Morning Joe Panel: Hillary Could Lead Democratic Wave in 2016

On the May 26 edition of Morning Joe, panelists Mike Allen, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin were all bullish about Hillary Clinton’s prospects for creating a wave that could carry down-ballot Democrats to their own election victories in 2016. 

The panel discussed an upcoming piece in Politico which highlighted increased interest from Democratic candidates in 2016, primarily due to Hillary. Allen happily noted that Democrats were using “the historic element of her candidacy and the higher turnout that you traditionally get in a presidential year” to help propel down-ballot candidates in House, Senate and state races. 

When a seemingly skeptical Scarborough asked if the plan was working, Allen said it was and that the Hillary campaign “has paid staffers in 50 states party building, in part to help out these House candidates who will help her.” Scarborough asked Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin if he thought Democrats were excited to run with Hillary at the top of the ticket. Halperin believed Democrats would be thrilled: "Much more positive than negative, particularly if you look at all these blue states like New Hampshire, Ohio, et cetera where there are contested Senate races and Republican incumbents [are] potentially endangered."

Scarborough dismissed the idea that Republicans think they can win in 2016, arguing that the party “can't nominate the type of people they nominated in '10 and '14. They’re going to have to find in a lot of these states candidates that can get the conservative base, but also that can pull in independents, moderates and some Democrats.”  

John Heilemann of New York Magazine suggested that Hillary has the chance to build as big of an electoral coalition as President Obama did in 2008 and 2012. He asserted that the former Secretary of State could do better with both women and Hispanics: 

She will not have the same coalition that President Obama had as you pointed out Joe, but she will almost certainly do better with women than he did. And she could do as well or better with Hispanics than he did. She historically was a better candidate with Hispanic voters than President Obama has been. She could very well – she got challenged with African Americans and challenged with young voters in particular, but she has the another way to put together a big coalition that could help a lot of down-ballot candidates, especially in swing states.     

The relevant portion of the transcript is below. 

MSNBC
Morning Joe
May 26, 2015
7:25 a.m. Eastern

JOE SCARBOROUGH, host: And to chief White House correspondent for Politico, Mike Allen with the Politico playbook. Mike, you have a story that’s gonna go up later today about the so-called Hillary effect for 2016. Tell is what the Hillary effect is. 

MIKE ALLEN, Politico: Yeah, Joe, this is a sneak peek of a story that will be up on Politico later. And we found out that Democrats were trying to recruit candidates to run for the House are using the Hillary candidacy as a lure, between the historic element of her candidacy and the higher turnout that you traditionally get in a presidential year is a force multiplier that will help those down-ballot candidates. 

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, is it working? 

ALLEN: It is. They're getting a lot more interest from candidates. That’s part of the reason that the Hillary campaign has paid staffers now in 50 states party building, in part to help out these House candidates who will help her. Now, Joe, Republicans as you might guess are saying bring it on. Yes, she will help in some places but are other places that Hillary Clinton will depress turnout. She's no Barack Obama. And so, yes, these down-ballot candidates will benefit from the rallies, from the victory centers, but she not gonna  turn out the kind of coalition that they’ll need.

SCARBOROUGH: Certainly not going to be Barack Obama’s coalition. No doubt about it. Mark Halperin, any coattails? Are Democrats excited about running on the same ticket as Hillary in 2016? 

MARK HALPERIN, Bloomberg:  Much more positive than negative, particularly if you look at all these blue states like New Hampshire, Ohio, et cetera where there are contested Senate races and  Republican incumbents potentially endangered. 

SCARBOROUGH: Well, there is a contested race in Florida, which is usually a Republican state. But a lot of concern in 2016 that you usually get more Democrats out, 300,000 or so more Democrats out more than Republicans in presidential years. And then you have the fact that Hillary is fairly popular in Florida. That's a Senate race that, you know, is gonna be open because Marco is leaving that could go to the Democrats. 

HALPERIN: Two other huge factors I’d look at. One is the female vote. If she does as well as she can potentially do with women voters, that could be a huge factor in all these races. And the other is President Clinton. If she’s on the general election ballot and he’s all in to campaign for her, imagine him doing rallies in Florida, rallies in Ohio.

SCARBOROUGH:  If Republicans think they can win, and I don't think they do, but if they think they can win in 2016 by nominating the most hard right candidate in state after state after state after state, they're sadly mistaken. Because '16, they're going to have to – they can't nominate the type of people they nominated in '10 and '14. They’re going to have to  find in a lot of these states candidates that can get the conservative base, but also that can pull in independents, moderates and some Democrats. 

JOHN HEILEMANN, New York Magazine:  She will not have the same coalition that President Obama had as you pointed out Joe, but she will almost certainly do better with women than he did. And she could do as well or better with Hispanics than he did. She historically was a better candidate with Hispanic voters than President Obama has been. She could very well – she got challenged with African Americans and challenged with young voters in particular, but she has the another way to put together a big coalition that could help a lot of down-ballot candidates, especially in swing states. 

NBDaily 2016 Presidential Morning Joe MSNBC Joe Scarborough John Heilemann Mark Halperin

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