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Fareed Zakaria GPS
Fareed's Take; The Final Push for the Presidency; In The Next President's Inbox: National Security; Polls: To Believe or Not To Believe?; Comparing This Election to Previous Ones. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 06, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the Global Public Scare, welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York with a special edition of GPS.
The presidential season began almost 600 days ago.
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SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I am announcing that I'm running for president of the United States.
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ZAKARIA: It has been a long and brutal slog.
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DONALD Trump (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Boy, oh, boy, what a mess.
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ZAKARIA: But on Tuesday, America will finally have, one hopes, a president elect. And we will begin with the huge challenges the victor will face in the foreign policy realm, in particular, after he or she takes the oath of office. Former national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, joins me to break down those challenges.
Then the upending of the American politics, conservatives against Trump, liberals against Clinton. Just what happened during this election campaign and will it go back to normal afterwards? Bret Stephens, J.D. Vance, Stephen Moore and Katrina Vanden Heuvel will join me.
Also, polls. Who's up, who's down? More importantly, what should we pay attention to on Tuesday? After polls failed to predict Brexit, can these models truly be trusted? We will talk to the experts from FiveThirtyEight and "The New York Times'" upshot. And --
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TRUMP: I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?
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ZAKARIA: -- the 2016 campaign will be fodder for historians for decades to come.
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HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America is once again at a moment of reckoning.
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ZAKARIA: But what can they tell us about it now? I have a great panel of smart historians to discuss: Jon Meacham, Danielle Allen, Conrad Black, and Tim Naftali.
But first, here's my take. Over the course of this campaign, I've heard from many people who've cheered my opposition to Donald Trump. But there are others who have objected, arguing that I was being biased, that Hillary Clinton had many flaws as well. So let me try to explain one last time why Donald Trump is worth special attention.
I'm not a highly partisan person. I have views that are left of center, but others that are conservative. I came to this country when Ronald Reagan was president and I admired him. I think well of many Republican politicians, including the last two GOP presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Both of whom are honorable men and would've been good presidents.
Donald Trump is different. Not just because he is obnoxious, tacky and vulgar or that his business dealings show him to be a scam artist, he is different because of what he believes. The simplest way to understand Trump's core beliefs is to look at his words and actions not just today but well before.
You see politicians pander the voters and Trump's views on, say, social security and medicare, which he promises not to touch or taxes, which he promises to cut, seem pretty insincere; they're reflections of what he thinks his supporters want to hear. But he does have deeper beliefs, values and instincts.
The first one that stands out is race. Donald Trump has consistently expressed himself in word and deed in ways that can only be described as racist. In his earliest years as a developer, he was sued by the justice department for allegedly denying housing to qualified black people.
In the case of the central park five, Trump jumped into the public arena, taking out full-page ads assailing the accused black teenagers and demanding the return of the death penalty. Most strikingly, he refused to back down when DNA evidence had clearly exonerated the five men and New York City was forced to pay $41 million in damages for wrongfully imprisoning them for up to 13 years.
Trump seems to believe deeply in ethnic stereotypes. He boasts of his own blood line and compares it to breeding race horses. In a 1991 book, one of his associated described him as horrified to
see African-Americans in his accounting department at two of his hotels saying, "Black guys counting my money? I hate it. The only kinds of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yamakas every day."
Trump acknowledged the veracity of these comments in a later Playboy interview before walking it back years later in a 1999 NBC interview calling it all nonsense. Trump has also always been a protectionist. In the 1980s, he was sure that the Japanese were about to take over the world and the only solution was tariffs and trade wars.
[10:05:00] He doesn't seem to have noticed that the future he predicted never happened. Undeterred, he has now focused his wrath on China just as that economy has begun to slow down and on Mexico, a country so small that its affect on the U.S. economy is minimal. The common thread is that Trump is quick to tell Americans facing real economic hardship that they should blame their problems on foreigners.
If there is one view that Trump has expressed consistently, openly and with relish, it is that women exist fundamentally as objects for man's pleasure. He has said and done dozens of things over 30 years that confirm this demeaning view of women. In interviews with Howard Stern, during his ownership of the Miss Universe Pageant, when describing working women and when debating female candidates like Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton. Women, he once said to New York Magazine, you have to treat them like shit.
Finally, Donald Trump has expressed impatience and contempt for many of the foundations of liberal democracy. He has repeatedly promised to change laws to make it easier to punish journalists who offend him. He has threatened people who contributed to his Republican primary opponents, implying that he would have the government look into their business affairs.
He has proposed a number of policies that are illiberal, unconstitutional or even war crimes such as banning all Muslims from entering America, waterboarding suspected terrorists and killing their families. He has compared his ideas to the internment of Japanese- Americans during World War II implying that he approved of that measure. And he has threatened to jail his opponent if elected.
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CLINTON: It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
TRUMP: Because you'd be in jail.
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ZAKARIA: These then are the core views of Donald Trump, expressed over decades and confirmed by many of his actions: Racism, sexism, protectionism, xenophobia and authoritarianism. His views on taxes and regulations are irrelevant. Your view of Hillary Clinton is irrelevant. Donald Trump is not a normal candidate. He is a cancer on American democracy. And that is why I will vote against him next Tuesday.
For more, go to cnn.com/Fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let us get started.
ZAKARIA: All right. You heard my take, let's get a few others. Joining me in New York, Bret Stephens, he's a Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for the "Wall Street Journal". Katrina Vanden Heuvel is the editor and publisher of The Nation. J.D. Vance is the author of "The New York Times'" best-seller 'Hillbilly Elegy', a book that many of us believe explains the world of the Trump voter. Trump economic adviser, Stephen Moore is supposed to be joining us from Chicago. We are hoping he joins us in progress. We will have him jump in.
What is going to happen, Bret? Describe for me the scenarios after Tuesday.
BRET STEPHENS, COLUMNIST, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, if I make a prediction now and it's mistaken, it will be replayed endlessly against me. But what I'm hoping is going to happen is that Mrs. Clinton is going to win the electoral college and popular vote decisively.
And the reason I hope that and I say this as someone who's voted Republican all my life is because I think that the wing of the party that Donald Trump represents needs to be rebuked. People have to understand in the words of Talleyrand, it's worse than a crime, it's a mistake. This is not the way the Republican party ought to go.
I think if it's a very close vote, the view will be that Trump was in effect stabbed in the back by people like me, Republicans who simply could not bring themselves in any way to embrace his brand of politics. But I'd also like to see is Republicans hold the house and senate. And so I'm going to vote Republican down ballot and have divided and hopefully productive constructive government.
ZAKARIA: How do you think Trump voters would react? Let's just stay for a moment with the prospect of a Trump defeat. What would be the lesson, I think?
J.D. VANCE, AUTHOR, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think it depends in large part on how Trump himself reacts to defeat. If he reacts to a loss graciously like we all expect him to, just kidding, then he may actually do a good service to the country and allow some healing to take place and hopefully some constructive government down the road.
But if Trump decides to go to war against the Bret Stephens of the Republican party, those who have fought him, folks like me who fought him pretty robustly, then I think there's a chance that we're going to have a long-term civil war in the Republican party where we have to figure out what we really believe. And my view is that folks like me would be smart to repudiate the intellectual leaders of Trump but to recognize that the voters of Trump actually have a lot to be concerned about and that's why he's our candidate.
[10:10:11] ZAKARIA: The scenario Bret outlines, the way he's voting and the way he wants it to turn out sounds plausible. Hillary wins. The senate seems very close but let's say a Republican senate, Republican house. The house has already made clear they're going to have inquiries to go to war effectively, perhaps even impeachment, if the senate is also a Republican. On the next two-year cycle, as you know it, it favors Republicans. So this sounds like a pretty miserable prospect for Hillary Clinton.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR/PUBLISHER, THE NATION: This has been a surreal, bizarre election, Fareed, but I'm going to find the optimistic at this moment. I believe Hillary Clinton will win. I don't think it will be by a large margin but she will win. I believe the senate can go democratic. And if it does, you have a very interesting dynamic in the senate. You have a progressive caucus for the first time, Senator Warren, Senator Sanders, Senator Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley.
I think you also have the ability to hold hearings on things that matter to the American people. Bernie Sanders just the other day asked the department of justice to investigate hold hearings on drug companies collusion.
I think you have interesting new progressives in the house who will lead initiatives and Zephyr Teachout in New York, Pamela (Jaipaul) in Washington state, Jamie Raskin in Maryland and I think the court becomes vital. I know that there is now obstructionism and the Republicans vowing, they will not permit a vote on supreme court nominee. I think that's un-American, unconstitutional.
Finally, I would just say Trumpism isn't going away. The fact that this election is so close forces us to do some soul searching. And I think Hillary Clinton and the Democrats need to speak to the white working class in this country. They need to put forward proposals, debt-free higher education, new non-corporate trade policy. All kinds of things that would pull together the Obama coalition, which I think will be a defining one, especially Hispanics in this election cycle and a white working class and, by the way, Latino and black working class. So I think there are real possibilities that are not just doom and gloom.
STEPHENS: Look, I think all of us hear the most is I can't believe these are our choices. How did we get to this? How is it that our politics is where you kind of on both sides to lose? It's almost like the opposite of the World Series where you couldn't decide, you know, as the Indians or the Cubs, both very deserving teams.
And I think what the real yearning in this country is centrist government, is for constructive, productive government. I think the best thing a Mrs. Clinton could do as president is work across the aisle with Paul Ryan, say, let's figure out what we can do. Let's try to marginalize the extreme factions in our party, whether it's the freedom caucus on one side or Elizabeth Warren on another.
ZAKARIA: The problem is, you know, people say they want centrism but somehow it's the extremes that get elected and the extremes that make the noise and send the thousands of e-mails. STEPHENS: If Hillary Clinton is elected, she will be a great
president if she can break with this polarization in American politics and try to govern as her husband did with all of the prompts, that was, we remember that as a (housian) period in American history of three, four percent growth, very low unemployment, a technological revolution, America at the top of the world. That was a period when America was unmistakably, undeniably great.
ZAKARIA: And it's also the period when the Republican Party tried to impeach a sitting president.
VANDEN HEUVEL: and I would disagree with --
STEPHEN: You know, (inaudible) incredibly trivial next to how good the '90s were for the United States for all of the political --
VANCE: Yes. But to Bret's point, the '90s were very good on the surface but there were already very serious planted seeds that caused a lot of problems over the next couple of decades.
And I think that what either for Hillary Clinton to govern effectively or for Trump if he wins to govern effectively, they need to start with a massive dose of humility. The recognition that if they won, they won because the other party's candidate was so bad. And with that humility, hopefully, will come some measure of constructive government. Because without it, I agree with Bret that we're not going to have a very effective policy or politics in the next few years.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But for this election, largely, was about a revolt against a discredited failed establishment brought us a financial crisis, the Iraq war. And I think we need to think hard about that because we can go different ways in this country, can go toward a Trump kind of authoritarianism or what Bernie Sanders showed speaking to the kind of voters J.D. has written about.
The precariousness is the new normal in this country, people are anxious. The economy on the surface is doing well but, you know, the Democrats and Republicans have failed the working class, the base in this country.
[10:15:00] Let me just switch for a moment because this is about the world as well.
ZAKARIA: But can I just stick with that working class? But we will get back to it. Because I want to ask -- I will ask you, Bret. All the data increasingly shows all of you have these economic solutions to assuage the white working class. But increasingly, it is apparent that it is culture at the heart of it and immigration. So if you look at both "The Journal" and "The Times" reporting on the same data showed that it is the places, the counties with the greatest cultural change, really meaning immigration, the largest number of immigrants coming in that are most strongly for Trump. What do you do about that? I mean, the truth is, these people, the world J.D. knows, they're
right. Their world is being transformed by lots of people who come in and they don't look like them, they don't sound like them, they don't worship like them. What do you say to those people?
STEPHENS: I'd say what else is knew? America is always being transformed by new waves of immigration. But we used to have a mentality in this country that immigrants were assets to this country. Indeed, they are assets and continue to be. I think what's really changed is the demagogue about immigrants and the suggestion that Latin Americans or Asians or whoever is coming to this country are an economic threat, a cultural threat, a security threat, when in fact, it's the opposite.
The fact that America is a magnet and remains a magnet to people all over the world is a great sign of continuing American greatness. Imagine if we were exporting human capital rather than importing. But that requires people in positions of intellectual and political leadership in the party to say to their base, immigrants ought to be on our side. And by the way, that's how you win those voters four or eight years down the road.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But it also requires a media. And there has been media malpractice in this election in ways we haven't seen in a long time. The stunning absence of any policy discussions, maybe on immigration and trade a little, the trivialization, the obliteration of the line between news and entertainment, the abetting of Donald Trump, now there's been some fine reporting but until we have a media which illuminates and it's not left/right, it's about public interest and what is in their communities, what's on people's minds; we are destined to have a kind of demagoguery which afflicts our political system. So I think that's --
ZAKARIA: I doubt it .J.D., I'm going to give you the last word because it does seem to me this cultural issue, you know, we don't know how to talk about it. Every solution we come of it tends to be -- let's do, you know, a credit for this, rework or retraining. maybe these trade deals do need to be renegotiated. You know, it's harder to deal with these cultural issues.
VANCE: So it definitely is harder to deal with these cultural issues and you look at all the metrics that are going on, the white working class especially from the opioid epidemic to family breakdown, all of these metrics are moving in the wrong direction. So there needs to be a recognition in our culture, in our policy.
And I think that what's important about this is that politics can be upstream from culture. The discourse that we have as a political group definitely affects the way that our culture changes and the way that my white working class culture responds to some of these changes. So to Bret's point, I think we have to reject the rhetoric of Trump but we also have to recognize that there's really complex factors that are hitting Trump's voters have to be dealt with and have to be dealt with wisely.
ZAKARIA: Thank you all. Fascinating conversation. We will of course be watching on Tuesday. Trump economic adviser, Stephen Moore, was supposed to join us from Chicago. We're sorry he was unable to make it.
Next on GPS, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser will weigh in on what surprises are in store for the next president.
[10:21:58] ZAKARIA: For the last several months, Americans have been obsessed with this presidential campaign but you might not have noticed but the world has kept turning and a number of major international problems require urgent attention. The president elect will have to start dealing with them on day one.
I want to bring in Zbigniew Brzezinski to talk about, what the president can expect in his or her inbox? He was, of course, President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser. Zbig, what do you think is most urgent that the president will have to deal with on day one or the first 100 days?
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Maybe even the first week. I think we have to make a serious effort to do some national healing regarding major issues in particular, foreign policy.
We can't afford the kind of implicit divisions that have developed or the rather sordid language that sometimes accompanied them. America has to have a vision for the world. It has to be a vision deeply steeped in the principles to which we are committed. But it has to be promoted by whoever is the next president. And I hope that the next president will be open-minded and connected with the world rather than disconnected. But it will take a major effort to again create a sense of shared direction if not necessarily specific shared policies.
ZAKARIA: And probably it's fair to say that one of the things that pretty early on will have to be dealt with is this issue of Russia. How should the next president -- I mean, you know, obviously, this is going to be very different if it's Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump but do you face this extraordinary situation where every intelligence agency believes that the Russian government has been trying to influence the American election.
BRZEZINSKI: Well, that's probably the case. I would guess that if they felt that they could get away with it, they should try. And if we can make sure that they don't get away with it, that it is exposed, that will be all to the good. But I think we have to go further than that. It's not just Russia. At the very least, it's Russia and also China. Because if we manage to have a stable and intelligent relationship with the Chinese, we increase the probability that the Russians will have to go along and play with us and particularly so with the Chinese.
But if we allow the situation to develop in such a fashion that china becomes increasingly hostile then some sort of informal Chinese/Russian alliance against us becomes very likely. And that would be a very, very negative strategic development for us. ZAKARIA: What about Syria, Zbig? Obama has tried to handle Syria, I
would say in a way where he is responsive to the problem. He is trying to do something but appears very reluctant to send any kind of major American effort or intervention that could mean that America ends up owning the problem.
[10:25:09] Is it going to be possible to continue to have that kind of reasonably active but ultimately hands-off approach to Syria?
BRZEZINSKI: Well, you said we have been responsive and I sort of started smiling at that stage because I can see myself on the screen. And what does responsive mean? Responsive for major power means serious commitment, clarity of one's posture, very direct explanation to the parties concerns of the benefits and costs of defying American power and then proceeding accordingly.
We had all of that in small bits but none of them very consistent. And I think the result has been that we have been both engaged but ineffective and committed but not able to deliver and it's not a very good prospect. l think we will have a lot of recovering to do.
But here, I bring to a point which I've been thinking about lately. Namely, I think it would be very good if the president elect, whoever it is, but preferably one that endorses an open, long-range, coherent and intelligent foreign policy, made every effort to engage in a bipartisan discussion at the highest level, not necessarily involving all of candidates but people who are responsible on both sides of the political fence for our future and to engage in a dialogue so we can establish at least some parameters for a minimal consensus regarding how we conduct ourselves in regards to the problems that among others you have just mentioned but there are others.
I think there has been too much talk and gestures but very little consistent action, resulting in a situation in which our global standing today is in some doubt in terms of its ability to influence others. I think some countries are very tempted nowadays to take advantage of the fact that we are really not very decisive.
ZAKARIA: Zbigniew Brzezinski, thank you very much. Wise words.
Now, what we really want to know is who is going to be the next president. So traditionally, we have tended to look to polls to be our crystal ball. But in the wake of big misses by pollsters on events like Brexit, people have grown even more weary of polling than they were before. Let's take a look at where things stand right now.
CNN's poll of national polls has Clinton leading 45 percent to Trump's 42 percent. Let's go beyond that to the so-called prediction models which take national and state polls where the data adjusted and put it through thousands, in fact, millions and millions of simulations, when "The New York Times" upshot blog does this, it finds that Mrs. Clinton's chances of winner are 84 percent versus Trump's 16 percent. It's competitor, FiveThirtyEight.com, has Clinton at 64 percent and Trump at 36 percent.
So we will try to make sense of all this with Harry Enten and Nate Cohn of "The New York Times'" upshot. So Nate, you wrote an article, I think it was two days ago saying Clinton has a lead but it is narrow and is it within the margin of error and that was a three-point lead. Today, you have two new polls out, good, solid polls, ABC and NBC, which say that the lead is now four percent. Can they breathe easy that you've now gotten just out of the margin of error?
NATE COHN, THE NEW YORK TIMES: You know, not really. A couple of polls is not enough to firmly conclude that the race has shifted from a three-point lead to a four-point lead. I do think that when the Clinton campaign looks at the electoral map and the national polls, they see a fairly clear path to victory.
I think they lead in states worth more than 270 electoral votes the states carried by John Carey, plus Colorado, Virginia, New Mexico, and probably Nevada and maybe not New Hampshire. And so long as she holds those states, she will win the presidency. And then if those fall short, she has the potential to make up for that by carrying a state like Florida or North Carolina.
ZAKARIA: So you guys have consistently had a prediction model that has been lower than every other prediction model. Try to explain as simply as you can why.
HARRY ENTEN, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: Well, it's simply that we look back at more data over time, right? We look back to say the 1972 election and polls in the past before, say 2000, where a lot less accurate. That's one of the things that's going on.
The other thing that's going on is our model is much quicker to adjust to new polls. We don't take that long of a span. And the newer polls, despite the two that you've mentioned, if you look at the states as well, those polls have tended to show a tighter race in the past few weeks than say two weeks before that after the first debate when Hillary Clinton jumped out to a huge lead.
ENTEN: But what I should point out is that, whether you look at the Upshot model or you look at our model, all of the models have Hillary Clinton ahead; it's just by varying degrees.
ZAKARIA: Right, but the probabilities matter. People forget that, you know, when you say that essentially Hillary has a two in three chance of winning, it means, if you flipped a coin, you know, two of them will come heads; one of them could come tails. It's not unlikely. There are many sports teams, for example, where you say they have a one in three chance of winning and they do win.
ENTEN: Sure, but I should also point out, you know, if you look at, say, the Upshot model, 86 percent of the time isn't 100 percent of the time either. And what I will say is, if you go back to, say, the 2000 campaign, right, look at those final national polls between George W. Bush and Al Gore, Bush held a three-point lead -- very similar to the lead that Hillary Clinton holds right now, and it actually ended up that Al Gore was the one who won the popular vote. So this race is not over, but it is one in which Hillary Clinton clearly has an edge.
COHN: And if I could add, on the sports analogy, because, you know, I think that's a really good way to think about it, in a way, not insofar as elections are comparable to sports, but that they're things that people have seen before.
You know, our model right now says that Hillary Clinton's chance of winning the presidency is roughly equal to the chance that an NFL kicker hits a 38-yard field goal. Now, Clinton, in our view, would probably hit that field goal. But any person who watches the NFL knows that kickers miss 38-yard field goals. It happens. We've all seen it.
There was a -- there was a game on Sunday night involving my Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago in which there were two kicks missed from even closer in overtime. You know, I don't want to bring up a hard moment for a Bills fan here, but, you know, the Bills lost the Super Bowl in a game-winning kick.
COHN: It was 47 yards.
But the kickers are more accurate...
ZAKARIA: So let me ask you what a very respected polling expert at Princeton University, Sam Wang, says. He says you guys at 538 are overcounting state polls and national polls. It's a hyper-responsive model. "Huffington Post" says that you are actually deliberately unskewing data in a way that, again, places your thumb on the finger for Trump -- not -- you're not doing it to make Trump...
ENTEN: Right, right.
ZAKARIA: ... but the effect is to over-represent, you know, Trump's advantages. Sam Wang says that the most important thing you should look at -- first of all, he thinks this polls-plus model makes no sense; the polls should reflect all the fundamentals. However people are feeling about the economy, however they feel about, you know, a second, a third term for a party, all that is reflected in whom they say they want to vote.
And so he says, if you do a polls-only model, which he argues is the most accurate, and he does 76 quadrillion simulations, using only state polls...
ENTEN: A lot of...
... a lot of 'em.
ZAKARIA: He says the median -- yeah, I wonder whether he has a different laptop from mine...
... but he does 76 quadrillion permutations. The median you get is Clinton at 312 electoral votes, which he says -- and he says a Clinton win comes out 99 percent of the time. Why is he wrong? ENTEN: Well, I would just tell you -- look, everyone can have their
own model and everyone seems to have their own model these days. But if you go back to 2010 and you look at Sam's House predictions, he had a very small margin of error and basically said that Republicans were going to pick up something like 53 seats, plus or minus two. And they ended up picking up 63 seats. So it was well outside of his margin of error.
The fact is we work very hard on these models. We look historically how off the polls have been, and we feel fairly confident in the result that we're putting out in terms of the uncertainty.
And I'll tell you this much. If you go back to early in 2015 and you told me that Donald Trump was going to be the Republican nominee for president, I'd laugh at you. And if you go back to...
ZAKARIA: But you did laugh.
ENTEN: I did laugh -- we did laugh.
ZAKARIA: Five thirty-eight said he had a zero percent chance of winning the nomination.
ENTEN: Well, I think we were a little higher. But the point is...
The point is that uncertainty in this election, I think, is smart. I have no problem with being less (sic) uncertain, and I would think that most people should be a little humble in recognizing that polls are not perfect. And we do have a polls-only model. We have a polls- plus and a polls-only model. And they're showing the exact same thing at this point.
COHN: I just think that people have often focused on the differences between the 538 and the Upshot model. I think that's understandable. Those differences are fairly modest compared to the differences between either of our models and what Sam Wang shows.
You know, the notion that a three or four-point lead in the key states and in the national popular vote gives you a 99-1 chance of winning, that's ahistorical. There's no empirical basis to believe that. I think that Harry's right that, historically, there's a tendency for that model to be overconfident, including in the 2014 midterm elections when I believe Mr. Wang gave the Democrats a 95 percent chance of holding the Senate in September.
And, you know, I would think of it in terms -- if you want to see how different the models are, don't think of it in terms of percent. You know, 65 percent, 85 percent, 100 percent may seem fairly equal. Think of it in terms of Trump's odds of winning, 99-1 versus 6-1. That is a much bigger gap than the difference between our models.
ZAKARIA: Everybody says that the Senate is literally too close to call.
ZAKARIA: You've got seven seats, and so what's your best -- you know, again, what does your model say about the Senate?
ENTEN: I mean, exactly the same thing. If you look at the Upshot model and you look at our model, it's basically 50/50, maybe the slightest of edges to the Democrats. But if you go and we add some more polls this afternoon, it might change a little bit.
The fact is you have, in my opinion, maybe six or seven seats that are really going to determine this. And what's so interesting is you have seen the polls in the different states move in different directions. So if you look at a state like Pennsylvania, you've seen Katie McGinty, the Democratic candidate, move up. But if you look at a state like Missouri, in fact you've seen Jason Kander, the Democratic candidate, who had a lot of momentum, has, kind of, slowed down.
So it's just very difficult to understand exactly what's going to happen. At this point, the most likely outcome is probably a 50-50 Senate with whomever the vice president is breaking that tie.
ZAKARIA: We keep talking about Tuesday as though it's Election Day. But, in fact, 40 million people, roughly, have already voted. What do we know from the early voting? What conclusions can you draw?
COHN: I think that we know this is a presidential electorate. This will not be a low-turnout election. In many parts of the country, the turnout will surpass that from 2012. A presidential electorate will draw millions of young and non-white voters to the polls who didn't vote in a midterm election. It may not be the exact same as the electorate that voted for the president in 2012. It might be black voters might represent a slightly lower share of the electorate; Hispanic voters could tick up perhaps significantly. But the electorate that we're seeing is largely the electorate that's assumed by the polls.
ZAKARIA: But we do see a real surge in Hispanic voting, right?
COHN: We really do. And I think that, you know, that wasn't inevitable, and I think that, you know, there are parts of the country right now where the early vote has already exceeded the total 2012 vote. In Hidalgo County, Texas, which is a heavily Hispanic county in South Texas which I believe is where Laredo is, the total vote already there has exceeded the final vote from 2012. In south Florida, in Miami-Dade county, they already have, you know, 600,000-plus votes already in there. And the Hispanic voters who are turning out are not people who have voted in past elections. So that is new vote that has changed the electorate from 2012.
ZAKARIA: So the silent vote that people have been talking about has turned out not to be the silent Trump voter who has -- you know, didn't vote in the past and is coming out, but it's the silent Hispanic voter.
COHN: Well, they might well come out still, but so far, the clearest and easiest to identify change in the electorate in terms of new voters is the influx of Hispanic voters.
ZAKARIA: What about African-American voting?
ENTEN: Well, we have seen that their numbers have fallen, though there is perhaps some signs in the most recent data that perhaps it's coming back up a little bit to 2012 data.
The real question is, though, is what percentage of these Hispanics are going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Because, remember, African- Americans have voted traditionally 90 percent, 95 percent, perhaps even higher, for the Democratic candidate. So even if Hispanics are coming out in record numbers, that's not a good trade for Hillary Clinton because she's just simply getting less of the Hispanic vote.
But we'll see what happens on Election Day. Remember, a vote that's cast on Election Day is worth the same as an early vote. And with some of the cutbacks in the early vote hours in some of these states, in some of these counties, say in North Carolina, we can't exactly know how the electorate is going to change too much with African-Americans, though it wouldn't be too surprising if African-American turnout was down, given of course that Barack Obama was the first major party nominee who was black.
ZAKARIA: Will both of you agree that we'll know -- this will get resolved earlier rather than later on Tuesday? Because some of the crucial states are all in the Eastern time zone, right, North -- if she wins North Carolina, it's over? If she wins Florida, it's over, right?
So I'm going to ask you now -- I'll put my -- I'm going to go with Sam Wang, 312. What's your -- you must have an electoral vote count that you have figured out?
ENTEN: I'll go with 318.
COHN: I'll go with 322.
ZAKARIA: So you're going higher? All right.
So you think that, despite the fact that your models are less confident of a Hillary victory...
COHN: I don't think that the main difference between the models is how far Clinton is ahead. The main difference is how far we think the results could differ from our current estimate of the state of the race.
ZAKARIA: So -- but you still think, in other words, that, on that third coin toss, Trump might win?
ENTEN: It could happen.
COHN: It could happen.
ENTEN: It could happen, and really...
ZAKARIA: Guys, thank you. Real pleasure.
COHN (?): Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," America has never seen an election like it, but surely, there are some precedents for some aspects of it. I have four very smart historians to discuss it all when we come back.
ZAKARIA: How will history judge the 2016 campaign?
Has there ever been a more decisive election -- divisive election, I mean?
Have there ever been two candidates as unpopular as today?
And what about the explosion of populism? Has the United States ever seen anything like it before?
We're going to talk about all this and more with a great panel of historians. Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and historian. He's the author of "Destiny and Power," a biography of Bush 41. Danielle Allen is a government professor at Harvard University and a columnist for The Washington Post. Conrad Black is a former media tycoon and the author of several presidential biographies. And Timothy Naftali is a CNN presidential historian who teaches history at NYU.
Tim, let me start with you. The most obvious analogy that people often bring up is Barry Goldwater running an outsider campaign and in a sense a campaign that rejected much of the Republican Party.
Is that what the great historical analogy here is?
NAFTALI: Well, we've had a number of instances in American history where what one would describe as a protest candidacy or an insurgency has taken over a political party: 1896, William Jennings Bryant; 1964, Barry Goldwater; 1972, George McGovern; and 1980, Ronald Reagan.
In all of those cases, the leader of the insurgency has some Washington experience or some governmental experience. Ronald Reagan had not been to Washington, but he had run the biggest state in the country.
This is the first time that you have a protest movement whose beneficiary is a man without any governing or public administration experience at all. Nineteen sixty-four is interesting in another way. Barry Goldwater never led that contest. He was never close to winning. This was clearly a protest movement that was not going to take over the levers of government in Washington.
The other thing that's important to keep in mind is that anger motivated '64 just as anger motivates a lot of the support for Donald Trump. In 1964, it was two things. People forget this. John F. Kennedy started a limited detente with the Soviet Union. There were a lot of hard-right anti-Communists who felt it was a mistake. And, number two, the Civil Rights movement, the fact that the Kennedy administration had introduced the most wide-ranging civil rights legislation ever and it was carried for by Lyndon Johnson. That anger propelled the Barry Goldwater movement.
ZAKARIA: Conrad Black, let me ask you about the Barry Goldwater analogy. Because the other thing that's striking about Goldwater is he was, as Tim says, part of the system; he was a parliamentarian. He was not promising to blow it up, and Trump really is.
I mean, if you listened to his speeches on Saturday, really there is a kind of almost apocalyptic nature to what he says, "We're going to destroy everything; we're going to tear down, you know, these decades- long establishment." The anti-elitism seems much more strident.
First of all, would you agree?
And do you -- I know you've signed a petition supporting him. Do you approve of that kind of rhetoric?
BLACK: I don't interpret it quite as you do, Fareed. And I would differ quite sharply from the screed with which you opened the program. I certainly recognize Donald Trump's shortcomings and his presentational problems, but I think he's as a person, in the 25 years I have known him, evolved to be a responsible comparative centrist.
I think one aspect of this campaign that is very under-recognized is that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump both did manage to win the nomination against people well outside, to use a football expression, which has been popular in this program, outside the 30 yard lines.
I mean, the alternative to Donald Trump was Ted Cruz, who is well to the right. And the alternative to Mrs. Clinton is Senator Sanders, who is well to the left. So at least they have kept their parties more or less towards the center.
I do think that there's a great deal of anger in this campaign, much more than there was in '64. And I think the reason is that the preceding 15 years have been years of misgovernment. I have put it to my fellow panelists that it has been the poorest period of presidential government in history, more so than the 10 years preceding the Civil War and more so than the three Republicans between President Wilson and President Roosevelt. And the country is angry at that, and there have been references to that earlier in the program.
But I think it's not the sort of extremely dangerous anger that has been portrayed. I don't think that -- I don't think that there is anything like as much violence in the politics of the country as there were in the '60s, especially when you had both the racial disturbances and the anti-Vietnam disturbances going on.
I do agree that this is the first time that anyone has taken over a major party who has never held an elected office or at least a political office, a Cabinet office, like Taft or Hoover, or an elective office or a high military command, with the one exception of Wendell Wilkie. But he had -- he took four ballots to win. They didn't have many primaries then. And he had, as we now know, practically no chance of defeating President Roosevelt.
This is a phenomenon, and it is a phenomenon of people being angry at what they consider to be misgovernment, and they have some reason to consider it to be so...
BLACK: ... for both parties, the Bushes and the Clintons.
ZAKARIA: Jon Meacham, when you look at this anger, put it in some historical context for us?
MEACHAM: You know, the word I would use more than anger is paranoia. And, obviously, we owe that construct to Richard Hofstetter, who delivered a lecture in 1963. It became a cover story in Harper's this month in 1964, and ultimately a book, in which he talked about a tendency, recurrent tendency in American politics for a significant minority of the country to believe that there are forces arrayed against them in a conspiratorial way, from the Bavarian Illuminati of the 1790s through the John Birch Society of the early 1960s.
And so, you know, anger is also a perpetual force in American life. Anger is supposed to be part of democracy because anger is a subset of disagreement. But I think this paranoia; I think this sense that the world is fundamentally and organizationally arrayed against large numbers of people is the more corrosive issue that whoever wins on Tuesday is going to have to deal with.
The other analogy that comes to my mind, which is more than Goldwater in '64, is the way the country felt in 1932. Franklin Roosevelt, about whom Mr. Black has written, wrote -- said in 1932 that -- in the summer -- that the two most dangerous men in America were Douglas MacArthur and Huey Long. Because Douglas McArthur could lead a populist revolt from the right and Governor Long from the left.
And one of the ways we came out of that was a kind of, if I may, centrist, center-left leadership, which is where I suspect we're going to be in the next chapter of the country now.
ZAKARIA: The other element of it that I am struck by, and I have talked about this, Danielle Allen, is the criminalization of politics, the degree to which everybody is now accusing the other side of in some way or the other breaking the law, needing to be investigated. You know, the most recent one is now that Melania Trump may have broken the law in the way she worked. But it also has taken on a very charged feeling.
Does that -- I mean, there are some precedents to this right back to the founding, but it feels very intense, and it feels very destructive to me because it's very difficult to compromise when you think your opponent belongs in jail?
ALLEN: It is destructive; it is intense. There are precedents, and they were also dangerous. So I think we should go back to 1800 and look at the politics that led up to that election, the contest between Adams and Jefferson. Adams had passed alien and sedition acts in 1798. The context was the French Revolution that turned to great violence in France and a growing paranoia, to quote Jon Meacham, about French refugees, actually. So there was a strong concern to keep French refugees out. There was a strong concern to crack down on the sense to the government's approach to that.
And Adams, using those laws, threw journalists into jail. A congressman was arrested and indicted and jailed, in fact, under the sedition laws. And Jefferson aggressively resisted those. The 1800 election was bitterly contested. There's lots that could be said about the characters of the various parties at the time. But, at the end of the day, you know, Hamilton threw the election to Jefferson. It was, sort of, in the -- in the electoral college context. And that produced the bitter enmity between Burr and Hamilton, of course, that led to Hamilton's death.
So we have seen similar politics. And it was a parlous state of affairs. The country was in a dangerous place. It required aggressive work to rectify. Adams, at the last minute, also tried to reduce the number of Supreme Court justices that could be on the court so that Jefferson would not be able to make appointments there. There are a lot of close parallels. And it took hard work on the part of Jefferson when he came into the presidency to right the balance, to restore impartiality to the judiciary, to pull the politicization out of the justice system, to work on decriminalizing politics.
ZAKARIA: Tim Naftali, you were director of the Nixon Library. You were in fact the founding director for the first time the library became a national archive rather than an outgrowth of President Clinton's -- President Nixon's apparatus. In some ways, this -- the modern version of this all begins with Watergate, right?
NAFTALI: Yes, it does. And my sense in this campaign is we had a choice between the 1980s, the glorious '80s in New York, or the 1990s. That seemed to be our choice between Trump and Clinton.
What we saw was that the levers of government, the machinery of government, for the first time in 100 years, faced the prospect of removing a president from office. It wasn't easy.
ZAKARIA: This was in the '70s?
NAFTALI: This was in the 1970s. In fact, impeachment -- nobody -- Democrats don't talk about impeachment. I mean, you think about -- we're hearing about impeachment already for a Hillary Clinton presidency should it happen. Democrats didn't start talking about impeachment until 1973. Well, the Watergate break-in was 1972. It's because it had been 100 years since Andrew Johnson. And so the machinery wasn't well oiled. But after Richard Nixon is removed, for good reason, because of his many abuses of government, the machinery is there; it doesn't go away.
And so when there's anger about the Clintons, about Bill Clinton, it comes back and people talk about impeachment as if it's nothing, when in fact the founders had expected it only to be used for the undefined "high crimes and misdemeanors."
What's really troubling is that that machinery never went away and that people have forgotten that it's only in unusual circumstances that the founders wanted us to remove the chief executive. So in a sense, the Clintons got the backlash after Watergate. And right now, we're seeing the fact that people who don't have a historical memory are talking about impeachment as if it's something that the founders expected to be part of good government. You know, somebody doesn't do the right thing as president; we don't particularly like this person, him or her; we'll just use impeachment to get rid of them. That was not the intent.
ZAKARIA: Conrad, when you look at this issue -- you have written about the American justice system. Surely, this must trouble you, the way in which we now, sort of, sic prosecutors and special investigators on people, and effectively say troll through everything they've done, thousands of e-mails of, you know, whether it's the Trump University or whatever; you know, Warren Buffett has this line of "A cop tails you for 500 miles, you're going to get a speeding ticket."
BLACK: Yeah, I find it terribly upsetting. And I'm venerable enough, Fareed, to have said, while the Watergate affair was in progress, that it was going to be a terribly dangerous precedent. And I wrote at the time that the, in my opinion, completely spurious attempt to impeach and then remove President Clinton, that the result of it should have been not only the acquittal of President Clinton, which did occur, but also some kind of warning that this -- this reflex to criminalize policy differences should be resisted.
And in an ideal world, there would have been a sort of historic aspect to say that neither the attempted impeachment of Andrew Johnson nor the run-up to an impeachment of Richard Nixon were justified. I agree that there was a criminal conspiracy in '72 to '74 in parts of the Republican National Committee and the White House staff, but I have yet to see any conclusive probative evidence that Mr. Nixon broke any laws, which was, as you know, the contention that he made, right to the end of his life.
Now, there's room for controversy about that, but I agree entirely. I think it is, in general, a prosecutocracy, where the prosecutors in the country are out of control. When 99.5 percent of their cases, 97 percent without a trial, and if the political leaders are going to bandy this sort of thing around as loosely as seems now to be happening, I think it's extremely dangerous.
ZAKARIA: Danielle Allen, I'm going to have to give you the last word. We have 30 seconds. How do you think people, historians will record this campaign? You know, what's the bottom line?
ALLEN: I think you called it earlier. We are undergoing an incredible transformation in this country. That's simply a fact. We're headed to being a country where no ethnic group is in the majority, and that is different from the history of the country for 200 years. We are wrestling with how to manage that, how to do it fairly, justly, make sure that everybody has opportunity and a fair and equal place in the country. I think where -- that's the seismic change that we're fighting over right now. I think that's what historians will name about this moment when they're writing 50 years hence.
ZAKARIA: Danielle Allen and all of you, thank you all, a really fascinating conversation. Thank you all.
A final thought, if you would indulge me.
I'm an immigrant, and one of the greatest privileges of being a naturalized American is to participate in the country's democracy. I know that many of you are sick of it all, the nastiness, the intensity, the sheer length. But I still look at America's presidential election as an extraordinary act of civic education.
After all, every four years, this process becomes the center of the country's life for more than a year. But being a student of international affairs, I'm also aware of how fragile democracy is. Look at Poland, the poster child for democracy in Europe over the last 25 years, where a new party in power has subordinated the judiciary courts and media to its authority.
Look at Russia, where the democratic tradition so promising in the 1990s has almost vanished.
Look at Turkey, where a once-reformist leader has decided to accumulate power and erode traditions of freedom and democracy that were rare in the Middle East. It doesn't feel like it could happen in America, the oldest constitutional democracy in the world, with many checks and balances. But in fact, it takes one man, one party, one vote to break longstanding traditions of constitutionalism, and the system can morph.
We now face the prospect of a candidate refusing to accept the outcome of the election, of mobs protesting and perhaps hoping to change that outcome because they have been fed lies about voter fraud, of Congress refusing to legitimize the election by threatening investigations, inquiries, impeachment. These poisonous altitudes have even infected the impartial institutions of law and justice such as the FBI.
These might seem like small erosions, but each one takes a hammer to the foundations of democracy, until the cracks become too deep and the entire edifice begins to crumble.
The founding fathers of this country, chief among them Alexander Hamilton, worried that democracies had historically been weak and transitory. After the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman in Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"
Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."
That's what we have in America, the world's greatest republic, if we can keep it. So vote on Tuesday with that sense of history in mind.
And don't forget to watch CNN on Election Day. In fact, stay with us until the very last vote is cast and the final result is in. Thank you all for being part of this special program. I will see you next week.