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U.S. Midterm Elections 50 Days Away; Recovery Efforts Following Two Deadly Cyclones; Constitution Day in America

Aired September 17, 2018 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hey, hope your week`s off to great start and we`re glad you`re starting it with CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz.

Today, Monday, September 17, is exactly 50 days away from the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Americans aren`t choosing a president this year. These

elections are called midterms because they happen in the middle of a president`s four-year term. What voters are choosing are the

representatives in Congress as well as candidates for state and local offices.

Currently, members from President Donald Trump`s political party, the Republican Party, control both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

In the House, there are 435 voting members, Republicans hold 236 seats, Democrats hold 193, and there are six vacancies that haven`t been filled

yet. Since Representatives are elected every two years, that includes the midterms and every one of these seats is up for election this year.

In the Senate, there are 100 members, Republicans hold 51 seats, Democrats hold 47 seats, and independents who usually vote with the Democrats hold

two seats. Senators are elected every six years, so about a third of these seats, 35, are up for election this year.

In general lawmakers who are in the same party as the president tend to lose seats in the midterm elections regardless of who the president is.

And the reason why the House and Senate get so much attention is because their make-up can affect the president`s ability to get legislative goals

accomplished. So, with the battle lines drawn, the big questions in this year`s midterms are, will Republicans hold on to their control in both the

House and Senate? Or will Democrats take control of one or both chambers? We`ll find out on November 6th with Americans watching as organizations

like CNN project results from each state.

Here`s what that means.


SUBTITLE: How does CNN project election results?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We`ve got a really major projection to make right now.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: On election night, you`re gong to find out the winners and losers by going here, here, here, and here.

But this is where it all begins. When you walk out of the voting booth on Tuesday, you might be approached by somebody with a clip board, a couple of

sheets of paper asking you some questions. This is called the exit poll.

Once that data is collected all across the country, it comes back to here, to our exit poll team. Five people dedicated to taking all these data from

across the country, crunching it, looking at it and trying to figure out what makes the sense to explain to you, how the election night is


OK, so we`ve talked about exit polls, and now, we`re over here at the decision desk. This is where a dozen members from across the country,

these are journalists and these are statisticians, professional mathematicians who sit here and they`re working on 10 different models at

any given time to try to figure out how to call it a race.

You can look at the exit poll data and call a race just off of that. The raw vote is your vote. That`s the vote that we start to see that comes in

from the individual states, the individual counties. Third way we can do it is we can just call a race on the raw vote. We don`t even use the exit

poll because at some time throughout the night, the raw vote becomes more dominant and more important.

And then ultimately, we may never call a race because it has become so close, you`re talking about potentially recounts and look at how many races

they`re going to be so competitive this year, who knows what`s going to happen?


AZUZ: Officials don`t know yet what kind of impact Hurricane Florence had on the U.S. Southeast. The storm blew ashore Friday near Wrightsville

Beach, North Carolina. It had weakened to category 1 status by then, but the flooding it brought continues to get worse in the region. Hundreds had

been trapped in rising waters.

The coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina, has been mostly cut off. There`s too much flood water for miles around it, for people to get back

in, at least without a vote. Authorities blamed Hurricane Florence for at least 15 deaths in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Typhoon Mangkhut is another deadly storm we`ve been following. It killed at least 54 people in the Philippines on Saturday as it churned across the

Pacific. And so far, two deaths have been recorded in southern China following Mangkhut`s landfall there on Sunday afternoon.

Landslides, tremendous amounts of rain and flooding are also the affects of this storm.


SUBTITLE: The hidden dangers of flooding.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hidden dangers can lurk in floodwater. Alligators, snakes, even floating fire

ants could be nearby.

Water in a flooded basement can carry an electric current, downed power line submerged in floodwater can also shock.

Waste from humans and animals can seep into the water, swallowing fecal bacteria can cause gastroenteritis, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

If you had any open cuts or sores, viruses and bacteria such as tetanus may infect them.

Under flood water, nails and fragments of metal and glass may go unseen, leading to possible injuries and infections.

Floodwater can cause structural damage. Submerged stairs and floors may be unsafe.

Oil, gasoline and pesticides, and other toxic agents can contaminate floodwater. Some chemicals in floodwater can cause headaches, skin rashes

and other signs of chemical poisoning.

Fungi can grow from moisture and standing floodwater. They can often be seen and smelled. Breathing in mold can trigger allergies and sometimes

cause a major infection.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these events took place on September 17th, 1787?

The Whiskey Rebellion, U.S. gained independence, the Constitution was signed or the Constitution was ratified?

The U.S. was signed on September 17th, a date now known as Constitution Day.


AZUZ: It`s Constitution Day. On this date in 1787, 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document that today is the oldest

written Constitution still used by any government. We are finding out how much you know about the U.S. Constitution starting with some fun true or

false questions.

All right. Number one: the word democracy appears in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

Answer: false. The word democracy actually doesn`t appear anywhere in the document.

Next, Benjamin Franklin was the oldest person to sign the Constitution.

This is true. He was 81 and in declining health. So he needed someone to sign it. It said, as he was signing it, tears were streaming down his


Three: Some delegates to the convention refused to sign the Constitution. Answer: True. Of the six delegates who did not sign, three of them, Edmund

Randolph and George Mason of Virginia and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts refused to do so, partly because the Constitution didn`t have a Bill of

Rights. Those amendments guaranteeing individual liberties were proposed two years later.

Moving on, two future U.S. presidents signed the constitution. On was George Washington. Who was the other?

We`ll give you some options on this one. Was it John Adams, Thomas Jefferson Madison or James Monroe?

The answer: C, James Madison. Madison is also called the "Father of the Constitution" because he contributed so much to it.

Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, how many additional amendments have been added to the constitution? Is the answer, 7, 10, 12,

or 17? If you said D, 17, you got it. That last amendment, the 27th says that a pay raise for members of Congress cannot take effect until after an


Now, which branch of the U.S. government is mentioned first in the Constitution? Is it the legislative, judicial or executive? Answer: A,

the legislatives branch`s powers are laid out in Article one of the Constitution. This is the branch that includes the House of

Representatives and the Senate and it`s charged with making the laws that govern the country.

Finally, where can you find the original copy of the Constitution? Is it in Fort Knox Kentucky, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution

or the National Archives?

Answer: D, the National Archives building in Washington D.C. To preserve the quality of the document, it is kept at 67 degrees Fahrenheit and 40

percent humidity, and you can say that fascinating fact constitutes our Constitution Day quiz.


AZUZ: On land, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is pretty fast.

But does that speed under the weight of gravity hold up when the weight of gravity is lifted?

The question was answered last Wednesday when Bolt took on a European astronaut and a French designer who were with him aboard a zero gravity

plane. The there and back race started slowly at first, well, it ended slowly too. But just like on terra firma, Bolt was first across the finish


It seems the event lacked as much gravitas as it did gravity. But at least there was little friction between the competitors. When the race was

afoot, it showed how hard it is to keep pace with the record-holding runner. He`s still a shoo-in to create space between himself and others,

even when he`s head and the rest of him is in the clouds.

I`m Carl Azuz and CNN 10 is all a-Bolt the puns.