Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line.
During the second hour, McCabe described how he saw that Republicans could take back the House of Representatives in the upcoming November election. He added that President Trump would bring candidates out of the woodwork and a max turnout for Republicans.
Leahy: We are joined on our newsmakers line now by our national correspondent and famed Washington journalist Neil McCabe. Good morning Neil.
McCabe: Hello! Top of the morning to you Michael.
Leahy: Top of the morning Mr. McCabe from Michael Patrick Leahy.
McCabe: Don’t you know!
Leahy: So tell me do you think the Republicans have a chance of taking back the House of Representatives in November?
McCabe: Absolutely. In fact, I think its more than a good chance. I think it’s a great chance and its got almost nothing to do with policies or politics. It’s a function of turnout. In the last turnout in the midterm of 2018 and there are other factors involved but I think the number one factor that the Republicans lost the House is they left 40, four zero Democrats without challengers. There were three House Republicans without challengers. Before the first vote was counted you are down 40 to three? That’s not good.
Leahy: This is like encouraging news to our listeners who are looking at the possibility of a Democratic sweep at least on paper. Are there any policy reasons why you think that the Republicans could possibly regain the House?
McCabe: Yes I think on policy there are going to be some problems because the National Republican Congressional Committee is going to put its thumb on the scale with sort of so-called self-funding candidates. So those self-funding candidates tend not to be doctrine conservatives.
I don’t think there is going to be any sort of policy thing. I think the big deal is that President Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket and he’s going to pull people out of the woodwork. And the media is kind of making the same mistake that people made who were running the Romney campaign in 2012 because 2010 was that Tea Party wave year and it was incredible.
And the Romney team was basing their turnout models on more 2010 than 2008. And with Obama at the top of the ticket Democrats turned up and it got President Obama re-elected. I think the key thing to look at is that there was a 10-12 million dollar drop off in Republican turn out for House candidates between 2016 and 2018 whereas there was only about maybe a two percent drop off for the Democrats.
And so the Democrats were able to maintain max turnouts. So they had max turnout for Hillary Clinton. They had a max turnout in 2018. If the Republicans return to max turnout then what you’re looking at is you are looking at all of these races.
There were nine House races decided by less than a percentage point. There were two dozen seats that were decided by less than 3 percentage points or less. Think about election night. How many of those races were too close to call? That’s with 10-12 million Republicans not showing up.
If they show up again then it just sort of returns to where you were in 2016 and 2014. Remember, that majority that Republicans had that was the largest Republican House majority in 80 years. That was a very significant majority that the Democrats had to win. And so it’s natural that that thing is going to swing back.
Leahy: What’s also interesting to me when you look at this is that their lack of enthusiasm in every poll for Joe Biden. Those who support Joe Biden really do it because they don’t like Donald Trump. There’s not a lot of enthusiasm for Joe Biden. In contrast by a three to one margin, those who support Donald Trump are very enthusiastic about him.
McCabe: Oh yeah, absolutely. I think when you and I were having conversations in 2016 one of the things that kept coming up was that there is no one who supported Hillary Clinton who didn’t have to support Hillary Clinton.
Nobody was jumping out of their shoes saying, oh goodness this woman needs to be president. Nobody is saying we have to have Joe Biden. (Leahy chuckles) Joe Biden is not the cowbell of presidential candidates. On the other hand, people are absolutely adamant about re-electing the president. And then that is going to play out. That’s why your turnout is going to go back to 60 million whereas turnout for House Republicans was 50 million in 2018.
Leahy: Neil McCabe, the national correspondent for The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Thank you for your insights. Crom, so if that’s true and if he’s right and if Republicans were to take over the House we would not see the debacle that we saw in the House Judiciary Committee yesterday when they did the inquisition of Attorney General Barr.
Carmichael: I watched a good bit of it. And it was absolutely fascinating to just watch. As I watched it I scratched my head saying, I don’t understand what it is the Democrats are trying to accomplish with this. Because here is what they would do Michael.
Then you had Nadler and this is the part that is interesting to me. Nadler welcomes the attorney general to the House Judiciary Committee. Thanks, him graciously for coming blah blah blah and then proceeds to throw him under the bus and run the tires back and forth over him. And then Barr gives his opening statement. I take that back. Jim Jordan then gave his opening statement.
Leahy: And what did that consist of?
Carmichael: Well, he spoke. And then he said I have a video that I’d like to show. Do we have a video? So they showed the video and it was a whole bunch of reporters from the mainstream media and CNN who were reporting to the camera that there was no violence with buildings burning behind them. (Leahy laughs)
Then after about a minute but it was at least 20 clips of reporters for these networks saying that the protests are peaceful. The protests are peaceful. Peaceful protests blah blah blah. Then it had about two minutes of just mayhem. It looked like a war zone. It looked like the Middle East after a huge bombing run.
It just looked terrible. And then you had these rioters and that’s all you can call them. They were knocking windows out of police cars that had policemen in them. They were throwing rocks and bricks and all this stuff. And Nadler got mad at Jordan because he said that will not go into the record because we have a House rule that any audio or video must be provided to the chair 48 hours ahead of time.
So it was like he was a petulant little child who had gotten busted. Because I don’t think if Jordan had given it 48 hours ahead of time Nadler wouldn’t have let it run. (Laughs)
Leahy: He would not have let it run.
Carmichael: So he got it out there. Then Barr gives his opening statement and then Nadler proceeds to throw him under the bus again by asking him questions that Barr would try to answer. He would then interrupt him.
Leahy: He wouldn’t let him answer the questions.
Carmichael: And then they would ask a question and he would try to answer it they would say I’m reclaiming my time ad then they would ask another question or make a statement then ask another question. And I’m sitting here asking myself, how do they think viewers see this?
When you ask somebody a question and then you don’t let them answer. Then the chair, Nadler got up and left. So this other person sat in the chair and Jim Jordan asked the chair and said, madam chair because it was a woman and I don’t know who she was, aren’t you going to let him answer the question? She didn’t say a word.
Carmichael: So that’s how it went the whole time.
Leahy: And there was another comment. He can make his comments after the hearing.
Carmichael: Is that it? (Laughs)
Leahy: Yeah yeah. Oh my goodness.
Carmichael: I missed that part. (Laughter)
Listen to the second hour here:
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