TODAY | November 04, 2012
>>> our next two it guests couldn't be more excited for the big night . david gregory of "meet the press" and chuck todd , chief white house correspondent. nice to see both of you this morning.
>> thank you and welcome.
>> it's great to be here. boy, am i here just in time for all the fun. one romney adviser told "the new york times" this is a tie football game with a loose ball. david, is the race really still up for grabs it at this point?
>> well, it's certainly close enough it is up for grabs. we go into election day the final two days with an exceedingly close race. that said, all indications are that president obama has a slight edge and that the terrain is still more difficult. to use the metaphor, there's a lot more blue shirts around here than red ones in terms of who will pick up that loose ball. so romney is very much in this thing, but i still think the electoral map is more challenging.
>> there's been so much talk about early voting and a third of swing state voters have cast an early ballot. what does that do for you guys, chuck, on election night ? does it make the race easier to call?
>> well, no, it won't actually. traditionally more difficult because then old-style polling when you're trying to figure out who voted. so in that case it won't. one thing about the election as a whole, this thing is feeling a lot like 2004 . our pollsters have been telling us this for six months. we go back and forth where obama is the bush character in a sense. romney , a massachusetts guy, is the kerry kascharacter here and it's converging. it's a close race but a slight edge for the incumbent.
>> and you had a late breaking event, like the osama bin laden in 2004 which absolutely turned the race away from his advantage. here we have an october surprise that is hurricane sandy, and there is a measurable impact here in terms of good feelings towards the president doing his job.
>> that really has come out of it?
>> you can't help but see it did one of two things. it stopped romney 's momentum. he disappeared. and then there were positives for the president in an area he has been exuding lack of leadership, he looked like a leader to a lot of people.
>> talk about chris christie , a few things written about him and how close he was to being romney 's pick for vice president. did this show of bipartisanship help president obama ?
>> not only the show of bipartisanship but who was involved, that it was governor christie who gave the keynote address for president rgovernor romney , talking about the president, someone groping in had the dark for the leadership switch, and went out in a way that left people close to romney saying, why were you so effusive before the president had done anything yet? people are starved for this kind of bipartisan cooperation. you saw it here on a huge national stage with so many people paying attention.
>> turnout will be key here. what are the specific coalitions each candidate wants to see?
>> you see the president trying hard to win big. he's going to do worse with white voters than four years ago but his coalition, the growing amount of new voters in the country are nonwhite, hispanic, african-american. he needs to do big numbers there. what romney is relying on is not just running up the score among white voters, it particularly white men, but he has to win the key -- the swing voting group i hear that is the most sort of back and forth is unmarried white women . these are some, about a third of them are widows, a third not married at all. they have been going back and forth more than any other group. who wins them at the end of the day will tell us who win this is election.
>> the other note to that is enthusiasm is down among latinos, younger voters, soap the get out the vote operation is really important this year.
>> what do you have coming up on "meet the press"?
>> we'll talk to david plouffe and also eric cantor , the house majority leader. a great roundtable as well. chuck will have our latest polling in the head-to-head matchup which we will report for the first time on "meet the press" this morning.
>> nice to have you both here. thank you. and you can watch nbc's election night coverage on tuesday live right here from democracy plaza starting at 7:00 p.m . eastern, 4:00