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Texas Voters Decide Between Cruz, O'Rourke in Heated Senate Race; Now: Voters Hit the Polls in High-Stakes Midterm Elections; Trudeau: Trump Tariffs had No Effect on NAFTA Negotiations. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired November 6, 2018 - 10:30   ET




POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Voting is underway this morning in Texas. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke squaring off in an extraordinarily competitive Senate race.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: It is one that could prove pivotal when it comes to deciding who takes control of the Senate. Here is O'Rourke in El Paso after casting his vote a short time ago this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you expecting to win?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What do you base that on?

O'ROURKE: I just don't have a poll. Don't have a pollster, just traveled to every single county in Texas, listened to everybody, have so many amazing volunteers that we're working with, knocking on millions of doors, making that human to human connection that we're in such desperate need of in this moment of division in the country, bringing people together. I feel it. And so yes, it feels good.


SCIUTTO: Joining us now from a polling site in South Lake, Texas, is CNN's Athena Jones. Athena, Beto O'Rourke, to be clear, he has an uphill battle to take this. It would be a big upset.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jim. I had trouble hearing that toss question, but I can tell you that we're in Tarrant County, the third most populous county and the largest urban county that remains red. This is a bellwether county. Tarrant County, this is the third most populous county in the state. It's also the largest urban county.

[10:35:00] The only larger urban county that remains red. We're here because this is a bellwether county. President Trump won this county by nine points. That's the same margin by which he won the state of Texas. And so, we know that with these big races like the Senate race between Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke. They're going to be watching closely to see what happens in this county. O'Rourke himself has said some time ago that as Tarrant County goes, so goes Texas. So, he believes he has to win this county in order to win the Senate.

We have been talking a lot about early voting and the enthusiasm and the numbers we're seeing here. Well, I have with me here one of those early voters. This is James Guerriero, a Ted Cruz supporter - well, a Ted Cruz voter. He's already voted. Tell me about why you support Ted Cruz. You gave me a long list of issues that are important to you.

JAMES GUERRIERO, TEXAS VOTER: Well, first of all, I support President Trump and his agenda for the United States. I think he's done a lot for our country. And Ted Cruz is a strong supporter of President Trump. Issues that I'm concerned with, abortion being one, legal immigration, crime and Supreme Court justices, I believe Ted Cruz is a constitutional conservative. I appreciate what he did with respect to Justice Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings. So I'm fully supportive of Senator Ted Cruz.

JONES: Excellent. Thank you, Mr. Guerriero. So, Mr. Guerriero, one of the more than 465,000 voters in Tarrant County who came out and voted early, that's more than 40 percent of the registered voters here. And those numbers are much higher than past midterms. Even higher than the early vote total during the 2012 election, according to the elections administrator here and of course, the numbers in Texas also off the charts. Nearly -- more than 4.8 million people voted early. Back to you guys.


SCIUTTO: That's a question. Do those early voters - did they give an advantage to either party? It's not clear.

HARLOW: Huge numbers.

SCIUTTO: Seems to be across the board. Athena Jones thanks very much.

Next, voters are now going to polls in the state of Wisconsin. That's the home - you might remember -- of Harley-Davidson, a company hit hard by the Trump administration's trade war. Will that affect voters' choices there?

HARLOW: Big employer there.

Also, our exclusive interview with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on trade, Trump, and trust.


[10:41:49] SCIUTTO: One more key state in a long list of key states today, Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker is asking voters to back him one more time.

CNN national correspondent Ryan Young joins us now live from Waukesha there. How is it looking there for the former presidential hopeful, we should note, Scott Walker there? Uphill climb.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It's a tight battle here. He's going against Tony Evers. We've been talking about this race because of how close this has been. And we've been talking to voters all morning who've been lining up, over 567,000 votes were cast by absentee early on, but you guys have been talking about young voters as well. We have been talking about the impact that the tariffs have had on your community, about what's happened with Harley- Davidson, but you said you were energized to vote for what reason?

MATTHEW GIFFORD, WISCONSIN VOTER: My main reason was after the Parkland shooting, so gun safety and gun violence prevention is a big one, as well as health care, stagnant wages. I mean, overall, just the economy as well. Along with -- there's a variety of differences. So such as climate change as well is another one, climate change action.

YOUNG: Do you think young people will get out to vote? You said you believe there will be an uptick in people voting your age.

GIFFORD: Yes. I definitely believe that, and there are many, many young people who I've worked with, hundreds over the past several months getting young people out to vote. So, I definitely think that there will be a big change.

YOUNG: And - should I say Matthew here, who is 19, this is a second election. He told me he went out canvassing. He's also going to be driving people to the polls. So, you feel the people who are energized by this. There was a long line this morning before the polls opened. So, you feel that energy on the ground especially in this close election.

SCIUTTO: Seems to be repeated in districts, fire stations, and schools and churches all across the country. Ryan Young thanks very much.

HARLOW: It's great what we're seeing, engaged elector.

All right, so trade, Trump, and trust, you might have noticed I hopped off the show a little early yesterday to make a beeline to Canada. Why? To sit down for a wide ranging interview with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ask him about a whole lot of things including that heated trade debate and if he trusts President Trump. Watch.


HARLOW (on camera): The new trade deal replacing NAFTA, USMCA, is agreed upon but not signed yet.

Are you considering, Mr. Prime Minister, not signing it unless President Trump lifts the tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum?

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Obviously, the tariffs on steel and aluminum are a continued frustration. What a tariff is is a way of hiking prices on your own domestic consumers. So consumers in the United States are paying more for Canadian steel, Canadian aluminum, than they otherwise would. And we have brought in retaliatory tariffs that means Canadian consumers are paying more for Bourbon, for Heinz ketchup, for a broad range of things because we had to retaliate. But we would much rather have genuine free trade with the United States. So, we're going to continue to work as soon as we can to lift those tariffs. But we're not at the point of saying that we wouldn't sign if it wasn't -- if it wasn't lifted, although we're trying to make that case.

HARLOW: But Mr. Prime Minister, some see this as the moment. The moment of leverage before that potential signing date, potentially November 30th, right before there's a new Mexican government in power.

[10:45:03] That this is your moment for leverage. This is your moment where you could say, Mr. President, if you don't lift these steel and aluminum tariffs, we're not going to sign it. Any chance that happens?

TRUDEAU: One of the things that served me very, very well through the 13 months of negotiations over the new NAFTA was that I don't negotiate in public and we have strong conversations in private and we get to the right outcome for everyone.

HARLOW: One fascinating thing that you've spoken about is the greatest lesson you learned from your father, the former prime minister. And you said once that he taught you to trust people.

Do you fully trust President Trump that he will uphold his promises and not back out of deals, as we saw with the G7 closing communique?

TRUDEAU: What my father taught me was to trust Canadians. It was a way of looking at the electorate and say you don't have to dumb it down for them. You don't have to scare them into this or that.

You can actually treat people like intelligent, rational actors and they will rise to the occasion. And that has been my approach in campaigning and in politics from the very beginning.

HARLOW: So, President Trump is not a Canadian.

TRUDEAU: Yes, I recognize that --

HARLOW: Do you trust President Trump on this issue?

TRUDEAU: -- every leader has a job of sticking up for their own country and they will do it in their own ways. And I respect the fact that people have different approaches to it.

My approach is to trust Canadians and deal in a way that is direct with other leaders.


HARLOW: So, Jim, we talked about a lot. I asked him, look, is this all water under the bridge now between you and the president? And he said I have a strong, constructive working relationship with the president, but the relationship between our two countries goes beyond who is at the top. We know he remains close to President Obama - former President Obama. And we talked about this sort of global tilt to the right that we're seeing, Brazil, and the U.S., and Italy, Hungary, and if leaders of his ill are endangered species. So we hit on a lot.

SCIUTTO: Well, U.S. voters today will have their own say on how that deal affects them, right? -

HARLOW: Absolutely.

SCIUTTO: A lot of negotiations on NAFTA and you see them in particularly very key races, Iowa, Wisconsin, et cetera.

HARLOW: And half of the interview was about his cabinet and how it is half women, half men, and his push for gender equality and closing the pay gaps. You'll see that on the show in a few days.

SCIUTTO: Coming up, voting rights, a big topic of concern during these midterms. Today, voters in several states will get their say on some key amendments.


[10:52:00] SCIUTTO: As Americans head to the polls this morning, throughout the day, voter rights have been of concern in some districts, some states around the country, especially the state of Georgia where there have been allegations of voter suppression, election hacks as well, going in both directions.

HARLOW: Today, millions of Americans in other parts of the country will get to decide on how their state handles elections.

Let's bring in, again, our senior political analyst Mark Preston. Hey, Mark, good morning.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hey, good morning, Poppy. You know there's more than 30 states that require some form of I.D. It's actually 34 states require some form of I.D., 17 of them require a photo I.D.

Now down in two states in the south, specifically Arkansas, voters are going to talk about enshrining it into their Constitution. In Arkansas, right now, they're going to choose whether or not to require voters to present a photo I.D. to vote in person. Now they have been working on this since 2013, the Arkansas legislature has. And if this were to happen, the Arkansas legislation will decide what kind of I.D. would be required.

Now you go to the east, to North Carolina. And you're seeing a very similar thing happened as well. Voters are going to choose whether or not to require voters to present a photo I.D. to vote in person, this again as something that would be enshrined in their Constitution. You follow the news, you follow the voting news, back in 2013, North Carolina put this law into effect. It was struck down by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Now they're trying to get it enshrined.

Now as we're talking about what's happening here, regarding voter I.D., if you go down to Florida, something very interesting is happening down here. They're thinking about restoring voting rights to felons. In fact, right now, if this were to pass, there's about 1.5 million people with felonies or prior felonies who have completed their sentences and they would be restored to the voting rolls. However, if you were convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, you would not be eligible. Just politically, when you think about this, 13 million people are eligible to vote in Florida. You add 1.5 million to the rolls. That would be rather interesting heading into the presidential election in 2020.


SCIUTTO, So, Mark, the state of Maryland, the question there is making it easier for voters to cast their vote? How will that play out?

PRESTON: Well, we'll find out tomorrow, but what they're looking at right now is being added to the list of same-day voter registration. And what we're seeing in Maryland right now is you are not able to go in on the Election Day and to vote. However, if this were in the past, you would be able to do it. Right now, 15 states plus the District of Columbia allows that. Jim?

SCIUTTO: Mark Preston thanks very much. Well, what a day. If you haven't voted yet, get out there. A lot of people already have. I mean, really in record numbers. Stay with us throughout the day. We got complete coverage from across the country in a way really only CNN can do. We hope you stay with us.

HARLOW: And we'll break everything down tonight. Election night in America begins 5:00 a.m. Eastern. Only right here on CNN.


[10:59:50] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.

America, you are on the clock. After months of hype, rhetoric, robocalls, door knocks and everything in between, midterm Election Day is finally here. Polls are now open in 49 states, Alaska opening just moments ago.

Next hour, Hawaii becomes the final state to start voting.