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Divisive Midterm Election Campaign Enters Final Stretch; Yoga Studio Shooting: No Known Link Between Suspected Shooter and Victims; Gun Violence Missing from Midterm Messaging; Suspect Faces Hate Crime Charges for Temple Graffiti; Midterm Storms Forecast in Key Battleground States. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 4, 2018 - 07:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (On SNL): We've also learned that more than of the women in the caravan are nine months pregnant and they're holding the babies in until the exact moment they cross over to the border, and then they're going to literally drop anchor! And the babies, get this, are pregnant!



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

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: The very powerful are trying to convince us that -- speaking of people with dignity and respect is an outdated form of political correctness.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 votes. We win!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Bright and early at 7:01 from Washington, D.C. We're so grateful to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

We are beginning our special midterm election coverage here on CNN. There is a lot to talk about.

PAUL: Well, there's a lot of campaigning going on right now. The promises, the projections, the midterm elections, of course, that are coming up here and I know that you're ready to go to the polls.

A new ABC News/"Washington Post" poll released within the last few hours shows an edge for the Democrats here. Take a look. The chief issue driving people to the polls? President Trump and health care. Will the country move towards President Trump's vision or go in a different direction? That's the big question.

BLACKWELL: 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 and Vice President Mike Pence are in Tennessee and Georgia.

Now, at his rallies, President Trump is glossing over this booming economy and a pair of a Supreme Court. Instead he's focusing on immigration and 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's Ryan Nobles is at the White House this morning.

Ryan, good morning to you.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRSPONDENT: Victor and Christi, good morning. Welcome to Washington.

The finish line is in sight. We're just two days away of full campaigning before voters have the final say in election 2018. And both the former President Barack Obama and President Trump are busy on the campaign trail today. They have been for the last several days going across the country and really driving out the base. That's where we are at this stage, pushing those voters who are inclined to support Democrats or Republicans and making sure they get to the polls, and they are doing that by emphasizing these issues that base voters care about.

For Republicans and President Trump, that is immigration. Listen to what the president said 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, meanwhile, on the Democratic side, of course, President Obama has been very busy but so has Vice President Joe Biden. He has campaigned relentlessly since after Labor Day, going across the country to many different states, focusing primarily on House races where Democrats believe they have the edge. He was in Ohio yesterday and he talked about those issues that Democrats care about -- health care, and entitlements -- and he warned that Republicans will take some of those away if they continue to hold power.

Listen to what Joe Biden 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, 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 former vice president's voice just how active he's been on the campaign trail as he is starting to lose that voice.

[07:05:02] Meanwhile, President Trump starts his day here at the White House but he is going to be on the road very shortly. And he is heading to places where he is popular. Two ruby red states Georgia and Tennessee and he is going to be there in support of candidates running for governor in Georgia and the Senate in Tennessee -- Marsha Blackburn, the candidate there in Tennessee.

And that shows you where Republicans believe they have an opportunity. They believe they can hold on to some of these important governorships and they also believe that they can continue to control the Senate based on the results on Tuesday. It's the House where Republicans feel that they are in trouble right now. Of course, we won't know anything until the polls close on Tuesday night and there are still many arguments left to be made -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Ryan Nobles, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk now with our experts, CNN contributor Wesley Lowery. He's also a national reporter at "The Washington Post". CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona. Also CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Alice Stewart.

PAUL: So glad to have all of you with us.

Let's talk about something Joe Biden was just mentioning there, Maria, about what's going to happen, where you're going to pull some of that deficit money and try to make things better. Resonating particularly there in the Rust Belt when you're talking about Medicaid and Medicare? MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. I think it

underscores another theme that Democrats have been really pushing which is health care, right? Medicare and Medicaid really continue to underscore how important health care is and how hypocritical the Republicans have been.

Look, they supposedly passed this huge middle class tax cut earlier in the Trump administration that was supposed to be a big feather in their cap and nobody is campaigning on that tax cut. Why? Because it didn't work for the middle class and, in fact, when the president, quote/unquote, promised just very recently that there was going to be another tax cut for the middle class, he kind of right there admitted that the first one he passed was specifically for the richest and for corporations.

And that tax cut has cost a ballooning of the deficit which interestingly enough, Republicans were all about, you know, being deficit hawks before and now, they don't seem to care. And what Biden and other Democrats are underscoring if Republicans continue to have control of both the House and the Senate, they are going to go after Medicare, they are going to go after Social Security, they are going to go after Medicaid even after they betrayed the American people on taking away protection for preexisting conditions and wanting to take away health care from millions of Americans. It is absolutely an issue that is working for Democrats.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But, at the same time, Republicans do have a lot to tout when it comes to economy and jobs. The October jobs report 250,000 jobs created and low unemployment at 3.7 percent and these are good economic numbers.

CARDONA: But they are not running on it.

STEWART: Republicans are.

CARDONA: Trump isn't.

STEWART: We hear from the president -- Trump is talking a lot about the security at the border and the caravan. But these people running for Senate and governors and those running in the House, they are talking about the economic conditions and labor force participation rate, is that a good level?

So across the board, jobs and the economy are a good messaging point for Republicans and with regard to health care, the message they push back on Democrats is a lot of Democrats want socialized medicine and that --

CARDONA: That just not true. That's a lie.

STEWART: That's a message that --

CARDONA: That is not resonating.

STEWART: -- Republicans are driving with regard to how they can push back on the Democrats. BLACKWELL: Let's instead of having the broader conversation, try to

go into the states and specific races. I want to talk about Stacey Abrams, and she's the Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia. And the way in which potentially her strategy has shifted a bit.

The day after she won the primary, I want to play what she said then, followed by one of her ads in the general election and we'll talk about the difference.


STACEY ABRAMS (D), GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Democrats cannot win by pretending to be Republicans. Republicans see through it and Democrats see through it.

Georgia is actually a bluer state than people realize. We have more than enough of those voters to win without compromising our values and pretending to be moderate to conservative to appeal to a certain segment.

AD NARRATOR: Republican groups from outside Georgia spend millions of attacking Stacey Abrams but Republicans in Georgia say that doesn't match her record. Georgia Republicans call Stacey Abrams a pragmatic leader who engages with the GOP to find solutions. Her balanced view allowed her to reach across the deal to help Governor Nathan Deal passed a $1 billion transportation bill and comprehensive criminal justice reform, and she stopped the largest tax increase in Georgia history. Both sides agree, Stacey Abrams works to help all of Georgia.


BLACKWELL: So, from we've got enough Democratic voters, we don't have to act like conservatives to both sides agree.

WESLEY LOWERY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It is really interesting to watch the evolution of any candidate in some of these races. I do think Stacey Abrams has campaigned even in the general election still has been much more progressive than you might have typically seen a Democrat running in Georgia.

[07:10:02] And I do think when voters at the polls on Tuesday, it's going to be interesting. Many of the Democrats running in a lot of these races, Andrew Gillum is another good example of this, have been pretty unapologetically progressive and pretty far left to the way that somebody might have advised them running in a Southern state. There has been a debate and a fight within the Democratic Party a long time about how do you win these states that are red to purple, right? What do you do in these places? Do you try to coax back Trump voters or otherwise Republican voters, or do you say enough Democrats in this place we turn them all out and we'll win?

I mean, when you listen to Stacey Abrams, her strategy pretty much has been how do we turn out a coalition of minorities, of young people, of white progressives and that has been with ads like that has still kind of been her strategy. Now, you always have to balance do you want to in some ways an ad like that I see a strategy can I make sure Republican voters aren't so scared of me that they show up and vote for the other person?

To me, that's not necessarily an ad trying to convince a Republican to vote for Stacey Abrams. It might be one to say, look, I'm not actually that central threat. Maybe you should stay home. Aren't you busy? Aren't you a little sleepy today? Like, you know, what do you --

STEWART: That is my home state and I'm keeping a close eye on this race and she has a done a tremendous of retail politicking, really getting out there and touching all those voters, not just the typical Democrat voters and certainly having Oprah come in there and President Obama really inspiring and motivating voters to get out there.

But I do think it's critical. While they had a tremendous message and motivating voters, it's also important to have an informed electorate and knowing Georgia, as I do, this is a red state. This is a state that is pro-life, it supports Second Amendment, it supports tax cuts and it supports fiscal responsibility, that is what Brian Kemp represents, and that is a stark contrast what we have in Stacey Abrams. But those are issues are ultimately going to drive voters.

CARDONA: Except for I think what Stacey Abrams has been able to do brilliantly is speak to the elect that has been completely alienated by President Trump and by Republicans. You have, obviously, over a third African-Americans who have a growing Latino electorate and even though the numbers are good, for a lot of these minority communities that have been consistently attacked by this president and demonized by Republicans, they don't feel that.

There was a Pew study done recently y that Latino Americans don't feel they have a place in Trump's America. The majority of them feel like either they or somebody that they love is going to be hurt by Trump's policy. So, the economic numbers for African-Americans and for Latinos, they are not surpassing the importance of what this country means to them and what this president has felt or has made them feel, which is unsafe, unwanted, unwelcome and they are going to go and vote not just to give a voice to that, but to give a voice for their communities, for their children, and to ensure that frankly people understand that the soul of this country is on the ballot and I think that is incredibly important.

PAUL: And that is probably evident in Texas with that race because it's not a given necessarily. The numbers aren't super close but if they come out and the numbers are pretty strong for O'Rourke, what does that say about Texas?


PAUL: It's as blood red as you get.

LOWERY: You look at so many states in the map -- Texas, Tennessee, Georgia. These are states that we have historically in modern history written, colored in red today, right? It's Sunday morning but let's color it in red. What is interesting we have seen this from the moment of President

Trump's election, when you start seeing women's marches popping up in places like North Dakota and Idaho, right? When we saw -- and you started seeing groups like who are rising up and hosting whether it be book clubs and protests and marches. This question I got a good friend in Nashville and I remember talking to her and she is talking about how -- yes, we all started reaching out and realizing that every other house or every three houses there was some kind of closeted Democrat in there and we were all convinced that there were no other people here.

We all finally got so worked up that we found each other. What's going to be interesting I remember looking at the numbers for early voting among young people in places like Texas, the numbers are through the roof compared previously. But you start thinking about it, how many universities are there in a state like Texas?

PAUL: Right.

LOWERY: How many young people or minorities are there in a state like Georgia?


LOWERY: That a lot of these states, we have been, in some ways, so -- we prejudge what might be possible, and that works both directions.

PAUL: Yes. Young voting was up, I think, 500 percent in Texas and more than 400 in Georgia and see what it does.

STEWART: This is more close than Republicans would want it to be, but immigration is a key issue for voters there and the fact that Ted is strong on voter security and immigration and O'Rourke is more for open borders.

CARDONA: That is not true.

[07:15:01] Beto is not for open borders and neither is any Democrat!

STEWART: That is true issue for people in Texas.


CARDONA: See, this is where I think they are overreaching and they are jumping the shark because a ton of Latino voters in Texas that are being motivated by the exact anti-immigrant, bigoted rhetoric that Ted Cruz is using which mirrors what President Trump is doing.

PAUL: All right. Good to have you all here face-to-face. Thank you all so much. Maria, Alice, Wesley, good to have you.

BLACKWELL: Stay with us. We have more to talk about in a couple of minutes.

Also this morning, Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, Stacey Abrams as we discussed here will join Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION". That's only on CNN at 9:00 a.m. and noon.

PAUL: And really frightening day yesterday at a Florida yoga studio. Gunman walks in, tries to act like he is a customer and then just starts shooting. Two people have died -- a student, a faculty member. What police are saying now about the man who did this?


[07:20:01] PAUL: Nineteen minutes past the hour.

I want to take you to Wisconsin right now. There were three Girl Scouts who were working and picking up trash on the side of the road as well as another woman. All of them killed yesterday when a pickup truck hit them along that road.

BLACKWELL: So, police say the driver jumped a lane of traffic, ran into a ditch, and then hit that group. He also injured another girl who is now in critical condition. The driver initially took off, but later turned himself in.

There's a vigil planned tonight at Florida State University for two victims who were shot and killed Friday inside a yoga studio in Tallahassee.

PAUL: Police say the gunman came inside and posed as a customer and then started shooting. There he is. He wounded five others, including one person who was pistol-whipped. Some of the people in the class did try to stop him but the shooter then took his own life.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in CNN national correspondent Dianne Gallagher.

Dianne, first let's start with these victims. What more do we know about the two women?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Victor, they both were associated with Florida State University and they had great impacts on that community in Tallahassee and at FSU.

Sixty-one-year-old Dr. Nancy Van Vessem. She was an internist. She was the chief medical director at Capital Health Plan in Tallahassee. She also was on staff. She was a faculty member at FSU. She worked with hospice care. She helped the students transition at FSU and was described as a light who touched everybody that she met.

Twenty-one-year-old Maura Binkley was a senior at FSU and set to graduate this May. Her father spoke with affiliate WSB last night.


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

(END VIDEO CLIP) GALLAGHER: She was a double major in journalism and German. She, again, had done a study abroad and was planning after she graduated to go work with Teach for America -- Christi and Victor.

PAUL: So, Dianne, I know police are trying to figure out what happened and who this shooter was. I understand that he had a really disturbing digital footprint here, is that right?

GALLAGHER: Yes, a very disturbing digit footprint, Christi. So, they're still not sure exactly why he targeted this specific yoga studio. They do know that he graduated from FSU and that police had calls about him in the past harassing women, that they had interaction with him. But he didn't live in Tallahassee any more. He drove there four hours and got a hotel and committed this act.

But according to "The New York Times" and in videos that we, ourselves, have viewed, back in 2014, the shooter posted several misogynist and racist videos on YouTube where he appears to sympathize with what we now know is the incel movement, involuntarily celibate and men who are rejected by women.

He also seems to sympathize with a 2014 mass shooter who blamed rejection from women and why he went on this rampage in Santa Barbara. But again, racist comments, misogynist comments. He lists the names of women who rejected him dating from middle school through his time in the army. Victor and Christi, though, police still not sure, again, why this specific yoga studio and if he had any connection to the people there.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: All right. Dianne Gallagher reporting for us this morning -- Dianne, thank you.

PAUL: Thank you, Dianne.

So, the economy, health care, immigration, three huge issues dominating the headlines, of course, as we count down to election day. What we were just talking about right there -- guns and gun violence. We haven't heard a lot of that from the midterm messaging.

So, we are going to put that to a survivor of the Parkland school shooting in Florida. He's with us next.

Stay close.


[07:28:52] PAUL: So grateful, as always, to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

Earlier this year, it appeared as if gun violence would be a key issue heading into the midterms but not has not been the case. PAUL: Yes, despite of series of even violent incidents involving guns

recently issues such as health care and immigration -- they have kind of forced talk of gun violence from the front pages here.

Matt Deitsch, co-founder of the March for Our Lives Movement, is with us now. His brother and sister survived the Parkland School shootings. He lost friends in that massacre.

Matt, first of all, I want to thank you so much for being here. I want to ask you what your thoughts are as you watch all of the talks leading into midterms and there is this absence of talk of gun control.

MATT DEITSCH, CO-FOUNDER, MARCH FOR OUR LIVES: Gun violence prevention is one of the main driving forces behind the youth vote that is turning out. We have seen youth registration rise during this last year since the shooting and we have now seen youth turnouts rise in early voting numbers. I think on November 6th, we'll see more young polls go to polls where this is the number one issue.

[07:30:03] A Harvard poll came out last week that showed school shootings were the number one issue for people under the age of 30 and stopping gun violence is in the top five, and that has never happened before. We are not just talking about one wave of youth voters. These are young people who have experienced school shooter views their entire life and seen their peers gunned down on the news day in and day out.

So this is a main issue for young voters. We are starting to wake up for the first time.

BLACKWELL: It's an issue for young voters but we are not hearing as much about it from elected officials and people who are on the ballot. So to what degree are you satisfied or potentially dissatisfied with how much of a part of the national discourse by the candidates that gun violence and specifically school shootings that they have been in the last few days heading up to the election?

DEITSCH: We can't specifically talk about school shootings. In the last week, we had a synagogue shooting. We had bombs go out to prominent officials, and we had a shooting in a yoga studio. And so, we have to talk about stopping gun violence. There's no reason why a man who has a history of misogynistic intent online and also domestic violence and battery should be able to legally purchase a gun and kill four people.

And so, when we have young people aiming and directing this conversation, it starts to go into our elected officials. I don't know which elected officials you guys are watching, but I've tracked so many races around the country where gun violence prevention and stopping gun violence is the number one issue for certain candidates. And in several races in Florida and the Senate and governor race, it is a hot topic in Georgia and in the governor's race, it is a hot topic.

In swing districts where it used to be lean Republican and likely Republican, we see Democrats taking stronger stances on this issue and it's time the Republicans catch up, because this is a populist issue. This is not a left or right issue. It's about saving human life, and if you aren't for that, then you have no right to represent us. And so --

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: So, Matt -- I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cut you off there. I wanted to read a tweet you put out recently. You wrote: Just wanted to give you a very direct and friendly reminder that Election Day is on Tuesday. And you should definitely bring friends to the polls so we can have the highest youth turnout in American history. Young people can force American leadership to have a moral compass.

What do you mean by forcing American leadership to have a moral compass? What do you want them to take away from your votes?

DEITSCH: When we have elected officials that take millions of dollars from groups like Geo Group that are profiting from putting children of immigrants in prisons and we have even more elected officials taking millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association and blocking universal background checks the poll above 90 percent with people, that is lacking moral compass. When we have elected officials that choose to act in their special interest and for their profit and not for the people and for what is actually killing us, our lives are at stake.

There is someone that is going to be shot and killed in the time that we are doing this interview and our elected officials choose to not have an answer to that. It's an active choice. They are complacent in this. And so, young people have already turned out in record numbers right now in early voting, and I think on November 6th, we will see an even bigger youth wave show up and we will break records this year, but this is the beginning because we need our elected officials to know our kids and our lives are off limits and we can no longer stand by and watch our peers gunned down.

PAUL: All right. Matt Deitsch, we appreciate you taking the time to be with us. Thank you so much.

DEITSCH: Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring back in, CNN contributor and national reporter for "The Washington Post", Wesley Lowery, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, and Alice Stewart, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, and former spokeswoman for Ted Cruz.

All right. Let's start here. Matt says that there are candidates who are out talking about this. "Bloomberg" just published a map, though, showing where the money for the ads, where they are focused -- health care, immigration, the economy. There is only a small section on the West Coast there in California where guns are an issue to where candidates are investing in those.

So, compared to what we saw in February and March where there were Democratic leaders specifically standing in solidarity with the students, are we seeing that match now by their action and what they are spending, what their priorities are?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think what you're seeing -- matt is absolutely right, this issue has not gone away. We might not be talking about it on a daily basis simply because we are reacting to the noise and the lies that come out of President Trump's mouth every day, but the reality is the NRA has actually pulled a ton of their funding from the midterm elections.

This will be the first time in a long time where opposite groups like Every Town USA and the Gabby Giffords group are outspending the NRA. And the reason for that is they do see it as a surging issue not just young people but progressive Democrats all around the country. You have in Atlanta, the Atlanta suburbs, Lucy McBath whose son was killed by gun violence.

[07:35:07] BLACKWELL: Jordan Davis.

CARDONA: She is focused on this.

In Virginia, the Comstock-Wexton race is also focused on gun violence. You have gun violence as Matt said in Florida is a huge issue in both the governor's race as well as the Senate race. Southern California, Kansas, Texas, you have all of these districts that are focused on gun violence and might not be the number one issue, but it is certainly going to be a motivating issue that perhaps the candidates themselves have not completely funded.

But then you have millions of dollars from all of these outside groups that I mentioned, one of which is led by Michael Bloomberg, who have been in there with millions of dollars on ads focused on how gun safety is a number one concern for Americans in these midterm elections.

In Washington state has ballot measures and if they pass, they are going to be some of the strongest ballot measures on gun safety that we have seen across the country.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And the key with the messaging from the candidates to the electorate and the key to where they are spending money and how they are spending money, that is based on the pulse of the people and the people are saying, as you say, in polls, what are your number one issues and what are your key priorities that will motivate you to get to the polls? And as you indicated, it will be health care, it will be the economy, and immigration. Gun control and Second Amendment rights is further down there.

So, you're hearing it but not the top line message. And what we're going to continue to see is, unfortunately, these issues bubble to the surface when we have a tragedy or some type of mass shooting and it becomes a topic of conversation. But the reality is candidates know and those that are serving elected office know that Second Amendment supporters such as myself, it is a key issue and we strongly support our Second Amendment rights and don't want to be a change --

PAUL: What is the message from Republicans, though, on the Second Amendment? For one point, I remember, I think it was President Trump who was outrightly saying Democrats want to take away your Second Amendment.

CARDONA: Which is a lie.

STEWART: That's not true. But the key is.

CARDONA: What is not true?

STEWART: That Democrats want to take away our Second Amendment.

CARDONA: That is not true.

STEWART: That's not true, exactly.

CARDONA: Thank you.

STEWART: Right. But they do want to have restrictions on it. They do want to pull back on some of the restrictions that we have with gun owners. The key with the NRA and a lot of sensible-minded Republicans and Democrats is that the focus of the NRA is takes all guns out of the hands of some people, not some guns out of the hands of all people. And that's the message we need to take.

We need to also, it's not just about gun control. This is about mental health, this is about other key issues with regard to school safety that need to be addressed. So, gun control cannot just be about the guns. There are a lot of other factors that need to be taken into consideration. It's much bigger than in the huge midterm election but that is just one key component.

CARDONA: But I think the reason why this has been successful for Democrats in New Mexico too where you have (INAUDIBLE), she's a recreational hunter and she can talk about additional gun safety measures and still have a lot of credibility for people who want be supporters of the Second Amendment.

BLACKWELL: You bring up an important point. The diversity of candidates here wing this time around. We've got single mothers, we've got more war vets, we've got interest or public interest attorney. Sally Kohn writes about the hundreds of educators who are running up and down the ballot.

CARDONA: CIA operatives.

BLACKWELL: And what do you glean from the diversity of the candidates we are seeing this time around?

WESLEY LOWERY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Of course. I think in many ways I think it will mobilize folks who might not have come out previously. I think one of the key things I'm looking on Tuesday who shows up to vote and, obviously, we want to look at. But when you look at the young people, the numbers in which they have been showing up in early voting and even showed up in registering to vote previously, when you look at minority populations in states where minority vote isn't, you know, a major factor. All right? There is a real question, because a lot of our politics is reactive.

One of the reasons that we talk about the health care in this cycle because health care is proven to be something that mobilize the voters. Well, if in Florida, you have a Senate race and a governor's race that shift left ward by five or ten points and if it can be shown that's in part because of young people, well, then, maybe perhaps gun violence might become a leading issue in a state like Florida, right?

And so, what we see is that politicians pay attention to the people who they know are showing up. That's why I remember covering local politics and covering local politics meant spending time in senior homes, why, because they vote every single time. So, one of the interesting things is seeing who shows up on Tuesday and how as we shift towards 2020 do the issues that we are talking about day in and day out, how those determine by who showed up here in 2018.


STEWART: And being reactive, too, we're going to see certainly more women come out based in large part due to the #metoo movement and giving women power, and making sure that they have people that represent them and speak their views and values and fortunately, we are will also seeing more women running for office.

[07:40:10] PAUL: Well, that's what I was going to say, you expect and anticipate more women to the polls because they have more women to vote for, and that is important to them.

CARDONA: Record numbers of women running for office and record numbers of women, as well as men, who actually represent a diversity of the country and not just in terms of professions. You know, you talked about it, CIA operatives, fighter pilots that are women, women veterans. But you also have record number of Muslim women running. You have a record number of LGBT, transgender, Latinas, African- Americans.

And so, all of this I think also this motivates all of the communities that have felt so attacked by this president and moving into an era where they can say, absolutely, my vote matters and let's look at the millennials. For example, a poll came out just now showing only a third are going to come out to vote which can sound disheartening, but in 2014, only a percentage came out to vote. So if they come out in a third, that's a huge percentage.

BLACKWELL: Alice, let me come to you. We were talking about inspiration and the other side of inspiration. There is now robocall that is going out in Georgia of racist, anti-Semitic robocall going out attacking Stacey Abrams, the candidate for governor there, Oprah as well. And last night in Florida, the Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue talking about the race for governor there, Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis said this race is cotton pickin' important, so don't mess it up.

Why does this keep happening on this side?

STEWART: First of all, with regard to the racial ad that ran in Georgia, it's despicable, it's uncalled for.

BLACKWELL: Brian Kemp denounced it.

STEWART: Brian Kemp denounced it. And any reasonably minded person has denounced it.

BLACKWELL: It's a private group out of another state and he has nothing to do with it.

PAUL: Yes, it's not from the Kemp camp, we need to make clear.

STEWART: As for the cotton pickin' comment, I think that sometimes people say things and they don't exactly understand fully the context of how it will be received and --

BLACKWELL: You really think he had no idea what he was saying?

PAUL: You think there was no sensitivity there?

STEWART: It's hard to say but what is in his head and his heart. I'd like to see him walk that back a bit. But a lot of times when you're in the heat of the campaign and you're speaking off the cuff, things come out and it's certainly perceived in the wrong way. I would like to hear -- hopefully, he will walk it back some because it is something while the intention may not be to be disrespectful if it's received that way.


CARDONA: See, I don't know about that. I think they know exactly what they are saying and this is one of the reasons it's going to motivate voters on the other side to put a stop to this.

PAUL: All righty. Maria and Alice and Wesley, we're so glad you all for being here. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Don't miss a special pre-election edition of CNN prime time tonight starting with "ANDERSON COOPER 360", that's followed by "CUOMO PRIME TIME" and CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON". It starts at 7:00 Eastern.

PAUL: Still to come, police have arrested and charged a man after anti-Semitic messages were found inside a Brooklyn temple. We have more on that ahead.


[07:47:37] PAUL: Well, police have arrested 26-year-old James Polite of New York and charged him with four counts of hate crimes after anti-Semitic messages were found inside a Brooklyn temple.

BLACKWELL: Those graffiti 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 is in New York with more details. What do you know about this suspect and his background? What do you


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we understand that he was politically active actually, especially if you back to an article written in "The New York Times" almost a year ago. The publication essentially writing a profile on James Polite, that 26-year-old New York man who remains behind bars for his alleged actions in this temple here. When you read that profile piece, you get a different sense of a different side of him.

According to that article, he canvassed in various neighborhoods when he was in his teens, particularly during Barack Obama's first bid for the presidency. This was his moment when he was essentially being quite politically active and encountered Christine Quinn, a former city council speaker here in New York and eventually interned for her during those years here. The former speaker speaking out on Twitter, recognizing that this is an individual who had plenty of struggles, including with homelessness and through the foster care system.

But, at the same time, also said that these actions, these alleged actions are, quote, inexcusable. So, it's very interesting here when we see two very sides of this individual. Police, however, say that he is responsible for the vandalism that took place here earlier in the week.

We should also mention at the same time that Mayor Bill de Blasio same out here and spent some time with members of this location here and essentially speaking out for the entire Jewish community and saying, and also calling for the unity among several individuals. This graffiti again found earlier in the week. The suspect in this case, again, 26-year-old James Polite, remains behind bars and charged with four counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

Guys, back to you.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, we appreciate the update. Thank you.

Well, you know, millions of voters, they have already cast their ballot for the midterm election. But if you're waiting until Tuesday, forecasters say you could run into some problems with a potential big storm on the way.

BLACKWELL: What you need to know before you head to the polls.


[07:54:11] PAUL: So, some voters in key battleground states are going to need more than their ID when they go to the polls this week. Maybe an umbrella, maybe some tire chains.

BLACKWELL: Yes, heavy storms are forecast for election night. Snow, rain, and possibly even tornadoes in the Midwest and the South.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar shows which areas are likely to see the greatest impact.


ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Victor and Christi, the main concern all stems the from this low pressure system right here over areas of the Midwest, starting on Monday. And already on Monday, we have the potential for some severe storms.

Now, keep in mind, it's Monday. Several of these states still do early voting on Monday. If you live in one of them, it may actually be better for you to wait until election day to do the voting, so that you can avoid some of the threats like tornadoes, damaging winds, and the potential for some large hail, namely for cities like Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, and even Evansville, Indiana.

[07:55:0] Now, that system in question continues to strengthen, become more widespread as it continues to push east, in the overnight hours, and especially on Tuesday. Now, we're starting to factor in some other battleground states, like Ohio, Pennsylvania, stretching down towards Georgia, Tennessee, and even into Florida. And it's on that southern end, where we also have the potential for severe storms, on Election Day.

We're talking cities like Charlottesville, Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, even Washington, D.C. The main threats there will be tornadoes, damaging winds, and also the potential for some large hail. And a lot of these areas, not to mention, you also have the potential for some localized flooding due to heavy rain.


PAUL: Thanks so much for sharing your morning with us. We hope you make good memories today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" starts after a quick break.