The Fix Live

May 23, 2014

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

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Good morning everyone. The Memorial Day getaway is upon us -- it's getting to be a ghost town already in DC -- but the live chat will not let beautiful weather and the impending long weekend stop it.

Let's do this thing.

It's a matter of when, rather than if, Shinseki goes, right? Obama has usually been reluctant to fire his appointees, but few people seem willing to back the secretary.

I certainly think so. I wrote about Shinseki in a certain feature I do called Worst Week in Washington....

Do you think she can make Oregon competitive in the fall? Gordon Smith was more conservative (pro-life) and he won two elections, and lost by only 3% in one of the worst R years ever.

Has to be  a pretty bad national environment for Democrats and I think Merkley has to make a mistake or two.

But Wehby's primary victory -- even if it came amid lots of bad headlines about her personal life -- puts Oregon in the possible if not likely camp for Republicans.

Is he now the odds on favorite to win the senate race?

I think Shannon is a slight favorite over Lankford. Odds on? Not sure about that.

Who's the favorite in the runoff for the Republican nomination for Senate in Georgia?

I would think David Perdue given that he finished first in the primary and Kingston being a member of Congress.

The way Kingston wins -- and it's possible -- is to paint Perdue as the moderate in the race.

Journalists are just despairing at this possibility, aren't they? A snoozer of a Democratic race, a pretty predictable GOP race (Jeb beats Rand Paul), and then a general election featuring two very well-known figures. No fun for them,

Don't agree.

I think Jeb vs Hillary would be an absolutely amazing race.  Tons of fascinating dynamics.

Who do you give the edge to in July? My guess is most of Handle's votes go to Kingston. Agree?

See above. if that's true, Kingston can and maybe will win.  Look, the three tea party candidates -- Handel, Broun and Gingrey -- didn't make the runoff. Their votes are critical to Perdue and Kingston.

I just don't know if Kingston can legitimately sell himself as a tea party guy.

Hi- have you followed up on this? Some interesting reporting on the number of Republican write-in votes in a number of counties and the fact that in one county the R running for Lieutenant Governor got more votes than the Governor.. Also- any thoughts if ending the fight against marriage equality in PA will hurt Gov Corbett's reelection efforts in getting out the base? Thanks

Until I see polling that says otherwise, I think Corbett is going to lose -- almost not matter what he does.

His numbers are dismal. They seem to be getting slightly better but I think Tom Wolf winning the Democratic nomination was worse case scenario for the incumbent.

Wolf is rich and has no record.  Hard to demonize him -- which would be the only path that Corbett has to win.

Allyson Schwartz, Paul Broun, and Phil Gingrey. All 3 ran horrible primaries and now will be leaving congress and lobbying in the fall (ok maybe they had the best week in Washington, big pay raise).

All three didn't do much.

I think Schwartz was the worst of the bunch because with her Philly base and fundraising ability most people -- including me -- assumed she would be the favorite to be the Democratic nominee.

Instead, Wolf beat her by 40! points.

Here's my winners and losers from Tuesday if you missed it:

What do you think is the likelihood of Democrats picking up the Kentucky or Georgia seat in November?

Kentucky is a better chance than Georgia.

I am working on a big piece about McConnell and why he is more vulnerable than conventional wisdom in DC dictates.

I know that polling shows Nunn running even or ahead of both of the potential GOP nominees but I just think it's much harder  for her to win with either Kingston or Perdue as the nominee than it would have been if Republicans nominated Broun or Gingrey.

Note that because of Oregon's vote-by-mail system, most votes in that primary were cast before all the awful stories about her personal life. Who knows how those will play in the general.

Agreed. She got lucky there.

I'm not sure how it plays in the general election either. It did take some of the excitement out of her victory for Republicans who believe she has a real chance though,.

What % chance do you give her to beat McConnell in the fall?


It won't be competitive. Please stop trying to expand the map just so you have more interesting things to write about. You lose credibility.

I said that Merkley would have to make several mistakes and the political environment would have to be really bad for Democrats nationally.

Not sure how much clearer I can be. The race is on the third or fourth tier. But, Wehby has an appealing bio (in theory) and will raise money.

Those Iowa Democratic caucusgoers interviewed in the Post seemed to be saying: 1. We're all for Hillary. 2. We understand that all other Democrats are for Hillary. 3. So there shouldn't be a race. 4. But pay attention to us anyway! Please, please, please...


This is the story:

With 100 being the Mountain and 0 being the guy pleading for mercy, what are the current chances of Jeb Bush running in 2016? Also, my money's on the Imp's Chamion winning..

So amazing.

I think it's less than 505-50. I'll give it a 41.

Where does this race stand? It feels 50-50 right now with the nursing home scandal still not resolved.

I thoiught McDaniel was going to win. But this whole nursing home thing with Cochran's wife so close to the June 3 primary is really really bad. 

I now think Cochran might pull it out. But, as past primaries in 2010 and 2012 have shown us, predicting primaries is so hard because of the turnout variations.

What hot primaries are you still watching?

Next Tuesday -- eh.  Ralkph Hall might lose in TX runoff. And the siting LG in Texas looks likely to lose.

June 3, now we are talking.

MS Senate GOP primary

IA Senate GOP primary

California primary

What are your thoughts on Klinnsman's 23-man roster for Brazil?

I am ok with Donovan not making it.  His whole spiritual mission thing over the past few years coupled with what I assume was his resistance to taking a reduced role on the squad makes him probably better off the team.

That said, I am not optimistic about our chances of making it out of the group stage -- with or without Landon.

Regarding Gordon Smith, why has he not run for office again? He was pretty popular and I would think he could have been competitive in the Gov race.

I think that Senate race really devastated him.

With Georgetown currently getting 100/1 odds to win the National Championship, I'm wondering if betting our alma mater makes sense.

VERY good recruiting class coming. Of course, coming to a team that didn't even make the tournament last year....

Is it a given that if Hillary is in, everyone known is out? Why can't there be a substantive challenge to her from inside the Democratic Party, and wouldn't that challenge be healthier if it involved a real discussion of issues?

Not everyone will be out.

I think martin O'Malley could run no matter what. Brian Schweitzer seems to want to run. Bernie Sanders might run.

How is early polling showing McConnell vs. Grimes? And couldn't she have gotten her husband-to-be to legally change his last name to "Trueheart", "Burbonmaker", "Wildcat", or ""?

Very very close.

The McConnell team argues that his numbers are artificially low because some more conservative Republicans haven't rallied around him -- but will.

Democrats push back that McConnell is both very well known and not at all liked, a typically deadly combo in politics.

Mark Cuban. He has given talking cable heads in Washington something to talk about.

Pretty dumb.

Will she have the money to compete?

Um, yes. She is raising money like gangbusters.  

Anything interesting in regards to rising stars w/statewide or national ambitions?

Pete Aguilar.  Mayor of Redlands. Running for Congress.

And check out our awesome 4-0 under 40 piece....detailing the pols you might not know but should...

Is he in the witness protection program, or just fitting in well as a back bencher in the Senate?

Taking the Hillary Clinton path...lay low for a while. Booker is SO young he can bide his time.

Which is closer in Arkansas? The Governor or the Senate?

Oooh.  At the moment, I think governor since it's close to tied.

Pryor seems to have a mid-ish single digit lead over Cotton.

Has anyone fallen faster and harder (without a scandal) than David Dewhurst? From the overwhelmingly likely Senator from Texas to likely losing a runoff for his current job as LG?

Charlie Crist?

Chances he runs if Clinton does/does not? He is going to cruise to re-election and will probably get a lot of republican votes.


Sarah Palin endorsed Karen Handel, who didn't even make the GOP runoff. Is this a sign of Palin's waning influence (except among her true-believers)?

Sort of. I also think it's a sign that endorsements just don't matter that much in general.

I thought they used to get along...and even have some respect for each other. Is that all over now?

Oh yes. All over.

Would you agree that Republicans should be just as worried about the 2016 senate map as they are excited about this year's map?

Heck yeah. I wrote about it!

How do you look at the Democratic primary to succeed Jim Moran? The candidates seem so alike that this could be a race where the Post's endorsement will be a major thing.

That's the 8th. I expect Don Beyer to win.

Read this:

Is this really a good move for him right now?

Here's the deal: He's a rising D star in a state where Democrats are probably four years (at a minimum) from winning statewide. So, he needs another place to bide his time until the state's demographics change.

So, I think it's the best of a variety of not all that great next steps for him.

When is it? Any interesting Races?

June 3. And there are a TON. We will do a big rundown on Fix next week. Stay tuned.

Worst Week has to go to Ser Jorah. All his hopes were crushed as he figured out he will never leave the friend zone!

Poor Ser Jorah. Liam from "Nashville" totally aced him out.

Even though McConnell won, should he be worried that he only got 60 percent?

Not really. Whether he got 51, 60 or 90, he was always going to have a very serious race against ALG.

Does Beyer cruise to victory in the Eighth District primary in June because of name recognition and "establishment" support, or can any of the other candidates make it a race?

The former, I think.

I'm an old New Yorker, and I can't IMAGINE that Andrew Cuomo can play nationally. He's a nasty guy; he inherited NONE of his father's warmth.

We shall see. His inner circle and political machinations are virtually impossible for me to divine. He remains a VERy New York-centric figure.

I see Grimes is still mentioning that slip. As an Alumnus of Lehigh University, I don't blame her because the Blue Devils have never beaten us.


Is this more due to Pryor's Positives or Cotton's Negatives?

A little of both but I think more of Pryor's positives.

How much trouble is he in? I've read he is pretty unpopular with moderate republicans in the wealthy KC suburbs.

He is. I keep coming back to it being Kansas in a midterm election that looks very good for Republicans nationally.

Hillary would love those three guys running against her; she gets to be the mature, reasonable voice in the room against a guy who's looking down the road (O'Malley); a guy who's (justifiably) outraged at pretty much everything (Sanders); and a guy who thinks he's a star, but isn't (Schweitzer). As Carville said of Gingrich, "I'll pay his filing fee." Don't you think she's bettter off with some (really) non-electorally-serious opponents to warm up on?

I think it would be good for her to have a nominal primary to work the kinks out, yes. Of course, you never know when "non serious" primaries become serious ones.

Will Mitch McConnell's wife be a negative factor in the campaign because of her being the Sec. of Labor for George Bush, and way, way to the right?

Mitch McConnell will win or lose based on him, not Elaine Chao.

Possible VP pick? HUD is a better place to position oneself (Jack Kemp) than San Antonio Mayor (Henry Cisneros).

I think that's his best case scenario.

I am not sure it happens. But, I think he is probably on a short list with Kaine, Warner and a few others.

Has the Tea Party pushed November's establishment GOP candidates far enough to the right that Democrats can win by painting those Republicans with the Tea Party brush?

We shall see. But I don't think Kingston or Perdue moved way to the right nor did McConnell.

Race between Tom Wolf, Tom Corbett and a houseplant, who wins?

In a race between a ficus and Corbett, I am taking the ficus.

So is this invalid wife scandal turning into something of Nixonian proportions? Is there a chance the Tea Party candidate might get elected?

Um, it's Thad Chochran's real wife. She is in a nursing home.

Isn't he the Russ Feingold of this mid term? Feingold wasn't really behind until the summer, when people started to pay attention.

Well, Feingold never took his vulnerability all that seriously and ran a really terrible campaign. I don't think Pryor is making either of those mistakes.

If the Senate splits even or nearly even - who is more likely to switch parties, Collins or Manchin?

Manchin for sure. I don't think either would though.

If Rs take Senate (possible) and McConnell loses his race (possible), who becomes majority leader? Jim DeMint? (just kidding, sorta)

Cornyn is most likely. I think Lamar(!) Alexander might take a shot too. Thune would be in the mix but my guess is he would take whatever the next step down from Cornyn vs Alexander.

This is actually a brilliant move by Team Hillary -- pay Sanders to run so he can make her look like a moderate who's actually accomplished something.

I love how people think the Clintons are so Machiavellian that they are planting opponents to make look good!

It's very hard for me to believe that Bernie Sanders is taking his marching orders from the Clintons -- or anyone else.

He does not want to be president, senator, governor, or in the house leadership. Could you see him leaving politics within the next 5 years?

No. and I think he very much wants to be Speaker of the House.

Cuomo just named Hochul as his running mate. Do you think she has a future as a possible candidate for Gov herself? Or is she to Upstate to win statewide?

He picked her to make sure Upstate knows he cares about them.

But, being on what will almost certainly be a winning ticket is a good thing for her political future too.

Auburn was 500 to 1 and came within 13 seconds of winning the CFB championship. You should put $$$ on the Hoyas.

Alright, alright. Twist my arm...

What are his chances for Governor?

Not great. His campaign has been a little rough so far...and, again, Georgia in a midterm election is a lot more Republican than Georgia in a presidential election.

While Kingston and Perdue are probably the two least conservative from the GA Senate GOP field (making Nunn's job that much harder), doesn't the runoff basically require both of them to tack sharply to the right to get the nomination? And won't that help Nunn make her case against the eventual nominee?

Maybe. But Republicans only have two choices, both of whom, as you point out, are establishment types. So, would either Perdue or Kingston really have to move that drastically to the right?

Chances he runs for Governor in 2016?

He could. I don't think he loves being in the Senate....

Republicans love to boast about their farm team of Hispanic politicians. But, if we are talking about potential national candidates, we're just taking about Marco Rubio and Susana Martinez. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is pro-choice and expanded Medicaid -- he has no shot at national office. And Democrats would surely love Ted Cruz to be on the GOP ticket.

Tend to agree on Sandoval. But, I think the GOP is moving in the right direction on diversifying the party. They currently have to Indian American governors and, if T.W. Shannon wins the Oklahoma Senate primary, they'll have two black Senators. That's one more black Senator than Democrats have at the moment.

Hi Chris, Has there ever been a Fix list of all-time top political gaffes? Now by gaffe I'm talking about a totally unforced error, something a candidate/officeholder said that was instantly scandalous. Romney's 47% wouldn't count because it was in a private setting where he didn't expect to be taped. Some initial candidates: - Rick Perry's "Oops" - George Allen "macaca" moment - Todd Akin

I feel like we did this but can't find it anywhere on the Interwebs....

Real or Atletico?

Rooting for Atletico. Think Real will win.

West Virginia is a fairly poor state and somewhat dependent upon Federal benefits. Why has it shifted so radically toward Republicans? Is it Obama? Is it the Second Amendment?

It's cultural issues (guns especially) as well as the perceived antipathy from the Obama Administration toward coal.

Will Ralph Hall survive?

I would lean no but can't say I have followed it closely enough to tell you definitely. Plus, a runoff the day after memorial Day...tough to predict turnout.

What advantage could any opponent of Thad Cochran possibly gain by posting such a video? I can't think of a one.

Me neither.


Obama's team was extraordinary in 2008 and 2012. Will they be able to use their old lists and mobilize volunteers for November?

The problem is that no matter how many great lists you have, if people aren't psyched up to go vote it doesn't matter.

And that may be the reality for Democrats this fall.

Speaking of which, how is he polling in trying to get his old job back?

Pretty well but that's largely due to the fact that Gov. Rick Scott isn't very popular.

Who would be John Hickenlooper's strongest opponent?

Cory Gardner.

How much danger is he in? His poll numbers are rather low for such a blue state.

He has never been all that popular, which is strange given that Connecticut is a solidly blue state.

I still tend to think Malloy gets re-elected but he makes the races more interesting than your average D incumbent running in a Democratic state.

Is KC the favorite to get the convention in 16?

I actually think it's Dallas now. Which is good news for me since it's the home of the Fix in-laws!

Ok, folks. It's time to start the weekend. Have a great one.if you are anywhere near DC enjoy the amazing weather.

Remember that we do this thing every Friday at 11 am. Spread the word!


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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