Roundtable I: State of the Race

George Will, Cokie Roberts, Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile, Ronald Brownstein.
3:00 | 11/04/12

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Transcript for Roundtable I: State of the Race
go, go! Where are you supposed to go? Uh-oh. Uh-oh. The jersey shore took an absolute beating. Up to 100 homes have been decimated and left in a rubble that's still smoking today. You don't understand, you got to get your trucks here on this corner! We're going to die! We're going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people. You're going to okay. My youngest daughter said yesterday, I want to go home. I said, it's going to be a while, honey. Hurricane sandy this week affecting so many millions in the northeast. Back now with the powerhouse roundtable. The political impact as well. We're joined by george will, cokie roberts, ron brownstein, our political analyst matthew dowd and donna brazile. George, that was a bit of a surprise in this final week. But now we're coming into this final week, both campaigns back to full speed campaigning. Do you see either side having momentum in these final 48 hours? If there's a momentum change, it's due to hurricane. Which would have slowed romney's momentum. I'm not sure people after nine months of campaigning are paying attention to this. David axelrod said that presidential campaign is an mri for a soul. At the end, you know the soul of both these guys. I think the country knows, this is a choice not an echo collection. They're ready to vote. Some have already voted. Matthew, dowd you look at our poll, 48-48. Today, you go back six months, almost exactly the same. The most interesting thing about this, which is why it's very akin to 2004, the stability of this race, there was no romney momentum after that first debate. He took back three, four points. That race went to where it was. It stayed there for flee weeks. I do believe that sandy has had an effect. Monday morning, mitt romney would have won the popular vote and electoral vote. What happened during the course of this week, because of the president's handling on it. You could see a slight change in his approval rating. Slight change in his favorability. The president has been at that 50. That's an important number. Because we know that presidents can get re-elected at that it happened again in 2004. You really felt this week, like the air went out of the romney balloon. From the first debate on, it was just blowing up and up and up. And even though the numbers weren't changing that much, there was a real sense of movement in that campaign. Ron brownstein, a question that I just asked ed gillespie. You see that especially in these state polls which shows the consistent lead for the president. But you also heard ed gillespie there. They think there's something fundamentally wrong with those polls. They think it's going to be a different electorate. Republicans equaled democrats as a share of the vote on election day. In a presidential election. That was a country, though, george, that was 77% of the voters in 2004 were white. We're talking about an election this time, it's going to be 74%, 73% or 72%. You see two very different coalitions for the president. Sun belt, he's growing up on the minority population and women. States like virginia and florida. In the rust belt, however, in that firewall of ohio, iowa and wisconsin, he's running significantly better than anywhere else in the country among those blue-collar workers. -- Blue-collar white voters. The last line of defense that romney hasn't been able to get over. Well, george, thank you. I think president obama has regained his aptitude following that first debate. He has a slight tailwind in these battleground states. I have been to many of them. People are so enthusiastic. Six months ago, I couldn't get anyone to return my call. They were like, stop it. But they're not just only returning calls they're bringing people to the polls. The polling stations opened for five hours and people are going out and they're voting early. The long lines at the polls are really something. The problem with the romney campaign's theory of the race and what ed said, the problem is, are you going to believe me or your lying eyes? Their theory is, when you feel a losing campaign, these three things happen. The first thing happens, don't believe that the public polls are wrong. The second thing is, we're going to change the nature of the electorate. And you're not seeing it refle And the third thing, the only poll that counts is election day. But the polls are all over the map. No, they're not. They're so consistent. Rasmussen are much more encouraging to romney than the others. In fact, there are campaigns in this country today that hire two polltakers because they're not sure what they can get from one. George, there are 23 polls, 21 are in the president's favor. This is our first presidential since citizens united. We began with the talk of power money that was going to be unleashed. Obama's campaign spends a billion. Romney campaign spends a billion. Concentrated spending. 5 billion over five white women in ohio. That's right. But, it has been very helpful to the tv stations. And 67 superpacs have sprung over the last 30 days. It's not making a difference. It could make a difference in the senate and the house races. And the reality is, you'r going to see a lot of republicans come out and you're going to see enormous racial larization in this race. 40% of white vote, in your poll this morning, 38 and 78. Right on the tipping point. But, ron, I want to bring that question to matthew dowd. When you look at it and you see how sophisticated each side is, how much money they both had, are we into an era now where almost every presidential election is going to be this close? Well, if you take a look at 3 of the last 4, they have been within two or three points. The other thing that happens, 35 years ago, 80% of the people lived in the target states that people concentrate on in these campaigns. California was a target state. Texas was a target state. New york was a target state. Today, less than 20% live in the target states. Because of that situation, 49-49 situation, that's going to be very difficult. We could have this conversation for anyboy to govern. We need to take a quick

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

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