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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
First Votes Coming In From Key Florida Senate & Governor Races. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 6, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Congress, the future of the Trump presidency, all of that and a lot more on the line.
We have a Senate projection right now. CNN projects that Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator from Vermont, the incumbent, he will be reelected. Remember, he caucuses with the Democrats, a win for the Democrats. In Virginia, Tim Kaine, the incumbent Democrat, CNN projects he will get another six years in the United States Senate. Tim Kaine the winner in Virginia.
In Indiana, right now, too early to call, Joe Donnelley, the Democratic incumbent facing Mike Braun, a very, very tough fight going on in Indiana right now. Let's take a look at the balance of power, see where things stand right now. In the U.S. Senate, remember, 25 Democrats, they will be in the Senate. Forty-two Republicans in the Senate, but 33 seats tonight remain outstanding. We're watching those 33 states so carefully. Remember, Democrats must pick up two Republican seats, not lose any of their own, in order to become the majority in the United States Senate.
Dana, we're watching Indiana, oh so closely right now. The Democrats need to hold on to this seat.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They sure do, and it is one of the classic Senate races of this election day because it's going to tell the story of not only whether they can hold this seat but whether there's any chance the Democrats could take control of the Senate and it's all playing out on Trump turf. Indiana is exhibit A of that. Right now, the Republican challenger, Mike Braun, is ahead, pretty well ahead, more than 60%. Joe Donnelley, the Democratic incumbent, is behind a little more than 35%.
Just 4% of the vote in and as I toss it back to you Wolf and Jake, I will tell you that a Democratic source in Indiana cautions that a lot of the vote that they're seeing is Republican Braun country. They're still feeling good about the fact that this could be a very long night, maybe even a good one for the Democrats. We'll see.
BLITZER: Yes, a good point indeed, very, very early in Indiana. Vermont and Virginia, we now know the incumbent Democrats, the independent and the Democrat, will be reelected. We're about to get some results in Florida right now. Real results. JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Florida, of course, is where everybody is watching, because there are two high-profile races there, a governor's race and a Senate race that really both of them are too close to call and of course there are a number of competitive races, Florida being such a swing state with so many swing districts within it. Tim Kaine, a year ago, people thought that he could have been vulnerable, running in a purple state.
We have Florida votes? OK. Let me --
BLITZER: Let's go to Dana. She's got some results.
BASH: Finally starting to get some votes in from Florida. You see there, Rick Scott, the Republican challenger, who's also the sitting governor, is ahead right now at this early hour. Bill Nelson, the three-term incumbent Democrat is trying to hang on here. Again, this is one of those seats just like in Indiana, the Democrats want to and need to hold on to, another one of those states, Wolf and Jake, that the President has been trying to help the Republican take back and put in the GOP hands.
BLITZER: Yes, good point. You know, Jake, if the Democrats hope to get the majority in the United States Senate, Bill Nelson, he's got to hold on to his seat.
TAPPER: They have to hold on to that seat and his opponent, Rick Scott, the incumbent governor, has been running a very different statewide race than the man running for governor of Florida to replace him, Ron DeSantis, the Republican. DeSantis tittered (ph) himself very closely to President Trump. Rick Scott, while clearly a supporter of President Trump, differed with him on some major issues, including what happened in Puerto Rico after the hurricane hit, on some issues having to do with immigration. He ran an ad saying that he would be with the President when he thought he was right and stand up to him when he thought he was wrong.
We're going to see which technique works best with this swing electorate, with Trump supporters, saying you'll stand up to him and also be with him when you agree with him or just clinging to him as DeSantis did. It's not clear.
BLITZER: It's not clear at all. Let's go over to John. John, let's take a closer look at Florida right now. Results are beginning to come in. There are some key battles under way.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: And again, 3% reporting in Florida. Watching the map fill in. Republicans generally do well out here in the western part of the state. Orlando, the suburbs below them, key to Democrats. So you'll see right here, pop it up. 59%, 60% edge. I want to go back in time to look how this one played in the governor's race last time just to get a sense.
If you go back to 2014 and you look at the same county, Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate won this county which is 52% of vote. One of things you watch. That was a very close race. So you're watching here, again we're very early in the count here. But if Andrew Gillum running near 60% stronger than Charlie Crist that would be good for him if you look at it.
To the point you just make, I just want to show you something about these two races. If you've watched the polling in Florida at the end of this campaign, the Senate race and the governor's race have been running almost exactly tied if you look at the polling. So one of the things you're going to watch tonight, Jake just noted, Ron DeSantis, a pro-Trump congressman, running on the Trump message, Rick Scott, the Republican governor saying, whoa, I believe the higher death toll in Puerto Rico. Some distance from President Trump.
[19:05:06] So how does this play out? Let's look at the vote count. 125,000 in the early vote count for Ron DeSantis. Let's look at the Senate race. Rick Scott outperforming him a little bit in terms of the same counties reporting as the vote comes in, 128 to 125.
Let's look at the Senate race. 113-5 is your change there. Let's look at the governors' race, 111.
So the Senate candidates outperforming a little bit but watches that place out across. Again, if you look at the map. Very early for the Democrats, whether it's the Senate race or the Governors race. Down here, up here, across here, critical for the Democrats, lot of rural area.
One of the big questions here, because of the recent hurricanes, here how's the turnout up here? Some parts of the Republican panhandle have suffered some pretty big hits from weather related stuff.
How's the turnover up there. President had a rally here, the President had another rally down here. President has been all in, in this race, sometimes to the a little bit nervousness in the Scott campaign for that. But as we watched this play out, whether we're talking senator, whether we're talking governor, whether we're talking presidential campaigns, Florida always very tight.
Just want to see if we're getting any. No results yet from our House key races. As we're waiting for a lot of House districts in the state of Florida, obviously. But we look and you see this, overall right there, none coming in the key races just yet.
WOLF: Let's take a look at the Senate in Florida right now and for any Democrat, as you know, statewide in Florida win, in the southern part of Florida, Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach County, the Democrat have to crush it.
KING: To see that's exactly. That's a great word. They have to crush.
WOLF: Well take a look some of the results coming in. Nelson just pulled ahead 7% of the voters in.
KING: Nelson just pulled ahead. So where's that vote coming from? We've seen this coming -- It's not coming in down here yet. If you're Bill Nelson, you want to be ahead when this comes in. This is traditionally a later vote, Palm Beach, Miami Dade, Broward County, traditionally comes in a little later. If you're the Democrat, you know, you're going to win down here. The question is by how much. So you're waiting for that. So let's just see what happened. They only blank this off here. Those votes came in over here.
Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, Bill Nelson running ahead out there over Scott. Like you can go back six years in time if you want, you just take a peek, 59% in a competitive race six years ago. So, you know, one of the things we're going to watch tonight when you see votes come in, in places where the Democrat has to win, is Bill Nelson performing at the same level, above, below, underperforming or over performing or matching six years ago.
WOLF: You know everyone, it's very interesting, Nelson now ahead. If you go statewide, let's go back statewide for a second. Because in the gubernatorial contest, the Democratic candidate, Gillum, has taken the lead right now as well.
KING: For the very similar margin. And this, again, these races have tracked each other at the end of the election. The Senate race and the governor's race, if you look at all the public polling, they've tracked each other pretty closely.
So even as the candidates have tried to say this isn't about Donald Trump, this isn't about a national election, this is about Florida issues. Both in the Senate race and in the governor's race. The political environment is nationalized and the President going there a couple times. Again, Ron DeSantis was happy for that. He wanted the Trump voters to turnout especially up here. The Scott campaign was a bit nervous about that, believing it could offend some of the suburban voters they need here and voters down here.
WOLF: That I-4 Corridor in the central part of Florida, critical. Go back to Pinellas County for a second, St. Petersburg. You see Gillum ahead. The Democrats are ahead right now but I'm curious how Hillary Clinton did there in the election in 2016.
KING: Let's take a look. That's the wonder. A little history here. You go back in the magic. This was Donald Trump territory.
KING: This was Donald Trump territory. I remember, if you remember, in -- during the day, in Florida, Democratic operatives down here were texting in during the day that they were nervous at what they saw --
KING: -- the turnout, the election turnout on Election Day. The Clinton campaign liked their early vote, turned out they actually cannibalized in some ways their Election Day but turn a lot of people early. The Trump forces overwhelmed the Clinton campaign in this part of the state with Election Day turnout.
So, again, that's the key point. In the presidential race, very competitive, very competitive but this was -- this is red in the presidential race. So now you come forward to 2018 and one of the things you're looking for is a Trump effect.
How many voters that voted for Trump now turned and say, go Democrat for senator or for governor this time. So that's one thing we look at. That's the House map. There's the Senate map. The Senate candidate Bill Nelson still ahead.
WOLF: In Pinellas County.
KING: Remember, this is giant Florida and we'll pull it out here. He still ahead statewide. It's a big state, 8% of the vote. We have a very long way to go. But as the vote comes in, you'd always rather be ahead than behind.
The Democrat, 35,000 votes, so sure that 34,000 votes there strikes the governor's race 27 just right above there. These two races tracking each other. If you want to draw a line across here.
WOLF: Go to Tallahassee, for a moment, I'm curious Leon County to see what's going on over there. You see the Democrats are ahead.
KING: And they should be. But Andrew Gillum is the mayor and this is one of the questions here. This is one of the questions, one of the pockets in Florida where you do have an African-American vote, absolutely vital to any Democrat.
One of the questions was, because of Andrew Gillum, could he put together more of an Obama-like coalition to not only help his own campaign but maybe to help Bill Nelson as well to had more voters come out in the race for governor who might not come out in a race for Senate in a midterm year. But perhaps energized by this race that you saw President Obama spending some time on this race, Oprah Winfrey spending some time thinking about this race. So, again, this is just Leon County, Tallahassee, but it is a place where if a Democrat is going to win, they have to run it up big.
[19:10:13] Let's just do the presidential comparison, just take a look. Again, Hillary Clinton carried this county with 60% of the vote. Florida was a very competitive election in 2016, carried by President Trump ultimately but it was close. And so you look at the 60% there for Hillary Clinton, you come back to the governor's race now. It's defaulting to the House races for me. But if you look at there, you see that there.
So that's Leon County. Let's pull it back out and make sure nothing has changed. Just shy of 27,000 lead for the Democrat in the governor's race.
Let's check the Senate vote again. It's Holding in. So there's 8% in, 34 and some change there for Bill Nelson.
Again, lot of votes across here, the Orlando suburbs have grown, the Tampa suburbs have grown, St. Pete has grown, Tallahassee is vital for the Democrats. If you're the Republicans, you don't like being behind but you're looking at the map and you're thinking, OK, the middle part of the state, there's a lot of Republican votes we still haven't seen yet. And then like I said we've been through this dance before, the most critical part of the state for Democrats as long as they do their business up here is turning it out in the popular series Broward, Miami Dade.
WOLF: That's about a third of the population of Florida in those three counties alone.
KING: Those three countries right down there. So the old joke, the further south you go the further north you get. These are voters. This is the south. Trump voters, Tea Party voters up here.
We get down here, a lot of transplants from New England, from New York, from the Midwest, these are more competitive. And then this particular part of the state very Democratic especially with the growth Latino population as well.
This is much more Democratic area here. No votes yet. These three counties at the bottom tend to come in later. Especially the final 10% or 15% of the vote.
WOLF: When those three counties start coming in, there will be good news for the Democrats from those three counties.
KING: If they're winning. I mean the key test there for the Democrats will be Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, what are the margins?
KING: They'll be blue unless there's something strange happening tonight, very strange happening tonight. The question of the margins, again, especially in a state like Florida, which is just so close to the end. And so you see this first wave of votes come in, in the campaigns. You say, you watch, and then you wait, then you wait.
And if the Scott campaign, they know. The campaigns have people in the ground in every county. They know. Did they meet their early voting targets? Did they turn out their people today in numbers roughly around the number they thought they needed?
WOLF: Let's go back to the governor's race in Florida. Gillum looks like he's ahead (INAUDIBLE). He's ahead by 25,646 votes.
KING: Ahead by 25,000, again, early on. Democratic -- Big Democratic votes down here haven't come in yet. Where still -- especially Orange County here, you look Orlando area, no votes here yet.
So, if you're a Democrat, you want to be ahead. Obviously one of the reasons he's ahead is votes have come in his home base in Tallahassee. So, if you're in the DeSantis headquarters, you're thinking, OK, that's Gillum territory, that all right. We'll get ours when they come in.
But, again, you know, it's rather to be ahead. For me the key test is not only does Ron -- how much does Ron DeSantis win across the panhandle but what's the turnout. Is he not only running up the margins but getting Trump voters to come out and play in this incredibly important gubernatorial election.
WOLF: We're watching those so closely and we're standing by for more votes from Florida and those important races for the Senate and for the governor also. A lot more coming.
[19:16:50] WOLF: 14 minutes away -- 13 minutes, I should say, before the next poll closings. Let's go over to Dana. Dana, you've got a key race alert.
BASH: That's right, Wolf. We are still looking at these two races, both states where the President won in 2016, both states where Democrats are trying to hold on to Democratic Senate seats, starting in Florida. Last time I gave results here, the Republican, Rick Scott, was ahead, no longer. Bill Nelson, the Democratic incumbent, is now ahead by more than 67,000 votes. It is still early and the polls are still open in the panhandle.
Indiana is another one that we're watching very closely. The Republican challenger, Mike Braun, is still ahead at this early point in the evening ahead of almost 60%. Joe Donnelley, the incumbent Democrat is trailing at 36.4%. I want to toss it over to Nia and you've got some key race alert numbers on the governor's races.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right, Dana. In Florida, here's what we're looking at. Andrew Gillum, the Democrat in this race, of course, vying to become the state's first African-American governor up over Ron DeSantis, the Republican, by about six points at this point, 69,000 votes. We've been watching this back and forth all night.
Andrew Gillum, at this point, 70,000 votes ahead. A closely watched race in the third largest state in the country, a history on the line tonight for Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis obviously trying to play some defense and keep this governor's race in Republican hands. He was Donald Trump's hand-picked candidate and at this point, he's lagging in in the votes at this point behind by about 70,000 votes with 15% reporting at this point. And back to Wolf and John at the Magic Wall.
WOLF: Nia, thank you. Looks like the House of Representatives in Florida votes are beginning to come in pretty quickly.
KING: Starting to fill in pretty quickly, and again, Florida, big state, a place where Democrats hope, hope to flip two, three, maybe more Republican seats on their path. They need 23 net. So let's look, again, results coming in early. Let's look down here at the 15th Congressional District. The Republican, Ross Spano, the Democratic, Kristen Carlson, the Democrat ahead. This would be a flip. The Democrat if they can get. The Democrat ahead right now 51- 48.
Again, when you don't see the percentage down here, that generally means either the problem with the system or it's the early vote. And so if it's just early vote in, we don't have live voting coming in, we'll see how this goes when we go through it but you have a Democrat ahead there, that's one. We pull back out to the map. This will be helpful to people watching home during tonight. Emphasis on leading. Leading, these are not called races. But there are 10 Democrats leading and five Republicans leading. Two of these Democrats are leading in Republican-held districts.
So you tap that and take a look. The other one is here. This was not on our list of target races and again, we're looking at the early vote here but the Democrat is ahead here over the Republican incumbent, Neal Dunn. Why do you keep an eye on this race? Just in case.
Again, it wasn't on our list, those key races, races we thought could flip. But remember, the Democratic candidate for governor, Andrew Gillum, is the mayor of Tallahassee. So you're looking here just to see if maybe there's a switch there and you go through it here.
So some of the other races we're watching in Florida are down here and you come down to southern Florida. We talked about these earlier before we had any results of the Democrat leading in the 26 district. The Republican incumbent, Carlos Curbelo, has been sharply critical of the President in recent days, saying your immigration message is over the top.
[19:20:04] Yes, we need to secure our borders but the caravan are not invaders, they're not bad people. They shouldn't take away birthright citizenship, but watch this one. This could be a pick up for the Democrats here then you come next door to this district here.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican incumbent retires. Donna Shalala ahead here, again, that's a decent vote count in a congressional rate so far, 52-45. A former television personality running in the district. Republicans found a good candidate.
This is a seat the Democrats really think they do need to pick up. So that's 27 there. I just want to pull it out to take a look again. If you look at it this way here, the goal is for Democrats -- let's tap this out. Come out here. Come back out. There we go.
If you're the Democrats, you need a net goal of 23. You're leading right now in five Republican districts. It's early. Democrats think they can flip two, three, maybe more. But two or three is their target in Florida. Three would be great for the Democrats.
They're leading right now in five Republican districts. So if you're sitting in Democratic headquarters, you're thinking how do we get to 23. It's a big state. It offers you several opportunities and you're encouraged by the early results but emphasis on early
WOLF: Let's go to Virginia. The Commonwealth of Virginia, the 5th District.
KING: Come on in. See what we got. This again, a race where these Democrats are trying to do some business here at 1 percent, 1 percent reporting here.
WOLF: Very early. KING: It's 281 votes ahead 927-646. So, again, the people who are tracking this very closely, especially the campaign committees that deal with House races or partisans in any of these states who are trying to think, will my state flip the House or give the House seats, you see a Democrat ahead right here. Obviously we're going to keep watching it but that's a very early result.
WOLF: It's a very early result but the numbers are coming in. Democrats taking the lead in two marquee races in Florida right now, will that hold? We're awaiting more votes.
And polls close in three more states just minutes from now. Stay with us.
[19:25:34] WOLF: It's only 7:25 here on the east coast but we're getting an early sense of where things are moving right now. Look at these in the House of Representatives. Five Democrats are already leading in Republican districts in races that are too early to call. Remember, Democrats must pick up 23 Republican seats and not lose any of their own to become a majority in the House of Representatives.
Very early we're counting down now to the next round the poll closings more early test of whether the Democrats are on track top win back the House or possibly the Senate at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Polls close in North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia. Three states President Trump won back in 2016. Jake, this is potentially hostile to territory for the Democrats.
TAPPER: That's right, Wolf, and we're heading into Trump country now and Democrats are on the defensive especially in the Senate race in West Virginia.
Incumbent Senator Joe Manchin one of a handful of red state Democrats in tough fights for his reelection. He is being challenged by Republican Patrick Morrisey. We're also watching the governor's race in Ohio. Democrat Richard Cordray is in a close race with Republican Mike DeWine in this crucial presidential battle ground state.
The current Republican Governor John Kasich his term limited. Polls are going to close in Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina just moments from now. That's Trump country. Wolf?
BLITZER: Yes, we're getting ready for some more. Poll closings but things are beginning to shape up in some of these states already.
KING: Started to get a sense of the early House map. Can the Democrats get that net 23? And you mentioned, let me just show, you see the race is over there where people are leading. It's kind of misleading because some of these Republicans are leading let's say for Republican districts.
Some of these Democrats are leading let's say for Democrats districts. So let's look at the races, there would be pickups if they change. If six Republicans, six Democrats excuse me, now leading in Republican health districts. That's the goal for the Democrats tonight. To get to the 23, they had a flip. And so six Democrats now leading in Republican health district.
One Republican leading in a Democrat district. So if Republican slip Democratic seats, obviously you have to complicate the math. Let me start there just because you see who is that Republican.
This is down here in Georgia. Very early results. I would be very surprised given the composition of this district if the Democratic Incumbent Sanford Bishop were to lose. This is usually a safe Democratic seat but we'll watch it. We'll watch it. We'll see. There's a governors race there. Sometimes in a big state wild illusion (ph) things change so we'll keep an eye on that one as it plays out.
WOLF: Now go to Virginia 10 because it's developing right there.
KING: You come in here now, this one just started to get some results here. Virginia 10 is the race we've talked about all night long for the Democrats in the first wave of results especially in the mid- Atlantic to the east. This is critical.
This is an absolute must win for the Democrats on the path to 23 or more and again, early results but that's just what they wanted. It's just what they wanted the Northern Virginia suburbs. Washington D.C. is right here. (INAUDIBLE) Fairfax County. You stretch out this way this way here.
Jennifer Wexton is a must win for the Democrats. So, as the results start to come in, the first wave of results in the district. If you're trying to win this seat in the Democrats you're breathing a bit easier. But let's watch. It's still early.
But again, one of the challenges, we talked about this just in Florida. Can the Democrats flip one, can they flip two, can they flip three. When you're trying to get to 23, it matters in these states with opportunities so we're going to keep an eye on this district down here.
Southeast corner of Virginia just disappeared on me there. Scott Taylor, I don't know why the map did that. That's Virginia second district is over here. I'm going to come out of the map just to see. Every now and then we get this up. That -- those results just disappeared. I don't quite know why. But we do have results in the 7th District.
This is another one of these pickup opportunities right here. Abigail Spanberger ahead, 10% of the voting here you start to watch this but pretty close, 442 votes. This is a hugely contested district, Richmond suburbs versus Tea Party country here for David Brat. We'll see if that place out right there.
We take this off now, we go back -- I want to go back to the Southern District here. The reasons it flipped, the reason this data disappeared, I had it in a pickup opportunity. And while we were talking about the districts, Scott Taylor went ahead. That's why it went out there. Scott Taylor now ahead in the district down here. The second district a 51 to 49, but again a very close race.
If you're the Democrats and Republicans looking at this map trying to do the calculation, can the Democrats get the 23, there is one pickup opportunity for Democrats there. The second there that's very close. A third down here with the Republican has just pulled ahead but it's narrow. So the Democrats are looking.
So we get one, two, or three out of Virginia and you pull it back out. Again, a number of opportunities down here in the state of Florida. If you want three Democrats in the state of Florida right now leading in Republican health districts, those issues are here, here and here and so we're going to watch this one play out throughout the night.
The goal is 23, Democrats believe this side over here at least enough seats to get most of the way, Wolf, and now it's start to get more.
BLITZER: The polls are closing at three more states right now where Democrats are hoping to make some significant in race.
We got a key race alert in the Senate right now. Polls closing in West Virginia. Joe Manchin, the incumbent Democrat, Patrick Morrisey, the Republican challenger, too early to call in West Virginia right now.
Similarly in Ohio, Sherrod Brown, the Democratic incumbent, Jim Renacci, the Republican challenger, too early to call in Ohio as well.
Take a look at the balance of power, where things stand in the Senate right now, 25 Democrats will be in the Senate, 42 Republicans but 33 seats remain outstanding right now. We're watching those 33 seats.
Remember, Democrats must pick up 2 Republican seats, not lose any of their own to get to the magic number of 51 in order to be the majority. We're looking at Florida right now. All of a sudden, the numbers are coming in, the votes are coming in, Florida.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They are, Wolf. And we've seen some frantic tweets from the Senate Republican Marco Rubio, from Donald Trump Jr., begging Republicans to go out and vote, and look at the numbers, this tells you why. The Democratic incumbent, Bill Nelson, is ahead, 51.4 percent. Rick Scott, the Republican challenger, is trailing at 48.6 percent with a third of the vote in now.
So we're watching Florida incredibly closely right now. The Democrat is doing pretty well considering how tight of a race we thought this was going to be.
Indiana, another just like Florida, the story is that this is a Republican turf where there is an incumbent Democrat, Mike Braun, the Republican challenger is ahead still, of Joe Donnelly, the incumbent Democrat. We're going to keep watching this very closely. It's taking some time for the votes to come in there in Hoosier land.
Nia, to you on the governors.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Thanks, Dana.
In Florida, this closely watched governor's race, Andrew Gillum, still ahead by 67,000 votes over Ron DeSantis. This, as you said, Dana, a race that the Trump family is closely watching at this point. Thirty- three percent in, Ron DeSantis trying to prevent Democrats from a pick-up in this very important presidential state at this point.
Let's go on to Georgia at this point. Brian Kemp, the Republican, ahead at this point. Still very, very early, as you can see, only 1 percent in. He is over Stacey Abrams at this point, the Democrat, trying to go some history here in this race, trying to become the nation's first black woman governor, 1 percent in at this point, Brian Kemp leading.
And I'll go to Wolf now.
BLITZER: All right, thanks very much, Nia.
John, let's take a big picture right now, how many Democrats are leading in GOP's districts.
KING: You want to go to the House first? Let's go to the House first. Here we go right here, 21 Democrat leading. Six of them in Republican districts and again, the magic number tonight for Democrats is 23.
Net gain of 23 gets you the House of Representatives. You have one Republican leading in a Democratic district. So, we haven't called these races yet, critical to note.
BLITZER: Just went up to 8 percent. You see it moving as we're talking.
KING: As we move into the next hour, especially, the results are going to start to tick up. And so you have 25 Democrats, 8 in Republican districts.
So one of the ways to look at this is to come over here. We have not called these races but these are the pick-up opportunities. You see eight opportunities for Democrats to pick up, one opportunity for Republican to pick up. Again, that is normally a safe Democratic district there, the vote count's early, we'll keep an eye on it, see if there's a surprise happening in the state of Georgia tonight.
But one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight Democrats, the goal is to get to 23. This one is blue at the moment, so I'm going to pop back in and check on this because the last time we checked, this one had gone red. This is Amy McGrath versus the Republican incumbent Andy Barr. Lexington, that's the major population area, more rural and conservative out here, some suburbs here, Amy McGrath now pulled ahead by 8,000 votes.
You start getting into a House race, up to 33 percent. Again, far from over. We're still counting.
BLITZER: Take a look at the big picture of the House district as, all of a sudden, it's looked up at 11 leading the vote -- 11 Democrats are leading in Republican held districts.
KING: Eleven leading the vote in Republican held districts, so you start looking here. This is the full map and you start thinking, where are the pick-ups so you come in here and take a look at your pick-up opportunities. And again for Democrats, east of the Mississippi, they believe there are more than enough seats, targets of opportunity to get close to the 23.
Let's go through and let's start. We just showed you Kentucky 6. If the Democrats are winning here, Donald Trump in a campaign for president, carried this district by 15-plus points. If the Democrats are winning at the end of the night, they're leading right now, if they're winning here, that tells you there's a strong Democratic vote tonight.
So let's come up here now into the state of Virginia. This is Virginia 10, Barbara Comstock. This is a must win for the Democrats.
BLITZER: More than half the vote in.
KING: More than half the vote in, and the Democratic candidate performing as the Democrats hope tonight above 55 percent. This district will tell you two things.
Number one, it's a must-win for the Democrats. Jennifer Wexton must win to get -- for the Democrats to get to 23.
Number two, this is a key test of how bad is it for Donald Trump in the suburbs.
[19:35:02] How bad is it for President Trump in the suburbs and if you're looking at a race right there, that tells you the Democrats feel very strong about that.
Another pick-up opportunity, this one gets some national attention because remember, Dave Brat was a giant killer back in the Tea Party election, he knocked off a key member of the House Republican leadership, perhaps a future speaker of the House. Many Republicans thought Dave brat knocked him off. This is a very close race in a highly competitive district.
So, this one, if you're the Democrats, this, you have to win. You should win. It's a golden opportunity, the 10th district. Jennifer Wexton.
This is much more competitive race here. Richmond suburbs versus the Tea Party, Trump voter area up here. We're going to watch this thing. Only at 18 percent there.
BLITZER: Let's go south.
KING: There's another one, so there's two there in Virginia. Let's keep coming south. We haven't talked much about North Carolina yet but there are opportunities for Democrats in North Carolina. So, we're going to see that vote come in as well. Let's check in on these districts to see where we are. Eight hundred and two votes, Ryan Watts over Mark Walker, the
incumbent. Again, a Democrat leading over Republican incumbent still early in the votes. You can't see the percentages because it's so early in the vote count. Another district I just want to check this one over here, Patrick McHenry, a prominent Republican, part of the extended leadership team, losing at the moment but only 235 votes.
So you pull back out and you pull back out and you're looking at this map. Florida right now, this is what the Democrats had hoped for. Let's get two, let's get three, maybe more in the state of Florida. Democrats are leading the vote in four districts, now, two of them down here. And again, these close -- we talked about the close Senate race. We talked about the close gubernatorial race.
One of the things driving turnout in the southern part of the state is these close congressional races, the Democratic candidate pulling ahead here, Carlos Curbelo, moderate Republican, sharp critic of the president on immigration, and move over here, this was a Republican retirement, just showed you a Republican incumbent in trouble here. This was a Republican retirement where a candidate who has a relationship with the district can do the fund-raising, is very well known, leaves, Democrats see an opportunity.
Donna Shalala at the moment, former HHS secretary, in the Bill Clinton administration, she was down here as an educator, Miami University. She's ahead now as we watch this race.
BLITZER: You know, I want to stay in Florida, but take a look at what's going on, John, in the Senate race and the governor's race, the Democrats are pulling ahead significantly.
KING: And here you go. Now the Democrats pulling ahead, why? We talked about this earlier.
The Democrats are pulling ahead because we're starting to get votes in the strongest Democratic area of the state. So, if you're a Republican, you don't like that. But if you look, still some Republican areas here. But let's check it out and let's see the margins. Bill Nelson, 62-38 over Rick Scott here.
Let's just go back in time and look at --
BLITZER: That's Palm Beach County.
KING: Palm Beach County there. Let's go back and look six years ago. Bill Nelson, 63.7 percent so running roughly the same. But watch it play out. Let's come back to 2018.
If you're Bill Nelson, you know it's going to be a squeaker so you're saying, OK, am I getting my turnout? That's a good number for Bill Nelson in Broward County, 71 percent of the vote coming in there.
BLITZER: That's Ft. Lauderdale.
KING: Running a little bit ahead, roughly the same but a little bit ahead of this performance, six years ago, Senate races. And then let's just come down to the biggest Miami-Dade, 60 percent. So he's running there.
And I just want to check as we look at this. Let me pop out and check the statewide. A lot of this up here is going to fill in red. The question is, do you have the numbers to offset this and to offset Tampa and we have nothing from Orange County yet too. This should be Democratic votes here in the race for senate.
That's the Senate race. Bill Nelson.
BLITZER: Almost half of the vote is in. He's ahead by 234,000.
KING: You're happy in a race you know is going to be very, very close, that's where you want to be. We've got a long way to go, especially out here.
BLITZER: How's the governor's race looking?
KING: Almost a mirror image. Look at the Senate race -- 52.5 percent for the Democratic candidate on top. Over to the governor's race, 52.3 percent. These races are running, very different races, very different candidates but in a nationalized political environment, Florida is voting that way tonight.
So, you see Andrew Gillum ahead. Again, this is his base of support, he's the Tallahassee mayor. Running it up here, only 4 percent. It's only 1.4 percent of the state population, this county, but Andrew Gillum needs to win it big because it is his home base.
The question then, is does he perform as well as the much more familiar? Bill Nelson is a known figure statewide, so does the mayor of Tallahassee, trying to be the first African-American governor of Florida, is he performing just as well down here in Palm Beach County? The answer so far, yes. Broward County, the answer so far, yes. Miami-Dade County, so far, yes.
So that's always a challenge. If you're a mayor but Ron DeSantis also a member of the House, you try to win on a bigger stage. Ron DeSantis' district is here. Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, you're trying to win not only on a bigger stage but this is a giant stage, the state of Florida, it's diverse, highly competitive.
The Democrats at the moment doing what they need to do. I just want to add the footnote, a lot of Republican votes up here and in the middle we still haven't counted.
BLITZER: It's 47 percent of the vote is in.
Speaking of governor's races, let's go to Ohio right now and take a look. It looks like the Democratic candidate is ahead.
KING: And so, before I zoom in on the state, we don't talk enough about the governor's races because there is such drama in the House of Representatives.
[19:40:05] Still such a competitive battlefield, who will take the Senate tonight, Democrats are very optimistic, not only in the Florida governor's race, maybe in the Georgia governor's race but they think right here, states that were Trump country, they think they have a good chance in the governor's races, not just in Ohio but moving on.
But let's take a look. Richard Cordray served in the -- carryover from the Obama administration, ran the Consumer Financial Agency, was run out of town by the Obama administration, essentially. Running for governor in the state of Ohio. Mike DeWine was a former member here in Washington, then was a state attorney general, candidate for governor, 5 percent, 5 percent, and the vote coming in so far, blue- collar out here, Youngstown area, Democratic area, running up big. This is a Democratic area right here.
Although Mike DeWine is well known in Franklin County because of his service in state government but this is a Democratic area and a Democratic base. If you look at the map, you're Richard Cordray, you're happy to be ahead in a key battleground governor's race.
If you think about the governor's race, this is not just about Ohio tomorrow. It's about Ohio and the 2020 presidential campaign, Ohio in 2021 when you're doing post-census redistricting, these governors races across the Midwest where Democrats think they can pick up Ohio and Michigan, where they think they maybe can beat Scott Walker in Wisconsin. They're looking to Iowa as well.
So, again, Wolf, those results are early in Ohio. Long way to count. But Democrats think the Midwest is going to be very good for them tonight.
BLITZER: Let's reset what's going on in the House of Representatives, John, right now. Take a look at this. In the U.S. House, 14 Democrats are leading right now in Republican held districts. Now it's gone up to 15. Fifteen Democrats are leading in Republican districts in races that are still too early to call.
Remember, Democrats must pick up 23 Republican seats, not lose any of their own in order to be the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, get to the magic number of 218. Democrats are leading. They're looking pretty good right now. They must be happy.
KING: And here's one of them. We're looking, again, emphasized, you start watching these. You're looking at trying to find the 23. Can Democrats flip 23 Republican districts without losing any of their own or if they lose one of their own, to make up for it in the map.
So, this is a Republican incumbent, Tom Rice, running as a Democratic candidate, very small slice of the vote so let's be careful but that's one. South Carolina was not a place we were thinking of tonight. A ruby red Republican state, not a place we were thinking, okay, can the Democrats look to retake the house, let's look to South Carolina.
But one of the things you get surprised sometimes in a midterm year, if there's something going on out there, if there's a turnout dynamic. So, let's just keep an eye on it. Again, I wouldn't bet the ranch on this one but let's keep an eye on it so far.
Interestingly, pick-up opportunities in North Carolina. Patrick McHenry, prominent member of the Republican conference here in Washington, that's a very competitive race right now. Move across. Ted Budd, the Republican incumbent right here, very competitive race and sometimes in a midterm year, you get these competitive races, most of these are Republican-leading districts, the Democratic candidates carried by the national environment gets them close. The question is, can you get over the top?
Let's keep looking as we look across here. Mark Walker, the Republican incumbent trailing by a more significant margin as you look at this race here and again, you come over a little bit more here and you have another Republican incumbent trailing by almost, well, 13,500 votes in that district.
So North Carolina, if we were looking at the beginning of the night, can the Democrats pick up one, maybe two, at the moment, at the moment, there's four races there they're looking at. Let's come back out again and look at a national perspective. Where are the Democrats' targets of opportunity. You see there's some out here in Ohio. Let's take a look at them.
We watched the early governors vote come in. You just start to look here. This -- just fasten your seat belts if this happens. Steve Stivers runs the Republican House Campaign Committee. He is in charge of protecting the Republican majority.
This is a pretty safe Republican district. This is very early in the vote count. This would be stunning if this were to happen, frankly. If Steve Stivers spending so much attention trying to protect the Republican majority around the country that he was stunned back at home. Again, midterms do give us surprises.
This is a race we've been watching throughout the year, the Stivers not on a list of districts you think you're going to flip. This is a district we want to keep an eye on, again, a Republican district but you see the Democratic candidate, 10,000 votes until the House district, that's a pretty healthy lead. Where's the other one in Ohio? Let's come up here and look.
This is an open seat and you see here, the Democratic candidate running ahead but a narrow margin and that's early in the vote count. I want to just pull back out to the national map. Be saying this a lot. The magic number is 23.
They think there are a lot of opportunities here. We're going to start seeing more polls closing as well. But interesting. Just for the rollercoaster back and forth of the night, we could be at this a while.
We showed you in Virginia a little while ago, the Democrats. I'm going to check this, come back to the map, come back and make sure I'm right about this, come back in here. Yes. So a moment ago, we showed you the Republicans were ahead here -- I mean, the Democrats were ahead here in the Dave Brat district. That has changed. Let's take a look at it.
And these close races, you're going to have a little rollercoaster as the results come. Now, we're up to 37 percent, Dave Brat has inched ahead a little bit.
[19:45:01] BLITZER: By 533 votes.
KING: By 533 votes. So, 533 votes, we may have a lot of races late into the night where we have them very competitive because this is a place a Democrat in a normal year cannot win.
We're in a midterm year. The Democrats think we have the wind at their back, in part because of the president's trouble here in the suburbs so you're going to see this roller coaster back and forth. Abigail Spanberger pulls ahead. Dave Brat pulls ahead.
We'll be going throughout this through the night. So, you come back and look at the map and you come out to the national map and you look right there. You know, you have 12 Democrats leading in Republican districts. That's one Republican leading in that Democrat district so at the moment, this is leading, not called, that is net 11. You need 23.
If you're the Democrats, you think, OK, let's see how the results keep coming in but you think if you're the Democrats, especially because we only have results in the small portion of the country, you're laying the building blocks that you need but there's a lot of counting to do.
BLITZER: Democrats have high hopes for New Jersey and Pennsylvania, some of the contests.
We got a key race alert, Dana.
BASH: Wolf, it doesn't get more Trump country than West Virginia, at least not tonight. The president won there by more than 40 points and right now, the incumbent Democrat, Joe Manchin, is ahead. He's almost at 60 percent. The Republican challenger, Patrick Morrisey, is trailing with 35.5 percent. It is very early, only 2 percent of the vote in.
But this is something that is absolutely critical, as is Florida. Look at that. Bill Nelson, the Democratic incumbent, is holding on, 51.6 percent. Rick Scott, the Republican challenger, 48.4 percent, more than half of the vote is in, in Florida. This is an interesting state, always is, as you know, but the question is whether or not the early votes are contributing to this, record early voting for a midterm in Florida.
And I'm actually going to go to Nia now for some results in the governors races.
HENDERSON: That's right. In Florida, Dana, this race we've been watching closely, Andrew Gillum still ahead, about 120,000 vote lead at this point over Ron DeSantis. You can see about 53 percent of the vote is in at this point. It's a tight, tight race down there, about two points.
In Ohio, we'll go here. Richard Cordray, the Democrat in this Midwestern state, over Mike DeWine, at this point by about 16 points. It is way early in this race, about a 90,000 vote lead for Richard Cordray at this point, 16 percent reporting.
And we can also go to Georgia. This other closely watched race. Brian Kemp, the Republican, ahead at this point, over Stacey Abrams, the Democrat. You can see the votes spread there, about 48,000 votes at this point. Really, really early, 4 percent in at this point.
We'll keep watching all of these races, and I'm going to hand you over to Wolf.
BLITZER: Nia, thank you very much.
You know, Jake, the -- let's step back a little bit. Look at the big picture in Florida right now, the Senate contest, the gubernatorial contest, the two Democratic candidates are ahead and a significant number of votes have already been counted.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: That's right. Of course, there are still some polling places open in the western part of the state. They get very touchy when we talk about these numbers without acknowledging that there are still people voting on the western and panhandle of Florida.
But, yes, right now, when we're looking at these numbers, and it's still early yet, it looks like the Democrats are performing well in a state that Donald Trump won in 2016. Andrew Gillum and Senator Nelson as well, both doing well so far in these early numbers.
BLITZER: You know, it's very interesting right now to -- if you take a look at Florida, the Democrats are getting excited, but as you correctly point out, central time zone parts of Florida, people are still voting.
TAPPER: That's right. If you look at the board in general, I mean, Democrats are leading in a lot of these seats, and they look to be on track to have a good night, but we don't know, ultimately, what's going to happen. They are doing what they need to do, but ultimately, Democrats, you can sense this when you talk to them or text them or e- mail them, they feel like they were burned in 2016 by expectations being set by exit polls and before that, by regular polls, and so everybody's being very cautious.
BLITZER: Everybody's watching Florida, oh so carefully right now, potentially, the Democrats do well there, they think that could set some objectives going ahead.
TAPPER: Theoretically, if they win the governor's office and the Senate office and they pick up two or three House seats, that puts them on track to do what they need to do.
BLITZER: We got a projection right now.
Our first House projection right now, CNN projects that Jennifer Wexton, Democratic challenger in Virginia, northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., Jennifer Wexton will become the next U.S. representative from Virginia in that district. She beats the incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock.
This is a big win for the Democrats and as a result, the Democrats now need 22 Republican seats.
[19:50:01] They need 22 Republican seats. It's gone down from 23 in order to get the majority, Jake, in the House of Representatives, assuming they don't lose any of their own seats.
TAPPER: Well, this is not a surprise. This is a good pickup for the Democrats. It's not a surprise. This is the heart of the resistance, Northern Virginia. Hillary Clinton won this district two years ago.
Barbara Comstock was able, she's a skilled politician, she was able to still win in 2016, but this time, she had a very able opponent, soon to be Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton who labeled her instead of Barbara Comstock, Barbara Trumpstock and pointed out even if she every now and then distanced herself from President Trump, she voted with President Trump. This is not a surprise, but it is one, it's the first big pickup for the Democrats.
BLITZER: But what does it say about potential other pickups?
TAPPER: It shows that Donald Trump, as we have been saying for a long time, and Republicans and Paul Ryan have been warning about for some time, is toxic in a lot of the suburbs and specifically, and we'll get down to the breakdown in the exit polls about this, specifically with a lot of Republican and white college-educated women. And he's toxic with them because of the way he talks, because of the way he doesn't convey empathy, at times when there is a national tragedy. And that was a motivating factor.
This is also, of course, we should point out, largely a Democratic district, but it is one that a Republican had control over for several years.
BLITZER: Yes, you and I know this district very well because it's suburbs of Washington, D.C.
We're closing in on one of the most critical hours of this election night with the biggest round of poll closings coming up at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. All voting ends in Alabama, Kentucky, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.
Jake, those states could hold the balance for the Democrats if they're going to do well tonight.
TAPPER: Absolutely, Wolf. And New Jersey and the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Democrats have an opportunity to win about one-third of the Republican-held House seats that they need to reclaim the majority. One-third.
Now, one of their best shots at a house pickup is in the garden state. New Jersey. Former prosecutor and navy helicopter pilot Mikie Sherrill is aiming to flip the open seat in her conservative-leaning district. She faces a Trump-backed Republican, Jay Webber.
We're also watching three high-profile Senate contests in Florida as we've been talking about, Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson currently leading the state's Republican Governor Rick Scott with more than half the votes already in from that state.
In Missouri, Senator Claire McCaskill is one of the most vulnerable red-state Democrats running for re-election. She faces the Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley.
In Tennessee, former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen and Marsha Blackburn are in a tossup race. This is one of the few states where Democrats have a shot, a thin shot but a shot at winning a Republican- held Senate seat this evening. We'll see if there is a wave of any sort.
We're also watching that high-stakes Florida governors race. The Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, now holding a solid lead in his bid to be the state's first-ever African-American governor.
His opponent, former Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis, is closely aligned with President Trump -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much.
You know, it's things are going to start moving very quickly at the top of the hour when a whole bunch of these states close. Give us a big picture of where things stand in the House right now.
KING: Eight o'clock hour will give us many more clues to the House, start to get New Jersey. Democrats think they have pickups there. Other results coming as well. Let's look where we are now.
And as you were talking to me, as you started speaking, Wolf, something changed on the map. I'll show you in a minute. These numbers can be a bit confusing, because 56 Republicans are leading in solid Republican districts, 43 Democrats are leading. Most of them in safe Democratic districts.
So, let's just filter it out and look at one of the races we're watching that we have not called that are potential pickup opportunities and you see 11 Democrats leading in Republican-held districts. One Republican leading in Democrats districts. So, we've already reduced the magic number to 22 by calling that Virginia race. Democrat, that would be halfway, if they won all those races, halfway.
The Republican district remains the same when we showed you earlier, down here, I want to say this is usually a safe Democratic district. We only have 4 percent of the vote. We'll see if this plays out. Midterm elections, every election, can bring a surprise. This would be a big surprise if Bishop loses his House district down there in a year like this.
Where are the Democrats targets of opportunity? A couple out here in Ohio. I just want to come back into Virginia because this has been back and forth all night long. We've already called this.
So, if you're watching at home, what about the 10th district? It's not on this map because we called this race for Jennifer Wexton. So, we'll come back here now. This is one that's been going back and forth all night. So, let's just check.
The Democrat, Abigail Spanberger, now 2,500 votes ahead, 50 percent, 48 percent. A very close race still in the 7th congressional district. One of the big battlegrounds inside Virginia.
Democrats are hoping not just to get the 10th but to get one, possibly two, but one more.
[19:55:04] They want the --
BLITZER: Almost half the vote is in.
KING: Almost half the vote. The question is is it from the suburbs or up here? We're going to watch this as we go through the night. Let's pull it back out.
See more targets of opportunity for the Democrats in North Carolina. This one here would be a bit of a surprise but we're going to check in on it. The Democrat leading in this race in South Carolina, that would be a pickup opportunity.
If you're the Democrats, you have a list of, we got to win these, you got another list of we'd really like to win these and we think it's possible. You have a list of, OK, if there is a big blue wave, can we get some others?
So we'll watch this play out. Florida, critical to the Democratic hopes. They are right now, right now, leading and, remember, you've got the Democratic candidate leading for Senate, the Democratic candidate leading for governor. Sometimes there's a coattail effect.
These Democrat, these races were competitive, anyway, but you have the Democrats leading here in Florida 18. Brian Mast is the Republican incumbent. That's a pretty healthy lead with 35 percent of the vote in. It's only 35 percent. So, we'll keep counting. That would be a pickup for the Democrats.
Let's come down here. This is a Republican incumbent. Another Republican incumbent. Brian Mast won. Losing at the moment.
Carlos Curbelo trailing at the moment. Pretty close, a much closer race so far. Watch this play out. It's has been hotly contested. A moderate Republican at odds with the White House quite frequently. In the neighboring district here, again, Donna Shalala leading, but that's pretty close. That's pretty close.
Both of the races likely to be affected by the governor's race and the Senate race --
BLITZER: Well, let's take a look at the Florida senators race and governors race.
KING: Just one more quick point I want to make. We've been tracking this race all night. What's missing? The Republican has moved ahead in Kentucky 6.
So, we're going to watch this, 66 percent -- 4,600-vote lead. This was a target of opportunity for the Democrats on the outer limit. If they're winning here, they think they're getting to 30, somewhere in the ballpark of 30 seats.
That one switched back now. So, let's come back to the map. You want to look, pull back out Florida. Let's switch over to the Senate. You see the map starting to fill in. You see this is Florida.
KING: You can change the names and you'd have a very close race. What do we have? Fifty-one/49, 92,000 votes. Healthy lead. You're happy to have it in a state like Florida, that can change.
The question is, can it change? So you were talking about this with Jake. We have to wait. These are generally Republican areas. We have nothing.
BLITZER: Polls haven't closed there yet.
KING: Right, nothing out here yet. So, we're waiting for the top of the hour. We'll start to see results come in.
This, if you're in the Republican campaign quarters, when the polls close, you already have input from your field operations. You know who you turned out today. That needs to -- for the Republican candidates, whether it's the Senate race or the competitive governors race, that needs to fill in red. Let's just take a look right here.
How this Duvall County, used to be a very swing county here, pretty competitive. We'll see how the results come in here. So, you're watching this. Just check down here where we are. Seventy-five percent, 8:00 at night, Wolf.
Seventy-five percent, Palm Beach County. That's breaking news in its own, right? Broward County here, 57 percent. Miami-Dade County here.
And again, let's come back out statewide. Remember the numbers, 51, 52 and rounded up. Call that 49 percent. That's the race for senate.
Move it over here, 50 to 49. These are very competitive races tracking closely the governors rate and Senate race. And if you look at the map, it's pretty much the same map as you look through. So, if you're the Democrats, where are your votes? You want to pull your votes in Hillsborough, continue to perform here, 92 percent.
So, as we're waiting for the panhandle vote to come in, if you're the Democrats, you're thinking we're ahead, that's where you want to be. You're thinking, you know, where can we get more? So you start to see numbers at 90 percent.
We'll be at this for another couple hours as we go through this because it's Florida. But then at some point, we're start thinking, where are there still votes out. Only 31 percent up here. Again, smaller county, 1.4 percent of the population. But critical to Andrew Gillum's numbers in the governors race.
I just want to double check down here where we are, 57 percent Miami- Dade. This is 13.5 percent of the state electorate. Depending on turnout, it can be a higher percentage of the state vote. Absolutely critical.
Andrew Gillum getting 59 percent of the governor's race. Bill Nelson getting 60 percent in the Senate race. Again, see the pattern. The Democratic candidates are tracking each other as we go through.
Let's come back to the governor's race and move up here. Broward County, Palm Beach County. The Democrats here in this race. So far, holding a lead, 66 percent of the vote in. But a long way to go especially this is Republican territory out here. We'll see how it plays.
Let's just pull out to the map and take another quick look at what we see. Let's look at the Georgia governor's race. It's early. Very early, 7 percent. The Republican off to a lead.
We expect this to be a highly competitive race, but as they count the votes, you always want to be ahead at the beginning. Let's check back in, another Midwest battleground governors race, critically important to the Democrats. Got wiped out at the governor's level during the Obama years. They hope to have a rebuilding.
Florida's one, Georgia is another, the heartland, especially the state of Ohio, such an important state in presidential politics right in the middle of the Democrats leading, again, 17 percent in. Democrats hoping that Ohio is part of a rebound at the gubernatorial level in the Midwest, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. John, we're just moments away, moments away from this, the biggest round of poll closings tonight that could make or break the Democrats' chances of taking back the House of Representatives.
This is a huge moment right now because so many states are about to close and we're getting results.
Our projections are at six wins for the Democrats.