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Election Night Countdown; Americans Prepares To Deliver Verdict On Trumpism; A Gunfire At A Florida Yoga Studio Took Two Lives; Four Killed After Truck Hits Girl Scout Troop Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 4, 2018 - 06:00   ET




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They tell you, he has got the greatest economy. Why is he talking about the border? But we have a problem at the border.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The very powerful are trying to convince us that -- speaking of people with dignity and respect is an outdated form of political correctness.

TRUMP: If you want to protect criminal aliens, you should vote Democrat.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We need you out there! Everybody must win, win!

KATE MCKINNON AS LAURA INGRAHAM: Tonight, we are live from the Arizona border where a vicious caravan of dozens, maybe millions, of illegal immigrants is headed straight for you and your grandchildren.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning from Washington. I'm Victor Blackwell.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. So glad to be here with you as we are heading into midterm territory here within just two days now.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The midterm elections are nearly here. A new ABC News/"Washington Post" poll released within the last few hours shows an edge for Democrats. The chief issues driving people to the polls, President Trump and health care.

PAUL: Will the country move more toward President Trump's vision or is going in a different direction is what a lot of people are asking.

BLACKWELL: Now, of course, the lead campaigners here, the current president versus the previous one. Former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are in Illinois and Indiana, also Pennsylvania. President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence are in Tennessee and Georgia. At his rallies President Trump is kind of glossing over what could be a great narrative for him this booming economy pair of Supreme Court picks instead focusing on immigration what he says is a simple choice.


TRUMP: If you want to protect criminal aliens, you should vote Democrat. If you want to protect law abiding Americans, vote Republican. It's really very simple.


BLACKWELL: CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles is live at the White House. Ryan, good morning to you.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, good morning to you. Happy election eve from the White House where the president is this morning before he heads back out on the campaign trail. And you showed that poll just a few minutes ago about where voters stand right now. About an eight point edge for the Democrats on the generic ballot.

But that doesn't really tell the story in individual districts and that where you see the president focusing right now. He's heading to places where his approval rating is strong and where he can drive out the vote and you see this in what he is talking about. This is about getting the base to the polls on Tuesday and one of the big issues that drive Republican voters is immigration and this is what the president had to say about immigration last night in Florida.


TRUMP: When you look at that caravan coming up, that is not what we want. That's not for us, folks, not for us. And we want people to come through our strong borders but they have to come in legally.

They have to come in absolutely through a process and they have to come in through merit.


NOBLES: Now on other side, Democrats continue to believe that health care is the issue that will drive their voters to the polls and they are using some big names to get out that message. President Obama has been in several states over the past couple of days and Vice President Joe Biden has been campaigning relentlessly since almost the start just after Labor Day. He talked about health care during his speech.

Take a listen to what he had to say.


BIDEN: Senator McConnell in a burst of honesty -- well, at least he was honest. Here's what he said, as Senate went out, he said, in order to deal with this deficit that they created, there are going to have to be more cuts to Medicare and Social Security. If somehow they pull off a miracle and keep the House, watch what happens. And the effect that will have on the lives of so many people.


NOBLES: And you can hear in the vice president's voice just how much he has been on the campaign trail, starting to lose it. He was in Ohio yesterday, home to several key House districts that could ultimately decide who controls Congress after Election Day.

Meanwhile, the president continuing to head to those ruby red places where he remains popular. He'll be in Georgia later today and then he will finish out the campaign Sunday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a busy day for the president as they try and push those voters to the polls but ultimately it will be the American people that have the final decision on Tuesday night -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Ryan Nobles, so appreciate it. Thank you.


BLACKWELL: "Saturday Night Live" has noticed the GOP's focus on immigration and the president's fear mongering.

PAUL: So they had a little fun last night with their take on FOX News. Take a listen.


MCKINNON: Tonight, we are live from the Arizona border where a vicious caravan of dozens, maybe millions, of illegal immigrants is headed straight for you and your grandchildren and that is not fear mongering. That is just -- the truth.


BLACKWELL: We are going to see more of that a little later in the show.

Let's talk about all of these issues with our panel this morning. CNN White House report Stephen Collinson, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, and CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Alice Stewart. Welcome to all.

And I want to start with you, Alice, let's put up on the screen, Gallup has a new poll this weekend showing the issues that rank by priority for voters, health care at the top with 80 percent, tied at second, economy and immigration with 78 percent. This among registered voters.

Reconcile this with the president's almost exclusive, if not primary focus, on immigration.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That is his big issue. And for him, in his mind, it worked for him when he was running for president and he believes it will work this time. And it is securing the border and national security is something that resonates with Republican voters. That's why he is using this caravan as kind of an optic to reinforce his message of needing to secure the border and do away with the Democrat policies of catch and release.

But while we are talking a lot -- when he is at these rallies about his comments and his driving the message on immigration the senators in these areas and the people running for state office, they are talking about the economy, they are talking about the fact that the October jobs report shows 250,000 jobs created and talking about strong job growth and we are talking about 3.7 percent unemployment. So there's a dual message here.

The president is driving home what he is comfortable with but on the state level are driving home the economic message with jobs in the economy is critical for (INAUDIBLE).

PAUL: So, Joe, Claire McCaskill in a press conference this week said, I support the president 100 percent, doing what he needs to do to secure the border. That's how important immigration has become. And obviously trying to counter the view of that the president is putting out there of how Dems see it. But does quoting the president and saying that she supports him a hundred percent help her?

JOE TRIPPI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: On securing the border, yes. I mean, I think what's going on here is the president's language, the way he takes on and attacks the caravan, the people, the policy is breaking up families, all of these kinds of things, they're -- you can you support stronger security at the border and not that kind of language and not that kind of attack. But I think what happens -- look. This excites his base, no doubt about it.

But what I saw in Alabama when we did the win of Doug Jones down there, was the women, Republican women and younger Republicans are exhausted by that language. That is why he has got such a low approval rating right now. And I think it's his approval rating that is going to drive this election. Not a lot of these issues.

I know Democrats will be animated by health care and so will independents and his base will be animated by immigration but in the end every one of these Republican incumbents in these House races is having a hard time getting above the president's approval rating which is -- so when it's low in your district there are going to be big trouble on Tuesday and if he -- in these states where he has got a higher approval rating that is going to help some of these Senate candidates that he is campaigning for. But I'm not sure that driving immigration is helping other -- as many times he gets somebody's base out he is exciting the Democratic base, getting them more motivated to move and he is losing some of these Republican women and some younger Republicans who just can't -- who just cannot handle his tone.

STEWART: And McCaskill needing to go more towards the middle, she needs to. She and her Republican opponent are -- that race is tighter than two coats of paint. And she really needs to show those that are more moderate and people that think -- want her to be more of a Trump voter, she has to convey that message that she is willing to cross the aisle and vote on the Republican side because that is where that state is.

BLACKWELL: And we are seeing that in Indiana and West Virginia and those Trump states from 2016.

Steven, let me come to you with a point that Alice just actually made about the distinction, I'll call it, between what the president talks about at the rallies and some of the Republicans and their districts and states are talking about. I want you to listen to part of an interview that Dana Bash had with Brad Parscale, President Trump's 2020 campaign manager, and what he says about these rallies. Let's watch.


BRAD PARSCALE, CAMPAIGN MANAGER, TRUMP 2020: I would say that the president being at the rallies and being about to pay all of those is significant. They are becoming shows. They are -- fans walk out now and say, that was awesome.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: He is putting on a show?

PARSCALE: I mean, I think we -- I think part of it, we put on a show.


I mean, it's politics and marking of politics is a presentation.


BLACKWELL: First, I find it remarkable that he called them fans, right? Not voters, not supporters but they are fans and that they're putting on a show. The question is who is the star when they go to these -- these rallies? The president is talking about himself, he's talking about what he wants to talk about.

Any evidence that these are really helping these Republican candidates?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, the president has clearly made a choice that he is the issue in this election. Now midterm elections in the first term of a presidency generally presidents try to sometimes diminish themselves because voters historically have tended to give someone power in the presidential election and two years back can stray them a little bit, but that's not the way the president, you know, operates.

He could have run in this election on the economy, the lowest unemployment in 50 years as Alice said. I think a strong message would have been to say, look, President Trump has given Americans a pay rise for the first time since the great recession with the tax cuts and now you're seeing economic numbers where wages are rising for the first time in 10 years. But he has made a strategic choice that won't be enough to get Republicans to the polls and the numbers he needs them to win this election.

Now, come Wednesday, if we are looking at a Democratic House, a lot of people are going to start saying was that the right strategy and I think that really raises questions if that is the case about what would happen in the 2020 election. Is the president's hard-line message on immigration, fear mongering over immigration something that's going to help the Democrats -- the Republicans win back the White House in 2020?

PAUL: Joe, I want to ask you something that Alice touched on very briefly. The moderates. There are a lot -- there's a big sector of the population who is going to go vote hopefully, and who aren't on the left all the way, aren't on the right all the way. That they may be having a lot of confusion about what to do right now.

Where do the moderates go?

TRIPPI: Well -- I mean, first of all, there aren't that many of them. At least -- because what has happened is we get more polarized people, we talk about tribalism and (INAUDIBLE) --

BLACKWELL: It's mythical undecided voters out there.

TRIPPI: Yes. But what -- again, what I think is going on is, you know, you look at where the economy is and then lot where Americans say the country direction is. They say it's on the wrong track, the majority of them, way over what you would think with the economy, with all of this. Everything is sort of chugging along. That has to be because of the president.

Again, I think his personality, his sort of abusive attack everybody. And I don't -- and at least in the races I've seen, those moderates, they are confused. They like this about his policy, like that about the other policy.

PAUL: Moderates who are normally liberal moderates. Who are normally Republican. They're not necessarily independents, they're not necessarily undecided but --

TRIPPI: And so here's what I think what is happening they are looking at each of these candidates and saying who is going to add to the chaos, division, hatred and the mess that's going on in Washington or is somebody going to be a healer and bring people together and find common ground.

PAUL: So you're saying it's coming down to the issues as much as --

TRIPPI: I don't think -- yes, the personality of the -- and if you have two people angry and screaming at each other, I'll just stick with the chaos person from my own side. Right? But if there is somebody who divisive and angry and somebody who is saying, look, can't we find common ground and solve some problems? I think the moderates are -- whether that's -- that could be a Republican but that is where they are going to go. That's where I think --


BLACKWELL: Stephen, this is going to be the first test to see if President Trump can do what President Obama could not do which is transfer that coalition, that support. President Obama struggled in the midterms even with the 2016 election to get his voters out -- to come out. President Trump has said I'm on the ballot. My name is not there but I am.

COLLINSON: Right. And not just Obama. President Bush before him had two bad midterm elections apart from, of course, the first one where we had the September 11th that's going to change the calculus and the national security situation there. But presidents had trouble transferring their aura to certain candidates.

Now a number of the Republican candidates the president has been campaigning for have styled themselves very much after the president, very similar, sort of populous nationalist policies maybe that will help transfer some of the president's support. But President Trump is such a dominant feature in everybody's lives now with his Twitter feed. It's impossible to ignore him.

It's possible that if you're in a Republican state, the president's strong personality and dominance helps. The question, again, of course is what happens in these House races in more suburban districts where the president personality could be a negative factor?

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: All right.

BLACKWELL: Joe, Alice, Stephen, thank you all.


STEWART: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you for being here. Appreciate it.

So this morning, Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, Stacey Abrams she's going to be with Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION." That's only on CNN at 9:00 a.m. and noon.

BLACKWELL: And do not miss a special pre-election edition of CNN prime time tonight starting with "ANDERSON COOPER 360," followed by "CUOMO PRIME TIME," and "CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON." Everything starts at 7:00 p.m.

PAUL: And gunfire at a Florida yoga studio took the lives of a Florida state student and a faculty member. What police are saying about that man who shot and why some YouTube videos may crack the case wide open?


PAUL: Nineteen minutes past the hour right now. And I want to take you to Wisconsin. Three girl scouts who were working, they were picking up trash and another woman all killed yesterday when a pickup truck hit them along the road.

BLACKWELL: Police say the driver jumped a lane of traffic, ran into a ditch and hit the girls.


He also injured another girl who is in critical condition. The driver initially took off from the scene but later turned himself in.

A vigil is planned tonight at Florida State University for two victims shot and killed Friday. This was inside that Tallahassee yoga studio.

PAUL: Yes. Police say the gunman came inside. He posed as a customer and then just started shooting. There is his picture.

He wounded five others as well including one person who was pistol- whipped. Now some people in the class did try to stop him. But the shooter took his own life then.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in CNN national correspondent Dianne Gallagher now. Dianne, what more are we learning about the women who died?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Victor and Christi, these both appear to be two different women who impacted their communities greatly. Sixty-one year old Nancy Van Vessem was a doctor. She was an internist. She was the chief medical director at Capital Health Plan there in Tallahassee and was part of the Florida State University faculty.

People described her as driven and compassionate.

Twenty-one year old Maura Binkley. She was a FSU student. She was a double major in journalism and German, and a member of the Tri Delta Fraternity. Her father spoke to CNN affiliate WSB on the phone about his daughter.


JEFF BINKLEY, FATHER OF YOGA STUDIO SHOOTING VICTIM (via telephone): Maura truly lived a life of really devoted to peace, love, caring for others. Have that be a vehicle for change to stem the tide of violence, the threats to literally overwhelm our society.


GALLAGHER: And, you know, her fraternity Tri Delta president said that Maura described and embodied the Tri Delta woman. They said that she was brave, bold, and kind.

PAUL: Dianne, do we know if the shooter was targeting somebody specific when he went in there? Does he have a history of violence? What do we know about him?

GALLAGHER: OK. So, as far as him targeting someone specific, police say they don't know at this point. In fact they haven't been able to actually make a direct connection between this 40-year-old man and that specific yoga studio. They are still working through his social media and his home and things like that. He lived four hours away. He actually drove to Tallahassee, got a hotel room and then went into the yoga studio to commit this crime. Now he is an FSU graduate and Tallahassee police say that they had multiple calls about him harassing young women.

According to "The New York Times," he has a very disturbing digital footprint. There were videos that were posted four years ago that were misogynist, they were racist. He called women names. He takes these lists of women that he had liked dating back to eighth grade through his time in the army and he complains and laments that they were not attracted to him.

He also is angry that he felt like some of those women liked black men instead of him and goes on racist rants in the videos as well. He also praises a 2014 mass murderer who had similar views about women and kind of brought on this idea of what people learned about the in cell society involuntarily celibate. But at this point, Christi, Victor, they are still trying to figure out what the actual motive was and that connection to that studio.

PAUL: My goodness. All right. Dianne Gallagher, thank you so much for breaking it down for us.

BLACKWELL: All right. Two days out from the midterms and millions of early votes have been cast in the election and young voters are a key group looking to, of course, have their voices heard. Coming up, how the youth vote could shift the balance of power in Washington.



PAUL: The sun is coming up at the capital as we are in Washington, D.C. this morning, feeling the energy as we head into Tuesday's midterms. So many people, record number of people though have already voted.

BLACKWELL: Yes and millions more will vote on Tuesday. Now these months of frantic campaigning, it all comes down to the next two days. Republicans and Democrats and independents, of course, making their final arguments to voters, hoping to secure power in Washington and in three dozen states across the country.

PAUL: Yes. President Trump -- I mean, he has held a slew of rallies across the country hoping to shore up his party's control of both Houses of Congress. Also at stake the president though his agenda for the next two years.

Former President Obama, former Vice President and Joe Biden and a number of celebrities, they are all campaigning after being locked out of power for two year. Democrats are looking to check President Trump and his agenda at the end of the day. So there's a key group casting ballots this election. The young voters many of them really voting for the first time.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about it. Joining us now Andrew Hansen, vice chair of communications for the D.C. Young Republicans, and Zachary Israel, vice president of administration and finance for the D.C. Young Democrats, and CNN chief media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter. Good morning to everyone



BLACKWELL: So let's start here, Andrew. The polling is all over the place on young voters. Some say that young voters are among the most enthused, the most excited about voting. NBC came out with a poll showing only a third of millennials are planning to vote.

Every cycle we get this hype about this is the time that young voters are going to make their mark.


Why should anybody believe it this year?

ANDREW HANSEN, VICE CHAIR OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE D.C. YOUNG REPUBLICANS: Well, it's a very polarized political climate and young voters I think are looking for different reason to vote. And it's not just about party they want to be courted and invited to vote and I think candidates are out there on the trail doing that this time.

PAUL: What issues specifically are young voters looking at?

HANSEN: Social issues are big for them but also the issues that their parents have talked them about whether it's education or security. All of these issues are coming together in an important way and young voters want to be invited.

They want to be courted. They want to be wooed. They want to have somebody knock on their door and say tell them, hey, come join us and vote with us. And this is why they should vote.

PAUL: This is what is interesting to me. It sounds like something that people complain about in terms of entitlement.


PAUL: You want to be wooed.


PAUL: You want to be courted. Why don't you just exercise your right to vote?

HANSEN: Well, it's a good question. I can't speak for everybody but I do vote myself, so I'm engaged in the political process and I enjoy voting. It's a right that I don't take lightly. And we have to be able to spread that message across America for the young voters.

BLACKWELL: Zachary, let's talk about the other part of this relationship, the millennial candidates. There are lots of millennials who are running not just at the state level but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is 29 years old, right? So should voters expect a different style of leadership from millennials, from young voters?

ZACHARY ISRAEL, VICE PRESIDENT, ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE, D.C. YOUNG DEMOCRATS: Yes. So I think younger people, especially those running for office, bring forth a new set of ideas and a way of approaching things, so a lot of young people, they are very civically involved but they haven't really been in the political fray as much as they should be.

And so I think that their approach will be one in which is more inclusive, is more broader reaching, and focuses on issues that affect younger people more than what we have seen in the current generation of politicians.

PAUL: What about social media, Brian? Is there a sense of how social media is affecting the young vote specifically?

STELTER: That is definitely one of the X factors in this conversation. Every two years, every time it's an election season, there is even more saturation of mobile phones and of devices of new ways to reach voters. And certainly we have seen Democrats having a lot of success online and kind of in the online version of the election.

Now whether it translates to real votes or note, we will find out in two days. But I think Tuesday is all about surprises. One of the challenges covering this race is that it's really, really hard to reach on people on their phones to poll them.

Now look. It's hard for everybody. It's hard to get anybody on the phone to poll them these days but young people are especially hard to get on the phone to poll.

So the data that we have about how young people are going to vote or whether they are going to vote, some of it is a little wobbly and I think open to interpretation, open to be wrong around the edges. We do know though the early vote among people is way, way up. I mean, the percentages are huge. They are off the charts.

However, because the youth vote is usually relatively low those percentages might look really big but the raw vote total may not end up being that impressive. We are also seeing early vote high among older folks who might be members of the resistance on the left. So we're seeing that all the around.

But I do think every two years we are in for more of a surprise because the polls have a hard time figuring out how millennials are going to vote.

BLACKWELL: Andrew, President Trump lost voters 18 to 44 in 2016. Now he is out trying to, of course, keep the Republican majority and the House and keep it in the Senate as well. The style in which he is making his immigration message and delivering that, does that resonate with younger voters?

HANSEN: I think it does. It comes down to safety and security. You have to localize it. You have to bring it down to the neighborhood and the community level.

Immigration and keeping our country safe, they are not separate issues, they go hand in hand. And I think that if he can bring that down to the local level, really make it fit in your neighborhood and say we are going to protect you here right at home in your community, I think that will resonate.

BLACKWELL: But the way in which he speaks about specifically the caravan and an invasion, what we know about younger voters is that a lot of this rhetoric, maybe not in this specific form, I don't know that we have much testing how this type of political argument works, but it often doesn't work with the young people.

HANSEN: It is a bit divisive but he still is projecting and getting his message out there. I don't think it's going to turn off people as much as you think.

As you say, the numbers you don't know. Like you said you make the phone calls and get the data. We just aren't sure who is going to turn out and how it's affecting them.

But I think you'll see it's going to be a larger humanitarian issue down at the border. We're deploying national guard -- they're going to be distributing food and water and making sure that people down there that are coming to the border, trying to cross are taken care of but that doesn't necessarily mean they are going to be allowed in.

STELTER: I'll make a prediction about Tuesday though. I know it's risky on a Sunday morning before Election Day.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it is.

STELTER: Here's the prediction. I talk a lot about the power of conservative media, about the Sean Hannitys of all the word to push the vote out on the GOP side.


I think we're going to see the power of left wing partisan media on Tuesday. What I mean are the Young Turks and the Intercept and Pod Save America. These are programs, Web shows, podcasts that attract a youth demographic, they're attracting younger audience. And those are the kinds of forums that we saw Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez use really effectively to get her message out.

Now I think these formats are generally against Trump's immigration rhetoric. They are against the races that we are seeing in some of these ads but I think these megaphones are going to end up being pretty powerful and some of these races that we may not hearing a lot about but which were a big deal on Pod Save America could end up -- could end up having an impact on Tuesday because there are all of these new media outlets on the left that have grown up in the last couple of years.

PAUL: Which actually brings me to my next question because there has also been a lot of talk about false information being out there, about the Twitter purge.

STELTER: Right, right.

PAUL: You are the generation that has grown up on social media. You know how to navigate all of this.

Zachary, how much credence does your age group, the youth vote, give to all of the information that is online? How important is it for you to kind of weed through it and try to make sure that what you're hearing is true?

ISRAEL: Well, I think younger generations of folks are savvy and they know what sources of information they can trust and what not to trust. And like what was said earlier, there are these new mediums. Pod Save America is one example and others where were people are plugging in in ways they weren't able to before and that allows them to plug into campaigns they weren't really exposed to before.

And, you know, speaking as a young Democrat, we really care about ideas and so things like health care, education, those types of issues, these platforms allow younger folks and younger voters to really reach out to candidates and vice versa. So I think you're going to see a surge in young votes on the left.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about this Twitter purge.


BLACKWELL: Twitter deleting 10,000, we should say of accounts that they say were used to discourage people from voting. We don't know whether to cheer or shrug. I mean, 10,000 is that half? Is that a drop in the bucket?

STELTER: That is ultimately the mystery for me heading into Tuesday.


STELTER: How much of this bad behavior, how much of these state sponsored tacks and how many of these outbreak of hate speech all of these problems we have come to associate with social media the past couple of years, how much of this will affect the electorate. And it's just so hard to tell ahead of time.

It's one of the mysteries. It's one of the black -- frankly Twitter and Facebook are black boxes. We really can't see all of what is going on Facebook and Twitter (INAUDIBLE). We know that on Facebook there's a lot of misinformation being spread mostly in groups, kind of hidden parts of Facebook that are hard to access.

How much of that is going to impact and sway the electorate? It's just hard to know and that's why this Twitter purge is so interesting. They did take down thousands of accounts mostly trying to tell Democrats not to vote.

It was basically a voter suppression effort but we don't know that was a giant effort or a tiny effort.


STELTER: And we may not know ever.

PAUL: That is something. Well, it has been such a pleasure to have all of you here.

STELTER: Thanks.

PAUL: Brian, well, it's good to see you in person.

STELTER: Thanks, you too.

PAUL: Andrew and Zachary, thank you for being here.

HANSEN: Thank you.

ISRAEL: Thank you.

PAUL: We appreciate it. You can hear more from Brian, of course. He is sitting in the chair now and he will be back. "RELIABLE SOURCES" only on CNN at 11:00.

BLACKWELL: All right. Still to come a man was arrested and charged after distributing -- or disturbing rather anti-Semitic messages -- it was said distributing -- found inside a temple in Brooklyn, New York. More details about that ahead.



PAUL: Forty-two minutes past the hour right now.

And the mayor of small city in Utah was identified as the U.S. service member who was killed in Afghanistan yesterday. We are talking about Brent Taylor. He was killed in Kabul in what the U.S.-backed coalition is calling an apparent insider attack.

Now he had temporarily stepped down as mayor of North Ogden to deploy to Afghanistan with the Utah Army National Guard.

BLACKWELL: Now one of the last messages he wrote on social media was in support of freedom in the Afghan elections. He also said this about the upcoming U.S. elections.

"I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote and that whether the Republicans or the Democrats win that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us."

Twenty-six year old James Polite of New York was arrested and charged with four counts of hate crimes after anti-Semitic messages were found inside a Brooklyn temple.

PAUL: Yes. Graffiti was found on four floors of the Union Temple of Brooklyn last week. Some of which said, Hitler and Jews better be ready.

CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval in New York outside of that temple with more details for us this morning. Good morning, Polo. What are you learning?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that this is certainly a difficult time particularly for members of the Jewish community especially after the actions that we saw play out in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania just over a week ago. So what we are learning now about what happened here in Brooklyn inside this temple here is that graffiti as you mentioned was found a few days ago.

A man now in custody as you mentioned now identified as James Polite by authorities. The 26-year-old man here from New York. We checked back at some of the archives found out that this is not the first time that he makes headlines.

Actually he was profiled by the "New York Times" for a very different reason. His struggle with foster care and even successes were profiled in December of 2017. Polite, according to "The New York Times," had interned for former city council speaker Christine Quinn, even have worked on initiatives to combat not only domestic violence but even hate crimes.


So this is certainly disturbing and obviously very surprising for members of the community. The former speaker there Quinn taking to Twitter saying that she is certainly heartbroken by this, recognized that this individual did have certain struggles, but at the same time, called these actions inexcusable.

We should mention that the mayor of New York Bill de Blasio actually attended services here on Friday in a show of solidarity. For the meantime the suspect behind this, the 25-year-old James Polite, remains behind bars charged with several counts of criminal mischief to the fourth degree.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

Meanwhile, police are looking for suspects in two separate Graffiti incidents in New York this week. In Brooklyn anti-Semitic messages were drawn in white chalk on some people's homes and garage doors. These photos released by police are of men at the scene of the incident.

BLACKWELL: And let's take you to something that happened last week. The African Burial Monument, this is in Lower Manhattan, it was defaced with racial slurs. That monument is actually just step from city hall.

PAUL: As we head back in the midterms there are a lot of races that are being closely watched. Georgia. But maybe no more so than Florida in this election cycle as well.

Final pitches from President Trump and President Obama as Floridians vote for their next governor and senator.


JIMMY BUFFETT, MUSICIAN (singing): Some (ph) people say that there is a red tide to blame but I know this is all Rick Scott's fault.




BLACKWELL: Ten minutes until the top of the hour now.

One of the most closely watched races this election cycle is the race for governor in Florida.

PAUL: Andrew Gillum, of course, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, facing former Republican congressman Ron DeSantis in a race that could have major implications for the 2020 presidential election.

CNN correspondent Rosa Flores is with us from there. Both President Trump, former President Barack Obama, they have had their presence there in Florida strategically. Talk to us about what is happening there.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Florida -- I don't know if I should say Florida is famous for nail biting races or infamous, because, you know, around the country, regardless of what state you live in, you look at Florida and this governor's race is no exception.

I want to take you through the latest CNN poll just so you can start buying your nails this early in the morning. OK? So are you ready for this?

Andrew Gillum is leading at 48 percent. Ron DeSantis, three points behind at 45 percent. That is within the margin of error. But this is a race for the base and we have seen it with the a-list closers that have been here in Florida.

As you mentioned, for Ron DeSantis, President Trump has been -- has been here in this state campaigning alongside him. DeSantis, of course, is well known for his ad where he is showing his little boy how to build a wall with building blocks.

President Obama has been here for Andrew Gillum. Democrats see it as a symbolic passing of the baton, if you will.

Now it does appear to be working. A lot of people are voting, early voting in the Sunshine State. So here are the numbers. Are you ready for this?

More than 4.5 million people have voted in the state of Florida. Now the breakdown is definitely going to make you bite your nails this morning. Republicans 1.8 million. Democrats 1.7 million.

Now, the no party affiliation or other is 835,000. All of these numbers are according to the Florida secretary of state. Now Florida has than reputation that most of the voters here are senior citizens, but that is not the case this year, 52 percent of registered voters are millennials, gen Xers or gen Zers.

This voting bloc they are more diverse, they're more disenfranchised with the two-party system. So it sounds cliche but it really depends who is out voting this midterm that is going to determine who wins and if, indeed, there is this blue wave that everybody is talking about.

Now behind me is the Miami Beach City Hall, Christi and Victor. Voting starts at 7:00 a.m. this morning. Just to give you a sense of how many people are voting in Miami-Dade, 33,000 people voted in Miami-Dade just yesterday.

PAUL: Wow.

FLORES: Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: Rosa Flores. We will also see the population that came to Florida from Puerto Rico after the hurricane last year, their impact on the vote as well. A lot of factors happening in Florida. Rosa, thank you.

PAUL: Thanks, Rosa.

So we are heading as we've been saying towards midterms and cast of "Saturday Night Live," they know that is where we are heading so this is what we are doing.



BLACKWELL: More than 40 million Americans do not have enough food, but 40 percent of the food in the country is wasted every year. Now one of this year's top 10 CNN heroes, Maria Rose Belding, while she was in the eighth grade when she decided to do something about it.


MARIA ROSE BELDING, CNN HERO: There was a food pantry in my church that I grew up working in. You would have way too much of one thing and would be in desperate need of a different thing. Inevitably, some of it would expire and I had to throw a lot of it away.

When I was 14 I realized, that doesn't make sense. The internet was right in front of us. That is such an obvious thing to fix.

This (ph) is (ph) not (ph) in (ph) claims (ph), it has turned green. You would really think that the novelty of it would wear off. It doesn't.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: To read more about her program, go to right now to vote for her and any of your favorite heroes.

PAUL: Well, the writers over at "Saturday Night Live," they are giving some treatment to the media --

BLACKWELL: We will call it that.

PAUL: -- before the midterms.

BLACKWELL: And targeted a network's coverage of the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico.


KENAN THOMPSON AS FORMER MILWAUKEE SHERIFF DAVID CLARKE: The situation is urgent, Laura. The caravan is only 800 miles from our border. If these immigrants walk at a normal pace of 300 miles a day they could be here in time to vote on Election Day.


We've also learned that all the women in the caravan are more than nine months pregnant.