Donna Brazile on Democrats in midterms: 'Energy, good-quality candidates and... money'

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable analyzes the week in politics, including the midterm elections and results from a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.
14:04 | 10/14/18

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Transcript for Donna Brazile on Democrats in midterms: 'Energy, good-quality candidates and... money'
Our brand new poll gives both parties hope and fear. President trump's approval rating is 41%. The second highest of his presidency. Republicans hold a slight edge over Democrats on handling the economy. The number of Americans who say they want Democrats to hold a check on trump is slipping. They are still a majority. Democratic candidates for the house lead Republicans by 11 points among registered voters. Fueled by a democratic edge on key issues like health care and a wide lead among women voters. Only 36% of women approve of president trump and they want democratic by Republican candidates in the house by 22 points. Our poll showing voters are engaged. 76% say they're certain to vote and here Democrats have the edge. In Kentucky this weekend the president previewed his closing arguments along with one of his potential challengers. You can either vote for Democrat mob rule or a Republican party that stands proudly for law and order, fairness, freedom and justice. The example we're showing the rest of the world is sad. Our values are being shredded. Our democracy is under assault. A president has put his own interest before our ideals. The question is not who Donald Trump is. America knows who he is. The question who are we? A lot to talk about. We're joined by Chris Christie, former Republican strategist, democratic strategist Donna Brazile, our chief national correspondent Tom llamas fresh off his interview with the first lady, Maggie habarman, and rich lawyery. Chris you see the president's approval rating going up. Is this enough? Not yet. The house is going to be hard. The house is going to be difficult for the Republicans to maintain. Given the last ten days the president's had, not impossible. With the news cycle, you never know what's going to happen in the next 24-48 hours. Stay tuned. Better for the president and the numbers reflect that. Donna, Republicans have consolidated in the wake of the Kavanaugh nomination. The president still in the danger zone at 41%. The Democrats are holding the lead in the house. The president is under water. He's going to be a drag on Republicans especially in the suburbs and I also believe in the rural areas. What we see in the democratic party is two things. Energy, good quality candidates and for the first time there's money. There's money, George. It's always difficult to raise money in the midterms. Democrats are focusing on kitchen table issues like health care. I have to say this, young people, they're showing an interest. If young people show up -- That's the question, if they show up. Rich, Donna talks about fueling the resistance. The president is calling that mob rule. Is that an effective closing argument? I think it's effective and true. These were mobs roaming the capital. Chasing Ted and Heidi Cruz out of a restaurant. It's really served the whole Kavanaugh controversy to given. Gin up the Republican base. I'm with Chris on the house. The Democrats need 23 seats. If you look at seats both sides agree are gone, they're almost halfway there. It's just if Republicans can get enough trump leaning districts to hold on by a seat or two. Senate looks much better though. Look at the 538 analysis. 80% chance Democrats take control of the house and 80% chance Republicans hold the senate. There was a dream among democratic strategists that they could take by the senate. Even by one seat. I got an email from a democratic strategist who I trust said obviously what I said doesn't hold anymore. Heidi Heitkamp? Absolutely. This is not a favorable map. In these districts in the house there are too many retirements for Republicans to overcome it. The way these districts are carved up -- we haven't talked about one important issue for democratic voters, we haven't talked about the gender gap which is not going to favor Republicans at all. The biggest gender gap we've ever seen going back to 1982. Republicans are hoping the solidifying of the president's support of white men will help some losses. This reminds me of the last few weeks of trump campaign where you saw the president out there. 2014 historic low turn out for voters in midterm. 70% of women in our term said this midterm election is more important than any other. That's not good for Republicans. The president said get out and vote because you're voting for me in 2018. Resistance is not about mobs. It's about people who don't want their health care taken away. It's about women who want to be heard and listened to when they feel its their time to talk about their trauma, sexual assault. It's not about mobs. It's about individuals who want to lobby their government. If you were running it, maybe that's what it would be about. When we listen to Democrats, they're talking about impeaching Brett Kavanaugh. They're talking about impeaching Donald Trump. The resistance is taking the feel of a mob. Can I stop you there? It has been an energized democratic resistance. Going to est -- Ted Cruz in a restaurant is going too far. Every trump rally you have people saying lock her up, even about Dianne Feinstein. Two wrongs don't make a right. I spoke at the convention. I remember giving an impassioned speech about Hillary Clinton. When people chanted lock her up, I backed away from the podium and wouldn't participate. I think it's wrong. This is what's happening to our politics for now. For Donna to say it's about people losing their health care, I don't hear anybody talking about that. What we hear them saying is impeach Brett Kavanaugh, impeach Donald Trump and a personal shot against the president. I'm telling everybody it's not going to work. A personal shot against the president? It didn't work in '16. It's not going to work now. We've seen Jerry Nadler talk about impeaching him. Maggie, Democrats may not be talking a lot about health care on the stumps, we're seeing it in just about every ad. It's a huge thing for the Democrats. And the Republicans would like to be talking about the economy. I think, yes, the president is -- I agree with you. This reminds me of 2016. The president is not on the ballot this time. He wants to be. He wants to be and he wants everything to be an up/down referendum on himself. You'll see a split result with Democrats taking the house and the Republicans keeping the senate. Maybe picking up some seats. You'll see the further entrenchment of the economic classes. It's where trump can help in the red states and rural districts and he's poisonous in the suburbs. It will be trench warfare until 2020. We're also seeing already, as Tom you were saying, the president ramping up all his media efforts including bringing Kanye west into the oval office. There was something about when I put this hat on, it made me feel like Superman. You've made a Superman. That's my favorite super hero. You man a super man cape. I love this guy right here. Let me give him a hug. I love this guy. Tom, the president was smiling at the end. You've covered him for a long time during the campaign. I think halfway through Kanye's speech he was starting to get annoyed that Kanye was losing focus. This is one of the moments I've never seen. Usually he likes to shock and surprise. You looked at president trump he had no idea what was going on. He had no idea if it was a good idea or bad idea. At the end of the day everyone was talking about it. He was holding court and watching it unfold and he was loving every minute. He didn't love every minute of it. This is one of the things that makes him a unique and impossible to understand political force. That's a fair statement. If I told you a year ago, we'll be talking about Kanye west in the oval with a make America great again hat on who was talking so much he kept Donald Trump quiet, that's a wild thing. I think people look at that and it makes Donald Trump more accessible, more Normal. Donna, maybe trump is bucking this trend. You've seen other presidents who people get tired of looking at them. They got tired of looking at Clinton. They got tired of watching Obama. They certainly got tired of George W. Bush. Will they get tired of watching president trump? Yes. C-SPAN stopped covering the rally. All the networks did. All the networks did. The president is self absorbed. I thought it was like another episode of the Kardashians featuring Donald Trump. It was embarrassing. That's the best I'm going to say. It's not about a black man sitting in the oval office hugging a white man. It was about a black man who didn't know his history. He repeated bad stereotypes about black people. I was embarrassed. Kanye needs help. I love Kanye west. He's a genius. If you had the opportunity to have every camera in the oval office with a black celebrity saying nice things about you, you're going to take it. I don't know whether Kanye means much. I think trump has the potential to appeal to working class black men. The young voters, I have a few of them in my house, they love Kanye west. When they see Kanye west with trump, doesn't mean they'll vote for trump but they'll look at him differently. He's willing to welcome Kanye west -- I don't think Obama would have Kanye west in the oval. George, this week in my household people were talking about Taylor Swift and energizing young people to register to vote. You keep your Kanye. I got Taylor. Kanye west was in the oval office. A new hint that James Mattis may be on his way out. Here he is on "60 minutes" tonight. What about general Mattis? Is he going to leave? I don't know. He hasn't told me that. Do you have him to? I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think he's sort of a Democrat if you want to know the truth. General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. At some point everybody leaves. Sort of a good guy, but a Democrat. We saw Nikki Haley announce her resignation. Whatever happens in the midterms, there's going to be a wholesale change in the trump administration. Absolutely. We're going to see changes in the trump cabinet. Nikki Haley was the earliest we have seen somebody get out and set their own tone for leaving. Get out while the getting is good. And make it clear she's not jumping ship. She hijack his week which a lot of people in the west wing were not happy about. It had been a good week with Brett Kavanaugh. You're potentially going to see a change in the attorney general. Almost certainly. The president is looking at a number of changes. He hasn't talked about most of them. Tom, we saw in that little dig about the Democrat right there, the president now increasingly suspicious of everyone around him. You got that sense from the interview with the first lady. She told me there's people in the white house she doesn't trust. She lets her husband know that. He went on Fox News and agreed with her. He said, yeah, we still have some bad people. We'll weed them out. I don't know if they're talking about secretary Mattis. Is there a fix for this? No. Listen, at the end of the day this is the way the president manages. I think what he was doing was sending Jim Mattis a message. Get out? No. He was saying if you want to get, now's the time. If you don't, stay until 2020. I think that's a message he was sending. I like him. I think he's a good guy. We get along great. We had lunch, all the positive things. Might be a Democrat. Maybe he's going to leave. Everybody is going to leave. That's the way the president manages. That's the way he managed the trump organization and that's the way he managed the white house. When you look at a post election environment, if you have openings in cabinet secretaries, you're going to need confirmation hearings. This could be tougher. That's why it's important for the Republicans to hold the senate. If Democrats take the senate, no one will be confirmed. I think trump on Mattis is a little wrong footed. He has this nickname. He's this mad dog. He's managed to stay out of trump's fire in part by never doing TV interviews. This will prick up his ears.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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