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Election Night in America

Aired November 4, 2014 - 23:59   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You're looking at live pictures of the United States capital. The Republicans not only will they be the majority in the House of Representatives, they will be the majority in the United States Senate as well.

A huge, huge night for the Republicans. They not only go on to gain seats in the House of Representatives, they go on to capture a number of Democratically held seats in the U.S. Senate. They will be the majority.

We have a major projection, another projection to make, though, right now. This is a good one for the Democrats. Tom Udall, he will be re- elected, the United States senator from the state of New Mexico, defeating the Republican Allan Weh. 58 percent of the vote is in. Udall has a 30,000 vote advantage but our projection is that Tom Udall will be reelected as United States senator from the state of New Mexico.

That's some silver lining for the Democrats. But the Republicans have done very really well.

Take a look at this. Here's the count where it stands right now. The Republicans will have at least 52 senators in the next United States Senate. They needed 51 to be the majority. They will have 52. Might wind up with even more because there are still some races that are outstanding.

The Democrats will have 45 -- at least 45 in the United States Senate, two independents as well. They need the Republicans -- the Republicans will be the majority in the United States Senate. So this is a big, big night for the Republicans as we go forward. And also, Republicans have been doing well in the governor races as well.

Jake Tapper, he's got some projections.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: That's right, Wolf. Well, we already reported that Charlie Crist, the Democrat, conceded to incumbent Florida governor, Rick Scott, the Republican. But now CNN officially projecting Rick Scott has been re-elected the governor of the Sunshine State of Florida.

Two Democratic victories to tell you about. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat, reelected. Oregon governor, John Kitzhaber defeating Dennis Richardson. A close race but ultimately Kitzhaber eked it out.

Now back to you -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Thanks very much. Big, big, big night. Big night for the Republicans in the United States Senate. They got 52 guaranteed. That number, John, could go up.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Could go as high as 54. If they win Alaska and then win in the Louisiana runoff, which is next month in December. We still haven't called the Virginia race. It looks like Mark Warner is going to hold on there. And that will stay possible if there's a late switch there if you go to the map.

Let's switch to the balance of power map so you can take a look at it as you look at the Senate races. Here's where we are right now with three outstanding at 52. Again, Mark Warner, the Democratic incumbent, has a very narrow lead here. Ed Gillespie ran a race much closer than most people thought it would be. It appears we're going to wait to count the final votes. But it appears Mark Warner is going to eke that one out.

But the Republicans were already favored in the state of Alaska. This one takes a while to count because of the remote areas, but Republicans were already favored. I have to say, yes, there are exceptions to every rule, but it is really hard to see the Republicans losing Alaska on a night they're winning in Colorado and they're winning in Iowa and they're winning in North Carolina.

It's just almost inconceivable, but we'll count the votes and see what happens in Alaska. But if the Republicans win there, Dan Sullivan, that would get you to 53.

In our exit poll tonight, we asked voters the question, in a runoff election between Bill Cassidy and Mary Landrieu, who would you pick? And Bill Cassidy won by a healthy margin. It doesn't mean she doesn't have time to campaign, it doesn't mean she can't change things but as of tonight we would assume that that state will go Republican.

So tonight, the odds are, and the Democrats would argue with this, that we're going to end up in January after that runoff in Louisiana, with 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats. It leaves Republicans short of the 60 votes. You need to get most big things done in the United States Senate, but it will be an interesting calculation to the conversation across the room.

Do they want to govern? One of the test Mitch McConnell will have is reaching out to conservative Democrats and Democrats from tough states who are on the ballot --

BLITZER: Yes --

KING: -- in 2016 to see if there's business to be done.

BLITZER: It's possible. It's not out of the question, John. Correct me if I'm wrong. That number could go up to 55 if Angus King, the independent senator from the state of Maine, decides you know what, he's going to caucus with the majority, and that would be the Republicans. He hasn't necessarily completely ruled that out. KING: He has not, although he has worked with the Democrats for quite

some time on most issues, not all issues, on most issues. He's more likely a moderate Democrat than he is a moderate Republican, if you will, but sure, that's a question that will be on the table as well.

If the Republicans were a little bit higher, you could see them trying to bargain with Angus King. Maybe it's a leverage on a committee chairman at 54, 55. I'm sure their calculation probably on most issues, some issues you get and some issues you don't. But it is something to watch.

And then -- then again, you then start looking to 2016 calculations. I don't mean anyone is going to switch parties, but I do think some people would be more inclined to do business --

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: All right. Let's move on to the governor's map right now because these Republicans, they are taking over some pretty Democratic states right now. Big surprise. They're leading in a lot of these Democratic states.

KING: And it's interesting to look at. In my home state of Massachusetts, you see right now, Charlie Baker, we haven't called this race but he's at 48, 47 percent over Democrat Martha Coakley. If you look at the parts of the map that are still out, we're going to watch and see how it goes. But you just come in to the city area in Boston, she won big in the city of Boston, but Charlie Baker doing what he has to do otherwise for Republicans. Very close race there.

Down in Connecticut, 50 percent to 49 percent. We're watching this race. The conversation is, this is a place where the president campaigned. You're seeing red on the map in places you haven't seen for a long time.

BLITZER: Let's look at Maryland, for example.

KING: Maryland, this is a stunner. Late, late, people noticed late that this one was close. For most of the year, everyone thought oh, Maryland is a Democratic state. Larry Hogan with a 52 to 46 percent lead. When you look at this map filling in. All indications are right now Larry Hogan is going to go and win this race. So let's peek around and look for some votes in Baltimore City, for example. All of the votes just about in.

There's a little bit more but not enough to make up that kind of a difference. And you start looking down in these other areas here. Prince George's County, 92 percent in. Montgomery County now. This is the biggest -- this is the biggest suburban area in the state of Maryland, 54 percent. So at that rate, there's still some math to be done there, but it doesn't look like it's enough. They would probably really have to run the table to make up the difference. But we'll count the votes there as well.

BLITZER: Go to Colorado for a second. KING: Colorado. This another -- this is a hotly contested race.

It's still a hotly contested race as we count the votes. John Hickenlooper, very popular when he won, some people mentioned him as a possible 2016 presidential candidate. Former Congressman Bob Beauprez now leading in that race as we watch. Saw you difference of -- Governor Hickenlooper is winning all of the Denver suburbs.

BLITZER: Kansas, let's go to Kansas.

KING: This is -- this one here, another tight race here, 83 percent. The Democrats really wanted to get Sam Brownback. He came in promising to cut spending. He's slashed education spending in the state. It's been a huge controversy in the state. This is one of the reasons Greg Orman thought opposition to Sam Brownback would help him in the Senate race. Again 83 percent, we still got to count the votes. Sam Brownback with a very, very narrow lead right now.

So most of the close competitive races, what's happening? Whether it's the Senate race, not all, but most of these close races, Republicans with narrow leads.

I just want to make a point, the president, remember, back when he first made his name in the national scene said there's no red America, no blue America. There's one America. During the Obama years, this is not to be cynical or sarcastic, but we have an increasingly red America.

You're looking at these governors' races here, you're looking at the Senate races on the ballot this year. And I want to show you, the House races. We're not done out in the west yet. And not all of these races are completely called. These are the leaders in the House races. But I just want you to look. I want you to look at the map. I want you to remember that you see a lot of red up here.

Again, not all of these races are called. That -- the Republican candidates leading in those House districts. Let's see what happens in the end. But I just want to go back in time. This is the United States of America at the House district level when the president was elected. Look at all this blue. Look at all this blue. And look at all the blue up there. Right?

There's the 2010 Tea Party year. A lot of that blue just disappeared. Here's 2012, a little of it came back. Here's where we are tonight. Increasingly Republicans are stretching their House majority. And the question now will be, as we look at what the final number is in the Senate, that final number in the House matters, too, especially if John Boehner is picking up more moderate Republicans from the New England states. From New York and the like.

There have been no -- if you go back again and look at this map, this is very few up here. If you look after 2012, none from New England. Just none. So it's going to have a different composition in the House as well. When you get the final numbers, it's not just the map, it's the ideology of these people here.

A lot of conversations in Washington about whether Speaker Boehner maybe gets a bit of a longer leash.

BLITZER: Yes. Because he's going to have -- I think he's going to pick up several seats in the House of Representatives. The Republicans will be the majority in the Senate. They're going to have the ability to be the chairman of these committees. They could go ahead and subpoena. They want to do investigations. They've got -- they've got an impressive advantage right now when they're the majority as opposed to the minority.

KING: Yes. A Democratic president twice elected in electoral college landslides and yet, as he enters the final two years of his term, that's a pretty red America.

BLITZER: Whether he meets with the press tomorrow, we believe he will meet with the press. Will he say what he said after he lost -- the Democrats lost the House in 2010 in the midterms, then it was a shellacking. He conceded it was a shellacking. Will he concede tomorrow morning when he meets with the press, it was another shellacking for the Democrats?

KING: It's a great question. A bit of a combative tone on background from White House officials tonight. But those are aides speaking. And I think Mr. Carney is still across the room. Aides are speaking. They'll digest these results tonight, they'll have their conversations and the president himself will decide the tone he wants to set tomorrow.

And you know what, it's important. Whether you're a Democrat or Republican or independent watching, it is important. You're entering the final two years of your presidency. People are going to start throwing the lame duck term around. He has a dysfunctional relationship with Speaker John Boehner and almost nonexistent relationship with the new majority leader, Mitch McConnell.

It's incumbent on all of them. All of them. To work on that. Not just the president. But he'll set part of the tone of that tomorrow.

BLITZER: Yes. But having said that, even though it was a shellacking in 2010, 2012, the Democrats came back and President Obama was re- elected. It might be a shellacking right now, we don't know what it's going to mean for 2016.

KING: No. What happened tonight tells you -- it tell you Republicans will enter 2016 with an advantage in the Senate and an advantage in the House, and they have done almost nothing to change their demographic problems to the point that was discussed earlier. The Democrats also learning a lesson tonight. And that is that the Obama coalition is not necessarily a Democratic coalition.

Younger votes down, Latino vote is down a bit in some key states. We're going dissect the African-American turnout. It was roughly on target in most of the places Democrats wanted to be, but it clearly wasn't enough in most of the key battleground states. But that is a huge challenge for the next Democratic nominee. Many people think we already know who it is. But we don't. We'll see how it plays out. How do you translate the Obama coalition, which was a winning

coalition at the presidential level and by quite convincing numbers into can you translate it, can you carry it over to 2016? If you look at the results tonight, you have to put a big question mark on that.

BLITZER: Yes. Especially if the Republicans wind up winning states like Maryland and Massachusetts and Colorado, the governor's races, that's a huge, huge setback for the Democrats.

Let's go back to Anderson for more -- Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And I want to continue the discussion the panel was having earlier. And importantly to Jake Tapper's question, which is, where is the evidence that this is going to -- the results tonight are going to result in less partisanship and less division? I mean, do you see any evidence of that?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And clearly you're not going to let me talk about Charlie Crist losing?

(LAUGHTER)

NAVARRO: Do you know how long I've been waiting for this?

COOPER: Well, in a minute, in a minute.

NAVARRO: No, no, no. Anderson, don't do this to a Hispanic woman.

COOPER: All right. Charlie -- all right.

NAVARRO: I want to tell you, Charlie Crist now has a distinction of having lost under three different party labels and I have the distinction of having voted against him every single time under every single party. And I think it shows you that you cannot contort yourself into pretzel shapes in order to be what you think the people want you to be.

You were making the point beforehand, that Elizabeth Warren, even though she's a progressive, can go everywhere. And I said yes, because she's comfortable in her own skin. And she goes as who she is. She doesn't go to Kentucky and try to talk southern and pretend to be somebody other than she is. And instead we saw all sorts of Democrats try to contort themselves to not be part of the Obama entourage.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Haven you gotten this out of your system?

NAVARRO: No.

(LAUGHTER)

NAVARRO: I just want to make sure that Charlie Crist is done, done, done. Like Anne Romney, you know, would say.

(CROSSTALK) COOPER: But on the larger issue --

NAVARRO: I just want to tell you this, Charlie Crist is -- Charlie Crist is like Jason from "Friday the 13th." He just -- he keeps coming back and back sequel. That's it.

COOPER: By the way, I just want people to know that --

NAVARRO: I'm over him. OK. It's time. So out of my system.

COOPER: I just want people to know that when Ana came on to the panel the first -- she was spitting out about Charlie Crist, and I've heard her out of my ear all for the last several hours mumbling Charlie Crist, Charlie Crist. Get it out of your system.

NAVARRO: I have the self-control.

COOPER: On the larger, more important issue, Charlie Crist aside, what is the evidence that there's going to be less partisanship, less division?

JONES: I think it's -- I wanted to say, I think especially because there was a reward. I said it before. The Republicans did this weird thing. They ran against gridlock that they largely created. And now they've got two promises to the American people. It's hard to keep both. They told their base they're going to end Obama. They told the rest of the country they're going to end gridlock.

You can't do both. And I don't understand how they're going to thread this needle when you've got a coalition of Republicans now that you got some running for office. They're going to be jockeying. You got a hard core Tea Party that's bigger and stronger than before and you have some people who want to govern. I think Republicans have a big, big --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: One at a time.

NAVARRO: I want to ask you this, though. Why do you say the Tea Party is bigger and stronger than before when they lost all their primaries?

JONES: No, no, no, they -- first of all look at --

NAVARRO: Look at the general election candidates.

JONES: Paul Begala just ran through that the list of Ted Cruz style people who snuck past. And their actual voting record, not their rhetoric, but their voting record is hard core right.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The promises that they made were to confront Obama. I did not hear them say they would end gridlock. I heard them say, I will stop Obama. More than 50 percent of all the ads ran by Republicans in the Senate were anti-Obama. It wasn't Obamacare, it wasn't minimum wage, it wasn't -- and meanwhile, look at two candidates particularly who went down today -- tonight.

Greg Orman, the independent candidate in Kansas who said I will be independent, I will be nonpartisan. He was --

NAVARRO: Nobody (INAUDIBLE), Paul.

BEGALA: He was rejected. And Michelle Nunn in Georgia who worked for President Bush Sr. for 20 years, who is the daughter of a legendary bipartisan Democrat, whose ads -- Zell Miller was in her ads. My old mentor and boss.

COOPER: So you're saying --

BEGALA: And she was rejected.

COOPER: So you're saying Mitch McConnell's talk of getting deals done is just --

BEGALA: He's saying that to make Gloria feel better.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: But no, he don't mean it.

COOPER: But, Kevin, you believe that there is --

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I've worked for John Boehner. I know there's a genuine interest in getting the Congress working again. You had many jobs bills that were passed with bipartisan support over in the House. Some of them with 300, 400 votes that were sent over to the Senate, and nothing happened.

This was not a do-nothing Congress, this was a do-nothing Senate. And I think Mitch McConnell is very aware of that. He recognizes that people have a very low opinion of Congress and the Senate because of the dysfunction there and he wants to change that.

Again, the big ingredient is --

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Name me one. One issue --

MADDEN: A big ingredient that's missing. This president either has no relationships or bad relationships on Capitol Hill. He has two years to change that.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Can I just say Joe Biden might get along better with Mitch McConnell than he did with Harry Reid?

MADDEN: That's right.

BORGER: OK?

BEGALA: Name me one issue then. BORGER: Let me just --

BEGALA: Name me one.

MADDEN: Tax reform.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: One at a time. One at a time.

MADDEN: You take a look at the -- if you take a look at what everybody is saying about tax reform, there is an absolute core capacity there to get something done.

BEGALA: They will move halfway --

MADDEN: The president -- the difference is, is the president going to go up and work and build a giant legislative coalition that he needs to get something like that done along with Mitch McConnell, along with John Boehner, along with -- the Democratic leaders of the Senate and the House? That is a big question.

JONES: I don't -- and as a progressive Democrat, our big complaint about Obama has not been that he has been unwilling to work with Republicans. I just think there's this mythology that's now become common sense that somehow President Obama does not and has not tried to work with Republicans. That is simply not true.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: He's not working with having relationship.

MADDEN: He doesn't have good relationships with Democrats up on Capitol Hill. And I'll tell you what.

COOPER: OK, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. OK.

MADDEN: And I'll tell you what, we could find that out tomorrow.

COOPER: Let's -- Dana.

BASH: OK. Just a couple of things. First of all, when it comes to governing and having, you know, some kind of bipartisan deal, Lindsey Graham, who also won tonight in South Carolina made a speech saying that he spoke already today for an hour to Joe Biden about some of these things. About infrastructure, about tax reform, about some of the things that they can do. As you said, Joe Biden has relationships, he can take the lead if the relationships aren't there with the president.

There's another person we should talk about who wasn't on the ballot but is potentially going to be a big player, Angus King of Maine. It was mentioned before that he is now caucusing with Democrats. He told me, I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago. He is completely open to caucusing with Republicans. He wants to do, he said, what's best for the state of Maine.

Now that could -- and Maine is not exactly, you know, blue. It's really a purple state. There are a lot of Republicans who are successful there like his colleagues Susan Collins. But if he plays his cards right and is smart and is able to, not just -- I don't know, get a chairmanship if he, you know, caucuses with the Republicans, but also does what he wants to do which is actually to get things done.

If he does -- I mean, it won't be the majority maker, but if he is somebody who can help craft a centrist coalition which he said he is going to do, and if someone like Lindsey Graham wants to join in or other people, maybe I'm a Pollyanna but --

(CROSSTALK)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Here's the thing. They have got, what do you think, nine months to do something? Nine months. That's probably the maximum.

COOPER: Why? Why?

CROWLEY: Because -- you know, 2016 starts now.

BASH: Yes.

CROWLEY: We're late. You know, so it's already going. They have got nine months in there where they can do something together, be it tax reform, some kind of energy bill. But the question is, you know, do the Republicans want to have an agenda? They now control the microphone up on Capitol Hill. They now control the committees. They now control the floor. They now control what they want to talk about.

BASH: They want to control the White House.

CROWLEY: So do they want it -- do they want to put the agenda out there and have it all stop at the White House instead of the other way around?

BORGER: And they have three full-on agenda.

CROWLEY: Well, you know, I think, you know, if Boehner's got people he can let go if he has a bigger caucus. So the question is, do they want to have an agenda or do they want to do stuff? I agree with you that Boehner and at the heart of Mitch McConnell are deal makers. That's what people in the Senate are like. So they want to do it. The question is, does their caucus want to do it?

COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. When we come back, we're going to look at some of the candidates for 2016, the presidential race, how they are resonating in Iowa, New Hampshire and elsewhere.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We've got live picture of the U.S. capitol. A big night for the Republicans. We've got a key race alert right now. Look at this, Virginia contest for the United States Senate. The incumbent Democrat Mark Warner, he is ahead of Ed Gillespie, the Republican challenger. 95 percent of the vote is in. He's ahead by almost 13,000 votes. 49.1 percent to 48.5 percent. Still 5 percent of the vote outstanding.

This is still too close for us to make a projection. No projection in Virginia right now.

In the governor's race in Connecticut, look at this. Look at how close it is. What is this? Seven votes separate Dan Malloy, the Democratic governor, Tom Foley, the Republican challenger. Seven votes, 49.4 percent to 49.4 percent with 60 percent of the vote in. That is not a good sign for the Democrats when the Republican in Connecticut is only seven votes behind the incumbent Democrat Dan Malloy.

Wow. That is very, very close.

So let's take a look at where the race for the U.S. Senate stands. The Republicans will be in the majority with at least, at least 52 seats. They needed 51. They have 52. There are still open seats remaining in Virginia, Louisiana, there'll be a runoff in December, Alaska, the polls close at Alaska at the top of the next hour. We'll see if we can make a projection in Alaska.

President Obama certainly has some explaining to do about his party's serious losses tonight. He's expected to speak out tomorrow only hours after Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate.

Let's go to our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta who is joining us.

So, Jim, are we getting any indication of what the president might say?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Not just yet, Wolf. And amazingly, the White House is not putting out a statement tonight congratulating the Republicans on taking control of the Senate. We're not expecting to hear more from the president tonight. And any sort of paper statement according to officials here, he has been reaching out to politicians on both sides of the aisle in these gubernatorial and Senate races throughout the country.

And, Wolf, you were talking earlier with the panel there about whether or not it was a good idea for the president to be out on the campaign trail and whether or not the Democrats will be re-examining that strategy and whether they should have been keeping it at arm's length. I think the question now will be, were the arms long enough?

I mean, even the states that the president went into, these safe blue states like Maryland, like Connecticut, like Illinois, his home state, those governors' races that they thought were OK, these races are safe enough for the president to go into, those states are going down.

And so I think this is -- this is all happening in a way that I think the White House was not expecting. The White House was saying earlier today they did not see this as a referendum on the president. But clearly when you look at the results tonight, this is going way beyond that what they expected in terms of governing in the future.

I talked to a couple of White House officials this evening. They were saying, you know, as far as the question whether or not the president will be more conciliatory, will be willing to compromise, they were taking the attitude earlier this evening that well, what about the Republicans? Will they be willing to compromise? The president is still insisting that he is going to take executive action on immigration before the end of the year.

The question, though, Wolf, tomorrow is going to be, does that poison the well with this new Republican majority in the Senate, this new and stronger Republican majority in the House? And what I heard from White House officials earlier this evening is that no, House Speaker John Boehner was given the chance to take up immigration reform. He didn't do it, and so the president is going to keep his promise and do immigration reform on his own.

How does that set the tone for the coming year? And so, Wolf, the president is expected to come out tomorrow and give a news conference and talk to reporters and he's likely going to have to come up with a new word for shellacking. It was a not a tidal wave but it was a measurable one tonight -- Wolf.

BLITZER: A shellacking, too, we could call it. Do we know what time the president will be speaking out tomorrow?

ACOSTA: We don't. We know that the White House press secretary Josh Earnest has a scheduled briefing at around 1:00. But sometimes as we've seen in the past, the president could come out in the morning, decide to get this out of the way.

And Wolf, keep in mind, he's going to Asia next week, so he will get a chance to take a break from all of this. You know, they've been calling that the Asia pivot, as far as his foreign -- his foreign policy. This is sort of the pivot to the Asia pivot. Just to get away from all of this in Washington. A really bad night for the president and the Democrats over here at the White House.

BLITZER: A very bad night indeed.

All right. Jim Acosta, we'll see what time the president goes out tomorrow and speaks with the reporter, explains what's going on.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Wolf, thanks very much. Let's talk about what the president's next move may be.

BORGER: I think drubbing might be the word instead of shellacking tomorrow.

CROWLEY: I got to tell you, if he moves and makes -- we don't know what he's going to do, executive order wise, on immigration. But if he makes a major move along the lines of what we've been hearing, which is to give some sort of status to keep millions in this country with some sort of special visa, that would be like --

BASH: A finger in the eye.

CROWLEY: Just like popping a grenade and throwing it in the middle of the Senate floor.

BORGER: I think there's disagreement, though, about how to approach it. I mean, I do believe, in talking to a senior administration official who said we're not going to sign a bunch of their bills, period. We're going to veto stuff. Sure, we'll have them down to the White House, but don't expect us to work with them to Jake's -- you know, to Jake's point.

On the other hand, this becomes a Hillary Clinton problem, I think, pretty soon. And I do believe that they have to sort of walk this line. And you heard, you know, Joe Biden say we want to compromise and, you know, I do think at some point, Hillary Clinton has to worry about it.

(CROSSTALK)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: You hear a lot of sound about areas where they can work together, trade authority, tax reform theoretically, although I think the Republican refusal to raise any taxes, even if closing loopholes will be a contentious issue and prevent that from happening. But in terms of Hillary Clinton, I want to talk for a second about the woman's vote, because one of the things that happened today was Democrats kept an advantage with the women voting, but it was much smaller.

And Republicans had a much bigger advantage with men voters.

CROWLEY: And I'll tell you --

TAPPER: And when you look at, first of all, Iowa has elected its first statewide woman. It's a Republican, Joni Ernst. Illinois has elected a Latina as lieutenant governor, a Republican. And then you look at Mark Udall in Colorado who ran a race, a Democratic incumbent senator, who ran a race that was very much focused on trying to win the women's vote by talking about reproductive rights to the point that Democrats -- his own supporters were heckling him at events saying this is not all that you stand for.

And I think you have to start to wonder whether the Democrats' playbook when it comes to the war on women, when it comes to focusing on reproductive rights, whether that is now just a losing strategy.

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: You know, it certainly might be. The thing about, I think, Mark Udall in Colorado in particular is a perfect example of the women vote and how it goes. And I will tell you that the Democratic strategist who were trying to get him elected in Colorado, what they told me that they saw in the data was that you have these suburban women, and I think in Colorado they matter more than anywhere else, because they're swing voters, who voted for the president, not once but twice.

And the only way for them to protest the president, who they have fallen out of favor -- he's fallen out of favor with them, was to vote against Mark Udall.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Let's look at some exit poll numbers, and I think John King has that, about reaction to President Obama, how toxic he was in some of these races. And then we'll talk about that -- John.

KING: Well, Anderson, we've been searching for the word, is it shellacking, too? I think if you look at the exit polls then you look at the map, it's a repudiation. Remember the president himself said, I'm not on the ballot, but my policies are.

Let's go through some states where the president, when he was running, Virginia, he won it twice. 58 percent of voters in Virginia disapproved of how the president is handling his job. And guess what, they voted overwhelmingly for Ed Gillespie. Ed Gillespie, it looks like he's coming up just short in this race, but even in a state the president carried twice, he was an issue and he was a negative, a huge negative for the Democratic candidate.

North Carolina, the president won it once, lost it once, 55 percent disapprove. Again, the Democrats unable to put the Obama coalition together in the state of North Carolina. 55 percent disapprove overwhelmingly, they voted for the new Republican senator, Republican Senator Thom Tillis from the state of North Carolina. The president certainly toxic and harmful to the Democrats there.

Iowa, the state that put Barack Obama on the national stage, 60 percent of the voters in Iowa today disapprove of the president's job performance. They voted overwhelmingly either -- almost eight in 10, nearly, excuse me, for Joni Ernst, the new Republican senator from the state of Iowa, a state many people assumed was deep blue.

Louisiana is not done yet. We have a runoff. But six in 10 of the voters today disapprove of how the president is handling his job. They voted overwhelmingly for two of the Republican candidates, Bill Cassidy and Greg Maness.

One has to assume, we asked at the exit polls who would you vote for in the runoff, Mary Landrieu is well behind as we take that race into January.

Let me slide this one up, I just want to show you one more, if I could slide it over because it gets stuck sometimes.

Wisconsin -- I have two more actually. Wisconsin, where he campaigned in that governor's race, 56 percent of the voters approve in a blue state, Wisconsin, the president carried twice. As they reelected the Republican governor. 85 percent of the voters who disapprove of Obama voted for Scott Walker. I just want to end the race we're just talking about if I could get

the slides. It gets a little tired this late at night. Colorado, again, a state the president won twice, Mark Udall losses today, 55 percent disapprove of the president's performance overwhelmingly. They went for Cory Gardner, including deep support in those Denver suburbs.

So he said himself, his policies were on the ballot, and if you look at this, you look at states that were blue for the president in his election victories, particularly Colorado and Iowa, North Carolina, once turning red, you'd have to call what happened tonight a repudiation.

COOPER: Yes. So, Paul Begala, I mean, I just was reading a "Times" article where there was an anonymous quote from somebody in the White House, the president does not view what happened tonight as a repudiation. You look at those numbers. How can he not?

BEGALA: Because he hasn't had time to digest it. He's an incredibly bright man. And he's actually more dispassionate about this business than anybody I've ever known in this business. He'll come to this. He'll look at the data and arrive at this conclusion, which is, set aside all my screaming about the -- the Tea Party, he got 51, 52, 53 percent, in all the states John King just showed us. Just two years ago.

Now he's down to 40, 41, 42. So somewhere between 1/4 and 1/5 of the Obama people no longer have faith in him in these swing states. Many of them expressed it by staying home. Particularly unmarried women which is a big part of the coalition that I think Jake was talking about. But many of them did actually vote against their local Democrat because they're disappointed in him.

He's going to have to come to grips with that and find a way to fight back. He's a resilient guy, he's a bright guy, but that's his problem. He's got to really look at the man in the mirror.

COOPER: So how does a politician go about doing that?

BEGALA: I've watched a guy do it once upon a time. And it begins with criticizing yourself rigorously. And it's painful. But then you do also have to reach out to the other side. It's amazing that we're going to look back at the good old days of Newt Gingrich as being bipartisan. Now they impeached them. I don't know if it made all the papers but you guys know they impeached my boss, but still he worked with them.

But they worked with him, too. And the voters, see, this is my point about the voters. If all (INAUDIBLE) and start analyzing ourselves, voters rewarded Newt and Bill for compromising and now they're going to punish anyone who compromises on the Republican side.

COOPER: I want to toss it over to Jake Tapper, he's got a projection -- Jake.

TAPPER: That's right, Anderson. This one is going to leave a mark. CNN now projecting that the Maryland governor will be Republican Larry Hogan, in true blue state Maryland. The lieutenant governor, the Democrat Anthony Brown has conceded to Larry Hogan, the Republican.

Let's take a look at the map, if we could, to see all the states where there have been pickups by Republican, as well as outstanding information. You can see red Maryland right there. In addition, red Illinois. Also quite surprising for a lot of people watching these races. We're still waiting for results from Connecticut and Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine. There's a lot going on tonight.

And, Anderson, I have to say, I don't think very many people were predicting this evening that a governor of Maryland and a governor of Illinois would be Republican. And this gets to what we were talking about earlier. This is a Republican wave. There is no other way to look at it. And though there was anti-incumbent sentiment out there, the Republican incumbents, Snyder in Michigan, Scott in Florida, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, they won.

BASH: It was a wave and a late-breaking wave. I just got an e-mail from somebody who was working in these Maryland races who said that Brown, the Democrat, was up 13 points less than two weeks ago. So it's a late-breaking wave. And that's sort of in keeping with what I was hearing from Democratic sources who were doing the Senate races that they just saw the bottom --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Have they -- have they keyed in on particular issues?

BASH: On why, not yet. Not yet. That I --

CROWLEY: I think they have undecideds, too. In a lot of these races we would see, like, 15, 16 percent undecided and event eventually, they --

COOPER: Let's just quickly look at the numbers right now for some of these races. Connecticut governor, 104 votes right now is separating Tom Foley. Tom Foley actually in the lead there. 104 votes ahead of Dan Malloy, who, by the way, President Obama went out and campaigned for in Massachusetts.

BORGER: Right.

COOPER: Charlie Baker, the Republican ahead, 28,900. Almost 29,000 votes with 88 percent of the vote counted. And take a look at Vermont. The Democrat Peter Shumlin ahead by 2,675.

TAPPER: And Anderson, I believe in Vermont, if no candidate gets more than 50 percent, it goes to the legislature. I'm pretty sure that that's the way. So if neither Shumlin nor Milne break 50 percent, that's going to go to the legislature.

NAVARRO: And I'll tell you who this is proving to be a very good night for is Chris Christie, which is the head of the Republican Governors Association who traveled all over the country. He was like the (INAUDIBLE). All places at all times. He put in a lot of money. He put $18.5 million, the RGA did, into Florida. And I think he picked winners. This is a night that I think even they --

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Well, not to take anything away from Chris Christie and all the work that he did, but he ought to be calling President Obama and thanking him for some of these races. Because I guarantee you, Chris Christie did not expect to win the governor's race in Maryland.

BASH: It was quid pro quo for Sandy.

BORGER: Oh, OK.

BASH: What do you think, Kevin?

COOPER: Van?

JONES: Let me say a few things about Obama. You were saying -- and people were saying, he's got to reach out to Republicans. He's also got to reach out to his base. His base stayed home. And this is not a left wing period in American politics, it's not a right wing period. It is a turbulent volatile period. You've seen power bounds all over the place, and I'm going to tell you how this president can make a mistake.

First of all, he made a promise to the Latino community on immigration. If this president throws that promise in the garbage can, this president will destroy the Obama coalition forever. He cannot back down from that.

Number two, if the only olive branches are all the branches that come at our expense, for instance, minimum wage is popular with Republicans. Extending unemployment insurance is popular with Republicans. He cannot come forward with only bipartisan stuff that comes at our expense. He's got to be -- he's got to put forward some bipartisan stuff that actually is bipartisan for their base and our --

BORGER: But he'll do --

JONES: And the third thing -- I'm sorry.

BORGER: No, he'll do an executive action on immigration. He will do that.

JONES: Well, she was just saying that if that --

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: Depends on what it is.

JONES: That's good.

MADDEN: The idea that President Obama now has to return to energizing his base is absurd. I really --

JONES: No, no, no. He's got to do both. MADDEN: If you look at -- if you look at what Paul said earlier about

Bill Clinton's successful path back, Bill Clinton at his core was a centrist. Bill Clinton at his core was an amazing executive. And at his core, he had very good relationships with Capitol Hill. I mean, you used to hear stories from folks up on Capitol Hill that were no votes, and Bill Clinton would spend an hour on the phone with them. Then they would get off the phone and they'd say, imagine what he's doing with the maybes.

(LAUGHTER)

MADDEN: Now President Obama is not a centrist. If he wants to go and counter attack, and feel like he has to gin up his base, that's going to cost some problem. He has no relationships up on Capitol Hill. And those are going to be the really important things that he's going to have to --

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: Respond to this. I'm saying that there are bipartisan ideas, a pathway to citizenship is popular in both parties. Minimum wage, popular in both parties. There are bipartisan ideas that his base feels frustrated about that he needs to actually make sure he gins that up, too. Do you think that's possible?

MADDEN: I have to tell you, if he --

JONES: Do you think that's possible?

MADDEN: If he does what everybody thinks he's going to do on immigration with an executive action, that will poison the well for any future cooperation on anything.

CROWLEY: Why does he have to -- I mean, again, why do you think he -- why do you think he has to play to his base at this point? Doesn't he have to play to getting something done the last two years and not sitting around and being irrelevant?

NAVARRO: Because Van is his base. He wants him (INAUDIBLE).

JONES: Now listen, the pathway to getting something done, both parties have a challenge. The Republicans have a Tea Party base that they're going to have to deal with. And there's a progressive base that has to be dealt with. And the art of leadership is to find those ideas, they get the base reengaged and also lets you reach across. And if he fails to do that, he's going to have a hard time delivering.

COOPER: All right. Let's take a deep breath, hold on to it.

Marijuana is on the ballot in several states.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: I don't know why you're laughing. Voters want to expand laws to legalize. We probably get results in some hot button issues ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Marijuana was in issue in a few states. And take a look at this. We now have the results.

In the state of Oregon, legalizing marijuana for recreational use has been approved 54 percent, 46 percent. In Oregon, the measure would legalize personal possession, manufacture, sale of marijuana per persons 121 years of age or older within specific limits and create a commercial regulatory system with the production, distribution and sale of marijuana in Oregon. Washington state and Colorado already have that.

In Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, legalizing marijuana decisively, 69 percent say yes. 31 percent say no. Possessing up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use is now legal. A whole bunch of other stuff they've approved as well. Washington, D.C. legalizing marijuana.

In Florida, there was a measure to allow medical marijuana to be used. It needed 60 percent to get approval. It got 58 percent. You can see over there. So it doesn't get approved in Florida, allowing medical marijuana goes down. But it does get approved recreational marijuana in Oregon and Washington state.

And Anderson, Alaska has a similar measure on the boards. Right now, they haven't closed the polls in Alaska so we don't know yet how they decided what to do with marijuana. But it clearly has been approved not only existent in Washington state and Colorado, but you can see now the District of Columbia as well as in Oregon.

COOPER: Let's talk about with our panel, is it a surprise really for anyone here, both in D.C. and also in Oregon?

BORGER: No.

MADDEN: No.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Are you all stoned here? Come on, people. Quick. Come on.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. What about you? What do you think?

COOPER: OK.

BORGER: We need Randi Kaye for this one.

COOPER: That's right. Yes, Randi Kaye. No one really has opinions on pot -- on this one. Anything?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm surprised that if you said to me, well, as between recreational and a medicinal purpose, which one failed, I would have said well, it'd be the recreational, it would have failed somewhere. And the fact that in Florida they said no to medical marijuana.

You know, there are a lot of folks in Florida who I would think could use that for medicinal value, so that that should be the one that failed surprises me.

COOPER: Yes. The fact that in Oregon, which started recreational use of marijuana, obviously that's a big step, although in Oregon we've seen a number of ballot initiatives like that which don't exist elsewhere in the country.

NAVARRO: Part of the reason it failed in Florida, though, is because in Florida that ballot amendment required 60 percent of the vote.

COOPER: Right.

NAVARRO: That's a high threshold. It just didn't get there.

SMERCONISH: My recollection, and Ana, you would better than I, is that Charlie Crist's law partner, law colleague was a protagonist for getting that --

NAVARRO: You see, this is why I love the man whose last name I can't pronounce, bringing Charlie Crist back up.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Don't get Ana started on Charlie Crist.

SMERCONISH: But I think that then you would know better than I that I think that the whole motivation really was to put it on the ballot so as to benefit Crist because the person would come out and be supportive of that.

BORGER: Younger voters.

SMERCONISH: Would be a likely Crist supporter. But it failed.

NAVARRO: So he lost on two counts.

TAPPER: One of the interesting questions about the marijuana initiative, the recreational use in Washington, D.C. is since the House of Representatives and the Senate control Washington, D.C. in so many way, are the Republicans going to try to block that? Or is there going to be more deference to the libertarian bent? And the fact that some of these senators, such as newly elected Senator-elect Gardner from Colorado, perhaps the Republican out of Alaska, we don't know yet, are going to be from state where it is legal. So that's an open question. Are Republicans going to step in and say no, you can't do that, Washington.

BORGER: And maybe bipartisanship will spring eternal as a result, right?

TAPPER: Fast (INAUDIBLE) on the left and the right --

BORGER: Right. Yes. (LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Kevin, do you think it's likely Republicans would actually step in?

MADDEN: I think Jake's point is right that they would actually defer more to libertarian side. I don't think -- obviously it's not a priority. I also think inside of D.C., this argument was made with the criminal justice element in mind that so many young people are going to jail and so many of the courts are back live because we have these what people see as minor drug offenses.

And so I think that there are a number of Republicans that are increasingly more interested in some of those criminal justice reforms as well.

NAVARRO: Well, I'll tell you what happened in Florida. Knowing that it was going to be on the ballot and that it was going to be an issue, the Florida legislature addressed it in their last session and passed a medical marijuana law, it's called Charlotte's Web. And it passed. And so I think that was also took part of the wind out of the sail, out of this amendment.

COOPER: I think we have another projection. Let's go to Wolf for that.

BLITZER: We have a projection on raising the nation's minimum wage in several states. Take a look at this. In Arkansas right now, raising the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour by the year 2017, that passes. 65 percent so far to 35 percent. 73 percent of the vote is in. So they're going to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 nationwide to $8.50 in Arkansas.

In Illinois, similarly, raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2015, that passes as well. 67 percent, 33 percent, 96 percent of the vote is in. Raising the minimum wage in Illinois.

The measure, similar measures were on the ballot in other states as well. Let's take a closer look. In Nebraska, similarly it passes. They're going to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour by the year 2016. 59 percent, 41 percent. So they're going to raise the minimum wage in Nebraska. And in South Dakota also they're going to raise the minimum wage. Right now $7.25 nationwide to $$8.50 an hour by the year 2015, which is obviously next year or so.

Those are all important measures that were -- take a look -- Nebraska, we got Nebraska also, they raised the minimum wage to $9 per hour in 2016. That's Nebraska. And there's another measure in Colorado that went down to defeat. This was a measure in Colorado to define personhood. A controversial measure that would amend the state constitution to include unborn babies under the definition of person in the Colorado criminal code. So right now, the definition of personhood, that amendment in Colorado goes down to defeat.

Let's take a look at the Senate right now, here's where it stands as you know. 52 Republicans at a minimum. They will be the majority in the next United States Senate. The Democrats right now are 45. The Republicans needed 51. They got more than 51. So they will be the majority in the Senate. You see Virginia. Louisiana is going to go to a runoff in December. We'll see what happens in Louisiana. Virginia, still too close.

But those measures, raising the minimum wage, rejecting that personhood amendment in Colorado, legalizing marijuana. Lots of other stuff going on -- Anderson.

COOPER: That's right. We're also joined by Michael Smerconish and Peter Hamby, who we haven't heard from a lot tonight. Just coming out and joining the panel.

Just to get your thoughts, Michael, on what you've seen play out over the last several hours.

SMERCONISH: Drubbing would be the word I would use. It wouldn't be shellacking in this cycle. But it exceeds, I thought it would be, I think we all expected it was going to be a big Republican night. I didn't expect it to be as significant as it's turned out. The surprise for me is the success at the gubernatorial level. With the exception of being my home state of Pennsylvania, there was a lot more I think to that story.

But Tom Corbett, a Republican. As a matter of face, the first governor to be defeated running for reelection in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since we allowed that process to take place. So PA, an outlier but the success that Republicans have had at the governor's level is I think the story of the night in addition to the Senate.

COOPER: Peter, you spent a lot of time covering these races on the road.

PETER HAMBY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. And my home state of Virginia is still not called. I know we've been talking about that a lot tonight. I was talking to a bunch of Democrats in Virginia who worked on campaigns there for the last cycle who are being very critical of Mark Warner saying that he ran a strategy based on kind of his 2001 romantic notion of how he won the governorship, I think.

He spent the last three weeks of that race campaigning in southwest Virginia with John Warner. That state, you know, used to be sort of a -- you know, southern Democratic swing state. Now this is a base turnout state. Look at how Terry McAuliffe won in 2013 in the governor's race last year. He brought in President Obama to run up the African-American vote in Hampton Roads, in Richmond, in northern Virginia.

Mark Warner didn't do that. Not to say he didn't take this race for granted. When Democrats said he comes as close to Jesus in Virginia Democratic politics as you can possibly get. But, you know, he ran a dated campaign. And Democrats are being very critical that he ran this campaign and that we're still, you know, waiting for a call.

COOPER: And let's take a quick look at the numbers in both those races. Virginia, Mark Warner ahead 12,479 to Ed Gillespie with 95 percent of the vote counted already there.

Although, I think Ed Gillespie, I mean, surprising a lot of people with the race that he ran.

HAMBY: Right.. So it's a combination of sort of, you know, underwhelming Democratic turnout. But also, Warner didn't really defined Ed Gillespie. I talked to one Democrat who said the contrast was there. He didn't go negative on him. Remember what happened with Terry McAuliffe. He went hard negative on Ken Cuccinnelli, the Republican, portraying him as one of the social crusader to drive down his margins in northern Virginia.

They kind of left Ed Gillespie alone. I mean, I was watching Monday night football last night --

BASH: They didn't lobby his --

HAMBY: -- and they started dropping the negative ads on him, but only in the last weekend. Remember there's also a competitive House race in northern Virginia. And Ed Gillespie sort of outperformed Ken Cuccinnelli in northern Virginia. So it's confluence of factors. Obviously, you know, the national environment is troublesome. But this reaffirms, though, that Virginia -- you know, we refer to it as a blue state and we've been referring to Iowa and Colorado as blue states. Still a blue states. Totally. Yes.

BORGER: No. Yes. Didn't Ed Gillespie say it's OK to call the Redskins the Redskins? So that was his big -- that was his big moment. I mean, look, I think you can make the case that not only Warner but other Democrats ran the old race from 2012. And, you know, just segmenting their constituencies, including women in Colorado which failed for them.

And that it was the Republicans who improved their ground game, who figured out ways to get their voters out and took a page from the Democrats' playbook and then beat them at it because they were aided but the unpopularity of this president, even though nobody likes Republicans either.

TAPPER: We're not talking enough, I don't think, about what a lot of these Republicans' ads talked about a lot, which were things that Americans were scared of.

BORGER: Right.

TAPPER: There were a lot of ads that talked about ISIS. There were a lot of ads that talked about Ebola. And if you looked at the exit polls, most Americans afraid of a terrorist attack in this country.

COOPER: More than 50 percent.

TAPPER: Yes. And so Republicans played into that obviously, but there was a concern about the competence of the Obama administration with the crisis of ISIS, with the crisis of Ebola. You have polls indicating that two of the most nonpartisan -- or at least perceived as nonpartisan government agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Secret Service, both of whom have taken huge hits in the last few months, that there are questions about them.

COOPER: Right.

BORGER: So I talked to a Republican strategist involved in a bunch of these races who said to me that the turning point in this campaign and their numbers was when the president said he had no strategy on ISIS. And that their number -- they could see a shift in their numbers and Democrats say the same thing.

COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. We're going to be looking at the tea leaves in the presidential race now the Republicans have new power in their hands. The lessons for 2016. Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: So far, a very big night for Republicans as they now will be controlling the United States Senate. They will have at least 52 senators, Republican senators in the next Senate. A huge, huge win for the Republicans. We're about to see if they're going to be able to expand that number from 52 to 53, because they're getting ready to close the polls in Alaska. We're going to take a look and see what we can report right now.