Ep.194: John Hudak, The Broookings Institution Part II

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.194: John Hudak, The Broookings Institution Part II

Ep.194: John Hudak, The Broookings Institution Part II

John Hudak returns to give us a comprehensive breakdown of what to expect from election day 2016. This episode goes up 5 days prior to Nov. 8th so we discuss House, Senate and Gubernatorial races as well as the  outlook in North Carolina, Montana, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona specifically to name a few. We don’t discuss John’s book “Marijuana, A Short History” available at Brookings, Amazon and Barnes & Noble now, but stay tuned, we will next time. But for this time, we begin with a piece of John’s first interview in episode 163 this summer on de vs. rescheduling to showcase his power of prognostication…and intellect.


Speaker 1: John Hudak returns John Hudak returns to give us a comprehensive breakdown of what to expect from Election Day 2016. This episode goes up five days prior to Nova Braids, so we discussed how senate and gubernatorial races as well as the outlook in North Carolina, Montana, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Specifically. To name of you, welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends and the word economy. We don't discuss John's book, marijuana, a short history available at brookings, Amazon, and Barnes and noble now, but stay tuned. We will next time, but for this time we begin with a piece of John's first interview in episode one 63 this summer on d versus rescheduling to showcase his power of prognostication and intellect of the Brookings Institution. John Hudak. Let's just tackle.

Speaker 2: I'm rescheduling or what I like to, uh, what I prefer. Dea Scheduling. There's noise here about rescheduling and all of that noise seems to sound like scheduled to. We don't need to re litigate a, you know, the difference between going to schedule two and schedule five or dea scheduling. But what do you see? What do you hear? What do you think? Sure. So FDA has made, there's a current rescheduling petition before the federal government that was filed by Lincoln, chafee, the then governor of Rhode Island, and Christine Gregoire, the then governor of Washington. Um, it has been a under evaluation for five years. Um, they, uh, FDA has a, it has been announced, has made the recommendation to dea. Dea has said they will make their decision sometime this summer. It will come through dea and the Department of Justice. I will be shocked if marijuana is rescheduled. I think that historically and statutorily it is unlikely that dea is going to move in that direction.

Speaker 2: I think they should, I think they should reschedule for a variety of reasons, but, uh, I think it's hard to imagine d e a reversing themselves on this point, especially because I think they look at the system as it is and they say that's good enough. Dea is not a productive institution. It's a law enforcement entity that has spent its entire existence. I'm prosecuting the war on drugs and this is a signal that there is a weakness there. The new DEA chief I think has shown himself not to be a friend of the marijuana reform community and while there are legitimate research reasons why rescheduling is probably a good idea and I think there are a lot of myths about what rescheduling will do. That, those are myths both among marijuana opponents and also among the marijuana industry actors. There are different myths, but myths, all the same.

Speaker 1: John Hudak returns John Hudak returns to give us a comprehensive breakdown of what to expect from Election Day 2016. This episode goes up five days prior to Nova Braids, so we discussed how senate and gubernatorial races as well as the outlook in North Carolina, Montana, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Specifically. To name of you, welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends and the word economy. We don't discuss John's book, marijuana, a short history available at brookings, Amazon, and Barnes and noble now, but stay tuned. We will next time, but for this time we begin with a piece of John's first interview in episode one 63 this summer on d versus rescheduling to showcase his power of prognostication and intellect of the Brookings Institution. John Hudak. Let's just tackle.

Speaker 2: I'm rescheduling or what I like to, uh, what I prefer. Dea Scheduling. There's noise here about rescheduling and all of that noise seems to sound like scheduled to. We don't need to re litigate a, you know, the difference between going to schedule two and schedule five or dea scheduling. But what do you see? What do you hear? What do you think? Sure. So FDA has made, there's a current rescheduling petition before the federal government that was filed by Lincoln, chafee, the then governor of Rhode Island, and Christine Gregoire, the then governor of Washington. Um, it has been a under evaluation for five years. Um, they, uh, FDA has a, it has been announced, has made the recommendation to dea. Dea has said they will make their decision sometime this summer. It will come through dea and the Department of Justice. I will be shocked if marijuana is rescheduled. I think that historically and statutorily it is unlikely that dea is going to move in that direction.

Speaker 2: I think they should, I think they should reschedule for a variety of reasons, but, uh, I think it's hard to imagine d e a reversing themselves on this point, especially because I think they look at the system as it is and they say that's good enough. Dea is not a productive institution. It's a law enforcement entity that has spent its entire existence. I'm prosecuting the war on drugs and this is a signal that there is a weakness there. The new DEA chief I think has shown himself not to be a friend of the marijuana reform community and while there are legitimate research reasons why rescheduling is probably a good idea and I think there are a lot of myths about what rescheduling will do. That, those are myths both among marijuana opponents and also among the marijuana industry actors. There are different myths, but myths, all the same.

Speaker 2: I think at the end of the day of dea reschedules this summer. Count me among the shocked. So you're shocked about that. Let's, let's assume you're right. I mean, that's kind of why we're sitting. You're sitting here talking about the myths though, you know, just to zero in on the myths that the, uh, that the industry feels that you see as myths. Yeah. So the industry thinks that if marijuana is rescheduled, a couple of things are gonna happen. First Big Pharma is going to step in, take everything over and shut everything down. And then, just to be clear, we're talking about schedule too, but condensed so to, for, for schedule too. Yeah. And into that they are going to start using, um, a, a, a law that governs the FDA that says that they can step in and shut down anything that is falsely advertised. And so actually heard someone speak yesterday, speak publicly at the conference yesterday who said Fda is going to use that power to, um, say that you're calling this medical marijuana. It's not medicine. You have to stop this. The problem is FDA has that power right now under schedule one in if anything, they have more of a power to do that under schedule one. So it's just a nonsensical discussion. And I mean I've, I've grown horse debating people on this point and you just can't show them the light. But I mean at the end of the day that moving to schedule two will help some medical researchers in the United States. And no one else is going to notice the difference.

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Speaker 2: We have a podcast room that's true, and we're in it. New Media at its finest new media at its finest at its best with John Hudack. You're here in Washington DC, you know that right? I am. Hopefully you know it too. You got on the wrong flight. No, no, no. I'm here. I'm saying you, you seem to be traveling. That's true. It's been, it's been a rough couple of months. I have my feet on the ground for another couple of days and uh, we were lucky enough to connect with this. Let's, let's test this out. Is it true that you were in Vegas for three weeks? Uh, yes. That is true. There are plenty of blackjack dealers who can attest to that fact and barmaids and bar keeps as well. But uh, I was there for three weeks. I survived. I survived a presidential debate as well. Right. And, and here I am back in DC.

Speaker 2: I like how the presidential debate is like an also thing that you were doing, you know, I think there are a lot of ways to die in, in Las Vegas. And I've, I've certainly skirted many of them. The presidential debate was among them for sure. UNLB put on a hell of a time, but a man that was, that was something watch. Well, I guess, yeah, it definitely was, and let's start there because that's where for everyone's frame of reference, they'll understand what we're talking about. So, you know, as far as watching it were you in that big media room that I saw on the showtime show, the circus? Not quite sadly and happily I was not a, we had a brookings board meeting out in Las Vegas that coincided with the debate and so I was in a lovely room at the Aria, a conference room at the Aria Hotel, uh, and uh, and thanks to mgm, we, we were, we were treated quite well and I watched the debate from there and did a little dog and pony show for some of our board members with a few of my colleagues and sort of did a pre debate expectations and then post debate postmortem.

Speaker 2: So it was fun. Um, I think it would have been better to be in the room, although they confiscate all of your electronic devices. So my ability to live tweet, um, would have been out the window. I think my ability to sit quietly would have also been out the window. So probably for the best that I was in the area and not the back of a secret service van because I yelled something out. So yeah, fair enough. Going into it then. Let's, I mean, recapture this if can, why not? What

Speaker 3: were you thinking and saying? It sounds like, you know, uh, moments before

Speaker 2: or man, I couldn't have been more wrong. So I, my predictions for the debate, uh, we're uh, as follows, a trump needs to do something to turn things around and if he's been disciplined at all, um, he'll, he'll keep it together. He'll look presidential and he'll try to turn the corner for Clinton. I said she has to be a safe sort of a not go on the offensive, just not try to rock the boat, just keep doing what she's been doing and not even try to get under donald trump's skin. Just just keep showing America the version she's been showing them for the past two debates. And uh, all of those things were wrong. She really went on the offensive and took it to them and did everything she could to get under his skin. And it worked. And he had a, my colleague Tom Mann said he had 33 minutes of decent and then at that 30 minute, uh, she said that, uh, uh, I forget if it was the Putin's puppet line or, or what it was and uh, he lost it and then that was it. It just went downhill from there and you could actually see in that moment his entire, almost like his entire physical appearance change. And then you knew the debate was over and frankly the presidential campaign was over at that moment.

Speaker 3: So, and we're going to get to the presidential campaign in a minute because we spoke to you a couple months ago and that's of course the royal week, John. Um, and you said just that at the time. So we'll get to that in a second. But, you know, yeah, the, the puppet line, certainly, you know, uh, was an explosion of sorts. Um, what about the fact that, that, you know, there's all sorts of stuff that we could kind of talk about. But in my lifetime, you know, I grew up during the cold war, like I was a kid in the eighties, and so we had things like rocky four and all of those other movies, uh, which basically said America is great and you know, hey, watch out for Russia because you never know. And then it's like, this is the, you never know, this is the tapping into, you know, like emails and actual espionage happening as we speak. This is

Speaker 2: it. It really is. I mean, this is something that should horrify every American, what's going on with wikileaks and with Russian hackers and things like that. Um, regardless of what your political leanings leanings are, if you're American, you should maybe be offended. Yeah. And I think you can hold both ideas concurrently. You can be sort of thrilled that people are pulling the curtain back on Clinton, but disgusted at the avenue and the actors who are doing it. Absolutely. Those are two different things. Exactly. Two different things. And so I think for any Clinton out there who thinks they wouldn't be cheering if these emails were leaking, Donald Trump's taxes and things like that, that they're probably kidding themselves. But, uh, it, it's really, it's a really bad situation and it's one when you look out, it's interesting at the sort of conservative media and conservative punditry Julian assange was a trader and yeah, just I guess not a trader because he's not American, but just someone who was committing the worst kind of acts in world history and now he's, you know, an okay guy just speaking the blowing the whistle and, and trying to get the information out there.

Speaker 2: Um, I, I think this is one, uh, is certainly unprecedented moment of, of meddling in American politics and one that, uh, I think once the election is over, people are going to have to think long and hard about how much they embraced Russia and took on the face. Uh, what, uh, some really bad actors are putting out there. You say unprecedented. You know, we're here in the Brookings Institution. I mean, it is a truly unprecedented. Is there anything close to this besides Benedict Arnold? I mean that's. Yeah, we really don't have much. I mean in in 1980 you had a situation in which Iran was actively trying to derail Jimmy Carter's chances. That reelection, and of course the the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in, the hostages were released, but that was sort of Iran using its own leverage. It wasn't a ran actually attacking the homeland of the United States to try to effect an outcome and a.

Speaker 2: In that sense, yeah, we. We don't have much. This is terroristic style activity I'm making. What's worse, especially for Wiki leaks, this is a group that wants more transparency. If you think the Clinton campaign is communicating in emails anymore, you're fooling yourself. This takes every elected official in the United States and tells them buried deeper. Go off the record, make phone calls. Only speaking communication, write letters and burn them. Like old style. Yeah, no paper trail. This is the worst thing you could do for transparency. It's not to say that the Clinton campaign is, is some, you know, a focal point to, or beacon of, of transparency or anyone in the federal government is really. But this makes matters worse. And so I think for people who are, uh, you know, looking out at the landscape and thinking, I have an outcome, I want to achieve a, you should probably take the path that helps you achieve that, not the path that sets you back, you know, 80 yards.

Speaker 2: Yeah, absolutely. So speaking of the path that set you back 80 yards, you, you were a wholly wrong in every way in your analysis, your pre analysis. Exactly of the debate. Now let's get to the, to the Post analysis. What, what were you saying in real time as you know, as you were just realizing what, what had happened? So I thought that Clinton put in the strongest performance of the campaign in terms of debates and that includes primary debates. I thought she really showed herself to be able to go toe to toe with trump to be gruff and rough. And I think one of the weaknesses in Clinton's campaign messaging so far on the topic of foreign policy in particular is you really haven't seen that tough. Hillary Clinton, the one who really battled Benjamin Netanyahu when he announced a new settlements upon Joe Biden's arrival, someone who, who negotiated hard, the Russian reset with then president Medvedev and not President Putin's something.

Speaker 2: A lot of people conveniently forget. You've just seen someone held the it with a tripping up the, the optics of it, but whatever. Sure, sure. Um, and then you, but you've just seen sort of the frankly brookings white paper approach to foreign policy, which is sort of a bland discussion of the facts and, and her record and that. But you saw, let me not agree with that. It's all inspiring and, and all of that, if we're saying Brookings Institution, but go on perhaps I. um, and so you saw her really the idea of what she would be like in one of these heated exchanges with a world leader when you needed to stand up to that person. And so you saw that on the stage. It wasn't a perfect performance by any means. She missed opportunities. Um, she probably went a little overboard at times, uh, but she did what she needed to do and that was look presidential in this way, in a unique way into set Donald Trump off and it didn't take much.

Speaker 2: Uh, but she was able to do it and then just step back and let the chips fall. I mean, it was, it was a classic political strategy executed fairly effectively, right? Yeah. So, so, okay, now we're here and uh, when we're talking, it's late October. I think that this might be the last episode before the election. Okay. We'll put this up. So these things will still be factually a significant if not two weeks off or week and a half off, whatever the point being. Um, you said to us in the summer, again, royal us, we're right away. Um, she's not going to lose this issue. All these things would have to happen that aren't going to happen. Now I give you Ohio, right? As, because I was saying rustbelt rust belt. And you were saying that's not gonna, but what about Ohio? So until about two weeks ago, Ohio looked like it was going to be one of two states that would flip from a estate.

Speaker 2: Obama won in 2012 to a state that trump might carry of being the other being the other. Now it appears that Clinton is going to do just fine in both those states. It's not a sure thing. But, uh, there are also states she doesn't need. She can lose both of those states in a couple of others and be fine, but she is in a position where Ohio is looking better than it has all year. Iowa is looking better than it has all year. She has better campaign operations in both of those states. Previously the RNC was going to do all of the, get out the vote effort because the trump campaign for some reason had no interest in putting one together. And now of course it's too late. I'm the RNC by all accounts, is taking a pretty tepid approach to this election. I think they see that the presidential campaign is lost in that their only chance is to keep the Senate.

Speaker 2: And so a lot of resources are going to be poured in those Senate races. Um, sadly for trump, Ohio's once competitive Senate race no longer is and I was a Senate races in that competitive either, so that's going to hurt him quite a bit. And uh, so even though Portman, the Republican is, is pulling away with it, the fact that he's pulling away with it is the issue. Yeah, that's, that's what's damaging for, for trump because if he's pulling away with it, especially a guy who has a pretty good political machine in the state of the RNC, doesn't need to help him when he's going to win. And so that means that she's probably going to run the board with Barack Obama's 2012 election map as well as add North Carolina onto it and probably has a shot at winning Arizona as well. A pretty decent shot of winning Arizona.

Speaker 2: Uh, so these things are possible there feasible. As we look at the map, as we look at the polls, we talked about brexit last time and the reason we talked about brexit was to discuss how, what effect that would have on our economy, the global economy, and you said probably not much and you were probably right. Well, definitely right for the time being. Um, and I think that that was your only point. However, what about that potential bregs vote here in the US? You know, what says that we are completely, you know, polling is wrong because we're not asking the right questions of the right people. Um, and then all of a sudden, big surprise, that's a highly unlikely it is. Tell me why. This is a political scientist. I'm trained to trust polls that are done well and there are polls out there right now that are not done well.

Speaker 2: So for instance, uh, one pole is looking at the American electorate in terms of party breakdown based on a 2004 model. That's problematic because that was a republican leaning year even over the baseline because President Bush was still quite popular. The problems we faced with nine slash 11 and after nine slash 11 had not worn off, and so that was a, a peak republican year. It was more Republican even than 2012 was. We have no evidence that this will be a 2004 style year in terms of voter turnout, party voter turnout. Add to that. A president who is increasingly popular, who was about 10 points more popular now than he was 18 months ago, would suggest to you that it will be a baseline election that is about 35 percent Democrat, 29 percent Republican, and the balance being independence. That or it will be a little bit more pro democratic turnout, means that the poles that are heavily weighted toward Republicans are going to give you skewed results.

Speaker 2: Um, and those are the Poles that are showing a close race because there's no reasoning for it to be composited otherwise. Is that what you're saying? Exactly. So let's go back to 2008, for instance, that the polls in that race, which many of them ended up being pretty accurate in the final days, showed a, a, a peak democratic turnout that year. Why was that? The president was extraordinarily unpopular. President Bush had about a 27 percent approval rating. The economy had good laugh. That is exactly good reason for that. The economy had collapsed. We were in two unpopular wars. The Republican nominee nominated an absolute nitwit is as vice president and democratic turnout was remarkable in self identified. Democrats were remarkably high. So we had a reason for bumping the democratic number of that year compared to 2008. You have to bring that democratic number down for 2012 because that's Obama or had worn off.

Speaker 2: He was the sitting president in the polls that did, that were effective. So we're back in a place where you have to assume average or slightly above average democratic turnout in 2016. Uh, why not? You know, we've had two terms of a Democratic president. Why not, you know, kind of kick back with a little bit more of a Republican base. You would accept the president's popular and effectively hit five percent. Yeah. Effectively his handpicked successor is running. And so that is why you would expect slightly more that 55 is compared to bushes 25. So that should have a pretty significant effect. So then we only have 45 to take from to begin with. Exactly. Exactly. And so you look out at the national polling and you see, uh, the poles that are doing this right, have Clinton up seven to 10, 12 points and a, that's significant.

Speaker 2: Then you drill down into the individual state polls, which is harder polling to do. Um, and you know, one or two poles here and there, they're easy to discount. But when every poll is coming out in a given state, Virginia, where I live, for instance, is a great example. There has not been a poll that has shown Donald Trump up the whole time and statement. Yeah. And so you can be pretty sure Hillary Clinton is going to win Virginia. Um, and so like I said, individual polls definitely not something you should put a lot of weight into because there are margins of error and they're, there are problems that can exist, but when you average the polls and people like nate cone and nate silver and a real clear politics and others are doing this, you see that there is an obvious outcome coming. So on Election Day 2012, I did a lot of media given that this is something I study a lot and every interviewer asked me, so do you care to make any predictions about what's going to happen tonight?

Speaker 2: And I said, the president's gonna get reelected period. That's it. And they're like, no, but what? I'm like, no, he's getting reelected. That is it. There is not a scenario here where he's not. And people thought I was crazy. I mean the interviewers thought I was crazy. They also wanted a big horse race too. You're not saying what they want exactly. But the polls that did well that, you know, looked at party composition in the right way that year. Nailed it. Absolutely nailed it. And so it's, like I said, it's easy to write off Poles, it's even easier to write off poles when you've run a terrible campaign and you're behind, um, but to, to look out at the broader landscape, it's obvious what's going on right now. So let's go state by state.

Speaker 3: Um, but before we do that, uh, you know, you, you, you said kind of ignoring poles and we talked about precedent earlier. Uh, what precedent is there for a candidate or presidential candidate, you know, saying before Election Day, uh, it's rigged and maybe I'm not going to accept the results or I don't know if I'm going to check back with.

Speaker 2: Sure there is. There's two, uh, two views on this right now. One is that Donald Trump's rhetoric about a rigged election in not accepting the results is disastrous for our democracy is, is a real liability. And I think there is some legitimate worry that, uh, you know, people can act out in certain ways if trump doesn't win it. People may consider Clinton an illegitimate president. That said, we've gone through eight years, were many of those same people, thought Obama was an illegitimate president. The Republicans fine. Um, our democracy is still functioning. So I think a lot of that rhetoric is, is overrated. I will say the people who, and I'm not counting myself among these, uh, but people who think there could be acts of violence after the election or during voting if you truly think that could happen because of this rhetoric than yeah, that is really dangerous rhetoric.

Speaker 2: Um, I think though this is mostly the huffing and puffing of a child and someone who shouldn't be taken seriously, um, he, he is in this difficult position where he's really only ever gotten whatever he's wanted in his life and now he on the biggest national stage or biggest international stage, definitely being told no being told no and not just being told no, but no. These hundred and 40 million people don't want you as a majority and that's going to be very difficult for him. The nice thing about our system is a, he can say whatever he wants and if Clinton is elected president, she's going to get sworn in. He doesn't, the inauguration doesn't happen. Only if he signs a form that says it can happen. The congress is going to, the electors are going to meet in the states in December, they're going to send their electoral votes to Washington.

Speaker 2: The new Congress is going to count the votes and there'll be certified by the vice president. And, uh, the actually the speaker, he would have to sue and I mean he'd have to sue in a lot of places because he's going to lose by a lot of states and by a lot of votes. And so this idea that there's one point 8 million dead people voting and millions of illegal immigrants voting, I mean, this is all nonsense. And everyone who's in the know understands that. And so, yeah, he can file a lawsuit, but this process is going to go on and there's a, you know, the congress certifies those results, uh, in, in some ways congress can move forward with that no matter what a federal court says. Now, if a federal court enjoined the election, you can bet the Republican house and a likely than Democratic Senate, uh, will, will not count those votes until it all plays out.

Speaker 2: But this is going to get kicked to the curb just like Donald Trump is. And I don't think it's gonna matter that much. Fair enough. So then let's, uh, speak specifically about those states. So North Carolina, um, that's a little bit a bluer, right? Um, and you think that that falls to Clinton or what, where are you at with that? This is the state president Obama narrowly won in 2008 and the narrowly lost in 2012. There have been some demographic changes in that state. I'm a slight increase in the African American population. A, it's not a Latino heavy state. But one thing about North Carolina is there are a lot of college educated white voters. The research triangle is there. There's a lot of universities, even outside of the research triangle. This is a state that is very well educated, um, the mountains of North Carolina, boone and Asheville, that's hippy central, that's progressive, a home base.

Speaker 2: There are a lot of Democrats in that state. And I think there are also a lot of very traditional republicans. If you look out, even though trump's winning evangelical voters, this is the home of Billy Graham. There are definitely going to be voters and I think especially female Christian conservative voters who are going to look at trump and say, I just can't do it. Doesn't mean they're going to vote for Clinton, but they just have to stay home. And that helps Clinton. And uh, and so that makes a North Carolina much more competitive than it was in the past. And again, it's been a long time since Donald Trump has pulled ahead in North Carolina. That is the state that Clinton is campaigning hard in. But North Carolina this year is probably like Virginia was four years ago where it was competitive, but we were pretty sure we knew what was going to happen.

Speaker 2: Uh, so purple, but really blue type of thing. I think that's right. Okay. While we're in North Carolina, you want to do governors are. No, sure. I'll really. And we can do Senate too if you'd like. We will. Sure. Absolutely. But North Carolina specifically, um, is that a governor race that looks like a, a sitting governor will be, uh, you know, on his way out or. Absolutely. The polling has been tighter on the governor's race than it has been for the presidential race. But Pat mccrory has made himself very unpopular in the state largely because of his bathroom bill that he pushed through in, in controversial fashion. Not just that the law was controversial, but actually the procedure for passage was controversial. Um, he is someone who has cost the state millions of dollars in corporate money as a NBA, Nba and Ncaa have pulled tournaments and games out of the state.

Speaker 2: The All Star game for instance, that hurts a lot. And in a state that has a lot of free market minded Republicans who are going to say, you know, this government entering the private space, this is not something that should be happening. I think that really hurts him. They have a pretty high quality gubernatorial candidate on the democratic side. And if Clinton runs the numbers up enough in North Carolina, you're going to see a pretty comfortable democratic when I think if she wins by a, you know, six point five or six points in North Carolina, there's going to be a democratic governor. No question. Oh, even even with five or six. Okay. Um, meaning that, uh, you were saying that on average, seven to 10, so yeah, not in North Carolina now, but five or six in North Carolina. And I think that the Democrats are going to carry the governors governor ship in the Senate seat to what, uh, other surprises might be in store as far as a gubernatorial.

Speaker 2: So this is in an odd year. Most governors are elected in midterms. In midterm years, there were a few governors races across the country. It, New Hampshire, of course, Alexa, governor every two years. So we have one this year, Montana, a very conservative state, has an incumbent democratic governor who is seen as a very vulnerable, uh, Steve Bullock appears to be coasting to reelection. You have a term limited governor, democratic governor, Jay Nixon in Missouri who has had a pretty rocky tenure when you think about all the things that have happened in his state, natural disasters, you know, the horrible tornado in Joplin, the, the, uh, killing in Ferguson and the problems that have rippled after that, some really difficult relationships with the state legislature with vetoes and veto overrides. He's not have the smoothest eight years as governor. And he was seen as a very vulnerable, a republic, a Democrat this year in a state that tends to vote Republican.

Speaker 2: But most of the poll suggests that the attorney general, who is the Democratic nominee is going to win that governorship and keep Missouri blue once again. So there were pickup opportunities for Republicans this year and it looks like they are not going to be able to capitalize them. Not necessarily because of the candidates though. North Carolina, it's because the governor's really shot himself in the foot, but because the top of the ticket is so weak, so it feels like I'm jumping around. I'm really not, at least in my own mind, which, uh, I guess let's everyone and you know, enjoyed the journey. Um, Senate next, uh, where do you see the surprises there? There are a few races that were initially seen as being competitive that no longer are Ohio. Ted Strickland, former governor, former pretty popular governor. The first time he was elected, it was seen as someone who is really going to go toe to toe with incumbent Rob Portman.

Speaker 2: Rob Portman was elected the first time in the tea party wave of 2010. All of the senators up for reelection were elected in 2010 tea party wave in a state that tends to go trend blue in a presidential politics. Ted Strickland has run a terrible campaigns. What did it was going to say like what happened there? Because it's not close at all. No, it's not. And so he ran a pretty poor campaign matching that up against Portman who has run effectively a flawless campaign. It's hard, even if you run a great campaign to beat an incumbent who, who's running a well oiled machine, uh, but Ted Strickland didn't even come close to that. And so that's, that's out in Wisconsin. Ron Johnson is relitigating the 2010 race against Russ finegold. Um, that is not competitive at all. Ron Johnson, the incumbent senator will lose in Illinois, probably the most vulnerable, vulnerable Republican in the country.

Speaker 2: Um, Senator Kirk, Mark Kirk is up against Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat, a triple amputee, Iraq war veteran, a, that's a, that's a tough. Those are tough optics. Although, if you've ever heard an interview with Tammy Duckworth, besides what you've just said, oh, absolutely. I dare you to go up against her. And that's exactly right, Mark Kirk is going to lose. What's interesting, and I guess this isn't, this actually hasn't come up much in the campaign, but I actually think it's the first time in history that the Senate, a Senate race has been against two disabled, physically disabled individuals. Both senator Kirk is in a wheelchair from a stroke during his first term and Tammy Duckworth, um, as I said, is to say a war disabled war veteran that is actually interesting for the most part, with a couple of jabs here and there, that racist stayed really above board. They've been to professionals who have not sunk to two nasty, nasty politics, but Mark Kirk is going to lose.

Speaker 2: It's hard to win in a presidential year in Illinois as a Republican. Speaking of, uh, veterans, who is the guy that put together the gun in 32 seconds while discussing a gun's a gun reform? Yeah. I'm pretty sure he's the candidate in Missouri. His, I'm against blunt, right? Yeah. Against Roy Roy Blunt in his name escapes me right now, but probably the best political out of the. Not probably the best political out of the year. Um, and uh, he has made that race very close. That is the race that sort of come out of. Nowhere is one that I'm blonde. I'm a member of the Senate leadership, um, was probably going to win a just fine, but again, at the top of the ticket is weakening and you're up against a really attractive candidate. Both physically attractive background, attractive, um, has the right resume in and my guest is Roy Blunt is going to win, but that is a race republicans did not expect to have to spend money in and now they're spending money on the democratic side.

Speaker 2: Really the, there were going into the race that were too vulnerable. Seats. Colorado's Michael Bennett who was seen as a real vulnerable incumbent seeking reelection in Harry Reid, seat in Nevada. Michael Bennett is going to win reelection. Why was he considered vulnerable? It's a state that has red streaks in it. He was a. He was brought to the Senate when Ken Salazar a resigned to go into Obama's cabinet and he won a special election, but it just wasn't clear whether he was going to a or he was appointed by the governor and then won the special election. It wasn't clear whether that he was going to have really the power and the strength to, to keep that seat and he's run a great campaign. He's also up against a person who emerged from the primary, who the establishment would have preferred not emerged from the primaries that we can to.

Speaker 2: And so it happened there too. He got a good draw. Yeah. Um, uh, and, and so that worked out, uh, it sort of the Todd Akin of, of 2016 there. Um, and then, uh, the Nevada Senate race has been extraordinarily competitive. You have Catherine Cortez Masto, who's a former attorney general of Nevada. I'm up against incumbent Senate. I'm sorry, not incumbent senator, incumbent congressman now running for the Senate, uh, Joe Heck Joe Heck has been a much better candidate than most people expected. And, uh, Cortez Masto has been a worse candidate than most people expected. And so a race that should have lean democratic, his leaned Republican for quite some time until again, the past couple of weeks in Joe Heck has done this. You can't even say two step. It might be a 12 step, uh, around the trump pseudo endorsement. I'm distancing an endorsement endorsement. It's not clear what his position is, I think even to him and that's costing him right now and now national money is pouring into this race and it's a really making it seem.

Speaker 2: The Cortez Masto has a shot when two months ago I would've said, yeah, that Democrats were losing that seat. So that's on the table. Yeah. So as, as far as the Senate is concerned, where do you, let's, uh, let's, you know, give us your, your prognosis were, where do you expect this to end up? I think seat wise, I expect Democrats will have the majority. They're going to have the benefit of having a democratic vice president who will give them the majority, even if it's a 50 slash 50, split. My, if I had to guess, trump is deteriorating so quickly that he is going to have negative coattails and a lot of these races, it might be enough to help Katie mcginty become the senator from Pennsylvania and beat the incumbent. It might help. Yeah. To me, it might help Deborah Ross beat Richard Burton, North Carolina of the incumbent.

Speaker 2: Um, it might get Catherine Cortez masto elected in Nevada. I don't think Democrats are going to sweep the table and all of the competitive Senate races, but if they got up to 52 or 53 seats, I wouldn't. Fifty three would be essentially a sweep. I wouldn't be surprised. I mean, Kelly Ayotte really hurt herself in a debate in New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago by saying that she thought Donald trump was a role model for her kids. And the next day his sexual assault allegations came out. That was half her fault and half fate. But, uh, Maggie Hassen a really popular governor there is probably going to beat her. There will certainly be, I think a Republican surprise and one of these states here, but the more Clinton can run the numbers up in these states, uh, the better off those democratic Senate candidates are. And especially because each of these candidates tend to be in swing states. So the Clinton campaign operation is there. It's not like you have a, a rogue Democrat fighting for his or her life in North Dakota where the presidential campaign just as an operating, these are in pretty key states and that's not by accident with a ton of offices, a great ground operation, independent expenditures, coordinated expenditures, and it's the right recipe for Democrats with such a weak Republican nominee.

Speaker 2: So does this mean anything for the house? The house is going to stay Republican. Um, the won't go there. No, the 30 seat majority for Republicans right now is pretty solid and any chipping into that though, there there'll definitely be chipping in. Democrats had some really difficult recruitment problems with house races this year. Um, and that is always just devastating, especially when you're up against incumbents. The Democrats will pick up seats in the house, there's no doubt about that. Um, for them to win, the majority would take. I mean, I, I don't know, there's people who know this stuff better than me, but maybe in 11 or 12 point Clinton win nationally, which is unheard of. I mean Obama won by eight and a half in 2008. So to imagine doing 50 percent better than that is is a stretch that might be able to move the house.

Speaker 2: So when like that, but short of that it's going to be difficult. But here's the most intriguing part of the house and that is there's a 30 seat majority for Republicans. If Democrats can pick up 20 or 22 of those seats, that leaves a very narrow republican margin. That also means it's very difficult for them to elect a speaker. Most of the people who are going to lose in this election are moderate Republicans. I mean, if you don't believe moderate Republicans exist anymore, let's say mainstream Republicans, the Freedom Caucus, the tea partiers in Congress, they're going to stay in, they're going to get stronger in number. And so that makes it more difficult for Ryan to get the votes that he needs to be reelected. Speaker, I was at an event last week and someone said, uh, after the November elections, you might find that Paul Ryan has a sudden urge to spend more time with his family and not be speaker anymore.

Speaker 2: He might not have a choice. The problem is then who is next, and I don't see how the Republican Party in the house really finds a speaker nominee who they can rally behind. And so we've had examples of this in us states where state legislatures have had these weird arrangements, these weird coalitions to elect a speaker who is a, who people can agree on, you might actually have for the first time in American history of speaker selected from outside of the House of Representatives which constitutional. Yeah, that's true. And so there are people you can imagine from outside of the body who might be able to step in into that. Why not look for, uh, for instance, um, you know, this, this campaign has been so divisive. It's hard to see someone who people could agree on, uh, I think, uh, the name that pops up often as Colin Powell, but he has taken such a, uh, a hard line against trump in this race.

Speaker 2: I don't think you're going to see it. Someone like Condoleeza Rice might have some appeal. I don't know why she would take the job, but there would be appeal and she's largely stayed out of politics. Um, you don't have any former Republican speakers really to lean on. Newt Gingrich's not popular. The other one's in jail. Um, so, I mean, I guess you could be speaking because it's true. Yeah. It's, um, and I guess there's John Bayner of. He's the, he's not coming back. He's not coming back either, so it's hard to look out there. Maybe a former senator, maybe if you know, if pat toomey loses in Pennsylvania, he comes back. He was pretty popular with Republican colleagues when he was in the house, but it's tough to see how this goes or something like that, or pens. Pens might actually be a really good choice. He is, he has done everything he's needed to do with House Republicans so far.

Speaker 2: Again, it's a thankless job, but if he wants to run in 20 slash 20, at least it keeps him active. Um, he won't be in a Clinton cabinet and he's not going to be a vice president, so that might help. But, uh, yeah, it's, it's tough to see that process going smoothly in January. So, so here we are, we're talking about this ridiculous setup where there's possibly going to be speaker of the House that isn't in the House of Representatives. Uh, we are talking about to a candidate we've mostly talked about, um, kind of trump losing. We haven't really talked about Clinton winning. Both of these candidates are extremely unpopular no matter what, you know, a lot of people are not going to be happy with whatever outcome happens. That's right. Um, so let's talk about turnout. Sure. Right? How many people roughly do you expect to vote in this election?

Speaker 2: So in the last election you had a little over 130 million people vote. Um, chances are you're going to get a, I would say a bump up in that voter. Enthusiasm wasn't terrific in 2012. There were a lot of people who were starting to sour on Obama, even among Democrats. People were not excited about Mitt Romney. It's important to remember that when going into the selection, most people though did not really hate Obama and they didn't really hate Romney, but the opposite is true in these parties. Democrats really hate Donald Trump. Republicans really hate Hillary Clinton. People don't have to love candidates to have good turnout. They just have to be afraid of the alternative. And so I actually, my colleague, Bill Galston has written about this. This might actually be a bump in turnout compared to other years in 2012. It was fairly clear early on that, uh, President Obama was going to be reelected.

Speaker 2: That can damper voter enthusiasm and lower voter turnout, which it did at least what was 20 as a percentage of the voter turnout. I'm sorry, the sheer number of votes was about the same from eight to 12, but turnout tick down about one percent with population growth and things like that was like 1:30, 1:40, something like that. Yeah, it was very close to the same numbers from 1:50. If it bumps up, that would be crazy. But I would say if it's around 1:40 or so, I wouldn't be shocked because I think so many people are afraid of the alternatives. My point being isn't, are we talking about 300, a 350 million. How many of those are eligible to vote? I mean, we're, we're probably not at 50 percent. Now you're at about 60 percent at that number. Yeah, because you have the worst country in the civilized world as far as turnout was pretty bad about it.

Speaker 2: So you have about 310 million Americans. You have to figure out a significant portion of them are under the age of 18, then there are felons, then there are other people who have been disenfranchised for a variety of reasons. Um, and so when you get down to a number that's around, you know, $250 million eligible voters, um, you know, if you look at 140 150 years, if you're in a pretty good spot, what is the poly psy answer to? How do we get the American people to pay attention to these people, these elected officials all the time as opposed to just being repulsed every four years? Yeah, there's, there's no, well, the good way to do it is to have a national primary day for the presidency, um, to have that a national holiday, to have it a day that is consistent, the same every year and that will help boost turnout, these primaries produced, you know, extreme Republican and Democratic congressional candidates and democratic and Republican presidential candidates that people might not have as their first choice because of the people who go out and vote or extreme in these primaries.

Speaker 2: And so you had, you have presidential primary turnout that certainly higher than congressional primary turnout, but that's a way to get people focused on not just who they're voting for in the general, but who they want to run in the general. And until we do that, until it's not impossible to navigate the when and the where and the who have primaries, we're going to keep having the same sort of outcomes. And if you are in the Republican Party, that might be something that you would be into now. Yeah, it's odd because Republicans tend not to want those things. Any depression of turnout tends to help the Republican Party. But uh, yeah, this is a year where they might take a look and say, hey, if, if there was a national primary day, we might have John Casick beating Hillary Clinton right now, or Jeb Bush and, uh, a really close race with Hillary Clinton not being beaten.

Speaker 2: Our Republican nominee being beaten by double digits by someone who people rally don't like. Yeah, exactly. I mean, with someone with pretty high disapproval ratings, I people, uh, for the first time in this selection in the past couple of weeks, uh, Hillary Clinton's voter enthusiasm has really peaked. It's beyond what trump voters were before trump. Voters were very enthusiastic before her numbers are rebounding a bit. It's probably not entirely because of anything she's doing, but just by the comparison. But she is in a spot that is not enviable for politicians. And that is being elected, I think, in part because the demographic map favors democrats. But especially because she's up against one of the most, uh, what people consider one of the most viable presidential candidates in history when you look at the allegations of the past few weeks, which is, which brings you to governing, which we'll get into maybe a next time that we talk.

Speaker 2: How sounds good, right? Um, we left Arizona again, royal we, uh, left Arizona off and out, uh, so that we could come back to it to dovetail a, if you will, uh, with cannabis. Sure. So you said that you think that that state could go to Clinton in the general election outcome. It is a state that is changing in terms of demographics. Um, it is one that has an increasing Latino population. It also has one of the highest Latino populations in the United States. Um, it has a significant native American population which is trending democratic. It is a state that has a big cities and college educated people flocking to Phoenix. I'm also a big university towns. You have the ingredients for that transitioning and as you look over time, it is getting less and less red. This may be the year of the digitas purple, I mean it is purple, it's a tossup state right now and it might actually go blue.

Speaker 2: You add to that what I consider and something I'm going to be writing about or I will have written about by the time this podcast comes out and that is the cannabis coattails effect and we got is that when we have evidence from 2012 in Colorado in Washington that when there is a marijuana legalization initiative, adult use legalization initiative on the ballot, that the number of self described liberals increases in state in the percent share of the electorate made up of 18 to 29 year olds increases significantly and estate. Those are two very good things for Hillary Clinton in Washington and in Colorado. People who voted in favor of initiative five. Oh, two in amendment 64 respectively gave President Obama about 70 percent support and this was a guy who was a flat out prohibitionist in his first term. Sure. Hillary Clinton has had a more reform oriented position on cannabis in this campaign than Barack Obama did previously in 2008.

Speaker 2: Certainly. Absolutely. Yeah, and so you can imagine the, uh, legalization initiative in Arizona helping the Democrat a little bit, even if she's not, you know, a tremendous reformer. If those people are coming out to vote for that initiative, the probably gonna vote for president too, and that can't be something that helps Donald Trump all that much. So the flip of that is Nevada folks are a little nervous about the initiative there yet that's trending as though it, it looks like it's going to be blue. It's going to be Clinton. Yeah. What's the reverse effect? Of course there's Shush Sheldon Adelson effect and, and all of that. But I think reformers are more worried in Arizona about the ballot initiative than they are in Nevada. What I'm here and. Oh, interesting. That's what it seemed like on the ground to me. Um, but I think both states is. I think Nevada has a really good chance of passing question too, and if that happens and it brings people out, it is, again, it's going to help Hillary Clinton.

Speaker 2: It's probably gonna help help Catherine Cortez Masto even if she has come out against question two. Uh, the, the thing is with polling in those states in, again, I've written about this, they don't know how to create that right? Likely voter model. We talked about this earlier, how do you adjust for partisanship, but you also have to adjust for age. And so the polls in Colorado in 2012 were a little bit off because people were not expecting that wave of young voters into the electorate. So President Obama did a little bit better than, than he expected to do. And so, uh, if you try to create the right likely voters screen and you get it right, that's great, but we just don't have enough of experience with states, with cannabis initiatives to be able to find out what the exact right voter screen is for that.

Speaker 3: Which begs the question, John, how many states will we have with cannabis initiatives after election day?

Speaker 2: Um, so I think, which is by the way, the only question that many folks turned tuned in for, for this whole hour almost do only question they wanted almost certain that is almost certain. So I think that maybe if I had to pick, I think Maine California in Nevada have the best shots at passage. I think it's a tougher time in Massachusetts for a variety of reasons. I think it's tough in Arizona, but I think those are the three and then Florida for medical are going, are going to work out.

Speaker 3: There we go. So it's pretty positive I think. So, you know, as far as cannabis is concerned, uh, thank you so much for this conversation and let me not step over that. I appreciate the fact that it's your pleasure. Um, I think we do need to have this governing, you know, kind of conversation because we get all whipped up every four years about, you know, this horse race type of thing. And then we go, you know, let it happen without actually paying attention to it. I don't mean you weed, that's again, like the final royal way, uh, or no, it's everyone else with me. Not, not you were. We just don't pay attention. So I think that, uh, let's, let's pay attention, right?

Speaker 2: No, and I think a conversation on governance is an important one and especially around the issue, uh, your listeners care most about and what governance around cannabis is going to look like in the next, uh, in the next four years. Uh, my new book, which I'm going to plug marijuana is short history, which is out now. That was the deal by the talks a little bit about, uh, what governance will be like around this, what governance should be like around this. And I think in a, just a few days we're going to find out who is going to be in charge of that for at least the next four years. And uh, it's good to talk about what that policy and what those policies should look like. So two final questions. Where's that book available? Uh, the book is available at the Brookings Press website on Amazon and Barnes and noble.

Speaker 3: Interesting. Okay. How did you get brookings too? No, I'm just kidding.

Speaker 2: Brookings came to me. They, they see this, they see this, a very important policy area that needs a, our type of analysis of. And they were, they were happy to get together to put this project together. I love that. That's fantastic. And I, I love the fact, by the way, that we're in Washington DC and building number 17, 76 except the street out. It's pretty cool. A final question for today, uh, on the soundtrack of your life. One track, one song that's got to be on there. Uh, so I, I totally dodged this question before and I, I actually prepped for it this time. I was actually, I was thinking, oh, what would be, what would be the, the best song for the soundtrack of my life. And I think I'm one of those bands that puts out a lot of very short soundtracks and my life is in all of these little short segments.

Speaker 2: And so, um, is, is a fan of I'm old blue eyes. Uh, I, I think, uh, Frank Sinatra's come fly with me. It is a really nice song, which, uh, the number of miles that I've logged on united this year has sort of a literal aspect to it, but also I see the work that I do is just this sort of a fanciful journey of, of endeavors that I could never predict from year to year. And so, uh, I think, uh, I would have to be played out with Frank Sinatra's come fly with me. Fair enough. And we are all in coach with, you know, question. I like it. Alright. John Hudack, thank you so much. Thank you. And there you have John who dat.

Speaker 1: Look at the big brain on John. We will look at the big brain on John. Once again. We already have the governance discussion scheduled in the book, so look for that soon. Look for his book now on Amazon, Barnes and noble end at Brookings. And thanks so much as always for listening.

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Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.