Welcome to a particular weekend-edition of FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript under has been frivolously edited.
micah (Micah Cohen, managing editor): Hey, everybody! We’ve convened right here on a weekend(!) to speak about President Trump’s handle to the nation on Saturday. Trump referred to as the nation collectively to make a suggestion to Democrats to attempt to finish the partial authorities shutdown, now greater than 28 days previous.
Right here’s Trump’s supply, summarized by Bloomberg Information reporter Sahil Kapur:
So, the query in entrance of us: Is that this supply more likely to finish the shutdown? And, extra usually, is that this a sensible transfer politically by Trump, who’s seen his job approval score erode because the shutdown has dragged on?
Let’s briefly begin with that first query. What do you make of Trump’s supply? Will it deliver concerning the finish of the shutdown?
sarahf (Sarah Frostenson, politics editor): No.
natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): Nyet.
perry (Perry Bacon Jr., senior author): It’s under no circumstances more likely to finish the shutdown. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi bashed the proposal earlier than the speech began (as soon as studies got here out with Trump’s supply). He didn’t seek the advice of Democrats earlier than the proposal was launched. It’s not clear he was even actually making an attempt to get Democrats to signal onto this.
sarahf: Yeah, what I don’t perceive concerning the proposal is that it was negotiated with none Democratic enter. It was simply Vice President Mike Pence, Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell speaking with fellow Republicans.
natesilver: I imply, there are some permutations the place that is the start of the top of the shutdown, I suppose.
These need to contain some mixture of (i) Trump providing a greater deal than what he’s providing proper now, and (ii) public opinion shifting to place extra strain on Democrats.
micah: So is the easiest way to take a look at this tackle as principally a political ploy — an try to vary the politics of the shutdown? (I don’t imply “ploy” in a destructive sense.)
perry: I feel that’s the one means to take a look at this.
natesilver: The actual viewers for the speech is probably going the media. As a result of we’re the one individuals sick sufficient to truly waste our Saturdays watching this factor.
slackbot: I’m sorry you aren’t feeling nicely. There’s Advil, Aleve and Tylenol within the cupboard in entrance of Nate’s workplace/Vanessa’s desk.
natesilver: lol, slackbot
Anyway, in principle, “we’re prepared to compromise and Democrats” aren’t is a wonderfully respectable message. It’s BS in numerous methods (principally as a result of the compromise Trump is providing isn’t too good). However it’s a reasonably typical message — to promote a not-very-great compromise as being a very good deal.
sarahf: Proper now, People overwhelmingly proceed accountable Trump and congressional Republicans for the shutdown. Saturday’s speech appeared like an try on his half to attempt to shift a few of that narrative by outlining a proposal that undoubtedly appeared like a compromise.
perry: And I feel it has as few potential good results for Trump. First, it might assist maintain Republicans on Capitol Hill aligned with him. They have been getting leery of his wall-only technique. This makes it simpler for the celebration to unify round him.
Second, Trump’s proposal permits McConnell to carry a vote and recommend he and his chamber try to resolve the shutdown too, identical to the Home is doing.
Lastly, I assume, when pollsters ask individuals about this proposal, it is going to be extra well-liked than the wall itself. My guess is will probably be close to 50 % help and maybe greater. Most individuals I assume aren’t completely towards any cash for the wall and really feel like Dreamers should have a path to citizenship or else.
sarahf: And I don’t know if it’s a great search for Democratic leaders like Pelosi to right away come out the gate saying, “nope this doesn’t work.” Then once more, they weren’t consulted within the making of the deal it seems like, so perhaps she’d be higher off highlighting that.
natesilver: I did assume it was bizarre that Trump opened the tackle with a type of uncharacteristically mild paean to the virtues of authorized immigration, however then careened to speaking about medicine and gangs and violence and a few of the different stuff that doesn’t often move a reality verify. Should you truly needed to painting a picture of bipartisanship, you may skip most of that stuff. Or you can speak about how there have been extremists on each side — name out Republicans for X and Y cause.
micah: Nicely …
I do marvel if this might change the politics of the shutdown in multiple approach, as Perry was getting at.
It might make Democrats seem like the intransigent aspect, as you have been all saying.
However, it might additionally shift the narrative in the direction of extra “border disaster” and fewer “wall.” And that’s higher political floor for Trump. Polls present extra individuals consider there’s a disaster on the border than help a wall.
sarahf: Proper, final week we checked out totally different pollsters who requested People what they considered the state of affairs on the U.S.-Mexico border. I used to be stunned by the variety of People who thought it was a significant issue or a disaster. Fifty-four % of respondents in a Quinnipiac ballot stated they believed there was a safety disaster alongside the border with Mexico. And in a CBS Information/YouGov ballot, 55 % stated the state of affairs was “an issue, however not a disaster.”
natesilver: It might shift issues — though, once more, it’s value mentioning that the deal Trump provided isn’t actually a lot of a deal in any respect.
In reality, it presents a bit lower than what they floated final night time.
The DACA half itself is a compromise, however to get that compromise, Democrats have to surrender one thing (wall funding) that they’re firmly against.
Though, it in all probability is truthful to say that the wall can also be a compromise of types. As Trump truly emphasised. It’s not all that a lot wall. It’s definitely not an enormous concrete wall stretching the size of the border.
sarahf: I do know! OMG, what a 180 from him on that!
And, as Democrats will probably be fast to level out, they have been already engaged on their very own laws that may give $1 billion in funding for border safety (however not a wall – to be clear).
natesilver: Proper, and Trump hasn’t actually made the case as to why a wall is important to cease the humanitarian disaster on the border.
The opposite factor is that … none of that is actually new. This compromise, if you wish to name it that, has been round for a very long time. Democrats have rejected it as a result of it doesn’t give them sufficient. They rejected higher variations of this compromise earlier than the shutdown started, in reality.
And Democrats have extra leverage now than then as a result of Trump wants the shutdown to finish much more than they do — it’s hurting him politically.
micah: I assume my level is extra that the convo might change.
perry: To place this bluntly, I feel this speech had two audiences the media (so they may do “each side” protection) and Republicans (so they’ll keep loyal to Trump on this situation). I assume this speech will purchase him at the least of few days of that. And each of these, as Micah suggests, will assist with the general public opinion.
sarahf: I used to be type of stunned that he made no point out of the hundreds of furloughed authorities staff.
Like some type of nod to their hardship. However nada.
perry: They’re all Democrats.
I’m joking, however that’s what he thinks.
natesilver: The query is partly: will the press run with Trump’s body?
micah: Nate, I don’t know if the media will run with it.
In all probability?
The headline within the lower-third on CNN proper now’s “Pelosi rejects Trump’s proposal to finish shutdown.”
perry: Trump might have purchased himself at the very least one other week to maintain this shutdown. Subsequent week can be 1. Pelosi rejected Trump’s concept earlier than he spoke, and a couple of. Senate holds vote and Democrats filibuster.
You all disagree?
micah: I feel that’s proper, Perry.
As we’re chatting, right here’s Politico’s headline: “Trump’s bid to barter on wall met by Democratic rejection”
The Washington Submit: “Trump provides to guard ‘dreamers’ briefly in trade for wall funds”
Dallas Morning Information: “Trump seeks border wall funding in trade for DACA protections to finish shutdown”
natesilver: There’s at the very least some semi-intelligent understanding on the White Home’s a part of how media dynamics work.
A minimum of elements of the speech play nicely into the media’s “each sides-ism.”
micah: NBC Information: “Trump provides new shutdown deal, Democrats anticipated to reject it”
Los Angeles Occasions: “President Trump proposes to increase protections for ‘Dreamers’ in trade for border wall funding”
ABC Information: “Trump will prolong ‘Dreamers,’ TPS safety in trade for full border wall funding”
CBS Information: “Trump proposes deal on immigration, Pelosi calls shutdown supply a ‘non-starter’”
natesilver: However the factor about that NBC headline is that the “new” half is fairly deceptive.
perry: These are nice headlines for Trump. Contemplating the truth is nearer to this:
micah: Yeah, a minimum of within the very very early going, this looks like a very good transfer by Trump.
natesilver: Remember that media may really feel somewhat chastened this week by the mess that’s grow to be of the BuzzFeed story.
micah: Yeah, I used to be considering that.
perry: I additionally assume that holding the Lindsey Graham’s of the world glad is one thing Trump cares about. The Republicans on the Sunday exhibits now have one thing to say. So do the Will Hurd’s.
micah: Excellent level.
perry: Pelosi and Democrats, I might argue, have been extra unified than Republicans earlier than this speech. However I’m wondering if some average Democrats begin getting nervous now.
natesilver: The trail right here is like:
1. Trump and Republicans keep a point of message self-discipline for every week or so;
1b. Trump and Republicans don’t face too many defections from their very own base;
2. Polling and different indications present that blame for the shutdown is shifting away from Trump and towards Democrats;
2b. There aren’t any strikes or planes falling from the sky that create a disaster and pressure a direct finish to the shutdown;
Three. Trump presents Democrats a bit of bit — perhaps fairly a bit — extra.
If all of that occurs, perhaps he will get a deal!
And no a type of steps is *that* loopy.
perry: So the basics of this difficulty haven’t modified, you’re saying, Nate?
natesilver: I don’t actually assume it modified something.
perry: I agree.
natesilver: Besides Trump made a chess transfer to advance the sport as an alternative of simply sitting there petulantly observing his opponent and watching his clock run down.
micah: “It provides him some extra time” is an effective learn, I feel.
natesilver: It was a particularly normal chess transfer, however at the least it was a transfer!
sarahf: Nicely, I imply main as much as this speech there had been some hypothesis he’d declare a nationwide emergency. And he didn’t do this.
So all issues thought-about, I feel this was a a lot smarter political transfer to make.
natesilver: Oh yeah, that is undoubtedly higher than that.
sarahf: As a result of I do assume at this level Democrats need to say one thing aside from, “we gained’t help this.”
natesilver: It was, like, virtually what a traditional president with a reliable group of advisors would do!
sarahf: Hahaha yeah
natesilver: However it’ll require lots of comply with by means of.
perry: I feel Trump is conscious that declaring a nationwide emergency is a “loss.” He doesn’t need a “loss.” I don’t understand how he will get a win. I truly assume, this proposal, if it was handed, would very a lot irritate the proper.
I can be curious how the correct receives this concept.
perry: Ann Coulter attacked it arduous.
natesilver: Coulter attacked it … though… you possibly can virtually say that’s useful for Trump.
perry: Good level.
It makes it appear to be extra of a compromise if the correct hates it.
natesilver: Now, if he loses the votes from a number of conservative Republicans within the Senate, then he’s screwed.
Or if he himself has second ideas as a result of Sean Hannity calls him tonight, he might screw himself.
perry: That’s an fascinating query: Can Sen. Ted Cruz vote for this?
Can it truly cross the Senate?
micah: That’s fascinating!
perry: As a result of I assume a part of the play right here is for Republicans within the Senate to be seen doing one thing concerning the shutdown.
Would Sens. Susan Collins and Cory Gardner help this from the left-wing of the GOP? I feel sure. However would Cruz, and a number of the extra hard-core immigration members on the extra conservative wing of the social gathering?
I assume sure, however I’m unsure.
micah: Wouldn’t you assume he cleared this with the Cruz’s of the world earlier than unveiling it?
perry: I might by no means assume that.
That was a soft-ball.
perry: McConnell perhaps.
sarahf: Yeah, I’m not picturing mass Republican defections right here within the Senate … I assume simply because McConnell appears to have been so closely concerned in negotiating this.
natesilver: Proper, yeah
perry: Do we expect any Democrats vote for it?
Doug Jones? Joe Manchin?
I assume no, proper?
natesilver: Manchin perhaps.
He voted to verify Supreme Courtroom Justice Brett Kavanaugh, so it’s not precisely like he’s apprehensive about stoking the ire of the Democratic base.
sarahf: However it does make you marvel why Trump ever listened to Mark Meadows and the Freedom Caucus within the first place moving into this mess.
Wouldn’t have $1.7 billion or no matter it was and no extension for DACA, TPS, and so forth. have been extra fashionable for them?
I assume none of it went to the wall. So perhaps not. No approach to appease anybody!
natesilver: Proper, the $1.7 billion didn’t particularly embrace border wall funding although.
perry: One other query: I feel I’m a believer within the distraction concept, so would Trump have scheduled this speech if he knew Buzzfeed’s Michael Cohen story can be so closely criticized?
micah: He sorta stepped on a reasonably excellent news cycle for him.
Although Buzzfeed is standing by its reporting.
natesilver: Hmm. However the truth that he had a excellent news cycle in all probability signifies that at present can be portrayed extra favorably by the press.
In order that gave him extra incentive to do it.
perry: So that you assume the media, cowed by the protection of the Cohen story, will cowl this announcement extra favorably than in any other case?
natesilver: The headlines we’re seeing usually are not “Embattled Trump desperately proposes already-rejected compromise in meandering speech,” however slightly “Trump proposes new compromise and Pelosi rejects.”
micah: And also you assume the previous is extra correct than the latter?
natesilver: I feel “Trump once more proposes already-rejected compromise in competent speech; Pelosi reiterates that she gained’t agree” is roughly right.
micah: The opposite factor perhaps value preserving in thoughts: The politics of the shutdown proper now are actually dangerous for Trump. Trump is unpopular, and the wall is much more unpopular. That is from our buddies at The Upshot:
micah: And that is from us:
I assume what I’m saying is that it wouldn’t be too shocking if the politics of this improved for Trump after his speech, given the place they’re now. There’s loads of room to enhance.
Anyway … ultimate ideas?
perry: We all know that presidential addresses usually don’t work. However Trump is making these political scientists look actually sensible.
sarahf: I feel the truth that Trump didn’t seek the advice of Democratic management is an enormous ding towards this proposal. However the truth that Trump did put ahead some sort of compromise is one thing. It has the potential to vary the politics across the shutdown.
It’ll be fascinating to see what congressional Republicans truly put ahead and what Democrats select to counter with.
natesilver: I assumed it was a bit bizarre on the finish when Trump stated this was simply the beginning of negotiations on a a lot greater immigration answer.
If that is simply small potatoes stuff, Pelosi may ask, why do we have to maintain the federal government shut down, once we’re going to have a a lot greater dialogue about immigration anyway?
That’s finally the query that Trump doesn’t actually have a great reply for. Why do we have to maintain the federal government shut right down to have this negotiation?
Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer and Pelosi will have to be clear about that in their very own messaging.
On the similar … I’m wondering if additionally they need to float, perhaps on background as a result of it does kind of contradict the message of “no negotiations in any respect whereas there’s a shutdown,” some notion of what an actual compromise would appear to be. e.g. the complete DREAM Act.
Or my concept: Supply HR1, the Democrats’ election reform/voting rights invoice, in trade for the border wall.
perry: The one cause I’ve a tough time seeing any deal being reduce: “the wall is a monument to racism” is an actual view on the left and has actual affect. That makes it a lot more durable Democrats to log off on any cash for the wall.
natesilver: Additionally, Republicans would presumably by no means comply with HR 1. However it strikes the Overton Window (sorry if that’s grow to be an overused idea now) and frames the concept Republicans are nowhere close to providing a good compromise.
If the wall is so essential to Trump — and he’s typically talked about it as his signature precedence — a good supply now that we’ve bipartisan management of presidency can be to offer Democrats what’s actually their No. 1 precedence (provided that they named the invoice HR1) as properly.
(That’s Pelosi’s hypothetical argument, not me essentially endorsing the deal as truthful to Republicans.)
micah: Yeah, that type of deal appears a looooooong methods off.