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Notes on the November 4, 2012 Broadcast of Meet The Press

November 4, 2012

All Rights NBC NewsThe final pre-election edition of Meet the Press, live from Democracy Plaza, began with brand-new poll numbers. NBC Political Director Chuck Todd revealed that the final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows President Barack Obama (D) with 48% and Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) at 47%. Todd added these were exactly the poll numbers in 2004 when President George W. Bush (R) had 48% leading into his reelection victory over Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)

The poll numbers also show the public approves of President Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy by a 68% to 15% margin. However, first guest, Senior White House Advisor David Plouffe, reminded us, “…the political impact of Sandy is irrelevant.”

“We are headed to a very close race where the president has an edge in enough battleground states to be re-elected on Tuesday night,” said Plouffe. He added that he is “very confident” the president will be re-elected, and said the challenge now is to execute the “get out the vote” effort.

Plouffe and host David Gregory did a rehash of political arguments over economics and DC gridlock with no new ground covered. Gregory was criticized last week for shutting down a discussion over the attack on the US consulate in Libya. He tried to re-open the issue this week. Plouffe stayed with his line that the investigation is on-going and should not be politicized.

Next up was the first section of the roundtable discussion. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said the Romney campaign hopes this will be a replay of the 1980 election where there was a late break for Ronald Reagan. But Joe added, “If this is a late break, it is a really late break.”

NBC’s Tom Brokaw says Hurricane Sandy made an impact with undecided voters and essentially froze the Romney campaign for two days. He says, however, we are now back to “…essentially a tie in the battleground states. It’s going to be a fight to the finish.”

House Majority Leader, Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) joined next. Gregory asked Cantor whether or not the new job numbers show real growth in the economy. Cantor gave no ground.

Gregory also pressed Cantor on the Romney campaign’s Chrysler-Jeep ads which have been labeled deceptive by the CEO of Chrysler. Cantor said he’s not seen the ads, but said Gov. Romney will work to keep jobs in the United States.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) tried to make a point that enthusiasm was high for President Obama, but others in the roundtable countered that enthusiasm is down overall in the election as both campaigns make negative closing arguments.

This exchange highlighted the lack of balance, present for the last three weeks, on Meet The Press. Mayor Booker was the lone voice defending the president against a Republican strategist, a former Republican congressman, and three journalists.

Tom Brokaw said the great undercurrent in America right now is that people want politicians to work together. “There’s been no indication in this campaign they are prepared to do that, and that is what frustrates everybody,” Brokaw concluded.

No matter who wins Tuesday, there’s no sign this frustration will lift anytime soon.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

Also follow the show on the MTP Facebook page, track Twitter feeds from host David Gregory, Meet The Press, and Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, watch the midweek PressPass interview, and don’t forget Gregory’s blog.

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