Speed Reads

last night on late night

Stephen Colbert and NBC's Steve Kornacki try to figure out who's going to win the 2018 midterms

He didn't have his magic board on Tuesday's Late Show, but NBC News national political correspondent and granular polling analyst Steve Kornacki brought his trademark energy and enthusiasm with him to discuss the 2018 midterms — now only five weeks away — with Stephen Colbert. "The momentum is at a point now, if you're a Democrat, you're going to be severely and I think justifiably disappointed if your party doesn't get back the House," Kornacki said. "I'm not saying this is something that's in the bag for them — they felt that way a couple of years ago, as you may remember — but this is one where, look, they've put everything they have into this, the opportunity's there, they could certainly blow it, but the opportunity's there."

When it comes to the Senate, though, Kornacki agreed with FiveThirtyEight that Democrats have a roughly 30 percent shot at taking the helm. While the Democrats need a net gain of only two seats, they are defending 10 seats in states President Trump won in 2016 — by as much as 42 percentage points, he explained. Kornacki and Colbert then discussed Kornacki's new book, The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism, and he makes a pretty compelling case that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich changed American politics forever — and only for the better if you are a huge fan of political polarization. Watch below. Peter Weber