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HALA GORANI TONIGHT

High Turnout in Early Voting for High Stakes Races; Trump Says There's A Great Electricity in The Air; More Than 31 Million Have Cast Early Votes; Strong Economy Could Be A Major Factor in The Elections; Malnourished Children Struggle to Survive in The Living Hell of Yemen. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 5, 2018 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, his name is not on the ballot but the vision for America is. Just

hours from now, polls will open in the first nationwide election since Donald Trump became President and the stakes could not be higher. Every

seat in the House of representatives, one third of the Senate and a huge number of local government offices, are up for grabs. Both Democrats and

Republicans are bringing out their heavy hitters trying to rally supporters to the polls. Former President Barack Obama greeted volunteers in

Virginia. President Trump is about to land in Ohio for the first of three rallies today alone. He's also working the phones. Well aware the

election is seen as a referendum on his presidency. Here's what Mr. Trump told reporters right before boarding Air Force One.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is a great electricity in the air. I don't know if you report it that way but there's a great

electricity in the air like we haven't seen in my opinion since the '16 election. So, something's happening. We'll see. But I think we are going

to do very well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Well, the electricity could go one way or the other. Because if early voting is any indication, a lot of Americans are fired up about this

election. That Donald Trump is right about. And we can see much stronger than usual turnout tomorrow. Who will it benefit? Let's bring in Sarah

Westwood for more. Before analysis, tell us about the three rallies today alone. What states is he hitting and why?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Hala, these are the final three rallies on the eight-state, 11-rally tour the President embarked today.

He's stopping in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri. And now these two states that he'll hit last are two states where Republicans are hoping to pick off

Democratic incumbents in states that President Trump won in 2016. They're hoping to oust Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri. They are hoping to

oust Senator Joe Donnelly in Indiana. And the president himself has even acknowledged that he is focusing most of his energy and his optimism on the

Senate because there's too many House races for the president to visit, there's too many places as Republicans will tell you where the GOP is

exposed and vulnerable and the President is projecting optimism about the Senate and not the House and tonight he'll be continuing the message likely

of immigration and enflaming passions around the caravan of migrants. This is the kind of message that the President has embraced in states that he

won mostly heading into election day on Tuesday.

GORANI: So, he'd rather focus as you mentioned on the caravan that's still hundreds of miles away from the border than on what could be seen as

legitimate accomplishments of his administration, including good jobless numbers and wage growth, for instance?

WESTWOOD: That's right. Some Republicans have even encouraged the President to focus more on the economy, given that his administration even

within just the last week has received good economic news related to wage growth and the unemployment rate like you mentioned but the President seems

to be convinced that the focus on immigration will do more to motivate voters to the polls and said Friday in a West Virginia rally he thinks the

economy's only interesting to talk about for a few minutes, acknowledging he thinks immigration is a juicier campaign talking point and the President

recognizes that at this point both sides are really done trying to persuade voters and now about motivating them to go to the polls on Tuesday.

GORANI: It's in so many ways a turnout election, this one. Sarah Westwood live at the White House, thank you. Democrats, of course, don't control

the House. They don't control the Senate. They don't control the executive. So, they're hoping for just one thing. And that is when's been

called a blue wave. To sweep them back into power in congress. If you look at a new CNN poll asking voters across the country which party they

prefer in congress, you might think Democrats are a shoe-in. 55-42 but all politics are locals. Senators are elected regionally. Ron Brownstein is

here to help us. This overall poll 55-42 percent.

[14:05:00] RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

GORANI: What does it mean in terms of the local and state races?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Well, as you know, that's wider than we have seen in the other polls over the weekend but the structure is basically the same and

all of the polling over the weekend to me reaffirms the idea that we are not likely to see the wave is the wrong metaphor. We are more likely to

see a river that kind of cuts through and reinforcing our existing divides and all indications are Republicans are heading for big losses in suburbs

around the major areas and everywhere in the country, not only in the coast but potentially in southern areas like Atlanta and Houston and Dallas that

have been much more Republican and there you have voters doing very well and utterly offended by Trump's kind of values and the way he comports

himself as President and this final argument that he's making emphasizing appeals to white racial resentment is compounding --

GORANI: Worked in the general.

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

GORANI: It worked in the Presidential election. Why not this time around?

BROWNSTEIN: Seeing greater erosion among the white-collar voters than he in 2016 where he basically ran even with them. Now in the CNN poll, the

NBC, "The Wall Street Journal" and leading between 15 and 20 points of college educated white voters and unprecedented advantage in midterm

election, they receive the highest vote ever in a midterm election and also leading among the equivalent men and unusual. On the other hand, Trump is

still strong outside of the metro areas and small-town America with blue collar Americans, that's the root of the Democratic risk in the Senate

where they're defending so many of the heartland states older, whiter and voted for Trump in 2016. It is possible that we will have a result that

both repudiates Trump forcefully and reaffirms him in the parts of the country where he is spending the most time.

GORANI: It's going to be an interesting divide as you mentioned. A river is an image there that cuts through the country. Trump's approval rating,

if this is a referendum on Donald Trump, the rating is not stellar initially down since October to 39 percent according to the latest CNN

poll. And this is after the pipe bomb attacks. And the synagogue massacre and the rest. So, he is hurting in terms of his approval rating.

BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely, absolutely. There is an enormous gap in the approval rating on one hand millennials, minorities and white voters

especially women negative on him and the blue collar whites, evangelical whites and rural whites positive and it is that divergence I think is the

loudest note out of the election tomorrow night where you will see as I said metro America I think making a very strong statement against the

President and the possibility of Republicans to hold down the losses in the House beyond metro America and pick up the interior states that are more

dominated by his kind of voters. By the way, the gap we are seeing in both approval of Trump and the vote between college educated whites on the one

hand and then noncollege educated whites on the other is the widest of an American election and leads you to this river.

GORANI: I want our producers know to put up the graphic because this is the big divide you are talking about.

BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely.

GORANI: Between college educated Americans. So, 60 percent of college educated Americans. This is not -- sorry.

BROWNSTEIN: These are whites.

GORANI: Yes.

BROWNSTEIN: Look at that.

GORANI: 60 percent likely to vote Democrat and 38 percent Republican. Non-college educated whites. The flip.

BROWNSTEIN: The flip. This is -- this is the trade Donald Trump is imposing on the party. He is trading suburban voters or rural voters.

Trading younger voters for older voters. The problem is trading groups growing for group that is while still powerful are shrinking as a share of

the society and I think the price of the trade that he's imposing on the party, there are benefits from it. We saw that in 2016 but the price of it

is will be more clear after tomorrow when you could see essentially an annihilation in these white-collar suburban districts. Not only in

Philadelphia and LA and Chicago and Minneapolis, places that we think of the kind of blue areas. But I said also potentially, in Atlanta, in

Houston, Dallas, everywhere in the country you will now have this kind of yawning divide between Democrats that are dominating the metro areas and

Republican strength undiminished in the rural and small-town places.

GORANI: So, when I posted the Trump's approval rating in historical context compared to others like Bush Sr., George W. Bush, et cetera, it

showed him kind of at the bottom.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

[14:10:00] GORANI: And I immediately got reaction. Which I understand. The question being, polls were wrong in 2016.

BROWNSTEIN: Sure.

GORANI: Why do you keep relying on them to kind of get a sense of what is going to happen this time around? Your answer to that?

BROWNSTEIN: Sure.

GORANI: And I immediately got reaction. Which I understand. The question being, polls were wrong in 2016.

BROWNSTEIN: Sure.

GORANI: Why do you keep relying on them to kind of get a sense of what is going to happen this time around? Your answer to that?

BROWNSTEIN: Sure. Polls can be wrong, especially in a polarized era because the toughest thing for polls to predict is who votes and having a

huge variance as we just saw in the preferences of these groups even a small change in the composition of the electorate produces a different

outcome. In 2016, the national polls had a -- what? Three-point Hillary Clinton lead and won by three points and wrong in the states and I think

that's lingering in the back of the minds of many Democrats but it is worth noting that in this late polling we are seeing essentially 90 percent of

the people who say they approve of Trump to vote Republican, 90 percent plus of the people that disapprove saying they intended to vote Democratic,

another measure of how the politics are becoming quasi parliamentary and people and the world understand, less about the individuals, more about

which party to see in power and how you feel about the President in power. The name on the back of the jersey doesn't matter as much as the color on

the front of the jersey and may see a historic partitioning and separating of America between a metro Democratic coalition and this non-metro

Republican coalition setting us up for 2020.

GORANI: And the turnout is set to be very, very high. Ron, thank you so much.

Appreciate your analysis. James Carville said it's the economy, stupid. President Trump has boasted about the strong stock market but it took a

tumble recently. Growing GDP numbers. Record low unemployment numbers and the current job approval rating as we have been mentioning is 39 percent.

On Friday he seemed to downplay the importance of talking about the strong economy which he could take credit for more at these rallies that he holds

on the campaign trail. This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They all say speak about the economy. Speak about the economy. Well, we have the greatest economy in the history of our country. But

sometimes it's not as exciting to talk about the economy. Right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Well, joining me now to discuss this and other topics is Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Center for Sustainable Development, at Columbia

University and author of "A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism." Jeffrey Sachs, thank you for being with us. The economy

is doing well. I mean, by many metrics you would look at 250,000 jobs created last month, 3.7 percent unemployment, wage growth is finally

picking up. Do you give the President credit for this?

JEFFREY SACHS, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY AND AUTHOR OF "A NEW FOREIGN POLICY: BEYOND AMERICAN

EXCEPTIONALISM": Well, we have a cyclical economy and we're in a cyclical strength right now. Of course, you could look at longer term problems, the

incredible budget deficits near $1 trillion as Trump and his cronies gave away trillions of dollars to the world's richest people and richest

companies. That's going to come home to roost. All of the trade conflicts that this President has stirred up, that's going to come home to roost.

The huge inequality of income, access to health care, that will come home to roost and what they're claiming right now is that wages are growing.

Well, yes. Wages are growing a tiny bit faster than prices are growing right now. Wow. It's -- you know, this is really a matter of taking the

most short- term view or the stock market which is good for Trump and his buddies but --

GORANI: And that's taken quite a hit recently. Your new book, we are putting the numbers up. Your book talks about foreign policy and investing

once again in multi-nationalism and international cooperation and sort of the traditional foreign policy structure that post-war international order.

That was tried but the issue is as you mentioned inequality in the United States. People felt like around the world that the trade deals and

international organizations not working them. Inequality of the bottom and top earners worldwide didn't benefit them. Why would they want to go back

to that?

[14:15:00] SACHS: The whole silliness of this is that, of course, a large part of America benefited from globalization and some have been hurt and

what any normal, sane country would do would be to tax the winners some so that you could provide health care and improved education and

infrastructure for everybody. Including those who were hurt and therefore boost them up, buy some benefits. But our country is so messed up in terms

of the power of the billionaires that we cut the taxes on all those who had soaring incomes and wealth and then the people left behind get nothing.

So, a normal country would recognize that America as a whole has a growing economy and has had a growing economy for a generation but most of the

winnings have gone to the top of the income distribution and the top of the income distribution basically operates a corrupt system.

GORANI: Then --

SACHS: It hits the politicians, their campaign funds and they vote tax cuts for the richest people and that's what's rigged in our system.

GORANI: How do you explain, Jeffrey, it is not just in the United States that we see this phenomenon? It's in countries that tax higher earners

more, including some European countries but you have austerity and the, for instance, the part of the world I'm in now, the European Union seen with a

lot of skepticism, countries that have had to make major, major sacrifices to get their budgets in line, for instance. This phenomenon is everywhere,

not just in the United States. So, if that were the reason how do you explain that?

SACHS: I don't think it is everywhere but -- and it certainly --

GORANI: You see it in Hungary, Poland, Italy, France and La Pen did very well. The currents rising in many countries.

SACHS: Well, that is true but you didn't mention everywhere. What you mentioned was eastern Europe and southern Europe.

GORANI: You see it in the Philippines, as well. I mean --

SACHS: Well, OK. This is not everywhere. But if you --

GORANI: Well --

SACHS: If you ask me the places that are doing fine are places that are fair in their societies and that are not beset by war because part of what

happened in Europe generally as you know is the United States tried to overthrow several governments in the Middle East and North Africa and that

led to a flood of refugees coming in to Europe and that really destabilize politics in Europe. So, I do not write this book, by the way, to say that

this is just about Trump although Trump's a disaster making everything worse. Because the U.S. has been at war, that's not multilateralism. The

United States at war in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya. Indeed, all over the region and that has been very destabilizing. So, the book is

actually about how about trying peace rather than war? But again, Trump just is interested in selling weapons. That's his business model. So,

let's sell tens of billions of dollars of more heavy weaponry to Saudi Arabia so that we can have even more war in the middle east. Is that

really going to solve any problems? I don't think so.

GORANI: Yes. Among our viewers, certainly in those troubled parts of the world they would want nothing more than some peace in their country,

especially in the middle east where we have so many viewers. Jeffrey, thanks so much. Really enjoyed having you on the program. We'll have much

more on the midterms in about 15 minutes and update you on an important international story. More than a month after journalist Khashoggi was

killed, his sons speak out for the first time since they lost their father. That's next. Later, despite recent calls for a cease-fire, there's no end

in sight for the war in Yemen. Some of the most vulnerable caught in the conflict are children and we'll meet them next.

[14: 20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: It's been just over a month since journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey. No trace of him has been

found since by the way. Now in an exclusive interview with Nic Robertson, his sons are speaking out for the first time since losing their father.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SALAH KHASHOGGI, SON OF JAMAL KHASHOGGI: All what we want right now is to bury him. In Medina with the rest of his family.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In Saudi Arabia?

SALAH KHASHOGGI: ROBERTSON: In Saudi Arabia, yes. I talked to that -- I talked about that with the Saudi authorities. And I just hope that it

happens soon.

ROBERTSON: But somebody needs to find his body.

SALAH KHASHOGGI: Yes. I believe that this search is ongoing and I'm really hopeful about that.

ROBERTSON: But what do you place your hope in?

SALAH KHASHOGGI: It's in Islamic tradition. It is not only Islamic. It's basic humanitarian issue. We just need to make sure that he rests in

peace. And until now, I still can't believe that he's dead. It's -- I know. I mean, it's not sinking in with me emotionally. He has deceased.

For sure. But the emotional burden that is coming with the puzzle is really -- is really big.

ROBERTSON: When you went into your father's apartment here in the United States, you discovered something that made you realize just how important

you -- his grandchildren, were to him. Can you tell us about that?

ABDULLAH KHASHOGGI, SON OF JAMAL KHASHOGGI: I think going to apartment, that was maybe the most emotional moment I had, like in this past days.

This picture especially. It was next to his bed stand. Next to his bed. And his grandchildren. That's the last thing he looked at before he goes

to bed. It's -- that shocked me. Not shocked but says -- it showed a side -- not a new but it put an emphasis on his tender side of loving his

family, his grandkids.

ROBERTSON: What are you proudest of?

ABDULLAH KHASHOGGI: He always said the truth. Like, basic human -- just a good person. As simple as that. He was very brave. He was always out

there. For me, it was like rock n' roll star and as a journalist. Like --

ROBERTSON: Because he was sort of pushing the system a bit.

ABDULLAH KHASHOGGI: Yes. And he's -- always pushing. He was always -- Yes. He was brave.

ROBERTSON: There have been people who have been trying to sort of create a different impression about him, a different legacy, allegations that he was

sort of supported the Muslim Brotherhood.

[14:25:00] ABDULLAH KHASHOGGI: I used to tease him. Like the last time in Turkey I used to tease him like, oh, I heard this on Twitter. Like they're

saying you're Muslim Brotherhood. Where is your beard? He laughs. I'm not Muslim brotherhood because of this, this, this.

ROBERTSON: Meant so much to you.

ABDULLAH KHASHOGGI: Yes. And it just labels or -- just people not doing their homework properly and reading the article, going in depth. So, it's

just easier for them just to stick a label on him. Like you're something. You're that. You're that.

ROBERTSON: Can you tell us about that meeting with crown prince and the king?

SALAH KHASHOGGI: Yes. In that meeting, with the king and the crown prince, when I went there with my uncle Sal, the king has stressed that

everybody involved will be brought to justice. And I have faith in that. This will happen.

ROBERTSON: You're placing your faith in the king?

SALAH KHASHOGGI: Yes.

ROBERTSON: In your heart of hearts, what do you think happened?

SALAH KHASHOGGI: Something bad happened. Something might be -- but I really hope that whatever happened it was just -- it was -- it wasn't

painful for him or something like that. It was quick or he had a peaceful death. That's what I wish for.

ROBERTSON: How do you think your father would want to be remembered?

SALAH KHASHOGGI: As a moderate man who is -- who has come with everyone. Genuine. Honest. A man who loved his country. Who believed so much in it

and its potential. Jamal was never a dissident. He really believed in the monarchy. It is the thing that's keeping the country together and he

believed in the transformation that is -- that it is going through. And that's how -- that's how he should be remembered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Jamal Khashoggi's sons speaking to Nic Robertson in the U.S. there. The first time they've spoken out on television or in an interview

since their father was killed. All the while in neighboring Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition said it made significant progress in the battle to

capture a key port city but the U.N. is worried more fighting disrupts vital humanitarian aid. Millions of people starving. Many of them

children. Caught in the cross fire.

Nima Elbagir has more and I must warn you the images you are about to see are very disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yussef arrived at the hospital yesterday. The family couldn't afford hospital. They had to

wait until they could scrape together enough money for the journey. They turn him over to examine his back but it's too painful. His nutrition is

so advanced that every breath is a wheeze of agony. At 13 years of age, he weighs as much as a 4-year-old. Here at this hospital, they've been

inundated with starving children. Mohammed is 5 months old and severely malnourished. Starving mothers giving birth to starving babies and the

cycle continues.

LISE GRANDE, UN RESIDENT AND HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR FOR YEMEN: Every single day more than 100 children are dying because of causes related to

the conflict and to the crisis. There are 7 million people in Yemen who are malnourished. 3 million of who are acutely mall nourished. It is a

devastating, heart breaking human, very human tragedy.

ELBAGIR: For three years Yemen has been in the grip of a civil war pitting the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Here in Yemen, even as criticism swirled over allegations of official Saudi involvement in the murder of journalist Khashoggi, the world ignored the

Saudi crown prince's other undertaking. Restoring the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi at whatever cost. Now, it may almost be

too late.

GRANDE: You've asked us the important question about whether or not we can scale up to meet the increased needs across the country. We estimate 14

million people could be at the brink of famine. We know that if we receive funding and now that we will be able to reach these people. It will,

however, require that all of the parties to the conflict do everything they can to facilitate and support our work.

ELBAGIR: Dahlia is just over a year old. She has the telltale swollen stomach of malnutrition. Her shallow breaths almost as an agony for her

mother as they are for her. Her mother says she needed an operation to insert a feeding tube. Their last hope. Now, they wait. Yussef's mother

rubs his hands. She's already lost two children.

And she doesn't know whether Yosef (ph) will survive. Whether he'll ever be the same again. Like so many mothers here, she can only hope. And

pray.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A hundred children, according to the U.N., die a day and this as so many other conflicts happening on our watch.

We'll be right back. Stay with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK))

GORANI: Americans head to the polls to vote in less than 24 hours now in an election that some are saying is basically a referendum on Donald Trump

and his presidency.

Mr. Trump is campaigning very hard on this last day ahead of the crucial vote. As are Democrats. At stake are all 435 House seats. And 35 Senate

seats are up for grabs. CNN's Tom Foreman has more on just why the midterms matter so much.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Presidents are elected every four years, and halfway through their term come the midterm elections. What that means

in Congress is all 435 seats are up for grabs in the U.S. House of Representatives and about a third of the seats over in the U.S. Senate, as

well.

Right now, Republicans are ruling both chambers with majorities and there are a lot of complicated equations about how the Democrats could win and

control back, but this is all you really need to know.

On the House side, if the Democrats can pick up 23 seats, they would be in charge there. And on the Senate side, if they could net two seats from the

Republicans then they would have control.

Now, bear in mind, that's a lot harder because they have many more seats to defend there. And remember a 50/50 tie here is a loss for the Democrats.

Because in the event of a tie vote, the tiebreaker is Vice President Mike Pence who is Republican.

Midterms are seen as referendums on the president and this one has been particularly polarizing so watch for potential flips in areas where

Democrats are up in arms, where Republicans are don't have strong majorities, and importantly where independents are frustrated with the

White House.

Because if enough seats flip in Congress big changes could follow and it all starts with the midterm elections.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Thanks, Tom. So with some races in this election looking exceptionally close, the fate of the Congress is far from a foregone

conclusion.

Let's get the view from both sides of the aisle. CNN political commentators Doug Heye and Symone Sanders joins me now. Doug is a

Republican strategist. And Symone Sanders was press secretary for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.

[14:35:09] Simone, what are -- what are your thoughts on election eve? Because the nationwide poll looks like it's going in the direction of

Democrats. But polls have been wrong in the past. Where are you now?

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Polls don't vote, Hala. People do. So I am -- I'm going to be looking at the -- I'm look at the

early vote numbers, but I'm also going to be looking tomorrow to see how many people get out to the polls if the lines are long.

I do think that the House of Representatives currently looks good for the Democrats. It looks like we will be able to eke that one out, but we won't

know for sure until all the votes are cast tomorrow.

I'm also really looking at these governors' races. There's something -- there are 36 governors' races up for grabs. This go around in this midterm

election tomorrow. And the governors, when elected, will have a slew of things that they'll be able to do and in concert with and some in

opposition to the Trump administration. So I'm watching that very closely, as well.

GORANI: And, Doug, should the Republicans be worried here? Because you have some close races in some red states that seem to be favoring the

Democrats at this stage. Symone mentioned some interesting governors' races. There's a very fascinating one in Florida. There's a very

interesting one in Georgia, as well.

DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR. Yes. I'm very concerned. I think Republicans should be very concerned. If we just stick to the historical

average, the Republicans will lose the House. So if Democrats outperform the average, it could be a very big night for them.

What I'm looking at are suburban Congressional districts, by and large. And what's that -- what is that going to tell us? These races, especially

on the East Coast. Andy Barr in Kentucky. Dave Brat in Virginia. The suburban seats that are held by Republicans in New York State.

These are going to tell us early if it's going to be a long night. And then I'd also agree with Symone on the governors' races, not just Florida

and Georgia which are two marquee races which can tell us what's going to happen in the rest of the country. But these mid-western governor races

that are really tight that, by and large, a Republican held. Republicans could see a lot of losses in that and that's going to be a very big factor

them.

GORANI: And a lot of people around the world, because we're CNN International, Symone, as you know, are very interested in Beto O'Rourke

and Ted Cruz, even though Ted Cruz the incumbent Republican is leading quite substantially in the polls because they see in O'Rourke something

that they haven't seen perhaps in mainstream Democratic candidates and that's kind of the young, progressive. People have been comparing him to

Robert Kennedy.

Talk to me a little bit about that race and then potentially the fact that the Democrats kind of need a figurehead now, right? The ones they've had

before, I'm talking about Biden or others, even Bernie Sanders, are on the older side.

SANDERS: Yes. You know, so look. Beto O'Rourke has been running a really amazing campaign. Very energetic. He hasn't taken any corporate PAC

dollars. All of the videos that he's put out there from his campaign were actually shot on the iPhone. It's very millennial-esque.

But the fact of the matter is that the map still looks tough for Democrats in many places across the south, Texas including. Well, Beto O'Rourke and

his campaign have been able to do in the Texas Democratic Party is really get folks excited.

And so voter -- early vote among 18 to 29-year-olds in Texas is up 400 percent from what it was in this time in 2014. That bodes well for Beto

O'Rourke and not so well for Ted Cruz.

And so I think that there's some scenario. There's a path where Beto could pull it out. But if he doesn't, he has set it up for many Democrats down

ballot and folks for the next go around when Ted Cruz's seat is in fact up.

GORANI: And, Doug, what's the Republican strategy? Because those who support Democrats, here's an example. The Georgia race where they see

Brian Kemp who's not just overseeing the election but also running against the Democratic candidate. That they're basically trying everything they

can including launching investigations at the last minute against Stacey Abrams, his democratic opponent.

What is the Republican strategy? Because if the turnout is high, Republicans could be in trouble. Demographically, it's not in their favor

for turnout to be high.

HEYE: Yes. I think -- I think the tactics that have been used in Georgia are frankly appalling, especially given that he's secretary of the state

overseeing his own race. That's a clear case for recusal. But this is going to be a high turnout election on both sides which is not what we

typically see.

Democrats are motivated. There's no question about that. Republicans are, too. If you look at the early votes that we've seen so far, it's up in

every category, absolutely thus far. Young voters who typically don't come out to vote as much as I would say they should, are turning out more than

they typically do. This is going to be --

GORANI: And older voters, as well. Yes.

HEYE: Absolutely. This is going to be a high turnout election. And so what we're seeing is this not an election about persuasion and turning

people from one side to the other. But just making sure that you get your people to the polls if they're motivated to vote. That's part of the --

that's part of the rhetoric that you see from Trump. It's really about trying to motivate his base.

[14:40:08] And again, I'd agree with Symone that Beto O'Rourke has ran an amazing campaign. His fundraising has been out of control impressive. The

problem for Beto is he's more of a cause than he is a candidate, I think for a lot of people.

It's common to see Beto O'Rourke t-shirts in Washington, D.C. and in New York. You know? He's more popular in London than he is in Lubbock.

That's a problem for him.

GORANI: All right. Well, we'll see what happens with that race and so many others and we'll see you both on CNN. Symone Sanders and Doug Heye,

thanks to both of you for joining us. I really appreciate your time.

HEYE: Thank you.

SANDERS: Thank you.

GORANI: On this #ElectionEve.

Still to come tonight. Iran is vowing defiance as it feels the squeeze of fresh U.S. sanctions. They've come into effect. We'll take you live to

Tehran for the latest reaction.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: The U.S. is trying to choke off Iran's oil and shipping industries as it snaps back the sanctions lifted by the nuclear deal that it's no

longer a part of that it walked away from.

The American secretary of state, Mike Pompeo touted the measures going into effect warning Iran can either, quote, "Act like a normal country or see

its economy crumble." But Tehran is promising to break the sanctions which it calls illegal.

Let's get the very latest from inside of Iran. Fred Pleitgen is in Tehran with more reporting. Hi, Fred.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. You're absolutely right. The Iranian government is saying that it's going to

remain steadfast. And as you said, it says that the sanctions against it are both unjust and illegal. It was so interesting to see over the course

of the weekend the anger that was unleashed towards the Trump administration and the U.S. Government in particular. Then the Iranian

military also flexing its muscles, as well. Starting large-scale military drills to also defiance, as well. Here's what we learned.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PLEITGEN: Iran's military flexing its muscles as new U.S. sanctions go into effect, conducting major air defense drills as the country's president

vows Iran will stand up to America.

HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): We will break the sanctions with honor because sanctions are cruel, are against the

international law, are against agreements, are against U.N. resolutions. So we are going to break such sanctions with honor and everybody should do

so.

PLEITGEN: New U.S. sanctions against Iran's vital oil and gas sector are in effect barring countries from importing Iranian oil. Although

Washington has granted waivers to some nations.

Iran's hardliners organizing large protests against Washington's policies and especially against President Trump.

These people say they have a clear message for President Trump. No matter how tough America gets, no matter how strong the sanctions are, they vow to

stand up and fight back.

[14:45:07] And after the president's tough talk on Iran, some tough words back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm coming here to say down with USA, down with Israel and all of your friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I as Iranian people, I love America and American people. But I don't like their action, their things, their beliefs about

Iran. They have a wrong belief about us.

PLEITGEN: Iran's economy is already in bad shape. The currency plummeting, prices rising. Experts say Iran will look for help from America's rivals

to offset these new sanctions.

HAMED MOUSAVI, TEHRAN UNIVERSITY: We're seeing a sort of Iran's version of pivot to the east since a few years ago. And this is not only been in the

economic realm but also in the political and military realm where Iran has become closer both to Russia and to China.

PLEITGEN: Iran, once again, bracing for new sanctions and new hardship, a situation its people know too well and hoped they'd left behind.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PLEITGEN: So, Hala, you do have a lot of defiance here in the part of many people but also, of course, a lot of anxiety and a lot of concern as well.

Many of these people have already seen a lot of their savings, quite frankly, wiped out as the currency here has been tumbling.

A lot of people believe with these oil sanctions that the country's finances could get very, very quickly, Hala.

GORANI: All right. Fred Pleitgen, live in Tehran. Thanks very much.

The Italian government is expected to declare a state of emergency following a week of terrible weather that's claimed at least 29 lives.

Now, a dozen of those deaths were in Sicily. Nine of them occurred when a river jumped its banks and flooded a house where two families were having

dinner.

The floods are blamed on high tides, combined with a strong low pressure system and experts say global warming is making Italy's seasonal flooding a

whole lot worse. And you can see it in the death toll, as well.

GORANI: More to come, including battleground Georgia. How the fight for one divided state is symbolizing the challenges of the entire United

States. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Well, Bollywood's popularity reaches far outside India and in many ways that's thanks to its dance routines. CNN's Amara Walker has more on

one of the most renowned choreographers in the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Perhaps most memorable and unique to any Bollywood film are the song and dance sequences, mesmerizing, high energy,

over the top and addictive.

And there are few Bollywood choreographers working today in Mumbai with the stature and influence of Shiamak Davar.

In 1997, Davar changed Bollywood forever with his work in a romantic film about a dance company, "Dil To Pagal Hai."

More than 20 years later, Davar's dance company twists and gyrates to the same movements, it's a blend of homegrown and outside influences. A

trademark of Davar's work.

[14:50:10] SHIAMAK DAVAR, INDIAN CHOREOGRAPHER: Bollywood dance actually has become a whole blend of international Indian contemporary modern, you

know, folk and all kind of -- all kind of forms mixed together and eventually it's come out to be a kind of a beautiful mix of east and west.

WALKER: In 2006's movie, "Dhoom 2," Davar puts his beautiful mix to work in the performance of superstar, Hrithik Roshan.

And more recently in the quirky duet shot on the streets of Morocco in "Jagga Jasoos."

For him, the global phenomenon of Bollywood dance has roots in India that go deep.

DAVAR: I think dance is what we're made up of. Religious festivals, our weddings, on the streets, we all dance. We celebrate. We live life

through song and dance. We actually do it. It's all about celebrating who we are. We are song. We are dance. We are culture. And we're unity.

And we are always embracing other forms to grow. So I think that's important.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Well, whether you're in India, Indonesia or Indiana, you may have heard words like litmus test or referendum to describe what tomorrow's

midterm elections could mean for Donald Trump.

But how about we cut the jargon and take you somewhere that mirrors the issues the entire nation is facing? I'm talking about race. About gender.

The left/right divide which is so bitter in America now. And I'm talking about an interesting case study and that is the state of Georgia where

Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is trying to become the nation's first female African-American governor.

But over the weekend a twist. Her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, who's also, by the way, the state official in charge of elections and who's

running at the same time, accused Abrams' party of trying to hack the state's voter registration system. Launching an investigation. Abrams

calls that a witch-hunt.

Kaylee Hartung is in Atlanta, Georgia with more on this. It's just become such a fascinating race because of the two individuals running and how this

is kind of a reflection of what we're seeing around the country, Kaylee.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right. Here in Georgia, you have a snapshot of the national political landscape in

America. This campaign has been contentious. It has been dramatic and now we are seeing the latest chapter, a bit of a political firestorm that

really was setoff yesterday morning.

When the secretary of state's office, run by Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate here, announced that they were opening an investigation into

Georgia's Democratic Party because of what they described as a failed attempted hacking of the voter registration system here.

Now, the secretary of state's office made this announcement without giving any evidence to a hack or an attempted hack. We then came in to the

possession of a chain of e-mails, though, that the secretary of state's office pointed to as being the spark for this investigation.

Their understanding of these e-mails was a conversation between a couple of Democratic operatives in the state as they were discussing what appeared to

be massive vulnerabilities in that voter registration system and there was a computer program encoding attached to the e-mail that the secretary of

state's office said could be capable of effectuating that hack.

Now, as it turns out, the Georgia Democratic Party says they are not responsible for any wrongdoing. They say they were simply passing along

concerns that a citizen, a nonpartisan unaffiliated Georgia voter passed on to them when he came across what he perceived to be these vulnerabilities.

But the breaking news today while initially this was an announcement from the secretary of state's office, we now know that the Georgia bureau of

investigation will actually be carrying out a criminal investigation into this matter.

GORANI: All right. I want to ask you for our international viewers, I mean, Stacey Abrams is a black woman. She's running for governor. That's

if she wins that will never have happened. Georgia is a red state. I mean, it's a Republican state. Here you have a Democratic, black, female

candidate with a real shot. How -- I mean, how much of an earthquake would it be politically if she pulled it off?

HARTUNG: Well, you know, if you go back to the days of Jimmy Carter, this state was blue. It's really been for the past two decades or so that

Georgia has built up this red reputation and visage, if you will.

[14:55:05] But this is why there's been such a spotlight on this race because 2020 recognizes that this state could, if it turns blue now,

continue to carry that wave through that election and it's one of those reasons why we've seen just about anybody who's been talked about as a

potential 2020 candidate coming down here to stump for Stacy Abrams while you see Donald Trump and Mike Pence right alongside Republican Brian Kemp's

side.

So, the Democrats joke around these parts is that this is always been a blue state. It's just had a turnout problem.

GORANI: Yes, right.

HARTUNG: That's where --

GORANI: They may have a point. They may have a point this election.

HARTUNG: And that's part of Stacey Abrams' entire strategy here. She is trying to motivate first-time voters. She is trying to motivate non-white

voters among this changing demographic within the state of Georgia where we really have seen the population especially in the metro Atlanta area become

more diverse as this city and the state continues to grow.

GORANI: Kaylee Hartung, thanks so much for that.

By the way, speaking of black governors. The country has only ever had four black governors in history. And Rihanna, the superstar, if that's not

a fact lost on her, she is taking to social media to endorse Florida's Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum.

And the singer saying she's refusing to stay silent on another issue. Even though she wants the Trump campaign to do the exact opposite.

Now, Rihanna is the latest musician to criticize the president for using her songs at rallies. She was alerted to it by a Washington Post

journalist. Rihanna tweeted this in response, "Not for much longer. Neither me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic

rallies."

So there you have it, Rihanna is saying to the trump campaigns. Stop using my music.

That's going to do it for us. I'm Hala Gorani. Richard Quest is in the building today and he will be next with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END