, in another six months, things continue to go smoothly, does this impact GOP turnout at the polls for the midterms? In other words, at what point will anger over the ACA start to dissipate? (Or does it ever?)

For the Republican base, I am not sure the anger/dislike will ever dissipate. I am sure it won't dissipate before November.

Isn't it obvious it was the Tyrells? They have the motive, the means, Margaerey didn't seem at all concerned when Joffrey started choking and the grandmother said that thing about the Red Wedding to Sansa mid episode

Yeah, but....

Margaery is now not queen and their family is just another rich family.

Hi Chris, Let's say that Jeb Bush doesn't run, and Marco Rubio's earlier immigration efforts trip him up in the GOP primaries. It's down to Rand Paul and Ted Cruz: which one is less unpalatable to the GOP mainstream? (We'll also pretend that Ryan, Walker, et al are not factors here.)

No way.

Ryan/Walker/Kasich/Jindal/Christie all are credible establishment picks that would challenge Rand and Cruz.

Man, that questioner is behind the times. Why would anyone wait until 50 to run for president any more?

Really good point.

How many seats do Republicans need to win 2014 to maintain control of the Senate after the 2016 election?

In the 52-53 range methinks.

I wrote about it here.

By November how will Independent voters feel about Obamacare, and will they vote those views accordingly at the polls?

Not sure.

But remember that indies are less likely to vote in midterms than in presidential races.

"Buffoon." I thought he said "Baboon." (haha). All writers have thick skin, right?

Um, yes [he says with a trace of sarcasm in his voice]

Do you have a rooting interest in any of the remaining four Champions League teams? I just hope Bale rips off a couple beastly goals for Madrid next week.

I like Bayern despite the fact that Robben annoys the crap out of me.

How would you rate the Republican intensity level in 2014 as compared to 2010, which was a disaster for Democrats? If 2010 was 100, it seems this year is 70-80, especially with the Tea Party wing somewhat squelched. What do you think?

Makes sense to me.  Also, we are still a ways from the November election so it remains to be seen where GOP intensity (and D intensity) sits by then.

... is Cliven Bundy?

Read this:

Chris, There's lots of discussion about this in terms of demography, generational politics, etc. In your opinion, how likely is it that Texas ever turns blue - or even purple? And if so, can you compare it politically to a state right now? (i.e. it will break down similar to the way that ___ does now.) Thanks.


I think the 2022 governor's race -- which would be open assuming Greg Abbott wins this fall and serves two terms would be, demographically speaking, a real chance for Democrats statewide.

If I was skeptical of Scott Brown's chances before he entered the Senate race, has anything happened to change my mind?

Nope.  It's been a rough start for Downtown Scotty B.

Chris, I asked the Rand vs. Cruz question. I agree on how unlikely the scenario is. But between the two, which one gives the GOP establishment more of a headache? In a GOP primary or otherwise.

Oh, sorry,

Rand by far.

Dude, I LOVE Ambient Noise! Their hit single "Elevator is Coming" rocked my world in 2011. :)


I've never answered a poll question honestly in my entire life (I'm waaaay older than you) and I don't know anyone else that has either. Most people joke about how stupid polls are. So why do politicians and the media depend on them so much?

Because they are statistically sound sampling of the electorate.

The fact that someone hasn't been polled is not a sign that polls are invalid. They rely on a representative sample of 500-1000 people. So, in a country this large, it's uniquely possible you will never be polled in your entire life. 

Unless you live in Iowa or New Hampshire, that is.

Has the Congressman resigned yet? Feel free to use the term "Canoodle".

The canoodling Congressman? Not yet.

If it turns into Paul vs. Cruz vs. Someone Else, my life savings is on Someone Else being the nominee.

Someone else -- if that someone is the "establishment" candidate -- is still the likeliest nominee if recent history is any guide.

See Fargo on FX this week?

Have not but planning to. The Fix family is still getting caught up on The Americans.

What are the frontrunning cities for the Democrats and Republicans in 2016?

For GOP: Vegas and Dallas.

Dem effort less far along.


Did you mean a chutes and ladders match?

Yes, of course I did.

The Tea Party is recruiting Sen Coburn to help get state legislatures to convene[Article 5]for purposes of nullifying existing laws; bypassing Congress. Your opinion on feasibility and effects on civil society if successful.

Not going to happen.

I always thought you had a Buddy Holly thing, myself.

I'll take it!

Why do I not care about McAllister kissing a staffer? I get that he's married, I do love the schadenfreude of a conservative "family values" party member getting caught being naughty, but really? For some reason this just isn't a big deal to me (full disclosure: Not a Lousianan). Am I too jaded?

Well, the problem for him is, as you note, he ran as a family values conservative and he has been in office for less thsan 6 months.

Other ambitious politicians see how wounded he is and are swarming.

There's so many polls from so many different pollsters and the rise of cell phone only households and getting accurate samples of the electoral when we don't know who is going to show up in November and in what numbers and very public missteps by the brand name pollsters, what's a politics enthusiast to do? Whose numbers should we trust? Who has the accurate read on the races?

It's so so hard now.

I use the few polls I know are good -- WaPo-ABC, NBC-WSJ -- and then look at the basic trendlines in polling on all specific races.

Should we expect him to denounce Rand Paul as a peace-at-any-price wimp?

He might. And that might help Paul with some Republican voters.

If McDaniel wins, Childers is a serious candidate, and maybe even the favorite, given what a numbskull McDaniels sounded like this week. True?

Not the favorite. But it becomes a semi-real race that both parties keep an eye on.

Can we be honest with ourselves here? It could come out that McDaniel killed a man and he would still beat Childers. This is Mississippi, not Nevada, not Missouri, not Indiana. Demographics are destiny and (white) people in Mississippi are now firmly enough committed to the GOP it's going to take a lot more than a Senate candidate making statements a lot of them agree with to make them elect a Democrat

This argument is why I think McDaniel starts the race -- if he is the GOP nominee -- as the favorite.

I recently discovered the series "Borgen" about a Danish PM - Have you seen it? Fantastic inside politics television - sort of "The West Wing" but in Denmark

Where does it run?

With 1 being Pope Francis and 10 being Richard Nixon, how checkered is your shirt today?


If I took a trip to New Hampshire the week before the Presidential primary, how likely is it that I could shake the hand of many of the candidates? Or only attend a speech? Are they really everywhere like is portrayed on TV, or are these events mainly just for big party supporters? Thanks for the insight.

You could DEFINITELY shake the hand of multiple candidates -- assuming you were willing to go to event to see them. 

Governor. 40s. Preferrably minority but not necessarily. Can appeal to the libertarian streak in the party. Has Kemp-style ideas. Smart, but can also appeal to Christian Right. Would pick woman gov VP. Doesn't Jindal fit that mold better than anyone?

Maybe. But he is WAY on the wonky side, had an unneven (at best) introduction to the national press in 2009 and is not all that popular in his home state.

How about the Pew Charitable Trust? Are they Fix-Approved?

Oh heck yeah. 

Anyone starting to talk about maybe having to respond, or is everyone still so gun-shy from the recent conflicts that they're totally ignoring the possibility?

My knowledge of Russia begins and ends with "The Americans".

Smart idea: backing a gun-control group that will play the long game and organize at the grassroots. Dumb idea: being the public face of that movement *at all*. Bloomberg seems deluded about how he's viewed west of the Hudson. Jane Fonda has been active behind the scenes in liberal politics for many years. She's kept a low profile, because she understands how controversial she is. Bloomberg should emulate her.

Great minds!

Clinton-Kane vs. Walker-Paul

Rand as VP? I am skeptical.

I would expect him to stay out of the GOP nomination race, unless Jeb gets in. If his brother does run, I'm sure W will do all he can to help, but that will be mostly behind the scenes. (I'm sure plenty of Republican donors and officeholders would be thrilled to take his call). If any of the candidates engages in hardline anti-immigration rhetoric, I wouldn't be surprised to hear W speak out. But otherwise I expect to him to maintain a low profile.

I agree with all of this.

Assuming that at least * some* Independent voters who viscerally oppose Obamacare nonetheless sign up for it, then find it's a better deal for them than whatever they used to have -- would they still vote for opponents of Obamacare in November, or would they vote Democratic?

A very goood question -- and one I don't know the answer to.

I'm writing this from the future. When are teams going to stop picking college centers with injury history? Why did so many teams pass on Aaron Gordon when we all knew he was the next Shawn Marion?

My top 3




Which female character is Mrs. Fix most like-the old lady, the coldblooded killer, or the double-crossing vixen?

There is absolutely no right answer in here for me.

My ranking of top GOP candidates: 1. Jeb 2. Paul 3. Cruz 4. Walker 5. Christie 6. Jindal 7. Perry 8. Santorum 9. Kasich. I'm assuming that Rubio and Ryan don't run.

That's a totally fair ranking. And would be darn close to how I would rank them.

That's all folks!

Thanks for spending the hour with me. Remember that we do this thing every Friday at 11 am. Spread the word.

Have a great long(ish) weekend. May you find many easter eggs.

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 sons.
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