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A Look at the Polls. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired October 26, 2016 - 12:00   ET



[12:32:18] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. Just about every stop these days Donald Trump has a message for anyone and especially Republicans who say this race is over. Donald Trump says look at the map. Think again.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a big, big vote in the State of Florida. We're leading Iowa. We're leading Ohio. We're doing great in North Carolina. Pennsylvania, we're going to a lot. I think we're going to do great there. They put the miners out of work. We're putting the miners back to work. I think we're going to do great there.


KING: So is he right? Let's go through the states. Donald Trump mentioned Iowa. He is leading in the most recent poll in Iowa. A state President Obama won twice. At the moment though, advantage Trump. What about Ohio? That one's a dead heat Republicans need to win it to win the White House. At the moment, Donald Trump is in play in Ohio. Very close as we get to the end.

Also, this is great news for Trump. Other polls have shown Clinton ahead, but a brand new poll out of Florida today showing Donald Trump, that's a statistical tie, but maybe some momentum for Trump and a little lead in Florida, heading into the final days of the campaign. That's certainly good news for Trump. This is not as good news, though. He mentioned Pennsylvania. Says he thinks he can do well there, at the moment, Secretary Clinton with a pretty healthy lead in the latest polling in Pennsylvania.

And battleground North Carolina, Trump has two rallies there today. Well, he needs to make up some ground. Again, the latest polling showing Hillary Clinton with a lead in North Carolina, so when you switch the map you say, does Donald Trump have reason to be optimistic? At the moment, we have Secretary Clinton with a pretty lopsided advantage when it comes to Electoral College. But let's just see. If that Florida poll is right and Trump has momentum that would get him better. If he can somehow swing Ohio his way, that would make it better. We have him already holding Iowa.

He absolutely has to win North Carolina. His behind at the moment, but let's just say what would happen if he got that? Well, that gets him into play, but still has trouble out west. That's why Mike Pence is out in Utah today. Two ruby red Western States still struggle. So is it impossible for Trump? No. Is it hard for Trump? Yes. But Hillary Clinton says because, maybe, maybe the race is getting tighter at the end I'm going to fight to the end.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want you to know we still have a lot of work to do. I feel good, but, boy, I am not taking anything for granted. I'm going to work as hard as I can between now and the close of the election next two weeks from today.


KING: So if you go through the states, the race is getting a little tighter. We're not -- a week ago people talking about a huge blowout. At least the states are getting a little bit tighter, but, emphasis on but, the fact that Mike Pence is in Utah today speaks volumes to me about just the fundamental problem Republicans have, in the sense if you go state by state by state. That guy who's actually right here in this building today, Mitt Romney. Donald Trump called him a choker. Donald Trump's underperforming Mitt Romney just about everywhere you look.

[12:35:08] ASHLEY PARKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Which is never a good sign. And, you know, his team is pretty clear on what states he has to win, and his strengths and weaknesses. And if you talk to them privately they'll say, "You know, we're having more trouble, for instance, in Georgia than expected because he's not doing well with suburban women, which plagues him in a lot of states." But what's interesting to that then does not translate to either messaging or strategy. If you're not doing well with suburban women, you should not have Donald Trump go out and say the things he's saying about women. So they know what they need to do, know where they need to improve but are not quite able to do it yet.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah. The challenges you laid out there, John, is that the map is not the 2012 map. It's not the 2008 map. This is totally different. They have to defend a number of these red states that are at risk of going blue. You mentioned Utah, of course, talk about Georgia, that's Arizona potentially as well. As well as, you know, some polls show that Donald Trump is underperforming in three red states where there's a major Senate races, Indiana, Missouri and also mentioned North Carolina. So there are so many different places that they need to play right now to prevent these states from flipping in addition to those traditional battlegrounds. That makes it very, very difficult, very narrow path for him to win the presidency.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER But it is also true that he might end up doing better than Mitt Romney at least on the map.

KING: The Electoral College.

HENDERSON: In the Electoral College. Mitt Romney got 2000 -- 206 if he wins Ohio, wins Florida. Looks like he'll win Iowa, he might be the most successful losing GOP presidential candidate that we've seen over the last couple ...

KING: You got a participation trophy ...

HENDERSON: Yeah, you don't. It gets you nothing, but you know, I mean, you imagine that Donald Trump would brag about that.

KING: But it will contribute to the post election debate.


KING: Trump would say I won these other states. Before you jump in, Mary Katharine just -- this is part of this, too. As we're having this conversation, we count votes on November 8th, but the election is actually being won or lost today. The election is being won or lost today. President Obama lost both times on Election Day voting but he won with early voting, let's just look at the stats where we are.

Nearly 7.4 million votes cast already, 4.6 million of those from states we call battleground states. The ones that been about all important Florida, more than 1.2 million votes cast. That's why Hillary Clinton is there today. The Republicans at the moment have an edge when you compared to 2012 in Florida, Ohio and Utah, that's good news for Trump especially the Florida, Ohio, they need Utah.

Democrats though, this is important. They have an edge in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada. So when you do the state- by-state, you still tilt advantage Clinton as we watch this play out.

MARY KATHARINE HAM, THE FEDERALIST: Yeah. I mean I think it's obviously good news for Trump that there's that edge in early voting in Florida. Democrats like to bank a bunch of early votes and then, you know, maybe not lose the Election Day. But, you know, I think that the problem has been for some time, for several cycle, that those map is tough for Republicans. For Trump, he has to run a perfect game for the rest of the -- I'm not even sure if he took into account when the early voting started. Like he said his team may have, but I'm not sure he had and took into account and changed strategy or changed messaging. And so we're to 13 days, and I'm not sure how you get it done.

KING: And what is the psychology of the candidate? You see him talking, in your newspaper today. Some of these tapes have been released before over the excellent story in the newspaper say about Donald Trump talking to a biographer in the past and you get a lot of insights on his own psychology including Donald Trump. Listen here. He doesn't like loosing.


TRUMP: If you lose a lot, nobody's going to follow you, because you're looked at as a loser. Winning is a very important thing, and the most important aspect of leadership is winning if you have a record of winning, people are going to follow you.


KING: It sounds simplistic and yet if we're asking, you know, A. can Donald Trump pull this off in day13 days, can you rally people and change to be an epic comeback if he can or what does he want to do after the election, if he loses, is he a loser?

PARKER: Well, this is sort of the cruel irony Donald Trump that he hates losing and when he starts to lose he becomes increasingly erratic. And so instead of sort of getting himself back to a winning place and disciplined message the more he is losing the more he becomes undisciplined, and that sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I mean he has instinct that is he -- he shown that he can be disciplined for about three weeks at a time. And if they could've made those final 21 days or final even his 13 days that disciplined period he might have a shot. But it's an open question.

KING: It's excellent point. Because some around him say this is why we tell him he's winning even when he's not winning, because they want to keep him optimistic.

[12:39:33] Hang on tight we will set a time up. Next, if you live in the battle ground state you can't escape the bruising ads. Some are designed to get you out to vote. Others though, designed to convince you to stay home.


KING: Welcome back. In close elections it comes down to the little things and who doesn't votes can be just as important as who does vote. Which is why this one caught my eyes it's a modest ad by on a local Spanish language T.V. station in Philadelphia.


CLINTON: I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in.



KING: Now, again, modest by a Spanish language in Philadelphia. 6 percent electorate in 2012 in the whole state of Pennsylvania was Latino. So you think what is this about? Well, it's about if Trump can keep it close it's about convincing a lot of Latinos not to vote for Trump. It's nothing pro-Trump in that ad. Stay home. You can't trust her. When she's talking being pro-immigrant. No she has voted on the wrong side in the past. And to me, it's one of this I don't want to call it cynical, maybe it's clever whatever it is, but it's designed to convince people to stay home and hope you can win the race on the margins.

PARKER: Yeah, the Trump team is actually been pretty clear about saying that they're running in a two-pronged strategy. And one of those strategies is voter suppression. [12:45:00] I think they'll say that out loud. And their thought is that Trump, unlike a typical candidate is not going to do what you normally need to do, whenever independent, moderates, swing voters, he's going to double down on his base which is typically a primary strategy. And he's going to try to make Hillary Clinton so unpalatable that her voters don't show up.

RAJU: And it goes back to the central issue with her is the trust issue. And I think it's a clever ad. Probably one that I'm surprised that has not been replicated in other areas like in Nevada, very close race there or even in Miami-Dade County in Florida. But clearly, not necessarily just on immigration which is, shows that maybe she says something -- she says things differently than what she actually believes.

KING: And, you know, there's a lack of enthusiasm for her in some communities. Or at least not enthusiasm equal to that of Obama. I mean that's a fair way to put it. And so she try to convince people just don't -- just stay home. Even if you don't come out for Trump, stay home. Another way, you're on good ads, just have celebrities in them including Morgan Freeman, is voice of God, in programming and Morgan Freedman is a Clinton supporter. And one of her closing ads, here you go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will it be the one respected around the world, or the one who frightens our alleys and emboldens our enemies? The one with the deep understanding of the challenges we face, or the one who is unprepared for them? A steady hand, or a loose cannon?


KING: It's like the James Earl Jones ...

HENDERSON: I'm terrified.

KING: It's like the James Earl Jones here at CNN. You want that voice on your side.

HENDERSON: I mean he is not just the voice of God, in movies. He's literally the voice of God. I mean that is a terrifying ad in that baritone-type voice.

You know, I think for Trump, the voter suppression would work if it wasn't Trump and if the choice wasn't so stark. His language wasn't so stark in terms of the way he talks about African-Americans, the way he talks about Muslims, the way he talks about Latinos. And I'm not really sure you can sort of selectively suppress the vote, right? I mean who's to say he's not going to suppress his own voters as well?

HAM: But here's the thing about especially when it comes to Latino vote. You have not -- the theory was you would see these giant jumps in registration and early voting in the Latino community. You actually have not seen that up to this point. I think partly because many people feel the contrast isn't that great because I think, well yeah, there's contrast. But they're between two bad choices which is the problem both of them keep running into.

KING: Right, and her ads, that's why you keep hearing her, the unfit. Everything she does, her speeches, her ads, Donald Trump is unfit. Essentially, keep him, push him across the other side of the qualified line so that these questions, whether it's WikiLeaks, whether it's Obamacare, or whether something else, you don't get to those because you've already decided you can't vote for Donald Trump.

One more we sneak in here. This is Joe Heck, we show him on top of the program. He is the Senate candidate for Republicans in the State of Nevada. He recently has said because of the "Access Hollywood" tape, he said "look, I have a wife, I have daughters, I can no longer support Donald Trump because what he said on that tape." Democrats don't want to let him run.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Donald Trump says about women who have abortions ...

DONALD TRUMP (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There has to be some form of punishment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe Heck has already voted to make abortion a crime. So no matter what he says, Joe Heck is a lot closer to Donald than you think.


KING: I think you're going to see that in some other ads as well, the morphing of candidates into Donald Trump. We'll see if it works. We got to move on.

Now, a sneak peek into our reporters notebooks, next, including the new directly from Trump supporter -- the view directly from Trump supporter, so why they say he's going to win even though the polls say, maybe not.


[12:52:36] KING: One last view for us of the beautiful scene here just across the street from the White House. Let's close as we always do. Head around the inside politics table, ask our reporters to give you a sneak peek into the notebooks, some big political news, Mary Katharine?

HAM: All right, Sunny in Florida. There is a Bloomberg poll showing some good news for Trump up two. And really good news for Marco Rubio up ten. What's interesting about this in the future is Democrats would love to finish off Marco Rubio as we know from the WikiLeaks e-mails, he was the one Hillary did not want to run against and Trump was one she would like to run against. We'll see where that goes. And I think those two, even though their fates are not intertwined in the future, they are the picture how this fight plays out. So we'll, see what happens on Election Day.

KING: Three days in Florida. Donald Trump did not speak the words Marco Rubio. Nia?

HENDERSON: If Hillary Clinton wins, she's obviously on pace to make history being the first woman be elected to serve as president. But women in the Senate and House also could make history on November 8th as well. There are 20 percent of the House now, about 20 percent in the Senate as well. That could go up in the House to above 20 percent and possibly reach 25 percent in the Senate. It's mainly powered by Democratic candidates and possible Democratic wins, Cortez Masto out in Nevada, Tammy Baldwin in Illinois and then Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania. So could be on pace to have two sort of strides in terms of women in political -- in the political arena.

KING: We'll count those on election night. Ashley?

PARKER: And just so traveling with Donald Trump for the past week. And I talk to dozens of his supporters. And they all knew that he's losing in almost every single national poll. And they all believe he's going to win on Election Day. And point to the Trump yard signs in their neighborhoods, they point to huge crowds at rallies. And they say that there's this silent majority who is not being counted in the polls, who may be a little too embarrassed to say they're Trump supporters but they're going to go into the voting booth, close the door and as Trump suggest say, "What the hell do I have to lose?"

And so I think the question is, are these people living in a bit of an alternate reality or they kind of our modern day prophets and they know something we don't?

KING: We'll find out. Hey, you applaud their loyalty. But Bernie Sanders had bigger crowds, too. Manu?

RAJU: ... because they're stuck and then Trump debate about whether or not to spend money to knock out of Marco Rubio in Florida. There's a battle going on between Democratic leaders about whether or not some of that money could be effective that this late stage of the game. But there's some resistance. Chuck Schumer, the incoming Democratic leader is saying, "No. We want to focus on the other states." Does not think at this point, it's a winnable race base and polling. And he thinks that the money we better spent elsewhere. But one person who is pushing for it, Harry Reid, the out going senate Democratic leader believes there could be a chance. Some polls suggest that Murphy could be down as little as two points. But that's a debate ongoing.

[12:55:08] KING: Let's see how that one goes. I'll close with this. Well, this is a bit related. Republicans hope a new $25 million infusion from a Republican Super PAC helps them across the finish line and that shaky effort we've been talking about here to hold the senate majority.

Now the money is from a Super PAC closely align, with the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. And the current spending choices, well, they're pretty revealing. The money set to go to six states. Five of them with senates seats now held by Republicans, Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Missouri. But by far the biggest investment from the senate leadership pac is going to Nevada. As Republicans trying to pick up the seat held by the man Manu just mentioned, the retiring Democratic leader Harry Reid. It's hard to not read that as an example of all politics as personal, meaning, a sign of McConnell's desire to send Reid into retirement with an embarrassing loss at home.

We'll, watch it all play out. That's it for Inside Politics. Again, thanks for sharing your time on. We'll see you back here same time tomorrow. Wolf, is up next after a quick break.


[13:00:10] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Wolf Blitzer.