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How Trump’s divisive presidency could better America

Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman breaks down the four upsides of the dystopian Trump presidency.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: As we wait to see the outcome of this presidential race, our very own Rick Newman looking back on the last four years talking about the lessons learned from the Trump presidency. And, Rick, we're talking about this without knowing whether there is another four years for this administration, but what specifically or how specifically should we be looking at the last four years?

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, I've been covering the Trump presidency since the beginning-- in fact, since he ran for office. I've been among the critics, you know, mainly because of some of his policy stuff. The tariffs, for example, just don't seem like good policy. So much dishonesty we've heard from Trump and real problems relating to corruption.

But, you know, let's say Trump loses. That's my premise here, and that's what the polls seem to be suggesting. I know the polls could be wrong.

But, you know, I think there are some important lessons to have learned from the Trump presidency. The first is wow does voter turnout ever matter. I mean, Democrats got very complacent in 2016, and they just didn't turn out in the numbers they had in prior elections because they thought Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, and that obviously turned out not to be true. So Democrats, much better turnout in 2018 when they did well in the midterms, and we'll probably see very high turnout this time around. So voters are more engaged. I mean, they were-- I think many voters were complacent back in 2016, not so much anymore.

I think the Trump presidency has also showed pretty clearly we need some new checks on executive power. The one thing that has come to mind over and over again is that Justice Department policy that says federal investigators cannot charge a sitting president with crimes. I mean, why not? That just seems not to make sense anymore given everything we know about Trump. That policy has clearly emboldened Trump to think that he's just untouchable.

And I think there are some other things. You know, Trump has just shown us where the flaws in our institutions are. And over time, we ought to be able to fix some of those problems.

ZACK GUZMAN: And, Rick, in focusing on tonight, we obviously had Frank Luntz on earlier talking about what the polls are indicating, which states are going to be key to watch here. I'd pose the same question to you since there are a lot of bold calls people can make out there but even the one as bold as I was trying to come out for and say, look, the polls are indicating that Biden might take Georgia for the first time since '92 apparently not even that bold anymore since people have caught onto it. So what are you saying we should be watching for as the results start coming in tonight?

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, there does seem to be a likelihood that Georgia is going to flip. So if Georgia flips, the big question is what happens to those two Senate seats? And one or both of those could end up in a runoff, meaning that we don't know.

But the outcome of the Senate, who controls the Senate, could hinge on one or two of those-- whether Democrats can take one or two of those Senate seats. The way I understand the way it's likely to go tonight, Florida count votes pretty fast, and I think the polls close at 7:00 PM there. So if we get an indication out of Florida that Biden looks to be reasonably far ahead or let's say he's outperforming Hillary Clinton by two percentage points or more, even if we don't know the final count, that's going to be a real strong indication that Biden is in very good shape.

Pennsylvania many analysts consider to be the tipping-point state, but the problem with Pennsylvania is they do not count votes fast. There are going to be a lot of mail and absentee ballots they're only going to start counting today, so we may not know the outcome of Pennsylvania, but that is another state. If we hear that Biden is outperforming Clinton in Pennsylvania, even if we don't know the final vote count, that'll be another indication that Biden is having a great night, and you can turn it around for Trump as well. If Trump is outperforming his 2016 performance in both of those states, that will be good news for him.

My own guess is I don't think this is going to go on for weeks. I think we're going to know who the winner is in fairly short order, and I think it's going to be Biden. I think the pollsters have fixed the problems from 2016, and it's possible they even overfixed the polling problems from back then in a way that favors Trump in the polls, and we could actually see the opposite surprise this time.