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Trump Makes Final Effort to Rile His Base Using Fear, Division and Racial Anxiety; Iran Vows To Keep Exporting Oil Despite U.S. Sanctions; U.S. Officially Reimposes Sanctions Against Iran; Millennial Candidate Looks To Unseat Republican; Kemp's Office Investigating Georgia Democratic Party; Armed Gunmen Kidnap 79 Children in Cameroon; North Korea Could Restart Nuclear Activities; Fallen American Soldier Had Final Wish about Elections. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired November 6, 2018 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. We are just hours away from the first pools opening in the United States and a midterm election, the likes of which this country has rarely seen before.

Already more than 31 million people have cast ballots through early voting or by mail. That is a huge increase from previous midterms. Donald Trump is rallying his base with familiar warnings about illegal immigrants.

He told a Washington TV station Monday he regrets not having "a softer tone" during his time in office but he acknowledged the midterms are a referendum on him.


TRUMP: But the key is you have to go out to vote because in a sense I am on the ticket.

The contrast in this election could not be more clear. Democrats produce mobs. Republicans produce jobs.


CHURCH: CNN's latest polling shows Democrats with a double digit lead on a generic ballot but the election is made up of hundreds of individuals races. So the results could easily tip either way.

Republicans are confident they can keep or even expand their control of the Senate. But Democrats are hoping a blue wave will win them the two seats they need to take over.


BETO O'ROURKE (D), TEXAS, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm all ready to win. I'm ready to win with you. Let's do this.

CHURCH (voice-over): That's Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, campaigning in Texas, hoping to unseat Republican Ted Cruz in one of the election's most closely watched contests.


CHURCH: The Democrats have their best chance at victory in the House of Representatives, where all 435 seats are up for grabs.

U.S. president Trump wrapped up his whirlwind campaigning for Republican candidates across the country. He spoke at three rallies Monday, in Ohio and Indiana and Missouri.

Our Jim Acosta has more on Trump's strategy as he looks to keep his party in control of Congress.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Facing a referendum on his divisive administration, President Trump is going all-in with rally after rally on the final day before the midterms, punching hard, even if voters have grown weary of all the jabs below the belt.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They want America to be a giant sanctuary city for drug dealers, predators and bloodthirsty MS-13 killers.

ACOSTA: Earlier in the day, the president tried to sound optimistic, even as he acknowledged his party in control of Congress could be in trouble, chalking it up to some historic headwinds.

TRUMP: I think the Senate, we're doing very well; and I think we're going to do very well in the House. If you look over 100 years, for whatever reason, the -- the party with the president doesn't do very well. I think we're going to do pretty well.

ACOSTA: Mr. Trump embraced the midterms as something of a report card for his own presidency.

TRUMP: The key is you have to go out and vote. Because in a sense, I am on the ticket. You've got to go out to vote.

ACOSTA: The president has gambled on the risky strategy of tapping into conservative outrage over immigration. His racist TV ad falsely portraying a caravan of migrants heading for the border as an invasion has been rejected not only by CNN and NBC but also by FOX, Mr. Trump's outlet of choice.

When pressed on the offensive nature of the ad, the president pushed back.

TRUMP: I don't know about it. I mean, you're telling me something I don't know about. We have a lot of ads. And they certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we're seeing. A lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive a lot of times.

ACOSTA: The president is still trying to gin up concerns over voter fraud, even after his own administration appointed a commission to study the issue and failed to prove it's happening on a large scale.

Still, Mr. Trump tweeted, "Law enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any illegal voting, which may take place in Tuesday's election."

TRUMP: All you have to do is go around, take a look at what's happened over the years and you'll see.

ACOSTA: But the bogus claim fits right into the president's midterm playbook, as he pounds the topic of border security.

TRUMP: And I noticed all that beautiful barbed wire going up today. Barbed wire, used properly, can be a beautiful sight.

ACOSTA: Add to that, the president's incendiary rhetoric, from his emphasis on Barack Obama's middle name...

TRUMP: Barack H. Obama.

ACOSTA: -- to his comments on African American candidate Andrew Gillum in Florida...

TRUMP: I will say this. Andrew Gillum is not equipped to be your governor.


TRUMP: He's just not equipped. It's not for him.

ACOSTA: -- and Stacey Abrams in Georgia. And it's shaping up to be the most racially loaded appeal to voters in modern times.

TRUMP: She is not qualified to be the governor of Georgia. She's not qualified. And Georgia's a great state. It's a great, great state. Take a look. Take a look at her past. Take a look at her history.

ACOSTA: In response, Obama is calling on voters to look at every possible way to compare Mr. Trump's record in office with his own.

BARACK OBAMA (D), FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They've racked up enough indictments to field a football team. Nobody in my administration got indicted. Which, by the way, is not that high a bar. I mean...

ACOSTA: Plenty of work to do. He said he will name an ambassador and won't meet with Putin over the weekend and he will make changes to his cabinet after the midterms and that is customary for any administration -- Jim Acosta, CNN, traveling with the president in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


CHURCH: Let's get more on the elections with CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer. He's a historian and professor at Princeton University.

Thank you for being with us.


CHURCH: More than 30 million Americans have voted in the midterm elections in early voting and in other ways. Now the rest of the voters will deliver a verdict on the Trump presidency. The president thinks he will do well in the House.

What do you think?

ZELIZER: A lot of these statistics, we're seeing the polls suggest that the Republicans won't do well in the House and it's more a question of how poorly do they do.

Do they lose control of the House?

Do the Democrats gain a slim major in the House or do the Democrats get a very large majority, which is obviously what they want?

There's not a lot of polls saying it is going to be a great night for Republicans, at least at this point.

CHURCH: Trump was apparently not pleased with the original closing television ad that his campaign prepared last week, focused on a positive, upbeat message about the economy.

Instead he wanted an anti-immigration ad designed to fire up his base. So that's what he got. Even his favorite TV network, FOX, along with other media agencies, refused to run the racially insensitive ad.

But when you look at the issues that fire up voters, was the president smart or desperate to go with the anti-immigrant message when he is fighting for control of Congress?

ZELIZER: Well, at least politically, not in terms of whether it was a good ad or a good issue, you could argue it made sense, that in the Senate, it helped reenergize Republicans and it looks like Republicans will probably keep control of the Senate, which is a big victory for the Republicans. We'll see how it unfolds with the House.

Even though Democrats are favored, the fact is that many of the key districts are now tossups. And his approval ratings went up. And there is something to the fact that immigration polls as the top issue right now for Republican voters. So he's playing to his own fans and his own constituencies and there was a logic behind the strategy.

CHURCH: But why not do the upbeat ad about the economy?

Wouldn't that have been smarter? ZELIZER: Midterms are often about anger. People who come to midterms usually are the opponents of the president. That's why it usually goes poorly for the president. They're angry what the administration is doing; they're fired up to send a message.

So in some ways the president is trying to counterpunch; instead of reminding everyone what is going well, the economy, he wants to get his voters angry as well. He wants to get them into a fighting mode.

This is really a turnout battle tomorrow. So that's why I think he went with a dark message over a positive one.

CHURCH: OK. So he fires up his base.

But how likely is it that President Trump's rhetoric will turn off voters in key swing districts as some Republicans fear might happen, in essence a backlash against that very same rhetoric?

ZELIZER: That is where it could hurt in the House and help in the Senate. Meaning a lot of the contested Senate seats are in very Republican states. So it helps there while the House will be determined by about 30 districts that are purple, meaning they're not solidly blue and not solidly red.

And that's where this kind of rhetoric can certainly cost the Republicans the House tomorrow. So it might be that the administration just made a decision, let's go for the upper chamber. Let's keep the Senate; we will give away the House and ultimately for two years we can live with that.

CHURCH: Even though President Trump is not on the ballot he has said himself that the midterms are a report card for his presidency.

Is this a referendum on his presidency or are the issues much more localized than that?

ZELIZER: No, this is a --


ZELIZER: -- nationalized election. He's made this not only about himself but the issues he holds dearly. I think many Americans that vote tomorrow are doing so on the basis of what they think is going on in Washington. It is not simply about what do you think about the balance of power, do we need more of it, but it is also a values election.

It is an election about what you think this country stands for and what you think of the campaign that the president unloaded on the country in the last month about nativism, xenophobia, much more.

So this is -- implications are huge and I think they go beyond the local.

CHURCH: Julian Zelizer, we always appreciate your analysis. Thanks so much. ZELIZER: Thank you.

CHURCH: Republicans have controlled both the House and the Senate during the first two years of the Trump presidency. But if Democrats can flip either chamber, things will be different over the next two years.

Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All sorts of legislation that Republicans are counting on from the U.S. House of Representatives under this Republican president could be up in the air if Democrats take control of that chamber.

Plans for immigration reform, new trade deals, maybe changes to welfare and Social Security, too, or even new tax cuts could come to a grinding halt and be dependent on Democratic support to get started again.

And if the Democrats flip the U.S. Senate, well, the courts could be facing a very different situation. Right now, the president is marching conservative judges onto benches all across this country. But from the Supreme Court on down, that, too, could stop unless he were willing to pick more moderate judges.

Of course the president could have much bigger problems; if the Democrats get either chamber they could reinvigorate all sorts of investigations into his administration.

That means investigations into things like the election meddling by the Russians, conflicts of interest, allegations of misuse of tax money, sexual assault allegations, controversial policies, all of it, they could even touch on the idea of going after an impeachment of this president.

It doesn't mean they would get it; it certainly doesn't mean they could get a conviction out of it. But it could all prove very time consuming and embarrassing for the president and it could all start in the midterm elections.


CHURCH: Tom Foreman with that report.

One of the most closely watched races is the one for governor in Georgia. Democrat Stacey Abrams is facing off against Republican Brian Kemp. He's also Georgia's secretary of state which means he oversees the election that he's running in. And Kemp accuses the state Democratic Party of attempting to hack the voter registration system.

Abrams calls it a witch hunt. Kaylee Hartung has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the final hours of one of the most contentious and high-profile campaigns of this election cycle, a political firestorm rages. Republican candidate for Georgia governor and sitting secretary of state, Brian Kemp, requesting an investigation into the Georgia Democratic Party for a failed attempt at hack of the state's voter registration system.

BRIAN KEMP (R), GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE/GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not worried about how it looks. I'm doing my job. This is how we would handle any investigation when something like this comes up.

HARTUNG: Kemp's office has not provided any evidence of a hack or even an attempted hack. But they say a chain of e-mails between state Democratic Party operatives and cyber security experts discussing a massive vulnerability in the system sparked the investigation. Those e-mails obtained by CNN indicate that rather than taking part in any alleged hack, the Georgia Democrats have simply passed along information regarding potential security flaws from a Georgia voter to a private cyber security firm, which in turn shared its concerns with Kemp's office.

His Democratic challenger, Stacey Abrams, defending her party.

STACEY ABRAMS (D), GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: It's wrong to call it an investigation. It's a witch hunt that was created by someone who is abusing his power.

HARTUNG: The Democratic state party denies any wrongdoing and says they have not been contacted by law enforcement. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation today say they're opening a probe. Abrams saying this is a political stunt to deflect from potential vulnerabilities in the voting system.

ABRAMS: Brian Kemp was notified there was yet another flaw in the election security system. Instead of owning up to it, taking responsibility and seeking a way to fix the flaw, he instead decided to blame Democrats.

HARTUNG: punches thrown by the candidates and their most prominent supporters.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Stacey Abrams gets in, your second amendment is -- gone.

HARTUNG: If elected, Abrams would not have the power to change a constitutional amendment. Kemp refusing to step down from his role as the state's top election official. Democrats calling this a conflict of interest, and claiming Kemp pushed voter suppression.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Stacey's opponent has already been caught multiple times.


OBAMA: Don't boo, vote! HARTUNG: The star power that's inundated Georgia is unprecedented.

Records have been broken at the polls and in fundraising. But this race is too close to call. The hitch here, there's a third party candidate running in the race, too. So unless someone gets a majority of the votes, this will carry us -- Kaylee Hartung, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: Coming up next on CNN NEWSROOM, why North Korea may restart its nuclear program if a key demand is not met. We will reveal what an inside source is saying after this short break. Stay with us.




CHURCH: Armed gunmen have kidnapped 79 children from a boarding school in Northwest Cameroon. Government officials say the police and specialized military units are searching for the students after they were abducted from a school in Bamenda on Sunday night.

Authorities say the hostages have most likely been split into smaller groups and all efforts are being made to bring them back safely.


AFOLPHE LELE LAFRIQUE, NORTHWEST REGIONAL GOVERNOR: Despite what happened here, the state government will not surrender. We are going to go make sure that the students, the people that were abducted are brought back to the classrooms. Measures are being taken by the security men in that regard.


CHURCH: Officials say they don't know who the kidnappers are but separatist fighters who oppose the government have been accused of similar incidents in the past.

U.S. secretary of state Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart will meet in New York Thursday for another round of talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program. A source with knowledge of North Korea's position tells CNN that Pyongyang could restart nuclear activities if the U.S. doesn't show a new willingness to ease sanctions.

The source also says the ongoing discussions are crucial for North Korea to achieve its economic goals.


CHURCH: But it made a breakthrough for the talks to go further.

That reporting comes from our Will Ripley, who joins me now live from Hong Kong.

Good to see you, Will. So North Korea threatening to restart its nuclear program unless it

sees a willingness from the U.S. to ease sanctions.

Who has the leverage in these negotiations?

And what else are you learning about this?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That may what we are seeing play out in real time, Rosemary, is both sides, North Korea and the United States, coming out publicly with these pretty strong statements, trying to give them leverage ahead of these crucial talks, which really, from both sides' perspective, needs to jumpstart these stale denuclearization talks, which really haven't gone anywhere since the Singapore summit back on June 12th.

But what is being highlighted here is the fundamental disagreement between the U.S. and North Korea in terms of the timeline here. North Korea believes -- and a source said -- just reiterated this when I spoke with that source during the overnight hours -- that basically, in order for North Korea to feel comfortable giving up it nuclear weapons, they need a friendly relationship with the United States.

They believe that the enforcement of sanctions and the economic pressure is just not conducive to a friendly relationship and North Koreans say they have done things, like destroyed the entrances to their Punggye-ri nuclear test site, dismantled one of their missile launch facilities, have expressed some willingness to allow international inspectors in if the U.S. delivers corresponding measures.

Some of the corresponding measures clearly, from the North Korean perspective, are the easing of economic sanctions, which are really choking that country's already beleaguered economy.

But the United States and the Trump administration has long insisted that sanctions will stay put until North Korea gives up its nukes completely. And is really when talks ground to a halt. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo responding to a North Korean threat first made on Friday, that if the U.S. doesn't change this position about sanctions, North Korea could have no choice but to restart its nuclear program. Listen.


MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not worried about rhetoric. We've seen this as we go through negotiations. Stray voltage happens to be all around us. We're very focused. We know with whom we're negotiating. We know what their positions are.

And President Trump's made his position very clear. No economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective.


RIPLEY: So the key question, Rosemary, with these talks set to get underway in New York on Thursday, are both sides going to continue digging in their heels?

And what does that say for the future of the U.S.-North Korea relationship?

Can they keep moving forward?

Or do we go back to the escalating tensions that we saw just about a year ago?

CHURCH: Yes, they're at a critical point.

So what is the likely next step for both the U.S. and North Korea?

What are the options for them here?

RIPLEY: We're going to have to watch very closely what happens at this meeting in New York and what both sides announce when they come out of talks. They may not reveal specific details about aspects of denuclearization that are discussed.

But if, for example, Secretary Pompeo and his negotiating counterpart from North Korea, Kim Yong-chol, can agree on a date for the next summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, if they still believe that second Trump-Kim summit will go forward, that's a sign that the discussions are perhaps moving in a positive direction.

But if they walk out of it and don't really have much to say other than "we'll be talking," that's certainly not a good sign.

CHURCH: All right, Will Ripley, staying on this story, joining us there live from Hong Kong. Many thanks.

"I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote."

That's the final message that fallen American soldier Brent Taylor wrote. Taylor, a National Guards man and mayor of a small town in Utah was killed in Afghanistan over the weekend. Grieving friends and family are taking solace and hope from that message as CNN's Jake Tapper reports.


BRENT TAYLOR, MAYOR OF OGDEN, UTAH: I pledge allegiance to the flag...

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He began each city council meeting with a pledge to his country. And North Ogden, Utah's mayor Brent Taylor, he meant it. Taylor served for more than a decade in the Army National Guard including two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. It was a career he proudly noted while running for mayor of the small town of roughly 19,000 in 2013.

TAYLOR: I learned a lot about leadership during that time and how to make decisions under pressure, how to be a leader, how to earn respect of those that you lead. TAPPER (voice-over): In January, Brent Taylor stepped up again.

TAYLOR: Right now there's a need for my experience and skills to serve in our nation's long lasting war in Afghanistan.

TAPPER (voice-over): The 39-year-old was mere months away from returning home when he was killed Saturday in Kabul. The Pentagon says his death was the result of an apparent insider attack involving small arms fire.

JON CALL, ADMINISTRATOR, NORTH OGDEN, UTAH: It was a shock and it still is.

TAPPER (voice-over): North Ogden administrator John Call considered him as close as family.

CALL: It just doesn't seem real.

TAPPER: Taylor had enlisted in the army just three days after getting engaged to his wife, Jenny, who came with him --


TAPPER (voice-over): -- to the recruiting office.

TAYLOR: Military service involves the entire family and my family is very proud to be a military family.

TAPPER: In the years that followed, Brent and Jenny welcomed seven children Megan, Lincoln, Alex, Jacob, Ellie, Jonathan and young Caroline, just 11 months old.

[16:55:04] CALL: I've been really inspired by the way his family has handled this. It's obviously heartbreaking but the family has no regrets that he was doing what he loved, serving a country he loved and working with people that he loved and cared about in Afghanistan.

TAPPER: Taylor's family is not alone in their grief. In a letter to Jenny Taylor, Afghan pilot Abdul Rahman Rahmani asks her to tell her children "that their father was a loving, caring and compassionate man whose life was not just meaningful, it was inspirational.

"He died on our soil but he died for the success of freedom and democracy in both of our countries."

Even in death, Taylor's service to country continues. His final Facebook post implores Americans to exercise the freedoms he died fighting for.

"I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote," he posted. "We have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us. United we stand, divided we fall. God bless America."


CHURCH: Powerful message. Still to come, the U.S. midterms are here. And young Democrats are

hoping to send a message to Donald Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Parkland shooting happened and then it really became clear that you had a place in politics.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That you, being Parkland, was part of --


CARROLL: -- that flipping the switch.




CHURCH: Their not so secret weapon: turning out in record numbers -- when we come back.




CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you on the main stories we've been following this hour.


[02:30:00] CHURCH: It is decision day for U.S. voters and although Donald Trump is not on the ballot the first two years of his presidency are. Democrats are hoping to regain control of the House of Representatives and they are counting on younger voters to help them do it. CNN's Jason Carroll reports.



JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dean Phillips, a Minnesota local air and political new comer is looking to accomplish something Democrats and the state's third congressional district having been able to do since 1961. When? How? By relying in part on a voting block that inspired him to run.

PHILLIPS: I'd say I'm a father of two teenage daughters and I watched that election with them that night in November 2016. I did not want to wake up on November 7th of 2018 and feel the same way.

CARROLL: Phillips is beating on your voters to turn out and help him unseat five-term Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen.

PHILLIPS: The whole country is watching Minnesota.

CARROLL: Paulsen has name recognition, history, and the president on his side. But poll show Phillips with an edge in a district that encompasses Minneapolis' swanky suburbs to the west and the city's northeastern working class neighborhoods. The Paulsen campaign did not respond to repeated request from CNN for an interview.

PHILLIPS: So sitting to have a certain --

CARROLL: The Phillips campaign is holding roundtables aimed at mobilizing younger voters.

PHILLIPS: All right. So you all know that only about 25 percent of 18 to 24 year olds getting country voted in the (INAUDIBLE) OK.

CARROLL: Minnesota's third -- ranks third on top universities list of congressional districts where young people have the potential to have an impact on the results.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just like their home.

CARROLL: Members of the campaign so-called dean's list, a group of young volunteers say they became engage after seeing how Parkland Florida students became politically active.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Parkland shooting happened and then it really became clear that youth had a place in politics.

CARROLL: That you think Parkland was part of that flipping switch?



CARROLL: Parkland survivor David Hogg says he does not endorsed candidates. Instead, he has hit the road to promote the importance of voting. During a stop in New York, he told us he took a page from President Trump.

DAVID HOGG, PARKLAND SURVIVOR: I feel like I know how Donald Trump won and it's by getting the disenfranchised voters that probably like they didn't have a voice and that's literally kind of -- we're doing the same thing just what young people.

CARROLL: There are signs such efforts might be working. Forty percent of people under the age of 30 say they definitely plan to vote Tuesday according to a Harvard Institute of Politics poll. That's a significant jump from 23 percent in 2014 and 31 percent in 2010. And gun violence is not the only issue motivating these voters. In Virginia, an array of issues inspiring first-time voters on the campus of William & Mary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say immigration. I think sexual harassment and sexual assault. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to see like some kind of civil

discourse in our country.

CARROLL: And this from a town hall at Harvard University.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who said police brutality? Put up your hand. OK. I got healthcare.

CARROLL: Whatever the issue in the North Star State, Dean Phillips hopes it will guide him to victory. Jason Carroll, CNN Minneapolis.


CHURCH: So let's talk more about this with Jen Winston and Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg. Jen is a writer, speaker, and founder of @girlpowersupply on Instagram and Kei is the director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, also known as CIRCLE at Tufts University. Great to have you both with us.



CHURCH: So Jen, let's start with you. You tweeted about using Tinder as a vehicle to get people out to vote and got around or more than 8000 retweets and this is what you said. I paid $9.99 for Tinder Plus which same dumb until I realized I could change my location and campaign in swing state. Then you showed this exchange with a guy says, why are you so far away from me? And you reply absence makes the heart grow fonder. Anyway, are you voting for Stacey Abrams, obviously, in Georgia there?

So how effective was your campaign or has your campaign being so far on Tinder?

[02:35:00] WINSTON: That's a great question. I guess we will see tomorrow on Election Day. But (INAUDIBLE) but I mean like I pretty much everyone that I meet has said that they were voting which to me seems like a success. I am Democrat. Here I am campaigning for Stacey Abrams and one of the biggest issues that Democrats have based (INAUDIBLE) was voter turnout. So in my mind, getting out to vote effort are often end up being just campaigning for the Democrats.

I didn't match with any Republicans, so I don't know if that was self- selecting or like how that exactly happened. But, yes.

CHURCH: (INAUDIBLE) most of the people, most of the guys said, yes, I'm going to register and vote.

WINSTON: Most said that they were already planning on voter. Some said they had already voted which was awesome and it was kind of just like a very uplifting experience which -- and then -- and then it sort of took off. I had always in the past used Tinder Plus like when I went travelling and I love that feature where you could change your location before you went somewhere and kind of figure out -- I used to used it to get like restaurant recommendations. So this was sort of a new use for it and, yes.

CHURCH: All right. And Kay, why do you think it is that we are seeing more millennials taking an interest in politics and younger generations and trying to get others in their generation out to vote? What trigger this do you think?

KAWASHIMA-GINSBERG: I think there are so many reasons and just seeing politics on Tinder is just a sign that there is a cultural shift. So I think one of the biggest factor is the culturally it's become cool to talk about politics and be politically engage.

CHURCH: And Jen, I need to ask you this because as you mentioned, you regularly you change your location on Tinder, so you could chat with men in swing districts in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and Indiana, what are these men say when they realized you weren't interested in dating at all but rather getting them out to vote?

WINSTON: I think the ones that were politically inclined were actually particularly disappointed because we had something in common. We both wanted to get out to vote. One of the coolest things that happened actually once I -- once I put this tweet out there was someone who saw it. A guy in London saw it and started canvassing in North Dakota. He changed his location to North Dakota and matched with another person who would also I think beat it and was canvassing and was canvassing from New York in North Dakota.

So it was two canvassers meeting which is actually very romantic if you think about it.

CHURCH: (INAUDIBLE) and Kei, how critical is the use vote right now and how much of an impact do you expect these younger voters will likely have on these midterm elections particularly?

KAWASHIMA-GINSBERG: Yes. So young people have the big potential to really impact the outcome, the races particularly when it's close because young people do lean Democratic these days and especially this midterm election those who are saying they're extremely likely to vote or extremely more likely to vote for Democrats. It's almost two to one margin. So it's pretty big gap for young people and young people we survey that's nationally represented sample of 18 to 24 year olds said that they are likely to vote.

And that number really exceeded expectations from past years, so 34 percent said that and that completed very favorably to mid-20s to maybe low-20s that they saw so and surveys at this time of the year.

CHURCH: And Jen, how has Tinder responded to you using it for campaign purposes rather than dating? I had read that one woman was actually thrown off Tinder for doing the same thing you did?

WINSTON: I actually just checked and I'm still on Tinder and I'm still single. But -- yes. They haven't reached out to me. I actually thought this is kind of a great like ad campaign for the feature. But I think -- I mean I think it does go far beyond Tinder what this was really about for me was talking about politics (INAUDIBLE) talking about them and since the 2016 election pretty much every date that I've gone on we've gone to politics after about one drink.

So it almost seems very natural to just have that be the first thing you talked about before you -- before you get off the app, so, yes.

CHURCH: And Kei, you get the final word. We've all been told in the past to stay far away from talking about politics in any social setting. It's too dangerous. So are we witnessing some sort of cultural shift here that's making the topic of politics much more acceptable and what's caused that shift do you think?

[02:40:00] KAWASHIMA-GINSBERG: You know, I think it is (INAUDIBLE) and it is really all about friends talking to each other about politics as a matter of everyday conversation just like Jen said, you know, you have a drink and you talked about politics. Now, it's OK to mention you're a Democrat or you like that candidate and you don't sound like an, you know, absolute nerd now. So I think there's a big factor in that.

But also, social media companies and brands have also promoted non- partisan voter engagement and political engagement in a big way. So this kind of cultural influencers like celebrities and brands and social media companies pushing political engagement and we as voters and consumers demanding that we have space to talk about that safely.

CHURCH: It's fascinating. We will know in just a few hours the impact that these younger voters will have on the outcome. Jen Winston and Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, thank you both of you. Appreciate it.

WINSTON: Thank you.


CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. Still to come, President Trump says they are the strongest U.S. sanctions ever imposed on Iran. But there are some exceptions to them. Why the U.S. isn't stopping some countries from buying Iran's oil? That is coming up next. Also ahead, a scary close call for passengers on a bus but one of them managed to get it all on video.


CHURCH: Iran says it won't bow to another round of U.S. sanctions. This as the U.S. officially brings back penalties lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. It's also hitting hundreds of new targets with sanctions. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the move hurts every day Iranians. He's also vowing to keep selling his country's oil. The sanctions have been met with protests and Iran's military is staging a show of force. State media say these annual air defense drills will be held through Tuesday.

Well, for more on Iran's reaction, CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins me now live from Tehran. Good to see you, Fred. So Iran's president is vowing to defy these sanctions and continue selling oil, what might be the ramifications of such a move? [02:44:51] FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT:

Well, hi, Rosemary. I think that it could be increased confrontation obviously between Iran, the Iranian government and the United States. But then also probably some trouble between the U.S. and some other countries internationally as well. If you look at for instance these sanctions waivers that we've been seeing. Some of the biggest importers of Iranian oil are on that waiver list.

You have the Chinese, the Indians, the South Koreans, and the Japanese as well. And especially, the Chinese have come out quite strong and they've said they want to keep importing Iranian oil. They says, the U.S. should not infringe on what they call their legitimate business ties to Iran, and their political ties as well. So that's something that could essentially pit the U.S. against China, for instance. And that, of course, is something that the Iranian government is banking on.

They also believe that these sanctions are as President Rouhani puts it illegal. There was also a flurry of criticism coming from other Iranian officials over the course of until pretty much into last night, as well.

For instance, the Foreign Minister Javad Zarif lashing out of the sanctions saying many of them were ineffective because, for instance, there were companies on there that had already gone broke. And that there were ships on there, for instance, one of which had already sunk. So, he says, some of these sanctions ineffective.

But of course, the Iranians understand, government understands, the people here understands that these sanctions, especially the ones against the oil and gas sector could hit a lot of people here in this country. Could hit this country's finances in a big way as well.

So, you do have that air of defiance but you also have a lot of concern especially among a regular Iranians, and of course, among Iranians who are looking to do business internationally, as well. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, and of course, it's those everyday Iranians, that the president there referred to that it will impact them. But what about these exemptions? What difference might that make in how it does impact those people?

PLEITGEN: Yes, yes. Yes, well, I think -- I think, Rosemary, that's one of the things that the Iranian government is really banking on. It was quite interesting to see because President Hassan Rouhani, after ripping into the U.S. government, also said that he believes that these sanctions waivers are in some way shape or form a defeat for the United States.

Because the Iranians believe that it shows that there are countries around the world who want to continue doing business with Iran and who essentially are powerful enough to stand up to the United States to do that.

And, of course, we have heard from the State Department where they're saying that the countries that do have waivers will try to push their levels of imports of Iranian oil down to zero, we haven't heard that kind of talk for instance from the Chinese yet.

And certainly, it's one of the things that the Iranians are banking on that the blow to their oil exports could be somewhat softened by these exemptions. Especially, in light of the fact that the countries that import the most oil from Iran seem to be on that list. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, very interesting. We will keep an eye on what's happening there. Our Fred Pleitgen joining us live from Tehran, where it is 11:20, I understand in the morning. Thank you so much.

Well, President Trump, says these are the strongest U.S. sanctions ever imposed on Iran, but he also says he wants to go slowly. Now, that's because the U.S. wants to avoid a spike in oil prices. For more on what the sanctions don't cover, here is CNN's John Defterios.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: This was a classic approach by the U.S. president. Talk really tough against Iran. But in the end, provides some wiggle room when it comes to oil.

Overall, these sanctions are rigid. 900 entities covered by the sweeping measures. But the U.S. midterm elections altered Trump's priorities. His choices trying to shut down Iran's oil exports to zero or giving leeway to ease prices at the gas pump for his voter base.

When oil hit $86 a barrel in early October, the calls from the White House via Twitter grew louder. He wanted more crude from OPEC and players like Saudi Arabia obliged. At the same time, Iran's exports are falling but clearly not to zero.


IMAN NASSERI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MIDDLE EAST, FGE: We draw an expected path of Iran's export falling to less than a million barrels per day by fair score to next year. And around 700,000 to 800,000 barrels a day by middle of next year. So far, it has come along that path.


DEFTERIOS: Along with the snapback sanctions, the U.S. announced oil import waivers for eight countries. From Europe, it was Italy and Greece, both who maintain energy ties with Tehran.

China, India, Turkey, all three were against U.S. actions and other Asian importers, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. The exemptions give them time to find alternative supplies. But oil strategists say, getting Iran to zero oil exports even next year is very unlikely. John Defterios, CNN Business, Abu Dhabi.

CHURCH: A bus in the Philippines narrowly escaped a landslide which buried the road in front of it. One of the passengers managed to film the tense scene. Incredible images there. You saw rocks and debris pelted the bus as dirt and trees tumbled into the highway. The bus could not reverse right away due to traffic behind it. Remarkably, no one is believed to have been injured in that incident.

Well, a record number of women are running for political office in the U.S. this year. And that includes young millennials who want to make their voices heard. Like this California candidate who is hoping to unseat her Republican opponent.


[02:50:18] KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You've seen what Congress looks like.


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

HILL: Right.


CHURCH: Her story among others coming up next.


CHURCH: Voters start heading to the polls in the United States in just a few hours from now. A record number of women are running for political office in this year's midterm elections. CNN's Kyung Lah talks with one of the hopefuls who wants to shake up Washington.


HILL: Look at us, and 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 the 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 affect social change.

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

Down to a guy in flip-flops on 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? And why should I take them seriously?

CZAJKOWSKI: Yes. I mean I think, just look at the results. You know, you look at the amount of doors we're heading, you look at the kind of conversations we're having, and how many folks that were flipping when we talk to them.

HILL: Hi, it's Katie Hill. We could really use your help. 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.


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: Sure. 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 --

HILL: Hello, how are you?

LAH: Believes voters will elect her.


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

AMERICAN CROWD: Ain't no party like a Democratic Party, because the Democratic Party don't stop. Say what?

LAH: Other millennial women are also on 2018's congressional ballot.

AMERICAN CROWD: Abby, Abby, Abby --

LAH: In Iowa, 29-year-old Democrat Abby Finkenauer.

XOCHITL TORRES SMALL (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, IOWA: We just want someone to deliver. That's what I've done.

In New Mexico, 33-year-old Democrats Xochitl Torres Small, their age and gender-distinct. And in Katie Hill's race, attacked.

ANNOUNCER: Liberal Katie Hill, too immature.

LAH: Immature?

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

[02:55:02] KNIGHT: Well, 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 is 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. And I think that should be scary to them.


CHURCH: And that was Kyung Lah, reporting. And don't forget to join us later Tuesday night right here on CNN for extensive coverage of the U.S. midterm elections and all of the results. It starts at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. 6:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, and goes until all of the results are in.

Now, before we leave you, believe it or not, they have only ever been full black governors in America's history. A fact not lost on singer Rihanna.

She is taken to social media to endorse Florida's Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum. And the singer is refusing to stay silent on another issue even though she wants the Trump campaign to do the exact opposite.




CHURCH: Or despite the title of that song, Rihanna is the latest musician to criticize the president for using her songs at rallies. She was alerted to it by Washington Post journalist Philip Rucker.

Rihanna tweeted this in response, "Not for much longer, me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies. So thanks for the heads-up, Phillip." And thank you for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @rosemaryCNN. And I'll be back with another hour of news right after the short break. Do stick around. You're watching CNN.


CHURCH: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemarie Church.

U.S. President Donald Trump is not on the ballot in Tuesday's midterm elections but the first two years of his presidency are. And voters are turning out in record numbers.