Return to Transcripts main page
AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Election Day is Finally Here; CNN's Election Day Coverage. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired November 8, 2016 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF FOR THE DAILY BEAST: ... election, it has been just a, you know, anything can happen. It really can. I don't mean to not answer your question.
[12:30:08] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think the surprise were that if Hillary wins that she give a speech tonight that somehow touches Americans, that she hasn't been able to thus far.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That would be a surprise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would be a surprise.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: There's a long way to go.
KUCINICH: And hard to measure. Yeah, right, and hard to measure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that, I actually think Trump might surprise tonight. That if it's decisive, it doesn't have to be a crushing defeat, but decisive enough that he comes out, takes credit for an incredible accomplishment, changing the Republican Party.
BERMAN: They now, better than Mitt Romney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perhaps, right, and having a real impact on taking on the system. And we'll try to consolidate in a way that will sound perhaps more civil than we've heard, how he would like to continue the movement and continue the impact. He might himself be a little tired of, you know, the notion of I'm not going to accept the results and throwing everything into chaos.
His son was interesting on NEW DAY this morning. I thought he struck that noticeability to suggest that they would be very proud with what they've accomplished and want to continue that impact and maybe channel it a little bit in a more positive way.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Never too late to try out civility. Guys, a lot more to discuss, stick around for us.
Again, just so you know what you're looking at there on the side of your screen or what you were looking at is Tim Kaine, he's preparing to fly from Richmond to New York for the election night party in New York City with Hillary Clinton. Taking some last-minute photos with folk there's. Also ahead for us, Donald Trump made a last-minute pitch to voters last night in the traditionally Democratic State of Michigan. Will that pay off? Will that be the surprise Jackie can't wait for?
BERMAN: You know, I'm struck by Tim Kaine, how he keep it right there. A sentimental day, Election Day is a sentimental day for a lot of these people. A good day to getting a lot of people hugs.
All right, we'll live at polling stations across the country. You can see one in Wisconsin right now, voting underway, actually, counting underway there. They're counting absentee ballots.
We'll be right back.
[12:35:23] BOLDUAN: Welcome back. Colorado one of the top ten states when it comes to ad spending in the general election. Nearly $20 million spent by the campaigns and their allies vying for the state's nine electoral votes.
Today all of that work and that cash gets put to the test.
BERMAN: Our Ana Cabrera is in Golden, Colorado. And in a moment we're also going to do a two other battleground states, Ryan Young, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, I apologize if I said that incorrectly, Dan Simon in Phoenix, Arizona.
But first we're going to Ana in Colorado. Ana go ahead.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, John and Kate. This is a Bellwether County, Jefferson County and the state twice went for Barack Obama. Twice went to George W. Bush. It's a mail-in ballot state. So a lot of people voted early and very conveniently. They filled out their ballot at home, sent them in or they dropped them off at a drop box that was conveniently spread out all over the state.
This is where the ballots come once they get here. And you can see, they recently had a shipment arrive. This guy is just sorting them out, putting them in some bins that then get taken to these guys. These two tables are full of sorters working through some of the ballots making sure they're all lined up in the right direction, weeding out the ones that perhaps were dropped off in the wrong counties, ballot drop-off box.
And they're getting them ready to go into the ballot counting machine. Come with me and I'll show you what's happening over here because this is where the ballots are going through a signature verification process. So they go through signature verification twice before there are any votes or ballots counted, actually.
And you can see once they get their signatures verified, they're put into other bins and then taken to a completely different room for the next step of the process.
Now, a few details and information we've learned here in Colorado. More than 2.2 million people cast their votes early. That's about two-thirds of the registered electorate in this state.
Now, remember, this is a state that previously voted for President Obama in 2012. And when you look at the vote returns right now, Republicans have a slight lead in terms of the registered Republicans who have already cast their votes compared to registered Democrat. But there's also about a third of the state that is registered as unaffiliated or independent.
And so when you look at the latest polls, 39 percent supporting Hillary Clinton, 39 percent supporting Donald Trump and 14 percent undecided gives a lot of questions which way Colorado is going to go on this Election Day. John and Kate?
BOLDUAN: We're watching behind-the-scenes, how it all happened there in Colorado.
Ana, great to see you, thank you so much.
So 10 electoral votes that is one of the stake in Wisconsin, let's check in there with Ryan Young. Ryan, correct us. Is it Wauwatosa?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, you got it right, it's Wauwatosa. So that's for sure. I mean a lot of people been trying to get that name out today. Of course I learned it when I first got here. So you did get right. Congratulations.
One of the things that we're doing is we're obviously looking at these ballots. They are doing the counting of the absentee ballots right now. Look, you did talk about those in electoral votes, this state hasn't voted for Republican since 1984. But you do talk about, look, you've got Paul Ryan here. You have Governor Walker. So a lot of people are concentrated here in terms of conservative movement and they've been thinking maybe they'd be able to turn the state red. We'll see if that happens.
Of course, Carla, who works here as the clerk, please, tell us how things been going so far with the counting of the votes and everything that's been taken place so far?
CARLA: This is the Central Count Office that were counting all the absentee ballots. And it's going very, very well. We issued about10,800 ballots. And most of them have been returned by now. We're expecting our last mail delivery today. And that should do the rest of the ballots.
YOUNG: Early voting is been a huge in the state. Can you just talk about how, seems like people have been energized?
CARLA: Well, actually absentee voting in Wisconsin, not early voting and that's been very robust. We've had about 32 percent of the Wauwatosa registered voters who opted to cast absentee ballots.
YOUNG: OK. And then process here in terms of what they're doing there. They're verifying the sheets that go through the computer? How does that work? CARLA: They're opening all envelopes. All ballots are sealed in envelopes so they have to open all the envelopes, feed the ballots into the tabulators. And then our results will be sent to Milwaukee County once all the individual voting locations in Wauwatosa have sent the results.
YOUNG: Fantastic, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it.
CARLA: You're welcome.
YOUNG: Look, not only are they talking about the presidential race here, there's also the up for grabs Senate seats between Russ Feingold and Ron Johnson. There's been a lot of conversation between that because Russ Feingold had a 15-point lead and one point. Now, that's down to a single digit. So that's a hotly contested Senate seat. Of course, they come in tragedy four seats to turn that Senate over so a lot of people obviously talking about that. We're seeing a lot of people going out and doing door knocking last minute. So this is still a hotly contested state.
[12:40:08] BERMAN: All right, Ryan Young for us in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Thanks so much. We're going to move now down south we're signing Arizona great place to visit. But it rarely get much attention in presidential election years. It is widely Republican. Or at least was. Now it's very much in play Hillary Clinton swooped in there last week which is why we're going to have Dan Simon now in the Battleground State of Arizona in Phoenix. Dan?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John and Kate. We are at a church here in Central Phoenix. We've seen a steady stream of voters coming into this church. But right now, it appears to be empty. And one reason why that might be, is because is an early voting state and more than 60 percent of the expected vote has already come in.
Now, when you look at the landscape here in Arizona, talk about a reliably red state. Only one Democrat has carried the state in the past 64 years. And in case you're wondering who that was? That was Bill Clinton in 1996. But the Democrats think they have a legitimate chance once again with Hillary Clinton, thanks to the Hispanic vote, and they like the historical trend that they're seeing.
They're liking that the trends throughout the nation. It extends here to Arizona where more Hispanics voted early. Double in terms of what they saw in 2012. But Donald Trump, he has poured a lot of resources into the state, has made numerous visits has been here seven times.
So we'll see what happens. But in this past week, the Clinton campaign, they have increased their ad spending and like their chances but latest poll shows them down by about five points. The nation is waiting to see what happens here in Arizona. John and Kate, we'll send it back to you.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely, right. Dan Simon, great to see you. Thank you, Dan.
BERMAN: All right, do you want a chance to be featured in CNN's Election Day coverage? Tag your voting Instagram with #myvote. Let us know who voted for and where. Don't do it in a polling room if it's not legal in your state.
But send us these pictures. We will showcase them throughout the day, right here on CNN.
BOLDUAN: And we're going to show you live pictures of voters as go heading to the polls in battleground state of Florida. Hialeah, Florida.
We are live all day, polling stations across the country bringing you the very latest, this exciting day, Election Day in America. We'll be right back.
[12:45:43] BERMAN: We go back where it all started right now. Iowa, if you remember back to the caucuses there, Ted Cruz he won on the Republican side and Hillary Clinton won barely by, like, a handful of votes over Bernie Sanders.
BOLDUAN: Yeah, happened a long time ago. Rosa Flores is in Council Bluffs for us now. What's been the big issue that you've been hearing from voters today? What are they voting on, Rosa?
Rosa, can you hear us?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Kate, good afternoon. I'm in Pottawattamie County here in Western, Iowa. And the word here is efficiency because these poll workers, take a look behind me, have been working very, very hard to make sure that the lines are short.
Now, I've got to give you the lay of the land here, because Iowa, of course, you will find the Democratic stronghold to the east and you will find the Republican stronghold to the west. Now, I'm on the west here. And if you look at Iowa historically, you'll see that six out of the last seven presidential elections have gone to the Democrats.
But this time around, both candidates have their own demons to fight before they can claim any victories here. When you talk about the Hillary Clinton camp, you will find that this is not Hillary country. She actually lost the primaries back in 2008. And this time only beat Bernie Sanders by a very small margin.
So the big question is, will those Bernie Sanders supporters come out and vote for her? Now, when it comes to Donald Trump, this is actually Ted Cruz country. He won the primary this time around, and the big question is, will those Ted Cruz supporters actually come out and vote for Donald Trump?
Now, I've talked to some of them. They do say that it helped tremendously for Ted Cruz to actually be out on the campaign trail with Donald Trump. But here we are. It's Election Day. Only time will tell. John and Kate?
BOLDUAN: Rosa Flores, in Council Bluffs, Iowa for us. Rosa, thank you so much.
BERMAN: We're bringing back our panel right now. Enjoining the discussion, Alex Burn, he's a CNN Political Analyst and national political reporter at the New York Times. And Alex since you're here, I'll give you the first question.
I'm sort of obsess with this notion of, you know, what is this whole mean, right? I mean, we've been in this election for 16 months and throw around terms like unprecedented. And, you know, tomorrow it will be easier to assess. But we're going to make it harder today. You know, for you, you've been covering it from the beginning, you know, what's the one thing you've learned from this election?
ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I think John, where this really differs from 2012 or even at 2008 election which was obviously monument on its own way, is the degree to which this was almost entirely fought on these really broad and deep questions about national identity, that this is not really a narrow policy election in the way that we saw four years ago.
And the degree to which voters out there were actually less ideological than we thought they would be in the conventional sense of wanting somebody who, you know, checked all conservative boxes. And so intensely wanted this fight over just national character and what it means to be American and America's place in the world. I think that has surprised a lot of us. And I think it says a lot about just the shape of the two parties in the political debate in Washington going forward.
BOLDUAN: Why and what it means going forward, you know, if it stays like that in elections going forward, that will be fascinating.
Errol to you, what conventional wisdom has been flipped on its head in this election, do you think?
LOUIS: I mean, some of the conventional wisdom is that, if you have the gender income race and geography of a voter you kind of know where they're going to go. That has been scrambled in a lot of different ways, right. So you can find say a middle aged, you know, white working class voter in Pennsylvania and can't really be sure where they're going to be coming from. In part because the nation has changed, very much as Alex has talked about.
You have more multiracial families than ever before. You have more same-sex couples legalized now than ever before. You have lots of people who are college educated, who take up residence in North Carolina and then never go me. You know, and they're changing what had been a very conservative state. I remember being in college. And Jesse Helms was the senator in North Carolina. This is no longer Jesse Helms is North Carolina. You say the same thing in state after state including a place like Arizona.
[12:50:01] BERMAN: I know. It's true. I mean what is North Carolina? What is Ohio? The answer to those questions, you know, it means something very, very different than in a few years ago. Jackie, you know, Trump and Clinton, they're the names on the ballot today. But who do you think the biggest winner is beyond them right now?
KUCINICH: That's a really good question. You know, it's funny. All I can think of is how much work there will be for either of these people to do when they're elected because we've got the most disliked, distrusted people to ever be on the ticket. And no matter who wins, they're both going to have work to do in their own parties as well as for the country by in large. So it really is extraordinary.
BERMAN: There's a famous scene in the candidate, you know, at the end of the candidate, great Senate race, Robert Redford movie where he went into the election, then he looks in the camera, and says, you know, what do I do now?
You know, and that sort of the position and maybe they'll answering.
BOLDUAN: Maybe easier to answer who's the biggest loser in the election than the actual winner? That's unfortunately ...
KUCINICH: Because it's not Paul Ryan.
KUCINICH: It's not the Senate. It's not, you know, all those conventional winners and losers that I think we talk about every single election. It's not as clear. And maybe it's because this has been so negative and it's been kind of a slog.
BURNS: I do think that this sort of rewind the tape at the beginning of the cycle and think about, you know, what are the assumptions that have been overturned? What does that say about the actors? You know, I'm old enough to remember when we all thought that the big challenge for Hillary Clinton, was going to be persuading people that she wouldn't be a third term of Barack Obama.
And if we think about the last part of the campaign, the message is basically four more years, right? So you have to say at least one of the winners, you know, almost irrespective of the outcome tonight is that the president's hold ever his own party and the basic sort of political calculus that he has a represented and advanced in the party is just so dominant for Democrats. And I don't think that's going away anytime soon.
KUCINICH: Unless he loses. And he's going to have to watch Republican systematically break down everything he worked for over the last eight years. And so I would agree with you. But we have to sort of see if it works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we're missing a huge sea change here in our country. And that is -- that that's the most significant thing about this election. The idea that a demagogue could run an essentially racist, anti-immigrant, nativist campaign, become the nominee of the Republican Party, almost capture the presidency and perhaps capture it. This is astonishing. BOLDUAN: But millions of voters who voted for Donald Trump and millions of voters who support him don't describe that man -- in that way at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. But I think we have pretty good evidence in his biography and the campaign he's run, I think we talk factually about that. The fact that people who support him might not necessarily and are not racist, that's a given. But in terms of the campaign he ran, in terms of his personal history, in terms of the radical notion of who this candidate is, this is a huge event in our history. It reflects a change in who the people of the country are and how they view our political system.
And it is going to reverberate for many, many years. That's the big surprise in this election. Nobody -- anybody here think that there was any possibility of this, when it started?
BERMAN: Yeah. And I mean we -- Donald Trump announced, you know, 16 months ago in June. And happened during this show, and I admit, I was one of the people who thought he would never run. Once he announced I thought he would never stay in the race. Once he stayed in the race, I didn't think he'd never win the nomination.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what about what he embraced? What about what -- and ran on?
BERMAN: So that -- but that's about the judgment. And then so he was able to get through ...
BOLDUAN: ... a lot of people who support him say, that that what's they've been waiting for to hear from someone ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I rest my case.
LOUIS: Carla is right. There's a radical fringe that is normally sort of off on the margins and under a rock someplace that have come forward. I mean, you know, the fact that there are journalists who have to have armed security or some security. The fact that here's been this explosion of anti-semitic sort of output, garbage, that's been sort of -- made to feel as if it was legitimate somehow is a real problem.
And I think some of what happens after today is that some of those people will going to have to be removed back to the margin, whether they've won or not.
BOLDUAN: Play this game for us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... some real issues that concern all kinds of people that are really legitimate in which the major party candidates have not until Sanders and Trump really embraced. And that has to do with the way many, many people are suffering in this country. So, yes, there is an availability for demagoguery in this environment.
BOLDUAN: Alex, if Donald Trump wins, who does his first thank you note need to be written to, do you think? BURNS: Oh, that's a -- probably Reince Priebus, right, that this is a guy who, you know, when there was just overwhelming pressure from a lot of the donors in the party, a lot of candidates in the party, to say, give us some space to get away from this guy. Reince Priebus, is the chairman of the Republican National Committee just hugged him tighter and tighter and tighter. And, you know, a lot of that was a calculation that you can sort of steer Trump better if you're closer to him.
[12:55:08] But the result has been that Trump and the Republican Party are way closer together than I think anyone anticipated they would be.
BERMAN: Hang on guys. We may have some breaking news, right now out of Florida right now. I'm going to Boris Sanchez who is in Florida. I believe Boris is in Miami-Dade. But do we have some news about election clerks in Broward County that were fired? What's going on, Boris?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. We're just getting this information now. So please, bear with me. But it appears that earlier today two election clerks in Broward County, which is north of us, where we are right now in Miami-Dade County, were fired. They were "Not working to the level of integrity that they were trained to." This is from the public information officer for the Broward County Board of Elections, Tonya Edwards.
She says that the clerks were not adhering to procedures. She refused to explain exactly what procedures were not being followed correctly, but we know is that those two clerks were fired and removed from the premises. The Broward County sheriff's deputies were requested. They moved those folks along. It appears that voting now in that area is back to normal and that polling location is fully operational.
This is, again, just breaking. So we haven't gotten exact clarity what happened, but it is only one instance we've heard of irregularities in this area. We spoke to election officials here in Miami-Dade County, and they told us things were running smoothly.
So far, we're going to keep an eye on this situation both in Broward and here in Miami-Dade and keep you updated with the latest. John and Kate?
BOLDUAN: Yeah, watching it very closely. That wording interesting, not working to the level of integrity that they are trained to, no more detail on that. But something that everyone is watching very closely right now.
Thank you, all so much. Thank you, Boris. And thank you all so much for joining us at this hour.
BERMAN: Our special coverage of the 2016 Election Day continues right after a quick break.