The New York Times recently sent a crack team of political correspondents to visit West LA, where they discussed prospects for the midterm elections in 2018 and California politics.
The event was held June 26 at Korn Convocation Hall at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business.
National political correspondent Alex Burns was the moderator. Joining him were: Los Angeles bureau chief Adam Nagourney; White House reporter Maggie Haberman, who was part of the team honored by a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Russia’s influence in the 2016 election; and Nate Cohn, domestic correspondent for The Upshot, a data-driven column that conducts and analyzes political polling.
The evening started off with a bang, as 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had just won an upset victory that evening in a congressional race in New York, toppling one of the Democrat’s top leaders.
Speakers discussed the left/centrist split among Democrats but cautioned that one race does not necessarily translate into a trend.
Speakers agreed they had been humbled by their inaccurate reading of the 2016 polls and said they were taking steps to do things better in future elections.
It was too early to tell if California’s “jungle primary” had changed things much, members of the panel agreed.
The original goal of the “top two” primary was to encourage. If anything, according to Nagourney, it appeared voters still followed in their partisan patterns, with Republicans voting for Republicans and Democrats voting for Democrats.