Return to Transcripts main page


Trump "Hated" Economy Ad, Opted For Anti-Immigration Message; NBC, Fox Pulling Racially-Charged Ad That CNN Refused To Air; Trump Laments: You Can't Call Women "Beautiful" Anymore. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 5, 2018 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:07] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Out front next, President Trump rejecting a closing ad about his own economic record, opting instead for an ad so incendiary that CNN, NBC and even Fox News would not air it. Is this what Republicans really want to be talking about?

Plus the President's awkward introduction of his daughter. He says he can't call his daughter or any other woman beautiful anymore. How might that go over with women voters?

And the races to watch. Who's up, who's down and will Americans wake up on Wednesday to find a different world? Let's go out front.

Good evening, I'm Jake Tapper in for Erin Burnett. Out front tonight, it's not the economy, stupid. Not for President Trump at least in the waning hours of his campaign. The President is not selling the Trump economy, an economy with an unemployment rate at a near 50-year low, wages are up 3.1%, consumer confidence at an 18-year high. No. Instead, the President who is at his second of three rallies just today now, this one in Indiana, has chosen instead to focus in ads and on the stump on fear and falsehoods.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are a lot of people, a lot of people in my opinion and based on proof that try and get in illegally and actually vote illegally. As we speak Democrats are openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to violate our laws.

Democrats are inviting caravan after caravan, isn't that nice, of illegal aliens to flood into our country and overwhelm your communities. You're going to live in a socialist world and put illegal aliens before American citizens.


TAPPER: False, false, false, false, false. You're going to live in a socialist world? Democrats didn't even back the government option for health care. There's no evidence of what the President is saying, but there is evidence that this fear mongering about undocumented immigrants is not what many Republicans on the stump and in Washington want to be talking about. House Speaker Paul Ryan's counselor tweeting last Friday when the strong employment numbers came out, we're going to spend all day and weekend talking about the strong economy, right? Two Republican officials tell CNN Trump hated his campaign's web video that focused on the strong economy and instead he insisted on this hard line anti- undocumented immigrant message to fire up his base, gambling on this racially charged and incendiary TV ad that falsely links a cop killer who came into the country most recently during the Bush administration with a caravan of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. It was rejected by CNN for being racist, according to CNN executives, and then later it was pulled by NBC and Facebook and Fox News. Here's what President Trump said when asked about the ad so offensive even Fox won't air it.


TRUMP: Well, a lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive a lot of times, so, you know.


TAPPER: Ah, yes, the I'm rubber, you're glue retort. In any case, there is a lot at stake, all 435 House seats, there are 35 Senate seats to be decide, 36 gubernatorial races.

Jim Acosta is out front at President Trump's rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The key election there for the Senate. Jim, not all Republicans are on board with what the President is selling tonight.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, that's right. And Jake, we should be upfront about this. A lot of Republicans won't say this publicly, they'll only say it privately, they won't say it on the record. But I have talked to a couple of top Republican aides earlier today who expressed some real misgivings, some real reservations about what the President is doing. One top House Republican aide said earlier today that what the President is doing could very well turn off so many voters in some of these suburban swing districts that the House could actually be tipped to the Democrats. That is a concern on that side of the Congress.

And over in the Senate I talked to a top Republican aide over there who described what the President is doing as, quote, dehumanizing and fear mongering. That is very tough language. But Jake, the Trump campaign, the folks inside Trump world there are offering no apologies, no regrets in all of this. One top Trump advisor said they're speeding forward at this point, pointing to what the President said earlier about questions and reference to his ad on immigration.

But this top Trump advisor, Jake, a very interestingly said, listen, the odds of holding on to the House for the Republicans are less than 50% at this point. And that is interesting, Jake, because in the ever-confident Trump world, they don't often talk about losing. Their concern that that blue wave that did not materialize in 2016 may in fact be materializing for tomorrow night.

One other thing I should point out as we're talking about immigration and so on, you mentioned Ivanka earlier. There may be an attempt in these waning hours of the midterm campaign to try to soften some of the President's rough edges. We saw the President's daughter, Ivanka Trump. The White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders as well as the White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, they just came out a few moments ago and spoke to this crowd here, Jake.

[19:05:08] It's very unusual to see a White House Press Secretary and top official like Kellyanne Conway at a rally like this. But as I heard from a top Trump advisor just a few moments ago, they are very worried about where women voters stand heading into this midterm election vote taking place tomorrow. In the words of this advisor, quote, the gap is large. Jake?

TAPPER: Very, very unusual for White House officials like Kellyanne Conway or Sarah Sanders to appear at an election event, absolutely. Jim Acosta in Indiana, thank you so much.

Now out front, my guests, they're going to be with me throughout the hour. We have with us is CNN Senior Political Analyst Mark Preston, David Gergen, former advisor for four Presidents, including Reagan and Clinton, April Ryan, White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, Joan Walsh, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nations, Stephen Moore, former Senior Economic Advisor to the Trump campaign and current informal adviser to the White House and Amanda Carpenter, former Communications Director for Republican Senator Ted Cruz. Thanks one and all.

Steve, let me start with you because I can't imagine there's anybody on this panel more disappointed that President Trump is not talking about the strong economy than you because you are such a fan of him and his economic message. A source telling CNN President Trump hated an upbeat, closing ad about the economy that focused on the economy, instead preferring this hard line immigration ad that even Fox has found too offensive to air. Do you think President Trump is making a mistake?

STEPHEN MOORE, INFORMAL WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Probably. Look, I mean, the economy is so strong right now that you obviously lead with that. But I would also say that I've talked to a lot of Democratic pollsters who say that the major -- a major issue that won the election for Trump in 2016 was immigration and the fact that Democrats don't have an anti-illegal immigration strategy.

And so I don't think it's stupid for Trump to emphasize this immigration issue. Look, the Democrats on illegal immigration are basically saying we want to get rid of the border patrol, we want catch and release, we want sanctuary cities. They don't have an anti- illegal immigration message. And as long as that's the case, I think Trump is probably making a strong argument.

And, by the way, I'm very pro immigrant. I want immigrants to come legally. I don't want hordes of immigrants to come in illegally. And I think that's where the (INAUDIBLE).

JOAN WALSH, NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: I don't either actually. I don't either, Steve, we agree on that and so do most Democrats. MOORE: I don't know. Why are they for sanctuary cities.

WALSH: Most Democrats aren't. You guys keep making this an issue.

MOORE: Every Democratic city has --

WALSH: No. Actually, not every Democratic city does, so you guys can't win without exaggerating and frankly lying about what the Democratic policies are. And I think as a Democrat, I see that ad, that economy ad and I get frightened. I think if that ad was playing a lot they would be doing better. It's actually a good ad. So it's --

MOORE: You mean the economy ad.

WALSH: The economy ad.

MOORE: I actually never saw the economy ad.

WALSH: It's good.


WALSH: No, don't show it, I don't want you to show it.

TAPPER: Go to, it pops up.


WALSH: You've got to really look for it, though. You don't like it.

MOORE: I mean, you kind of like -- people feel it. I mean, you have the consumer confidence numbers that came out last week --

WALSH: People feel it but honestly you could stand to underscore it. And also what I think is so interesting, you're right, immigration is a big issue for him. It was, it will be, it always will be.

But the one area where things are bad for Republicans clearly is in the Midwest. I mean the states that Donald Trump snuck up on Democrats and won, like Ohio, like Michigan, like Wisconsin, like Pennsylvania, all those Democratic senators are in decent shape. They weren't supposed to be. So, you know, this message about the economy I think is not getting through in the Midwest and the immigration scare tactics aren't working.

TAPPER: And Amanda Carpenter, one of the issues here is yes, this immigration issue in the way President Trump talks about it in this incendiary and very racially offensive way to a lot of people might help rally the base, as Stephen has suggested, but there are a lot of people, a lot of Republicans are concerned. You know what it does, it also rallies Democrats and it really alienates people in -- suburban swing voters really they need -- to support them.

AMANDA CARPENTER, FMR. COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SEN. TED CRUZ: Yes. We saw what happened to Ed Gillespie when he campaigned on this hardline immigration message in Virginia, he lost. But call me very cynical. The caravan message as a closing argument and these rallies that Trump is conducting right now are about positioning himself for 2020 and not helping Republican Senate candidates in 2016. He is a very cynical political player. And I think he census weakness, as you pointed out among the Democrats.

Has any Democrat taken a firm position on what to do with the caravan? I've seen this question posed to many Democrats. Nobody can give a straight answer. Donald Trump knows that. And so that's why he's doing this for himself, laying the groundwork for 2020, not to help Republicans keep the House in 2018.

TAPPER: April Ryan, I have to say I don't disagree with what Amanda said. I have asked this question of Democrats. What is the position of Democrats when it comes to these caravans? Should all 7,000 people be allowed into the country to declare that they are seeking asylum? And they don't want to talk about it and they don't have an answer other than, you know, whatever the laws are will be followed.

[19:10:14] APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: It's a tough issue right now because they are for welcoming people in legally. But here's the problem with this caravan. One, the fear tactic that it's right here knocking on our door the eve of election night, that's not true. They're hundreds of miles away. And then the reality is if anyone gets in, you know, what do you do?

Now, we have a nation that we built on laws. And when there is someone who is persecuted or they're seeking asylum, there are processes that you go through. But at this point, the President has made it so that the Democrats are trying to come back with some kind of logical explanation in the midst of all of this stuff that's laying in the air. His perception of the truth and reality kind of smears everything and they have to go back and try to retrench to figure out how to combat this.

But there are laws set in place for people who want to seek asylum. And people who are persecuted, what have you, from different countries. But this President is not talking about that. And I also want to get back on the economics of this immigration issue that we're not talking about. And if the President does decide and if Congress does agree with building this expensive wall and you shut people out from that southern border, prices of everything will go higher.

MOORE: Well, but look, again, I think Trump's position is -- and the Republican Party position is we are very pro legal immigration but we can get very tough on illegal immigration.

RYAN: Again if you shut that border, those who are filling those low wage jobs, they're not going to be able to fill those jobs and you would have to raise the price of -- to raise the salary --

MOORE: So you think we should let illegal immigrants --

RYAN: I'm not saying that. I'm saying the economics that something --

MOORE: But you agree on the economics.

RYAN: They are not bringing that --

MOORE: If they got to come legally.

TAPPER: Let's bring David Gergen in here.

DAVID GERGEN, FMR. ADVISOR TO FOUR PRESIDENTS: Well a couple of things. One thing is I think Trump has gone hard line on immigration because that's just in his DNA. You know, he's a brawler, he likes to fight, he likes to turn down --

TAPPER: You don't think he thinks that it's smart politics?

GERGEN: I think he thinks it's smart politics --


GERGEN: -- for senators.

TAPPER: For senators, right.

GERGEN: I think it's much more helpful for senators in red states than it is -- and in red states than it is for the House members, because that's where the suburbs are getting so turned off. But I think underneath this immigration, this is about race. This is about ethnicity.


GERGEN: Can you remember a White House that has produced an ad for national television that has been rejected because it's racist? It was flatly label racist? I mean, it's unbelievable.

WALSH: Fox News.

TAPPER: Mark Preston, a new CNN poll asked voters, take a look at this, which issues are extremely important for them for tomorrow's Congressional election. 64% of Republican voters say immigration. That is more than any other issue, even more than the economy, which is at 60%. President Trump knows his base, right? I mean --

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Stoked. I would gather to say that 64% has been stoked by President Trump and his supporters in Congress who are really raising a red flag and putting up the red siren and saying that the caravan is ready to, you know, crash through the gates. You know, I think we talk about President Trump going hard line on immigration. I think we need to change that a little bit.

I think that President Trump has gone hard line on fear, right? He doesn't care that it's immigration, he doesn't care what it necessarily is, but he knows that the power of fear is something that is potent, certainly in politics, and heading into tomorrow, that's what he decided to do. By the way, you know, at the hurting of all those Republicans in these metropolitan districts.

RYAN: House Republicans.

CARPENTER: The reason that he's going to the fear-based argument on immigration is because he's failed to build the wall. That's what he's campaigned on. It's not promises made, promises kept, he hasn't made progress on the wall and we see that border crossings are up, so he's going to caravan. And I --

MOORE: But he's got a point there.

CARPENTER: -- I don't understand -- yes, I know.

MOORE: He's got a point there. I mean, why are the Democrats against the wall?

CARPENTER: I think the Democrats could --


MOORE: We get the wall built and we can have a serious immigration reform to get these immigrants.

WALSH: When Mexico pays for it though, that will be good.

MOORE: You're right. Fear is a powerful motivator and it was a powerful --

WALSH: And he's the savior of it all.

MOORE: You worked with President Reagan. I mean it was morning in America. I'd like more optimism from Trump saying, look how much better things are today than two years ago.


TAPPER: Why does he not do it, David? Why does he not do the optimism? Why does he not do look at the economy. Latino unemployment is the lowest it has ever been instead of the images of Latinos that he's offering.

GERGEN: I find it incredibly mystifying. I just have to believe there's something about him. He's a contrarian who likes to challenge the established wisdom. And, by the way, he was right in 2016 --

MOORE: Exactly.

GERGEN: -- you know, so he feels justified. I think he made a big bet in 2016 that paid off. I think he's making a big bet now that's going to be a backfire on him.

TAPPER: All right --

RYAN: It's about controlling of the browning of America, plain and simple. You can say it's about immigration reform, it's about controlling the browning of America.

WALSH: I agree. [19:15:04] TAPPER: Out front next, President Trump's message about women voters.


TRUMP: You're not allowed to use the word beautiful anymore when you talk about women. You're not allowed. No, no. It's politically incorrect.


TAPPER: Is that going to cause him any problems with women voters?

Plus, Democratic mega donor Tom Steyer is our guest. He's backing dozens of Democratic candidates in this election. Will it pay off for him?

And the races to watch. What contests could give us an early indication on how election night will go. Stay with us.


TAPPER: Tonight President Trump laments that he cannot call his daughter or any woman beautiful.


TRUMP: I don't know, they'll say this is nepotism. But the truth is, she's a very, very -- you're not allowed to use the word beautiful anymore when you talk about women. You're not allowed. No, no. It's politically incorrect.

No, no. It's politically -- I will never call a woman beautiful again. And every man here, every man here, raise your hand. You will never, ever say your wife, your girlfriend, anybody is beautiful, right? So I'm not allowed to say it because -- because it's my daughter, Ivanka. But she's really smart.


[19:20:07] TAPPER: The remarks come at a time when the President is toxic to many women voters who once were reliable Republicans. In the latest CNN generic Congressional poll, women voters prefer the Democratic candidate over the Republican 62% to 35%. It's a point that appears to be hitting home for the President. Tonight in a very unusual move, the President's Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, and his Counselor, Kellyanne Conway, also appeared with the President at a campaign rally in Indiana.

Back with me now, my beautiful panel. Mark Preston, David Gergen, the beautiful April Ryan --

RYAN: Yes.

TAPPER: Beautiful Joan Walsh, Stephen Moore and the beautiful Amanda Carpenter. WALSH: Thank you very much.

TAPPER: Amanda, the Republican Party is having a problem precisely with voters exactly like you.


TAPPER: White, college educated, once reliable Republicans. Why?

CARPENTER: It would help if you could find people who would support him that don't have the last name Trump who are not on his payroll. He has a hard time doing that. But I think it's -- Listen, the first day after he was inaugurated there were huge women's protests in light of worse things he said about women on tape. That was the beginning.

And then there's other issues that inform this. The mass shootings that have gone on, black lives matter marches, family detention at the border. I think a lot of those other things that aren't purely captured in an up or down polling question inform that base and he's just never recovered from "Access Hollywood" and has only gotten worse on those policy issues that are activating women and making them run for office and vote for women.

TAPPER: It's interesting, Mark, because what Amanda just said was not to mansplain, but what I heard from you is things that the President has said and done that are offensive to women and inability of him to show compassion at moments when the nation needs it, whether it has to do with black lives matter or the shootings and the rest. And this chasm that the President has with voters like Amanda, who's a reliable Republican voter for any other candidate, this is showing up in the polls. We'll see if it shows up tomorrow.

PRESTON: Yes. And not going into too direct where Amanda lives, but she doesn't necessarily live around a suburb, but it is these type of women, these independent women, these Republican, more centrist types of women who live in and around Philadelphia where you're from. You know, you look here around Washington, D.C., you know, there's problems.

You go out across the country, even into the Midwest. Joan, you (INAUDIBLE) a little bit about this. You go to some of these midsize cities where you have Republicans who can't hold on to seats. In Kansas, Democrats may pick up a seat in Kansas. That is an amazing moment.

MOORE: The political map has shifted dramatically. I mean, I've made this case since Trump was elected. The Republican Party is now the party of the working class. So if you actually look at the demographics --

WALSH: Of the white working class. The working class is multi racial. The white working class.

MOORE: If you look at those statistics on female voters, it's true Republicans are doing terrible with college educated women. But if you look at women without a college degree, actually Republicans do pretty well. By the way, we never --

WALSH: He's doing worse with them, though.


TAPPER: You mean white women without --

MOORE: OK. White women who are not -- but here is the other thing. Why don't you ever talk about the fact that Democrats have a huge, huge problem with white men? I mean, that's one of the biggest demographics in the country and especially uneducated -- lower educated.

RYAN: The President is on the ballot, he says he's on the ballot and that's why we're talking about Republicans. Let's talk about those outside of the umbrella, white educated women. Let's talk about black women who are energized by all that they have seen to vote in the opposite direction. Let's talk about other people -- you know, black community. They are very disappointed. They feel disrespected. They are going in the opposite direction.

You've got 8% of the black vote the last time and this administration is hopeful for 25% of the black vote in 2020? It's not going to happen. And this is the time when you would think that you would do it instead of trying to show that you are concerned or trying to control the browning of America.

WALSH: Also, we've spent plenty of time talking about and catering to white men, Steve. I'm not going to worry about them tonight, OK?



RYAN: But they are beautiful people too.

WALSH: They are beautiful people too.


MOORE: Democrats have a gender gap with them.

TAPPER: David, I want to show you a -- obviously President Trump is aware, somebody has said to him you're not doing that great with women voters. This is a problem. You know, maybe this -- as a security issue will work and President Trump as always reading the stage instructions allowed revealed that the other day. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Border security is also very much a woman's issue. Women want security. They want financial security, but they want security. Women want safe neighborhoods for their families, great schools for their children and they want violent predators like we're talking about to be thrown in jail or thrown the hell out of our country.


[19:25:16] TAPPER: Do you remember security moms from the Bush era, the idea that you could try to convince all these suburban moms that terrorism was something that George W. Bush would handle? He's trying to do the same thing except with undocumented immigrants.

GERGEN: I totally agree with that. And I don't think he's aiming at college educated women. He's fishing as to women who haven't finished college. A lot of, you know, a lot of women who are struggling. But I think that the problem he's facing is a historic problem. If you take away rights from people, they get angry, they get upset politically.

Why did the evangelicals enter American politics back in the 1980s? Because the court ruled on Roe v. Wade and on prayer in schools and took those things away from them and they got into politics. This same thing is happening here. Women in the suburbs feel -- you left out of your litany there, the Kavanaugh hearings and what Kavanaugh represents to a lot of suburban women.

CARPENTER: Yes. I would love that in the meeting (ph), but I agree. That issue has also energized Republicans.

GERGEN: But it's not just about giving offense to people, which it clearly does. It's not just about them viewing him as a predator in his own right as he just started preferring to predators, but it is about whether they're going to lose their rights. You know, I talked with someone at Planned Parenthood last night, they are petrified about what this may mean with the court and they're of course going to get angry and active.

WALSH: Yes. I mean there is real fear among women and there's a real desire to be taken seriously --


WALSH: -- and not to be condescended to like we're fearful and need to be to take care of us and we need to be cherished. This notion that you can no longer say we're beautiful. Absolutely you can. And so --

TAPPER: I already did.

WALSH: Well, you certainly can.

TAPPER: How many times do you want me to say it?

RYAN: Over and over and over again.

WALSH: I'm just going to, you know --

CARPENTER: I want to back Steve up on a previous point because we spent a lot of time exploring Trump's failings. But if there's going to be a blue wave tomorrow, Democratic candidates have to find a way to win in rural areas. We talk a lot about, OK, they have the cities locked down, they have the suburbs locked down. Can they win in red, rural America? Until they can do that, the wave isn't going to happen.

WALSH: Stacey Abrams is trying very hard and so is Andrew Gillum, but it's a different kind of voter.

RYAN: And that's very true, but let's go back to something that's really based that we just have not touched about, talked about on the table when it came to the Kavanaugh hearings.


RYAN: Those hearings opened up a wound, a massive wound for a lot of women who looked to the President, who looked to the moral leader, who looked to the leader of this nation to help fix this issue. He said that he felt that she was credible. Dr. Christine Ford was credible. But then he mocked her. And this is the man that --

TAPPER: The Kavanaugh hearings have gone to the benefit of the Republicans. We'll see how Republican women --

RYAN: But the women were still hurt by how he treated her.

TAPPER: All right. Everyone stick around.

Out front next, Democrats are happy to take mega donor Tom Steyer's money, but are they onboard with his message and demand to impeach the President? Tom Steyer is my guest.

Plus, a race of the day. We'll introduce you to one young woman and first-time candidate who is looking to change the face of politics. Stay with us.


[19:31:52] JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Just hours away from Election Day, and already we've seen an enormous turnout in early voting. As of this morning, 31 million people had voted early nationwide. That's more than the 22 million early votes cast in the entire 2014 election. There's a lot at stake in this election, of course, 35 Senate seats, all 435 House seats.

Democrats will need a net gain of two seats in the Senate and 23 seats in the House to take control of those chambers.

Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT at the magic wall.

Phil, which races are you going to be watching tomorrow night as early indicators of a possible Democratic wave or Republican wall?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, what you're looking at right now, Jake, is kind of the basic road map of the house right now. What we really want to focus on are the 31 toss- up districts. This is a place where Democrats only need to win a handful to win the majority. If they win more than a handful, that could mean serious problems for the Republicans.

I want to focus in on a few of those first and foremost. Move down here into Florida's 15th district. This was a race that President Trump won this district. Not a Clinton held district, a President Trump district. This is a race where the incumbent won by 15 or 16 points.

This is a race that has come online late. If this race ends up heading toward the Democrats, Kristen Carlson has gotten a lot of credit for raising a lot of money. Ross Spano has not.

If that goes online for Democrats and heads the Democratic way, that could be a big sign for a big night for Democrats. I want to pull out particularly early in the night at races you want to pay attention to. Let's move over to Virginia, Virginia 7. This is going to be an interesting test because this should not be a race that Democrats are competing in.

However, it has the Richmond suburbs. And that puts this race in play. We've been talking constantly about what Democrats can do in the suburbs. Have the suburbs turned away from President Trump.

There's also a lot of rural in this district where Dave Brat is the incumbent. If the suburbs come out big and Democrats win Virginia 7, that is a key bellwether as well.

I also want to focus on the Republican firewall. This is something that you need to keep an eye on. Pennsylvania 1. We talked about redistricting, how judges required the maps to be redrawn in this state. This is one of the key races that Republicans say flat out if we can't hold on to Pennsylvania 1 with incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick, Jake, we are in big trouble for this night. This is a very close race, this is a very toss-up race, but this is crucial for Republicans.

If this goes towards the Democratic side, that could be problems. If Republicans hold on to this and win those other seats, I'm talking about, perhaps they have a chance to hold on to the House, Jake.

TAPPER: And they're all toss-up races. Which races are Republicans watching to see if they can hang on to the majority other than Pennsylvania 1?

MATTINGLY: So, the first sign you're going to see early in the night that everybody has really got their eyes on is this race right here, Virginia's 10th district. And the reason why is the incumbent Barbara Comstock. This is essentially become Democrat country. This is Loudon County. This is where Ralph Northam, the governor, in 2017 rolled up huge margins. Hillary Clinton won this district back in 2016.

At this stage in the game, Republicans have almost conceded they're going to lose this race. If they perhaps win this race or even keep the margin tight, that is going to be a sign going forward. There's another race that I think people are keyed on right now and this is an interesting dynamic as well. Come down to Florida's 27th district.

This is a district that Hillary Clinton, Jake, won by more than 20 points. This should have been a gimme, a bankable seat for Democrats. And yet, Republicans put up a candidate, Cuban American, Maria Elvira Salazar, who has run by all accounts a very good race and potentially tightened this race.

[19:35:04] Jake, if this race doesn't go for Democrats, that is an enormous victory for Republicans and could give them the sense that they could hang on. This should go Democratic, but if it doesn't, keep an eye on what's coming as we move west, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Phil Mattingly, thanks so much.

OUTFRONT now, Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer.

Tom, thanks for being here, really appreciate it.

So, you said earlier that your goal was to spend $120 million on the midterms. Did you spend that much? Did you meet that goal?

TOM STEYER, DEMOCRATIC MEGADONOR: Well, you know, we're a grassroots organization, Jake, so we set up our plans a year ago. And when you hire people, they expect to get paid. And so, in effect we knew what we were going to spend long before tonight because in order to set up an organization, you really have to put things in place way in advance. There's really nothing we can do at the end of the day to really adjust those numbers.

TAPPER: Do you think you got your money's worth? Do you think Democrats are going to turn out tomorrow?

STEYER: Well, I'll say two things. One, we can see that the young people who we've been organizing are turning out in early voting in a way that they never have before. We can see that they turned out in the primary in a way they never have before.

But we have to run through the tape and find out what happens tomorrow. But you're asking me do I think the effort was worth it? My answer to you would be, I believe we're in a political crisis. I believe it is a time for every American to be standing up for American values and the American people, so do I think it's worth it to be one of the people who's participating in that attempt to get America back on a just and prosperous path? Absolutely. I will never question it, regardless of what happens tomorrow.

TAPPER: Well, let me ask you, because you heard Virginia 10, that's the race in the Virginia suburbs, Barbara Comstock, programs the most vulnerable Republican House member, one of them anyway. Jennifer Wexton is the Democrat. She has rejected impeachment talk. She says it's drastic.

You are perhaps the nation's foremost booster of the idea that President Trump should be impeached. What does that mean for you if you help her get elected and she stymies your desire to impeach President Trump?

STEYER: Well, I think when you're in an election, Jake, you have to remember that there are two people running and there's -- it's very, very rare to have either of them totally reflect what anybody else believes. In this case, there is a clear choice that the Democrat is infinitely better than the Republican.

So this is the choice we have. I have absolutely no questions about which is the better choice. But I think that after this election is over, there's going to be a real question in the Democratic Party about where we go and how aggressive we are about telling the important truths and challenging the political orthodoxy that says, you know, this is just a normal time in America.

We don't believe this is a normal time in America. We don't believe this is a normal president. We believe that we're in political crisis. And the only way to get out of it is by aggressive truth telling and going directly to the American people with the most important things, and that's what's happening.

For instance, in Florida where Andrew Gillum is absolutely electrifying that state and expanding the electorate dramatically by telling the truth and dealing with the hard problems.

TAPPER: We'll see.

STEYER: We will. There's going to be a lot of information tomorrow night.

TAPPER: We could talk about impeachment for an hour, but I want to ask you a couple of things having to do with the fact that you received a mail bomb from the suspect, Cesar Sayoc, allegedly. He's expected to arrive in New York today, expected to appear in federal court at Manhattan tomorrow at noon. The FBI recovered a second pipe bomb addressed to you on Thursday. According to the FBI, it was similar in appearance by others.

Do you know if it was sent by him or by a copycat? Has the FBI told you?

STEYER: I really don't know. I mean, from my standpoint, what we're most concerned about is to make sure that the people I work with are safe, that my family is safe. I'm very grateful to the postal workers for intercepting these bombs at risk to themselves. I think they don't get nearly enough credit.

But I think that this is a reflection of a violent political environment which has been fostered not just by the rhetoric of this president and the Republican Party, but their modeling lawlessness across the board, whether it's taking away the rights of African- Americans to vote, whether it is not paying your taxes, there has been a model of the rules don't count for us.

TAPPER: What kind of punishment do you want to see the suspect, assuming he's convicted, what do you want to see him face?

STEYER: Look, as far as I am concerned I will trust the American justice system. This isn't a personal thing for me as far as I'm concerned. I trust the American justice system to look at criminals and give them a fair sentence and act fairly.

TAPPER: We only have about a minute but can you explain what exactly you think President Trump should be impeached for? I understand that you think his behavior has abhorrent and his behavior offensive, but I mean, where's the high crime and misdemeanor?

STEYER: So if you look at his -- we did get 58 constitutional scholars to opine on this and I'm not a lawyer. But the most obvious ones are corruption, which is the emoluments clause which in the Constitution says the president cannot receive a payment from a foreign country which he does every single day through his real estate operations, obstruction of justice where we've seen him continually attempt to obstruct the investigation into his --

[19:40:15] TAPPER: Mueller will have the final word on that second one.

STEYER: Yes, they will. There's going to be new information -- or the information is going to be certified by Robert Mueller and his team. There is the attacks on the free press. This is a president who is breaking all of the norms, all of the laws on a daily basis.

When you watch what he's done at the end of this campaign, when you see the ad he ran, when you see him saying to law enforcement officials you should go to the polls to prevent completely fictitious voter fraud but a voters, this is someone who's breaking his oath to the American people, his oath to the Constitution and those are high crimes and misdemeanors and it is urgent to get him out.

TAPPER: All right. To be continued, because I think there are a lot of people to push back on that. I don't have the time right now but we'll continue and have you back to talk more about it.


TAPPER: OUTFRONT next, 506 races to keep track of tomorrow. Which ones should you be watching? That's next.

Plus, she is part of the new generation of politicians looking to shake up Washington.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You've seen what Congress looks like.


LAH: You don't look like most people in Congress.



TAPPER: That's our OUTFRONT race of the day. Stay with us.


[19:45:07] TAPPER: Less than 24 hours now until polls will start to close tomorrow night. And many of the closest races in the country are truly toss-ups, truly neck in neck. Which will be the most interesting ones to watch? Our experts have their favorite bellwethers they're going to be paying attention to, from senators to the House to governors, everything in between.

Let's just go one by one OUTFRONT again and bring them in to talk about the races they're looking at.

Mark Preston, we'll start with you. What are you going to be looking at?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let's go Florida 26. And the reason why we look at this race is a couple of reason. One, it's really made for TV. You have a Republican incumbent who's constantly going on television and showing that he's at odds with the president, the leader of his party, when it comes to global warming, when it comes immigration, but it's also a district that has an urban and suburban divide, so to speak.

It will be interesting to see how much, if the Democrats are able to take that back, where will the gains be? Will they just be south of Miami-Dade in that suburban area, or will it go down through the Florida Keys and will there be some inroads with some of those voters down there, which tend to be a little bit more conservative? That is an interesting race to watch.

TAPPER: Interesting, Carlos Curbelo.


DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Missouri senate. Claire McCaskill running for re-election in a very, very tough race. She got very badly hurt in that state, a deep red state that Trump carried by 16. She was deeply, badly hurt voting against Kavanaugh but she's trying to recover. She's come back up.

I think the question becomes is this a new model for centrism especially for Democrats running in red state. She's very, very pro health care, but she's very anti-immigration and she says she'll do whatever Trump signs up to do on immigration. It's an interesting mix.

I think it also will raise the question of whether women are going to rally to other women they may not agree with fully but want to see more women in the Congress.

TAPPER: It's a tough race against the Republican attorney general, Josh Hawley. It's actually amazing she's still in the race. Obama never won that state.

GERGEN: Absolutely. But Josh Hawley has not been a great candidate and there are times that she's stumbled. But, of course, if the Republicans hold in the Senate, she's a critical race in that.

TAPPER: April, who are you looking at?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The Florida governor's race.


RYAN: Obvious and not so obvious reasons. This critical swing state of Florida has the chance to have its first black governor. Race is on the table. The president has weighed in heavily on this race. And what's kind of important to me is, is that out of all three southern states, this one I'm kind of watching because he has a little bit of different juice.

He's a newbie on the block.

TAPPER: Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee.

RYAN: Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, who the president has called a thief. He said he had an FBI investigation on him and that's not true. The president is the one who has the FBI investigation on him. Andrew Gillum's friend, his colleague has an FBI investigation.

But most importantly, we have not seen an African-American be governor of a southern state since 1990 with Governor Doug Wilder.

TAPPER: Doug Wilder, the first African-American governor in American history.

RYAN: Yes.

TAPPER: I think there have only been four total.

RYAN: Yes.

TAPPER: Ron DeSantis, the Republican, former congressman, it's been very much a base voter election. DeSantis running to the right and Gillum running to the left.

RYAN: Yes, and race is very much a factor and I want to see how it plays out in the swing southern state that elected Donald Trump, that elected George W. Bush. I want to see how it plays out.

TAPPER: Interesting.

Joan, what are you going to be looking at?

JOAN WALSH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm going a little north to Stacey Abrams versus Brian Kemp for the Georgia governor's race. It's such an epic battle. It's a woman whose whole career has been spent expanding the electorate, who bet on bringing on new voters and it looks like she's done it against a man who's secretary of state and who has bet his career on purging voters.

It's been really problematic the last few days. But I'm also really struck by she has run such a smart campaign around Medicaid expansion. Everywhere she goes, black group, white group, business, progressives, she talks about Georgia is losing $8 million a day because it didn't expand Medicaid and she gets applause from business leaders. She wants to keep open rural hospitals. So, it's a really pragmatic

-- race is all in it, don't get me wrong, but it's really a pragmatic pitch to Georgia's future. So --

TAPPER: She and Gillum are running very different races focused on very different electorates.


TAPPER: Steve?

STEPHEN MOORE, INFORMAL WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: We just heard Tom Steyer talk about political corruption being a high crime and misdemeanor and we've got somebody on the ballot this year that seems to fit that bill and that's Bob Menendez of New Jersey. This is a man who took something like $750,000 of donations from a campaign contributor and then did a huge political favor for them. It's called pay for play, Medicare.

Democrats are pouring money into the New Jersey Senate race. It makes them look very hypocritical when they say they're against political corruption and they're backing one of the most corrupt -- and, by the way, "The Wall Street Journal" calls him the most corrupt man in the United States Senate.

[19:50:04] So, we'll see how New Jersey voters fare.

I'm just going to throw one quick one just for people to think about, an upset for Republicans. The Connecticut governor's race where Bob Stefanowski is running for governor, he's a businessman. Nobody has really heard of him before, but Connecticut is a fiscal financial disaster. Stefanowski may pull off a big upset there.

TAPPER: I should point out quickly that Menendez was tried for corruption --

MOORE: It was a hung jury.

TAPPER: And it was a hung jury. I just want to point that out.


AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm nervous about Wisconsin, as I think many Republicans are as they look to Governor Scott Walker, who is a formidable campaigner. He's won two terms, fended off a recall election, and in 2015 was a well funded, well staffed presidential candidate.

He is a governor who should be able to sell the president's jobs message. He got a wonderful company to go there, Foxconn, which President Trump is very fond of and talks about frequently. But at one point, he was down ten points in the polls. It's tightened up and now it's a neck-in-neck race. If Republicans lose that one, that one is going to hurt.

TAPPER: All right. Fascinating, really good races. Really appreciate it.

OUTFRONT next, 2018 is being called the Year of the Woman, but is it the year of the millennial woman?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This girl who could be his daughter is going to be the one who unseats him.



[19:55:42] TAPPER: It is time for our OUTFRONT race of the day. We end this election season the way we began it, focusing on the record number of women in both parties running for office this year. Tonight, we're going to take a look at California congressional district 25 where 31-year-old first-time candidate Katie Hill is running against Republican incumbent Congressman Steve Knight.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


KATIE HILL (D), CALIFORNIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Look at us. If you don't look at us, we're coming. And that's just the reality of it.

LAH: Democrat Katie Hill, age 31, a first-time candidate, propelling a millennial-led challenge against a male incumbent 20 years older.

You've seen what Congress looks like.

HILL: Yes.

LAH: You don't look like most people in Congress.

HILL: Right. We've got to change the face of politics if we want to really get people engaged around -- around politics and mobilize people to effect social change.

LAH: That's why her campaign for California's 25th congressional district looks like this.

Down to a guy in flip-flops and a hoodie.


LAH: And what do you say when people might be older say look at this campaign. They're so young. Why should I give money to them? Why should I take them seriously?

CZAJKOWSKI: I mean, just look at the results. Look at the amount of doors we're hitting. You look at the kind of conversations we're having and how many folks we're flipping when we talk to them.

HILL: Hi, it's Katie Hill. I look forward to talking with you. Thanks so much, bye-bye.

LAH: Hill has raised more than $7 million. Nearly all of it from individual donors, drawn to her call for change.

HILL: That's why I'm running for Congress. It won't be easy, but I'm up for the challenge.

LAH: She's locked in a close race with Republican Steve Knight.

REP. STEVE KNIGHT (R), CALIFORNIA: I support net neutrality.

LAH: A former Los Angeles police officer running for re-election in a district Hillary Clinton won by seven points.

Who makes up this district?

HILL: A lot of cops, a lot of firefighters, nurses, teachers.

Thank you so much. I'm sure I'll see you again soon.

LAH: Why this daughter of a nurse and cop, openly bisexual, who worked as an advocate for the homeless, believes voters will elect her.

CROWD: Katie, Katie.

LAH: In this district north of Los Angeles held by Republicans since the early '90s.

Other millennial women are also on 2018's congressional ballot. In Iowa, 29-year-old Democrat Abby Finkenauer.

ABBY FINKENAUER (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: We just want someone to deliver. That's what I've done.

LAH: In New Mexico, 33-year-old Democrat Xochitl Torres Small. Their age and gender distinct, and in Katie Hill's race, attacked.

AD ANNOUNCER: Liberal Katie Hill, too immature.

LAH: Immature?

HILL: Yes, it's very gendered. I think it's got to really bother him that this -- this girl who could be his daughter is going to be the one who unseats him.

KNIGHT: While I'm not a millennial, I'm not a woman --

LAH: Republican Steve Knight says there is a clear contrast in the race.

Does it concern you running as the man that you are in a year where voters appear to be hungry for some change?

KNIGHT: I feel confident that people are going to say, you know, there's a resistance out there and then there's results. And the results in our district have been very good.

HILL: I've made it very clear through this campaign that I'm not playing by the rules that have been laid out previously. I think that should be scary to them.


TAPPER: Kyung, we've seen a surge in early young voters. Where are you tonight?

LAH: I'm actually in Scottsdale, Arizona. And young voters who this group is focusing on. I'm at a private home here, and this is a group of volunteers with Indivisible, one of the groups in Arizona.

You can see these folks here, they are texting young voters between the ages of 18 and 44. Over here, they're also making phone calls to cell phones, texting people. It is a fast and furious race to try to reach all of them.

In Arizona, one-third of registered voters are independents, and so, they're hoping that if they can reach the independents and make the argument that they need to go out and vote for women, Jake, that they believe the progressive female candidates can get past the finish line -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Kyung Lah, thanks so much.

And thank you for joining us.

"AC360" starts right now.