Conversations with CMC Faculty: How COVID-19 is Affecting Our Democracy with Professor Jack Pitney

…things that we want to kind of direct
you how to do so right now there you can have a different view and zoom right now
you could have speaker view or you could have grid view when it’s fun like this
to have the grid because you see everybody well when Jack Stark starts and
Jack starts to share his screen you’re gonna want to make kind of pin him and
make sure you either have it on speaker view so that you see whoever speaking at
the time which is what I recommend or pin it to John so that you um you see
what’s going on on his screen good morning wherever you may be on
behalf of comer in the college in the office of alumni and parent engagement I
wanted to take just a quick moment and wish you all good health during this
global crisis the college is excited to put together a series of robust virtual
programs for our alumni and parents just so you all are aware we will be sending
an email every Monday plus advertising these programs on Alumni and Current
website college social media accounts just remember to follow up Claremont
McKenna College CMC Alumni and Families the new CMC community private Facebook
group so that you can continue to see everything that we do my name is Evan
Rutter, I’ve sent you a number of emails over the last seven years I’m the
Assistant Vice President for Alumni and Parent Engagement also an alumnus the
college and it’s my pleasure to post really our our first virtual session
with faculty for the for alumni and parents today we’re thrilled to have
professor Jack Pitney the Roy P. Crocker professor of politics at CMC to discuss
election 2020 and of course the effects Covid-19 may have on it. Professor Pitney
will speak and share some slides and then we’ll go to Q&A for the question and
answer portion there are if you if you find on the right side when you have
your chat feature open there are a number of different symbols you can put
in so if you end up with a thumbs up or a hand clap or something during the Q&A
portion I will actually go to you and unmute you and call on you for your
question so I’ll do a little bit of a reminder about think I went when
Professor Pitney is finished and then we will we will go into the Q&A portion
from that so without further ado I turn it over to Professor Pitney. Well, thank you all. Okay, am I muted?maybe?
You’re good to go. Okay, can everybody hear me? Okay. I’m getting nods. Okay.
Good Okay. I’m very happy to be here–not
under these circumstances–but it’s great to see a lot of former students and
friends and parents and various people connected to the CMC. First thing I want
to talk about today is is a topic that surprised me how often it’s come up.
Actually, literally when one of my last visits to a supermarket before this
started I actually went this morning to a woman came up to me very nervous
asking can the president cancel the election is he just going to cancel the
election and that will be it and I can assure everybody that’s not going to
happen. And we’re gonna review some stuff you
might even remember from Gov 20 that is the Constitution now it is true and
Candis can talk about this a little later because she’s directly involved
some states have indeed postponed primary elections in fact that’s
becoming more and more common. I heard a number of people from New York they’ve
postponed the the primary election in California we already had it just before
and that is totally within the power of states to do, but the question is can a
president unilaterally cancel or postpone a general election and the
answer is no can everybody see the screen okay it should say remarks to CMC… okay good. Here’s the deal as Joe Biden would say
the Constitution sets terms of office and no exceptions
the term of the President and Vice President will end at noon on January
20th period the terms of members of Congress terms of House members and
Senators whose terms expire this year will be up on, excuse me, January 3rd
and that’s that. It is possible that Congress could postpone the November
election but only by a little only by a short period of time only by a couple of
weeks at most because the electors have to vote they have to choose the electors
and we’re in order for the electors to meet for the votes to be counted all
this has to transpire before the terms end in January and so again there can’t
be a cancellation of the election but there can be a slight delay instead of early November it could be mid November but not much later so that’s
not a realistic concern under the Constitution but hypothetically, let’s
say the election didn’t happen for some reason well the terms still end. Trump
cannot unilaterally extend his term of office. Members of Congress can’t extend
their term of office so if something happened and there was no election for
some reason the house would be depopulated we wouldn’t have the
president so next in line is the President pro tempore of the Senate after
all two-thirds of the Senate would still be there and currently the President pro tempore of the Senate is Chuck Grassley but if we have a situation where there
isn’t an election and the senators are up in 2020 find their terms have ended
we can actually end up with the Democratic majority and the remainder
the Senate and it’s possible that the Acting President could be Pat Leahy, whom
you may remember from his cameo who’s in all the Christopher Nolan Batman movies
ok now we’re way out in the blue we’re way out in the science fiction that’s
almost certainly not going to happen. We are going to have an election. Realistically, what kind, what can Congress do? Can congress require mail
ballots? Yes. That’s perfectly within the power of
Congress to do so to regulate the forms of elections to Congress. The question is
whether Congress would do so, there’s a lot of opposition on the Republican side,
President Trump was quoted as saying well at some of this stuff the Democrats
wanted was in the stimulus bill we’d never elect another Republican. So
there’s a lot of resistance to a federal requirement for mail ballots but a
number of states are already moving in that direction
so we’re going to have a lot of voting by mail in in November the election is
going to take place the question is what kind of turnout is are we going to see
very much an open question we just don’t know a lot of uncertainty here. Another
question not regulated by federal law but by party rules–the conventions. Are
we going to have conventions on time and in the usual manner and Joe Biden was
recently quoted as saying he very much doubted it. At very least were likely to
see a delay in in one or both of the conventions. Democrats are talking about
moving into August. Here’s the problem, you’ve ever been involved with the
National Convention these are enormously huge and complicated events and you
just can’t shift it from one date to another or from one city to another so
we don’t know how that’s going to work out. People are talking about maybe
having a virtual convention just multiply what we’re doing now by a
couple of hundred and that you get a sense of how complicated that would be.
Fortunately, for the legitimacy of the process the conventions themselves no
longer a really decision-making bodies they exist mostly to ratify the results
of the primaries and caucuses so it isn’t like the old days and the movie
the best man where you had a lot of wheeling and dealing and and
decision-making at the convention so it really isn’t going to change
substantively the outcome of, of, the nomination process if they have to hold
the conventions by electronic device exactly how that works your guess is as
good as mine it’s kind of like what we’re doing in classrooms we’re making
it up as we go along this will be a fascinating time to be studying the
election Andy Bush and I are writing a book about the 2020 election we have no
idea what we’re going to to title it because we don’t know what the outcome
is going to be we’d put how it’s going to play out. So, for the rest of this hour
we’re going to be talking a lot about a lot of uncertainty. Now let me scroll
down and campaign operations are greatly affected by this. You know for the time
being, candidates can’t campaign in the usual
way. Trump loves the huge rallies. Well, he can’t have them anymore for the time
being the the functional equivalent for him staying in the public eye consists
of his daily press conferences and in a couple of minutes we’ll talk about the
possible effects of those press conferences. Joe Biden is having
difficulty staying and in the public eye. He’s broadcasting from his home that’s
getting some attention. He’s getting some airtime on the news with interviews, but
nothing like what the president is getting and that’s understandable in
in a national crisis. But a couple of things are worth noting.
Number one; Trump started the campaign with an enormous financial advantage. He
didn’t have any serious competition in the primaries, was able to to save his
resources for the general, and when a president enters a room it fills up with
money presidents are always able to raise a great deal of money and that was
the case here. In the New York Times article, you can see that if you combine
Trump’s fundraising Hall with the RNC 225 million for the the Trump
re-election campaign in the RNC. Democrats and the Biden and the DNC 20
million and again to quote Joe Biden here’s a deal really hard to raise money
you’re all watching what’s happening in the financial world people are losing
their jobs the stock market is gyrated it’s like you know some days are pretty
good but it’s lost a great deal of value that’s going to make it tremendously
difficult to raise additional funds so that puts the Democrats at a substantial
financial disadvantage. You may have heard Michael Bloomberg promised to have
a massive independent spending operation regardless of whether he was the nominee
unfortunately for the Democrats he’s backtracked on that he’s going to make a
substantial contribution to the Democratic National Committee but
nothing on the order of what he was previously talking about. Some of the
Democratic super PACs are trying to step up, but over all the campaign finance
picture does seem to to benefit Trump and the Republicans so that’s one
advantage that the president has. Another is the internet he made extremely
effective use of social media in 26 in the 2016 election
has been very active as the article here indicates Trump has 75 million, 75
million, Twitter followers 1.7 million Facebook fans the other day he said he
was number one in Facebook actually that’s Barack Obama but he ranks up
there he does rank up there that’s for sure and I’m sorry Trump has 28 million Facebook fans
and that gives him an advantage. Now the thing about social media is and this is
very consistent with Trump’s approach it’s not reaching out to a broad
spectrum of the electorate but rather it’s a way of motivating his own base
that enabled him to get elected in 2016 and the Trump people are counting on
that to put him over the edge in 2020. In a minute we’ll talk about the prospects
for that, but that’s another disadvantage for the Democrats. A third disadvantage
is Bernie Sanders is still in a race like Joe Biden he is very limited in
what he can do by way of campaigning there’s right widespread perception
among the Democrats that Biden is the de facto nominee but Sanders persists in
the race and that could cause some difficulty for Biden in the weeks ahead
particularly if Sanders resumes his criticism of Biden. As the president
likes to say, we’ll see what happens. Okay, let’s talk about you know, I wanted to spend a good deal of time talking about the
state of the race you have probably seen that the president has gotten a bump in
approval in the past few weeks depending on the poll his approval rating has gone
up by a few points. Let’s see if I can get this here. This is an average done by
the website 538 and as of this morning his average disapproval is 50 percent
average approval is forty five point seven by presidential standards that’s
not terrific and as you can see there hasn’t been a lot of variation in either
number in since 2018 but still we have seen a measurable increase in recent in
recent weeks from a low forty two point eight approval up to forty five and
Republicans are taking heart from that Democrats are being a little nervous
some background in this in times of national crisis there is a rally around
the flag effect it doesn’t happen all the time but it does happen most of the
time we saw this in the early days of the Second World War those were the
early days of polling saw at the end of the war tremendous upsurge in support
for the president after the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
surged support from President Kennedy at the Bay of Pigs which is quite telling
because the Bay of Pigs as you know was a disaster but his numbers went up and
Kennedy was a little perplexed by that but again people tend to rally around
the flag in a crisis one exception to this was for those of you of a certain
age 1968 the Pueblo North Korean sees the US surveillance
ship off the coast of North Korea and the there wasn’t a surge of support but
that occurred right in the middle of the Vietnam War and so that it exhausted the
American public’s desire to rally around the flag so that’s kind of a one-off a
very dramatic surge in support with 9/11 just before 9/11 Bush’s support was only
a few points higher than Trump’s is right now and you can see from the graph
here what happened it went up to 86 hitting a high of 90 percent that’s
Truman level and this is by the way was before commencement of American military
operations in Afghanistan so it wasn’t a result of the short term success there
but you can see in the last even remotely comparable crisis there was a
rally effect but the rally effect was far greater than what we’ve seen in
recent days now as you know Trump as you know Bush’s numbers went way down the
rally affected in the last rally effect seldom do but a question is why is
Trump’s rally effect as modest as it is the answer is polarization in recent
years people have dug into their partisan trenches Republicans support
Trump Democrats strongly oppose Trump and as you see with the approval rating
that I showed you really not a great deal of movement Trump’s disapproval
rating has stayed pretty steady around 50% you ever take a few points the
approval rating has stayed in the low to mid 40s pretty much with a couple of
exceptions so people are really really dug in on Trump now some of this is
broader polarization we saw this during the Obama years as well but as anti Bush
and I pointed out in our glass book Trump’s strategy is to appeal to the
base his political strategy is not to attempt really to reach out Democrats
but to motivate Republicans to get to the polls and that has shaped his entire
communication strategy if you read what he’s saying on Twitter and social media
it tends to be pretty partisan remarkably partisan for a president in
time of crisis so that’s something to that’s something to remember as this
unfolds which gets to the fall campaign another remarkable aspect of this entire
crisis and I rank among the older people in this session so I have some
historical memory here that that some folks may not have it is very unusual in
the early days of a crisis like this for reactions on either side to be as
partisan as they are as you can see from this tweet from today Trump campaign
told surrogates to paint Biden as the opposition you did not see this in the
days after 9/11 in fact after Bush gave his speech to a joint meeting of
Congress there’s a picture of then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle
hugging him and there was a great deal of bipartisanship rallying around Bush
and remember Bush was a fairly divisive figure in 2000 and 2001 a lot of do you
remember the controversy surrounding the election the hanging chads in Florida
and there were a lot of Democrats who raised questions about its legitimacy as
present but with 9/11 that went away for a while keyword is for a while
hadn’t happened this time almost immediately you have a lot of partisan
attacks again on both sides the president
is talking about painting Biden’s the opposition will be staying those ads
very shortly you’ve seen a lot of his tweets he’s fact just this morning he
tweeted about crying Chuck Schumer and when he signed the stimulus bill he
refused to and by either Schumer or a Nancy Pelosi quite remarkable and on the
Democratic side the attacks on Trump are pretty harsh and they’re very
specifically about this crisis again very very unusual let’s see if we can
play the social media ad that Biden is running okay we’re having a little
trouble with that but you can see from the tweet itself it’s time for Donald
Trump to do his job so here is able to do that there’s lives are at stake a lot
of very direct criticism of the president’s handling of coronavirus in
very very stark terms something that again we just did not see in the early
days 9/11 didn’t see it after the Cuban Missile Crisis certainly didn’t see it
after Pearl Harbor so quite remarkable and a foreshadowing
of how the campaign is is going to play out okay the question is what’s going to
happen okay confession and some of you already know
this elections are sometimes hard to predict and before just before the 2016
election I gave a talk of the apt and people that were there remembering I
went through it elaborate explanation of why Hillary Clinton was going to win as
you know turned out differently she did in fact win the popular vote by actually
a fairly substantial margin but the electoral vote took some unusual
bounces and Trump was elected so even under normal circumstances you have to
be cautious about election predictions and these are far from normal
circumstances so what decides the election and that is state of the
economy some very bad economic news lately projections of GDP are great and
GDP tends to be a predictor of presidential outcomes so the political
scientist Ellen Abramowitz literally has a formula for predicting elections based
on the second quarter growth or shrinkage of GDP and the president’s not
approval rating in late June and as you can see from this chart the likely
outcomes for Trump are not good he’s been running about -10 even with his
recent bump in the polls he’s actually closer to minus 10 than minus 5 and the
projection for his second quarter GDP is literally off the chart and I mean that
in a bad way there’s some projection it could be way way lower than minus 5% so
if that is the case we’re looking at a projection of Trump 144 electoral votes
270 needed to win so if the election is decided simply on the state of the
economy in the second quarter terms going to lose how Weber however lots of
uncertainty so let me before we should have to a discussion talk about various
kinds of uncertainty number one how are people going to judge is a little
killing of coronavirus are they going to great amount of curve that remains to be
seen the president indicated the other day that
if the death toll is less than 200,000 that will count as something as a
victory well if Americans see it as anywhere
remotely the same way he could end up getting reasonably good marks on the
crisis and that could help them in the election number two he’s on the air
every day he may well be on the air every day right through the summer at
least and a lot of Americans are watching and approving of what they see
if you’re on social media you get you probably hear a lot of criticism of the
president’s comments but the reactions of ordinary voters are often not the
same as those of people who comment on social media that works to his advantage
we already saw the president has a tremendous fundraising advantage
tremendous social media advantage and that’s going to to work to his benefit
particularly when it gets to mobilizing voters in the States we don’t know what
turnout is going to be a lot of votes are going to be cast by mail but in some
cases some states aren’t going to have widespread mail balloting and that could
greatly depressed turnout that might help could help the Republicans so this
is a formula based on quote-unquote normal conditions but the awakened ish
ins of this election are far from normal and a couple of other things could have
an impact some people say well who’s Biden going to pick as vice president
you know my top candidate you know being stag boy list would be a certain
governor of Montana however I doubt that the governor of Montana is going to be
the running mate part because he’s already promised to who to name a woman
so there’s a there’s a shortlist of candidates the most important thing he
has to consider of his list of candidates is this and
Jake pets old wrote a tremendous senior thesis a few years back on this topic
and picking a vice president there’s really only one thing that matters and
that is is this person ready to become president on day one that’s that’s
really the the thing that matters most ideological balance Geographic balance
and we already know he’s going to have gender balance these things he might
help a little at the margins but the important thing is qualification because
this is the most important decision that a potential president will make it’s
especially important given Joe Biden’s age people are going to be paying
perhaps more attention into the vice presidential selection than they would
otherwise it would probably tend to favor people who have run for president
before this would give a boost to Kamala Harris or a B Klobuchar if only because
we know how they behave on the campaign trail Biden probably has a substantial
Oppo file on both of them already so they would be top of the list there’s
been some discussion of other potential vice presidential candidates and we can
talk about that later but anyway we’ve gone past 9:30 we wanted to leave close
to half an hour for Q&A so with that I will yield the floor for questions all
right thank you jack if you would turn off your screen sharing and I can look
at who’s asking a question so if you have a question you like to ask on the
the right chat panel there’s a series of little buttons down below yes no there’s
more there’s thumbs up thumbs down hands clapping if you have a question just tap
one of those and I’ll come to you and all unmute you and you can introduce
yourself name class year and your question and I will say I’m not sure if
you know – if you saw jack that the DNC has postponed the convention to August
17th okay so I don’t know if you want to comment on that while we wait for a
question well a big question in political science is
does a later convention benefit a political party that it’s closer to the
decision day probably does end up working to the Democrats benefit because
a lot of votes will be cast early by mail and it will be fairly soon after
the Democratic convention will be an opportunity for the Democrats to get
their message out the big question of course is what the format will be and
again at this point nobody really knows so I’m gonna turn it over to Amy Berg
Amy amun meeting you now all right thanks so much this is really
interesting I’m Amy Berg I’m class of a 8 I live in
Providence Rhode Island I was just wondering whether I understand why under
normal circumstances people might think that vote-by-mail favors Democrats but
I’m wondering given that older people are tending more and more to
predominantly vote Republican whether it’s to Republicans advantaged to
increase vote by mail since that might make it more possible for older people
to vote do you think that’s a factor here even if there are more vulnerable
it’s a great question again uncertainty we just don’t know how many Amy to you
know I’m up an age where I can say this we don’t know how many older people will
be incapacitated that could be a substantial factor in the election
particularly if there’s a second wave of coronavirus in the fall that could have
an impact on turnout even the sending in a mail ballots
the thing is older people already vote if you’re of a certain age you’re just
damn it you’re gonna vote and it’s not like that with younger people but you’re
quite right and you know as a philosopher you’re very familiar with
the world of epistemic uncertainty so there is a there’s a substantial amount
of doubt about the outcome but about turnout again my hunch is that
higher turnout will probably tend to benefit Democrats but there are a lot of
asterisks next to that assumption right we have a question from mark Schwartz
mark I’m gonna unmute you and I’ll let you ask your question thank you I’m wondering with the change
in administration’s shelter-in-place recommendations if the president could
potentially extended for longer than is medically necessary to kind of help him
in the pools or or the election that keeping people nervous helps him stay
president and get reelected another great question the issue is whether
concern about kora virus helps or hurts and you could easily see it cutting both
ways if we get to the fall and people are still nervous
they might say maybe Trump hasn’t done a great job also very important to know
and this is those beyond election procedure tomorrow again this this will
make for great gov 20 material how little power Trump really has over
quarantines it’s almost entirely at the state level the shelter in place in
California New York other states that that’s the governor’s and that gets to
the limitations on federal power the power of the states under the Tenth
Amendment a broad range of police powers now conceivably and again legal scholars
differ on that now I’ll defer to any I know we have attorneys in the chat I’ll
defer to you but my understanding is there’s some question about the
president’s authority to curb interstate travel at least constitutional authority
or the weekend he was talking about maybe quarantine in the state of New
York well even if the President did sort of have legal authority to do that
anybody familiar the roads in New York State would
realize that was totally impractical they just look at a road map of the
state of New York there’s so many roads leading into and out of New York State
you couldn’t possibly enforce the statewide quarantine so really when
we’re again involved interstate travel so really when you’re talking about
shelter-in-place you’re talking about governor’s hand for November one thing
to watch is the different experiences of different states this could really have
an impact on how people perceive the success or failure of different
governors and unfortunately some states are going to have much higher problems
than others we have a question from 8a hand the ADA I’m going to unmute you and
you can ask your question well thanks Trump is getting unlimited TV time with
the daily press conferences is there any way that the demand for equal time could
be accomplished for Biden a great question equal time the it doesn’t apply
to regular news coverage so the F when you’re talking about equal time there
used to be the Fairness Doctrine that went out of that why not have existence
in the 1980s something I talk about in the politics of journalism and when it
comes to presidential activities things that are clearly related to the
president’s duties there’s no obligation to provide equal time as the election
gets closer just as a matter of practice and journalism I would expect that the
media will start to to give more air time to Biden but inevitably Trump is
going to have a big advantage there now the question is how are people going to
Percy Eve his performance lately his mere
presence on television is seen to have helped him but the election gets closer
perhaps things if God forbid things don’t really go well with the crisis
people might have a very different perception of what they see on the
screen so his advantage might diminish as a result of reality intruding
Jack Jade Tremblay has asked that I pose this question to you
what do you think the impact of the virus on the census and redistricting
later will be pretty bad people can easily answer the census online I did so
a couple weeks ago you have a a lot of people filling out forms by mail but in
order to complete the census you need census takers going out you need people
willing in some case to open their doors I think it’s a terrific question to
which nobody really knows the answer but the possibility of an undercount is much
greater now than it was even a couple of months ago all right next up is Allen Dells Ben
Allen you have the floor hi it’s pleasure to be part of this can
you hear me all right yes yes I’m just curious if you would comment please on
how we get so much focus on Trump’s ratings but congressional ratings are
almost absent from news reporting the last time I checked they were at 17 up
from 12 it seems that they’re getting a pass in the news for their lack of
participation in I’m not speaking directly about this crisis but over the
past couple of years why is Congress’s responsibility sort of
getting a pass here Congress almost always has bad approval ratings there
was a brief bump after 9/11 the ratings haven’t actually gone up some as you
mentioned in recent days but as an institution Congress almost always in
the past couple of decades of sad low ratings
and those ratings really don’t have any impact on election outcomes the cliche
is still true people hate Congress and love their
member of Congress reelection rates ever remain fairly high even in those years
in which there was considerable turnover a lot of the turnover happened in in
places where there were open seats one of which is in Texas and it’s very I
where I think we’re all very hopeful that a CMC alone will win an open seat
in Texas I am of course speaking of our own Candace Valenzuela okay all right I
shamelessly worked in a commercial there and Candace is actually our next
question pleasure to be here virtually I was
hoping to be at alumni week but this is a wonderful substitution so this is a
completely uninterested or self-interested question but I was
wondering what wealth disparity between the RNC and
Trump and the DNC and Dems does to down ballot races I’m help but Dad has
Michael Bloomberg I’m sorry can you repeat the question
she’s asking about the you know totally disinterested here about the party
wealth disparity and how it affects down ballot races per chance elections to
Congress you know certainly doesn’t help the Democrats however money by itself
does not decide elections and I if anybody believes that money itself buys
elections I had two words for you Michael Bloomberg Michael Bloomberg
spent a gazillion dollars and you know did horribly because as soon as people
actually saw him live as opposed to it as commercials they were you know they
he he just did not do well here in California you know those who remember
the 2010 election Meg Whitman’s an enormous amount of money and lost
handily to Jerry Brown so even though it is an obstacle for Democrats it is an
obstacle the Democrats can overcome if there is a broadly favorable environment
for Democrats in the fall I would expect that they would still do very very well
in elections for the House of Representatives we’ve had by the way had
a couple of senior theses over the years predicting that Texas would eventually
turn blue and that seems to be the case particularly Candice in your district
which is trending in the Democratic direction very very rapidly and the and
there are forecasts just today saben Oh Larry Sabato at the
the Virginia now has control of the Senate is a toss-up originally looked as
if it was going to be a lock for the Republicans to maintain control of the
Senate but there are several seats that seem to be working in the Democrats
advantage it looks defer to Laura on this but it looks like Miss ethnic
martha mcsalley is going to lose to mark kelly in Arizona Cory Gardner is in
trouble in Colorado Susan Collins in Maine even Joni Ernst in Iowa could have
a very competitive race so it’s tight but there’s a possibility Democrats
could take the Senate – thank you next up we have art Dodd art if you would
like to unmute and ask your question yeah good morning Jacqueline as a
California resident we’re used to dealing with disasters so it’d be
curious what predictions you might have for what you might like to see for a new
normal or a return to what things normal would you
like to see great question you know I know I know disaster as a lot
of you know I lost my house in a mudslide some years back so I can I
genuinely epi’ those for people who are suffering in natural disasters the big
issue in California it’s not going to be back to normal even aside from the
health issues will be our budget here in California we have a highly progressive
tax system and a lot of people say that’s a great thing but the problem
with a highly progressive tax system is that it’s what on the stock market
plummets our revenues plummet and we’re going to have a huge problem
balancing the budget in the net at least for the next couple of fiscal years we
do have a rainy day fund it’s raining but that rainy day fund I suspect will
be depleted pretty rapidly so the governor and the state legislature are
going to have some very very very fuck all choices ahead and given that we
can’t print money unlike the federal government the choice is either cut
spending or raise taxes that’s it that’s the only two things we can do and I wish
there were a silver bullet where we could resolve that fiscal issue
painlessly but there isn’t so the watchword in California government for
for the next couple of years at least will be like mr. te said in Rocky three
pain I wish I wish I had a more uplifting answer to your question but
it’s going to be very difficult now difficult decisions often give an
opportunity to the out party unfortunately for the Republicans
they’ve had a really rough time in California have not had strong
candidates and the Democrats have super majorities in both chambers of the
legislature that doesn’t look as if it’s going to change another question from
Jay Tremblay and that is your thoughts on the impact of digital ads
specifically as Trump is buying YouTube pages on Election Day yeah and this is
uh this is a great question as I mentioned on Twitter a lot of it in a
lot of the social media activity consists of mobilizing the base
motivating people who are already inclined to vote for you fascinating
thing happened in 2016 and this is related to the Russian interference some
what the Russians did was designed to demobilize Hillary Clinton supporters to
talk about to attack Hillary Clinton not so much to boost Donald Trump but
through disguised accounts raised questions about a record on various
issues and it may have had some effect in key states we don’t know whether
sufficient to change the outcome of the election but it may have changed some
votes we also know and the FBI has warned about this the Russians are
interfering in this election again but they’re going to be a lot cleverer about
it in 2016 some of the Russian ads were comical featuring spelling errors you
know so they must have had the B team and the internet research agency in st.
Petersburg because you could immediately spot some of the Russian ads but they’ve
gotten better at it so that’s going to be a huge problem Russian social media
ads designed to demobilize the electorate thank you jack and a reminder
if anyone wants to raise their hand and yeah feel free to do so also put their
question in the chat and I will get over to you quickly Alain Delon I had you on
the list for a potential question Alan do you
have a question yeah just a post-election question if Trump were to
win but lose the popular vote by a substantial margin five or six million
what do you thoughts on the electoral college well there’s actually a CMC
angle to this in the 2000 election after Bush what won narrowly the electoral
vote that clearly lost the popular vote two of our students dave and rich and
Matt Grossman started a website trying to get Bush electors to flip that they
got national publicity for that effort and both of them gone on to spectacular
careers Matt Grossman as a political scientist I use amusing his book in one
of my classes Dave enrich New York Times reporter has
a terrific book out about Deutsche Bank that particular effort didn’t succeed in
part because electors are chosen for their loyalty to the party so I suspect
Democrats would urge Trump electors to flip but they’re not going to do it they
you get to be an elector by being a party war horse
however there that would increase the sentiment to change the electoral
college that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon given the
constitutional impediments it takes two-thirds vote in each chamber
three-quarters of the state legislatures unless there is a very substantial
change in the composition of Congress that’s not going to happen any time soon
now there is an electoral vote compact which is sort of an end run around this
but again given the composition of state legislatures I wouldn’t put a lot of
money on that but I think in the long run you’re going to see increasing
sentiment for a direct popular vote Jack we have a candidate for US Senate any
comments on governor Steve Bullock running for the US Senate in Montana I
think he would have made a hell of a president okay I admit it I’m biased I
was his thesis adviser and I was disappointed that the the presidential
campaign didn’t know any where I think he has a very good chance
initially when he announced he was running for the Senate I thought he was
going to be a real underdog Steve Daines is the incumbent
Dane’s hasn’t done anything spectacularly bad that would provide an
obvious attack point but the dynamics of the election have changed in a couple of
ways the favor favor Steve’s chances number one I think the overall
environment does work to the benefit of Democrats across the board again
asterisk attached to that a lot of uncertainty to any kind of prediction
but I think that it looks like Democrats are going to have a very good year so
that’s number one number two if you look at his performance during the during
this crisis it’s been very very strong governor’s not all but a lot of
Governors are really stepping up to the plate
Mike the law Republican Ohio’s done a terrific job
Andrew Cuomo is doing a good job in New York Steve’s done a really good job in
in Montana and what’s gotten some national attention was his very vigorous
advocacy right to Donald Trump in a conference call talking about the
shortage of masks that got a lot of attention and Democrats were cheering
him for for being a very assertive in a situation in which people aren’t very
assertive most of the time so I think he can’t guarantee he’s gonna win by the
years has a really good chance and a much better chance than he would have
had even a few weeks ago thanks jack we have a question from Elliot Frey Feld
Elliot I am unmuting you go ahead yes I can you hear me
yes okay since he was a candidate and through his latest health report Donald
Trump’s health prognosis has been excellent do we have any reason to doubt
this or any factual evidence looking at this man that this perhaps might not be
completely factual I’m shocked shocked that you notice skepticism yeah
Trump’s level of candor shall we say has been controversial and the doctor who
issued his his health report the 2016 campaign later admitted the Trump and
himself actually wrote it he probably saw pictures of the doctor he looks like
The Big Lebowski and so yeah I think there’s a great deal we don’t know I
caution people who are looking at Twitter there’s a lot of speculation
about cognitive decline you know Trump messing up certain words
in his public addresses you know and every public speaker does this in fact
if you look at the recording of this I’m sure you could find words I’ve messed up
in the past hour so I wouldn’t put a lot of emphasis on that but he is a man of a
certain age he’s very much overweight he doesn’t really exercise and people in
that condition can see their health go south really fast Joe Biden on the other
hand is also in reasonably good health but again he looks his age and as I said
before this makes the selection of a vice-presidential candidate very
important so if I had five minutes with Joe Biden the advisor might say you know
all the stuff about Parsons but about ideological of geographical and
demographic balance is nice but the number one thing you ought to consider
is can this person credibly do a job as president on day one that’s that’s by
far the most important thing this Biden picked somebody about whom there is
doubt that will backfire very badly on him just look what happened to Sarah
Palin in the 2008 campaign Dan Quayle in 1988 and most spectacularly Tom Eagleton
on the Democratic side in 1972 so my advice to Biden is just vet the hell out
and vice presidential candidates and pick the person who can actually serve
as president on day one if need be we have a final question it’s kind of a
two-parter before we’re out of time the first is do you think pence would be
replaced on the VP ticket and then the more altruistic one is from a Republican
who you know would like to know how they can find a candidate that you believe in
that really can bring the country and the party together okay good questions
number one there’s been some speculation about replacing pence I doubt that
pence has been getting very good marks for his public presentations much better
than Trump which of course represents but that won’t be sufficient for Trump
to replace them on the ticket I couldn’t think of a good reason for
Trump to replace him on the ticket so I think unless he visibly and clearly
messes up with coronavirus I think he stays number two for Republicans in the
future look to governor’s look to people who are focusing on governance doing a
solid job and there are some Mike DeWine again gotten very good marks as governor
of Ohio perhaps he would not be realistic as a presidential candidate
but you do have other governors other people in executive positions who are
stepping up and and trying to do the best they can under difficult
circumstances and those people are future leaders all right Andrew Lee has
promised a very quick question so I’ll let Andrew have the next one
it has been a super quick question on this how do you think this is gonna
change for Americans perception of like the FDA or other health care areas
especially since that’s a pretty important part of our our society how do
we think about that I think it’s a great question number one people are paying a
lot more attention I think a few weeks ago most people had never heard of the
the CDC or the FDA lots just going to depend on performance if the FDA
approves medications that can actually be effective in reducing the symptoms of
coronavirus I think it will get good marks but if people perceive it as
messing up if we continue to have a shortage of masks I think people are
going to have a more negative opinion of organizations such as the CDC but again
with as with the political community more generally a lot is going to depend
on results Thank You professor kidney there was one or two questions I
couldn’t get to so my apologies but professor Finney does have to go teach I
think two courses this morning in this afternoon so we will let him go big
thanks from all of us the alumni the parents and of course the college to you
Jack and also to all of you for giving up an hour of your day to day if you
want to put any feedback give us any feedback please put that in the chat
feature for future events and activities especially how we conduct these in the
future I’m gonna unmute everybody and everyone can say their thanks and say
goodbye and have a great day be healthy be safe by everyone I got across our good
morning share your screen okay you’re still here we’ll leave the chat room
open for a little bit hang up on this thing I don’t hang up on this job
everyone I’m gonna jump to the 75th fall but Laura can you handle the the data
and the chat saving okay I’m gonna stop the recording but if you want to have a
conversation just say hello in the chat yeah I have to jump on to the 75th I’ll
find like an hour great thank you

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