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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
CNN Election Night In America; CNN Projections. Aired 11-12m ET
Aired November 6, 2018 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, WOLF AND THE SITUATION ROOM, CNN: And analyzed races where they're leading significantly right now. Again, CNN can now project that Democrats will win the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Jake, this is a huge win for the Democrats, a huge setback for the President and for the Republicans.
JAKE TAPPER, DEMICRATS TAKE CONTROL OF U.S. HOUSE, HOST: It is. And this is going to be a big problem for President Trump going forward. If he thinks that the media is annoying, wait till he meets a Democratic House that has subpoena power and actually has the legal ability to force them to turn over documents. We're going to look like nothing compared to that. I mean, he is going to find an opposition that he has never really encountered before.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And we should also talk about the historic nature of what probably will happen which is the first female Speaker of the House in history, in U.S. history is now poised to take the gavel again.
TAPPER: You mean the second female Speaker of the House.
BASH: The first and a half. I don't know, but, you know, she is going to have a fight on her hands, but she is competent. And she was also confident that they would take back the House and here we are. She knows how to count votes. If she knows nothing else, she certainly knows how to count vote and so this is a moment that we should mark when it comes to that.
And speaking of Nancy Pelosi you talked about all the things Democrats have said they are going to do with their newfound power in the majority, one of the things is try to get Donald Trump's tax returns.
TAPPER: Let me bring in Manu Raju, right now, who is at Democratic headquarters. And Manu, they must it be feeling pretty good.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: They are feeling good. This crowd buzzing with excitement. Just called getting the CNN projection. I can tell you, the crowd is getting exited. There are Democratic members, chairmen of key committees who are planning what they will do in a House majority. I spoke to two of those chairmen just earlier today, one Elijah Cummings, the House Oversight chairman who told me them plan to use their committee rather aggressively including to looking into whether or not President Trump violated the clause of the constitution that prohibits federal officials from receiving gifts from foreign governments.
He told me they may even seek President Trump's tax returns as part of their investigation. I also spoke to Jerry Nadler who is the chairman of the House, who will be the chairman of the House judiciary committee in the Democratic Congress. He said there's a range of issues that they're going to look into, family separation, gun safety law and he made it very clear said to be, quote, Trump is going to learn that nobody is above the law, both him and Cummings say they plan to hold the Trump administration accountable which they believe the Republicans did not do which is why you will see a very aggressive push by these committees to do what the Republicans did not do when they had power here. We'll see this all play out in the coming weeks here, Jake and Wolf.
TAPPER: All right. Manu Raju at Democratic headquarters apparently watching CNN on delay or something like that.
BLITZER: I think that Nancy Pelosi will be speaking over there fairly soon. As well as Anderson, let's get back to you.
ANDERSON COOPER, BREAKING NEWS SHOW HOST: All right, Wolf. Thanks very much. Back with the panel. Van Jones, I don't know how many hours ago you said this was heart breaking. Where is your head now?
VAN JONES, THE VAN JONES SHOW, CNN: My heart has been restored. It is the end of one-Party rule in the United States, thank god and the beginning of a new Democratic Party, younger, browner, and cooler, more women, more veterans. Can win in Michigan, can win in Pennsylvania and win in Ohio. We have the first Muslim women, first Native American women, the first black woman from Massachusetts, first Latina from Texas. It may not be a blue wave. It's a rainbow wave. If something happening out there and I'm happy about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't deal with your mood swings.
JONES: It's been a roller coaster, man.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look. Control is control of the House. That is what it is. Elijah Cummings is going to control oversight just said a few minutes ago he would like to see Donald Trump's tax returns which he will see. And there will be all kinds of questions and oversight about how decisions were made that we don't know the answer to right now. And I know, Rick and David, you're saying, let them have it because you remember Newt Gingrich overreaching in 1994.
COOPER: And you believe the Democrats will overreach?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're already.
BORGER: How are they already doing it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tax returns, just insane.
COOPER: Let the Senator talk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would she want to do that?
RICK SANTORUM, SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Look, Republicans are feeling good tonight. Look, I understand we lost the House, but the five -- probably the five biggest governor races we'll win four and we're probably going to hold -- Scott Walker who is a zombie.
[23:05:00] You cannot kill Scott Walker. You just can't do it. I mean, it looks like he is going to survive. That is a huge, huge win. Number one. Number two, the Senate races we are going to pick up three, four, maybe even five.
JONES: We knew that.
SANTORUM: No, we didn't know that. I mean, the fact that we have done this well in spite of what is seen like this wave is a real testament to the President of the United States on what he did.
DAVID URBAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Most importantly, all the big emotional races have gone in favor of Republicans, right. All the big emotions. The Beto.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is what he was reacting to earlier.
URBAN: All the big emotional races that sucked the oxygen out of this race.
JONES: Andrew going down hurt my heart, Andrew Gillum going down hurts my heart. I know well the guy for 10 years. He is a great person. He has been a great governor. Seeing Stacey's struggle hurts. Seeing Beto get stopped hurts. All that stuff hurts, emotionally, psychologically, but mathematically we had a wave. You got a popular vote and you got a takeover. And you guys look, you've gotten away with a bunch for two years. I know you think it's going to be great. Now Donald Trump gets a foil. A subpoena is not a Foyle.
COOPER: You think this was a wave?
JONES: Mathematically, listen, we had because of the gerrymandering, we had to get -- we had to win by more than 10 percent just to do what we just did. You look at the popular vote, it's a wave. You look at the numbers, it's a wave.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Everybody knew, everybody knew that it was a hugely difficult map for the Democrats in the senate. So I know that Trump would claim that.
JONES: The media didn't know the.
GRANHOLM: Let me finish. In the House, however, if we get to the numbers that CNN may be projecting, that is a wave on the House side. And can I just say, so much of that wave of being propelled by women. The women so far who have flipped more than half of the seats are women. So.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That is true. We should take a step back though and it really does reinforce kind of the notion of the divisions within our country because what you've seen is, the suburban areas becoming a hub for Democrats and the thing that happened tonight that was sort of unexpected was that in those next ring districts that included suburbs and some rural areas, exurban areas, some of the races in Virginia like the 7th in Virginia, there are a couple of races in Illinois like this, Democrats won races that frankly, weren't considered prime opportunities for them. So, but there's no doubt that the suburbs have shifted from a Republican base to a Democratic base.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: All those things I think are true and can be true, but I think you can also look at the results tonight if you're President Trump and you can say, my political instincts are generally still pretty good. I still know how to get my people out. And I still know how to pull it out in the places where I need to.
I think the dynamics in the suburbs are clear. They're very clear. Republicans are having a really hard time. Democrat did have a wave in terms of the number of seats they needed in order to do that, but President Trump's candidates, some of them unlikely like Ron DeSantis pulled it out in some of these places. And President Trump was saying to his advisers I know how to get my people energized. I know how to get them out. And in politics, we all know you -- there is no moral victory. If you win by one point, you win.
URBAN: And Republican governors in Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida are extremely important in 2020.
DAVID CHALIAN, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, CNN: Florida's no just random state. He still feels that he has political acumen. That is pretty critical. I want to underscore David's point about the suburbs with some numbers and Jennifer's point about women. It's not just female candidates that have driven this. It is the female voters that have driven this, as well. The divide here among women who made up 52 percent of the electorate, they went for the Democrats by 20 points. 59-39, I mean, that is just huge. The suburbs, four years ago when the Republicans had a really good night, they won the suburbs by 12 points. It was an even draw in the suburbs between the parties.
And independent voters have completely bailed on the President. He won them by four points. I think we forget that all the time because we talk so much about his base. He won them two years ago by four points. Losing them by 12 points tonight, the Republican Party is. So there is, Anderson, we have talked for weeks leading up to the election, there were two different universes on the ballot today. The battle in the Senate taking place in Trump country and the battle for the House is this restructuring of the great American sword, and the suburban independent voters have issued their verdict on the first half of the Trump's first term.
[23:10:07] COOPER: David Axelrod, as someone who worked in the Obama White House, can you just explain to viewers the impact of Democrats taking control of the House in terms of -- I mean, if they are going to, as Senator Santorum says, play a hand too much and start all sorts of investigations. What kind of an impact, what is the White House, because Sarah Sanders tonight said, it was a good night for the President.
AXELROD: Well, look. There was enough certainly for him to grab on to as Abby said, the Senate races that were won in Florida being a big prize. He can feel good about that. He shouldn't feel good. I know Rick and I have had a discussion about this before. He may feel good tonight about losing the House and losing it by a fairly significant number. He is not going to feel good about it down the line, because I can tell you from being in the White House, and watching the Party, your Party lose the House and lose the Congress, it really changes life in the White House because you're constantly under scrutiny it, subpoenas fly.
And it, you know, you have to play defense in a way that you didn't have to play defense before. So he thinks of this all as kind of a reality show and he can position himself versus the Democrats and hope for overreach and so on, but some of those things are going to turn up matters that are deeply, deeply troubling for him.
SANTORUM: I would counter that in saying this that the President has been under scrutiny like no other President in the history of our country for the past two years. And you say it's a different kind of scrutiny.
AXELROD: It's a scrutiny with a subpoena.
SANTORUM: I understand that.
AXELROD: Mueller has the subpoena power.
SANTORUM: It's also a scrutiny he can fight back on a lot more fairly and not cause the kind of disaffection in the American public by fighting back. It is traditional for a President to fight the other Party in the Congress. It is not traditional and it is alienated a lot of voters for him to fight who he is been fighting for last two years. And who is that? The media. OK. That is who's been fighting. That is who had been putting scrutiny on him. Now he turn his attention away from the media, not do something -- are not that he will call fake news. I'm not saying that, but he will now focus his attention on an area that is less problematic electorally for him. That is an advantage for him. It really is a huge advantage.
JONES: Something backing what the Democrats are going to do mean stuff to Donald Trump and Donald Trump will make hay of it. That is fine. You know what Democrats will also do? I hope and pray we will also start talking about the reason people went out there and fought for this dad dumb victory. People were out there pounding on doors in all those states where we won and where we lost, not just because we're mad at Donald Trump. This economy is not working well for everybody. People can't see doctors. People can't go to college, because they can't pay for it. The rents are going up. People have real problems. I tell you what. If Democrats want to be worthy of what just happened, I think we've got to be able to -- listen, make Donald Trump and the Republicans in the Senate say no to a bunch of stuff that people need and then it will going to be (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Affordable care Act.
GRANHOLM: Political sense, just from a political sense, a lot of these victories that are being won are being won in places that are in the center. Right? With a lot of independent support. Those candidates will have to battle right away, day one to, keep those seats. And they're going to want to say, we brought home something.
JONES: Bread and butter.
GRANHOLM: Something like that.
BORGER: I tell you --
AXELROD: I'm sorry, Gloria. The question is whether the President would you know, he is not really moored by ideological considerations.
AXELROD: And there is an opportunity for him to turn around and say, you know what? I'm going to cut some deals with these guys. Whether he'll do it, whether he'll do it on terms that Democrats can accept, whether that will alienate his base although his base seems to be willing to follow him anyway.
SANTORUM: you see, I think that there's another opportunity.
BORGER: You know, one of the reasons Bill Clinton survived when he lost control of the House was that he had this amazing ability to compartmentalize everything. He could go out there and fight for his policy and he wouldn't have been talking about the witch hunt, he wasn't talking about whitewater, whatever else it was. I don't think Donald Trump has that ability. He doesn't compartmentalize.
Everything goes from here to Twitter. And I think he is going to get involved in making the Democrats the enemy which may work for him to a certain degree, but some of the questions they'll be asking on policy, for example, why did you roll back? Why do you want to roll back pre- existing conditions on the affordable care act? Those kind of issues.
SANTORUM: He is campaigned that he would never do that.
AXELROD: His lawyer said otherwise.
BORGER: Right. And they can make some legitimate arguments policy wise and he'll be punching back at them in every which way. And he just doesn't have the ability to do one thing at a time.
[23:15:00] SANTORUM: Here's what Donald Trump will do. Look I agree with David. He is not ideological. He -- on immigration, on a whole host of issues, Donald Trump will go out there and will put deals on the table if he is smart and I think he has.
He'll put deals on the table in front of Democrats and there's no way they will accept that because they can't.
BORGER: The Republicans in the senate?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immigration back on the table.
SANTORUM: (Inaudible) will not allow the Democrats to compromise with this President. That is what he is going to run against.
COOPER: You know what, rather than focus on a future we can't predict, because we're not good at predicting stuff, what does this say for the Democratic Party in terms of divisions in the Democratic -- tonight's elections mean for the Democratic Party?
JONES: First of all. Let's not forget that even though Andrew Gillum wasn't able to make history and Stacey Abrams, wasn't able to make history, Jared Polis did make history as the first gay governor in Colorado. That is a big deal. A lot of these things are positive. Here's what did happen. There was a test that I think a wing of the Party was trying to run. And it was the idea that you could run a bold populist unabashedly progressive multicultural, multi-racial candidacy and win. That was the thesis of Andrew Gillum. The thesis of Stacey Abrams that these are of a Ben Jealous in Maryland. That is the Jordan in Iowa and Beto in Texas. All five so far failed. That is a big development. That is a sobering development. Is it not possible to run those kind of races and win?
COOPER: The counter argument, there's Cortes in New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So those are smaller areas.
JONES: On the other hand, the other experiment that we ran which was strong women, veterans, et cetera that paid off better. Some moderate, some not. That paid off better. Now the reality is, Donnelly and some other moderates also went down. So they are all going to be a soul source searching in the party to figure out -- you can get 1 percent, is that good or bad, that is a soul searching.
COOPER: We've got more projections. And I want to go back to Wolf.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is right. A bunch of projections that CNN can make at this point. In Michigan, we can project Gretchen Whitmer wins that race defeating Schuette. This is a pickup for Democrats in Michigan.
In California, CNN can project the winner there is Gavin Newsome defeating John Cox in that race. Also in Hawaii, CNN predicts the winner there is David Ige. He is the incumbent. He holds on to his job in Hawaii.
And another projection that CNN can make at this point will go to Republicans now in Ohio, this is a big, big win for Republicans. CNN projects that the winner of that race is Mike DeWine defeating Richard Cordray, Donald Trump of course went to that state in the waning days. In Arizona, CNN can project that the winner there is Doug Ducey, the incumbent there, he defeats David Garcia. Also another projection that CNN can make now in Maryland, the
governor's race there incumbent Larry Hogan, CNN projects going on for a second term defeating the former NAACP President Ben Jealous. In Nebraska, CNN can project that the winner in that race the incumbent Pete Ricketts holding on to his job there defeating Bob Crist.
And let us go now to more projections in Vermont, CNN projecting here that the incumbent Phil Scott also hanging on to his job defeating Christine Hultquist. More projections from CNN, Wyoming CNN predicts the winner of that governor's race is Mark Gordon defeating Mary Fromme in that red state. And we will go back to Wolf and Jake at this point.
BLITZER: Thanks very much. Lots happening right now. The governors races, the senate, it's going to be in the Republican majority, the house will be in Democratic majority. Divided government will continue.
TAPPER: Yes. Let's take a look at the map here of the governors offices. We're still waiting to hear. There's some really significant ones that we should point out. First of all, the projection, we didn't have a chance to talk about it. But the idea Ron DeSantis is going to be the next governor of Florida winning over Andrew Gillum is quite significant.
The fact that Mike DeWine will be the next governor of Ohio, keeping that state in the Republican hands, that is going to be quite significant. And why do I say it's going to be significant? It is going to be significant, because of the 2000 Presidential election. Those are two incredibly important states. President Trump and the Democrats will be competing heavily for them and the fact is that there will be Trump supporters in the capitol, in the governor's offices of both of them. So that is quite significant when it comes to the governor's offices. We're waiting to see, waiting to hear from still a few others.
[23:20:00] BASH: And look, I mean, remember the context of this. The governors' mentions were a place where Republicans had made a lot of gains over the past several years. And this election Democrats were hoping to chip away at it big-time. They did in some cases, but these two examples, Jake that you just put up there are big heart breaks for Democrats.
Obviously the biggest is Florida, because they were really hoping that Andrew Gillum would make history as the first African-American governor there and that his sort of brand of campaigning, the happy warrior would rule the day. And it didn't. And in Ohio, for the reason that you just said, it's obviously such a key state on a Presidential level at least has been. It's been more Republican recently. But also because they thought they had a strong Democratic candidate there who didn't making it.
BLITZER: Let's take a look at the results coming in some of the gubernatorial contests. Take a look at these. In Iowa right now, you can see Fred Hubbell, the Democratic is slightly ahead of Kim Reynolds, the incumbent Republican by about 17,000 votes. Take a look at Wisconsin right now, you see Tony Evers slightly ahead
of the incumbent Republican governor Scott Walker ahead by about 14,700 votes. Very, very close race there. In Georgia right now, let's take a look at Georgia. You see Brian Kemp, the Republican, he is ahead significantly ahead over Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia by about 250,000 votes. That is pretty significant Jake, with 90 percent of the votes in.
TAPPER: All right. I have to say, I am struck once again as I was two years ago and maybe I should stop being struck by this, but I'm struck at how wrong the polling was in so many of these places. Obviously, there were polls that showed Andrew Gillum winning the governor's office in Florida. There were polls suggesting that it was neck and neck in Georgia between Stacey Abrams and Jeff Kemp, and we were -- it looked to several people like Mike De Wine was not going to win tonight, in Ohio governor.
So once again, I don't want to be mean to my friends and who work in the polling industry and I understand the margin of error is something that we in journalism and the public don't emphasize enough. But once again, it is does seem like there are some Republican votes that people are not able to pick up.
BASH: That is the case.
TAPPER: Right. Because they're always polling wrong.
BASH: That is the key. That the what I'm sure you're hearing from Republicans tonight as I am. Once again, they're crowing rightly so, about not the house, the house a whole different story, but in the Senate and in some of these governors' races that we've called for Republicans, Republicans have outperformed the polls. The thing they also have in common is the President. The President has gone in to a lot of these place and campaigned and the Vice President for the Republicans. And you know we are going to analyze this later. But the question is whether that hidden vote is connected to the President in some of these races.
TAMRAZIAN: It's absolutely a possibility especially in these states that are Trump states, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, if he was able to rally the base, I mean, I don't know if that is it or the pollsters don't know how to measure the Trump support out there. It's entirely possible that there's a whole level of voter that doesn't want to tell pollsters that they're supporting President Trump, doesn't respect pollsters or they're not able to reach them. I don't know.
BLITZER: We are waiting to hear from Nancy Pelosi. She is getting ready to speak in Washington. We'll have coverage of that as we go over to John King. Nancy Pelosi has strongly predicted the Republicans would lose the majority in the House of Representatives. Guess what, she was right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has right and now she has a very difficult challenge as she speaks tonight to try to convince the new house Democratic majority she should lead it. Because many of the new members coming in, either said outright they won't vote for her or are very skeptical of that. The challenge will be, how big is the margin? How can Nancy Pelosi make the case we need in 23, we got 30 plus because of me, because of my fund-raising that will be her challenge. We will she what she says, very important the message she sends tonight not only to the House Democrats whose votes she wants, but also to the President Trump and to the country about the climate.
Jake's been talking about the oversight, investigations. Some of those liberals coming in will want impeachment. Look at the map. This is where we are now, this is misleading in the sense 204 Republicans are leading in their districts. But 192 Democrats are leading. We already projected this because we know as we go west the Democrats will pick up these races.
So let us go here and look just this, these are your flips. Leading so far. 36 Democrats ahead in Republican held districts. So the Democrats have a chance to keep building especially as we start counting as we go out west. Let us come and look at from another perspective, turn this off, uncalled pickups at the moment. Still 14 Democrats in the races where we have votes leading in districts currently held by Republicans. So, we know Democrats will take the majority. The question is, is their final victory, 30, 35, can they get to 40. In these big debate about the wave, I think that is the mixed signal, the mixed signal America is sending. Yet again tonight, Hillary Clinton wins the popular vote, Donald Trump wins the presidency.
[23:25:07] You look at these House majority, Democrats will take the house majority, Republicans may add to the Senate majority. If you look just at the house, and you are looking at this, number one, from coast to coast, Democrats are making gains. That is the argument Nancy Pelosi will make, but if you go back, let's just look at the house where we began the night. Look at all this red. This is where we began the night. Just look at all this red in here. I just want to come back to where we are now, let me take this off.
You're starting to see blue in places that were red. So the Democrats will say we're rebuilding as a national party when it comes to the house. There's no question Republicans still dominate out here. But Democrats are putting some blue in places that had been red for a long time. The question is how high can they go?
Again if you look at the uncalled we're still waiting in California. So we don't know what's going to happen out here. Let us come back to some of these races here, you see look at the districts here. Let us pick this one from Minnesota, can you knock off another Republican incumbent here in Minnesota? This has been the quirky state if you will. Republicans have led in some Democratic districts here tonight while the Democrats are doing well in the region otherwise. Is this one going to hold up? Montana only at 32 percent? The lead has gone down a little bit in these race.
The Republican was favored in this race. We shall see what happens out there. Then you start going to the west. Let's see which district this is. In Washington State. Republican incumbent losing but just barely 437 votes so when you see them, especially as it starts to populate, Democrats leading and Republicans leading on the West Coast, let's remember for the next hour or so we are going to be very early results. But Democrats are still leading. Another potential pick up here. They've already had some in Texas. This is a potential pick up here, another Republican incumbent.
Hager is the candidate for the Democrats. So, the Democrats some gains in Texas. Again, in an election where you talk about Republicans picking up Senate seats, Democrats picking up the house, where the Democrats are picking them up is actually quite interesting. Georgia is another example. Of the two seats we were watching here, we're at 84 percent right here. The Democrat Carolyn Boredom ahead of the Republican incumbent. That is a decent lead, but we are still at 84 percent. This is a district on the watch list earlier. It is not over yet.
Karen Handle who won the special election for this race is on path it looks like she is on path to hold her seat in Congress right there. So, if you're looking at it, what you're seeing here are the races we have not call yet where Democrats have an opportunity to pick up. So, if you're watching at home, and saying, hey wait a minute, there's more in Virginia, yes, there are. More in Pennsylvania, yes they are. Those are the races that we called, let us just see how high can the Democrats go? Here is one, we've been watching this one all night.
The Democrats starting to stretch that lead out. Another potential opportunity in New Jersey. Let's move up here. This one here, Leonard Lance, a moderate Republican losing. This lead had held up we're at 95 percent right now. So, one of the things you will see as you're watching this map, I'm going to come back to this and blank this out for a second. Just want to show you, these are the top suburban districts in the United States of America. Now let's overlap that with flips. Hold this up here. Bring this up here. Watch the suburban seats. That is what's happening when it comes to the house. Democrats are flipping suburban Republican seats.
BLITZER: We got to go to Dana, she got some projections in the Senate.
BASH: That is right, Wolf. Four projections, four Democratic women going back to the U.S. Senate. Let's start with California, CNN it can project that Dianne Feinstein will go back for another term in the U.S. senate. Now let's go to Hawaii. Mazie Hirono will also CNN can project go on for another term in the U.S. senate. In Minnesota, this is a special election, Tin smith was appointed now, and she will go and fill out the rest of Al Franken's term. Washington State, Maria Cantwell. CNN can project will get another term, as well. Now let's look at where things stand, sorry, let's go to Mississippi. This is a special election. And it will go to a runoff, because the rules are in Mississippi if nobody gets 50.1 percent, then they're not going to win it outright. There will be a special election November 27th. Let us go what the balance of power is right now given all to what we just said, 42 Democrats right now, 50 Republicans. They've had two pickups so far this evening. Eight seats remain.
Now I want to go to some of the other races that are still outstanding some of the really important battlegrounds at this hour. Arizona, look at how close Arizona is. This is an open Republican seat. Martha McSally is hoping to keep it in GOP hands, she is ahead by just a little more than 13,000 votes. Kyrsten Sinema, the Democrat is trying to snatch it and make this a rare Democratic pickup for today. We will see if that happens. Now let's go on to Missouri. This is big-time Trump country. Josh Hawley, the Republican challenger is ahead, 54.8 percent, Claire McCaskill is trailing in a big, big way, 42.2 percent, 78 percent of the vote in there. This could be a pickup for the Republicans as well. Same goes for Florida. Look at how tight this is. Rick Scott, the Republican challenger is ahead, though, 50.4 percent.
The incumbent Bill Nelson is trying to go for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate. He is trailing Rick Scott in this race in Florida, 99 percent of the vote in. Montana. Let's look at this. This is another one of those states that is Trump country. The Democrat Jon Tester is the incumbent. He is trying to keep it in Democratic hands. Right now, is ahead of his Republican challenger, Matt Rosendale, with 29 percent of the vote in. I want to head over to Anderson and the panel.
ANDERSON COOPER, NEWS ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT: Dana, thanks very much. Still in that Montana race, still a lot of votes to be counted, 29 percent.
GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Yeah, a lot of those to be counted. But, you know, I went out there and covered the Tester race. And he's very popular. Matt Rosendale was a real estate developer from Maryland.
COOPER: The President has really gone after him though.
BORGER: Four times he went to that the state. And there was one reason, payback for Dr. Ronny Jackson, because Tester called Jackson the Candy Man.
COOPER: Trump wanted the White House physician to be head of...
BORGER: The Veteran's Administration. And I should say that Jackson is still under investigation. But the President thought he was a great guy, although he did admit at this rally, maybe he wasn't qualified. But he was a really good guy and he should have gotten through.
ABBY PHILLIP, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: And it will be interesting to see whether or not the President, making this about that one issue, will actually end up saving Jon Tester. Because every time he went to Montana, he would say I am only here because of what Jon Tester did to my candidate. Not because I am here to rally for the person actually running. So that could have been maybe a mistake on the President's part...
BORGER: Gianforte who is the House candidate is now running behind. I don't know if that's going to hold. But the President also said, you know, when I saw that he body slammed that reporter, that's my kind of guy. That's my kind of guy. I don't think that was helpful. DAVID AXELROD, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Well, it's also true
about Montana that it has a history, despite the fact that it went for Trump by 20 points. It has a history of electing Democratic senators. I think 50 of the last 53 senators from Montana have been Democrats.
DAVID CHALIAN, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, CNN: And it's got a Democratic governor.
COOPER: What are your thoughts on this issue of polling? We touched on it a little bit before. But I mean there were races as of yesterday. Polls were showing neck and neck.
AXELROD: I think this is an ongoing problem. And if you talk to pollsters, they will concede. They're having a hard time adjusting to the change in the way people communicate and reaching people. You know when people have land lines it was easy. So many pollsters are experimenting with, you know, doing more of it online and variations on that.
I think this is going to prompt another round of soul searching about whether and how you can poll accurately, because a lot of these races that were blowouts tonight or apparently blowouts tonight polled as tough races.
DAVID URBAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Why bother at this point, right? If you can just throw a dart at a board and say that's as close as all these polls were. I mean they were completely off.
BORGER: I hope they figure it out.
AXELROD: What would you do with your time if you can look through all those New York Times instant polls?
COOPER: But for the candidates, as well, I mean it seems like their polls are often off as well.
URBAN: Everybody's off.
VAN JONES, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: The one thing that proved to be true, which was this sense that for suburban women, there was disquiet there. And that does seem to have translated, maybe not in the same number but the direction.
JONES: Something about that I think is important, which is that there was this view. Well, look, you guys are doing well economically. So you should go along with this nonsense. And it turns out that for some people, some things are more important than money.
JONES: The economy going up while society is coming apart is actually a problem, and that there are people who will vote even against their economic interests for the country.
AXELROD: Can I make one small point? There is something called a margin of error.
AXELROD: That's huge. These races in Florida, they actually fell within the margin of error. It's just some of these other races that were predicted to be close races.
CHALIAN: Georgia doesn't look to be in the margin of error.
CHALIAN: But I will say this. Just -- again, if you look at polling, I think it is best to look at the (Inaudible) polling, right? So we can do individual races. But a President below 50 percent or hanging out in the low 40s suffers big losses for his party in the House. That seems to have held up here. But I do I think also if you just look at a lot of forecasting out there, Harry Enten our guy included, which looks at all the...
[23:34:53] COOPER: I'm sorry. Nancy Pelosi is on the stage. And I think she's going to be speaking. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, (D) MINORITY LEADER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: How are you doing? I am going to ask my colleagues to join us here. Thank you, all. Thank you, all, very much. Thank you, all, very much. Let me salute our Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Chairman Perez, for all the successes tonight. Where did he go? Where did he go?
And also, I want to salute the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, aren't we proud of (Inaudible). And I want to acknowledge my two grandsons, Thomas and Paul. As they wave to their other cousins, and Bella in California, who is still campaigning up until the last minute in California, because it's all about the children.
I want to -- before I thank all of you more fully, thank my colleagues and acknowledge their leadership and their presence here. Our distinguished (Inaudible) from Maryland, Steny Hoyer, the Assistant Leader Mr. Clyburn of South Carolina, and (Inaudible) of California, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, Barbara Lee of California, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Karen Bass of California, Don Beyer of Virginia, and Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania.
We all join in thanking all of you. Many of you are our VIPs, our real VIPs, our volunteers in politics. The women and men who have mobilized in historic numbers, who saw what issue of this Congress was doing, and refused to stand still. Every call you made, every door you knocked, every text you sent, every conversation you had made the difference between winning and losing in this election.
Thanks to you, we owned the ground. Thanks to you. Thanks to you. Tomorrow will be a new day in America. Remember this feeling. Know the power to win, and almost all the congratulations to those that dynamic, diverse, incredible candidates who have taken back the House for the American people. Let us salute all of our candidates, all of our candidates.
Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It's about restoring the constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration. It's about stopping the GOP and Mitch McConnell's assaults on Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and the healthcare of 130 million Americans living with pre-existing medical conditions. Let's hear it more for pre-existing medical conditions.
It's about the ending wealthy special interests free rein over Washington. But more than anything, it's about what a new Democratic majority will mean in the lives of hardworking Americans. Demo -- that's what it's about. Democrats pledge a Congress that works for the people, for the people. Lower the cost of healthcare by lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
Raise workers' wages with strong economic growth by rebuilding the infrastructure of America. Clean up corruption to make Washington work for all Americans. We will take real -- very, very strong legislative action to legislate, to negotiate down the price control of prescription drugs that is burdening seniors and families across America.
[23:40:02] We will deliver a transformational investment in America's infrastructure to create more good paying jobs, rebuilding our roads, bridges, schools, water systems, broadband networks, and schools and housing and beyond. We will drain the swamp of dark interest money in our elections. Because when we do, Americans can have greater confidence in everything their Congress works on.
From healthcare to taxes to guns to clean air, clean water, for our children, when they know that the people's interests will prevail, not the dark special interests. In stark contrast to the GOP Congress, a Democratic Congress will be led with transparency and openness. So that the public can see what's happening and how it affects them, and that they can weigh in with the members of Congress and with the President of the United States.
We will have accountability, and we will strive for bipartisanship, with fairness on all sides. We have a responsibility to find our common ground where we can stand our ground where we can't, but we must try. We have a market -- a bipartisan marketplace of ideas that makes our democracy strong. A Democratic Congress will work for solutions that bring us together, because we have all had enough of division.
The American people want peace. They want results. They want us to work for positive results for their lives. Our founders believed in a principle that they knew must guide our nation. First in our declaration, they promised life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But they gave us guidance, (Inaudible) from any one. The founders could never have imagined how vast our country would become, how many we would be, how different we would be from each other.
But they knew we had to be one, unity, unity for our country. And that today, the American people have spoken to restore that vision. With this new Democratic majority, we'll honor the vision of our founders for a country having a legitimate debate, but remembering that we are one country. We'll honor the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and their families who have made us the land of the free and the home of the brave, to build a better future worthy of their sacrifice.
And we must honor and respect the aspirations of our children. Elections are about the future and what we do for our children's future. So thank you, all, for making the future better for all of America's children. God bless, you. God bless, America. Thank you, all, very much. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We have Nancy Pelosi with some very tired grandkids.
URBAN: I was going to say we had this discussion during the breaking about President Obama going out and campaigning, and all these big races that he had. And everywhere he went he lost. President Trump went out and they all kind of coming home. So at the end of the day, you kind of look at that, you know, is it, you know, the celebrity factor? I think it's a big deal.
COOPER: You think that's a tweet we're going to hear from President Trump.
URBAN: Yeah, exactly. I kind of preempted it. Just to point out for viewers. I know there's a redistricting taking place. But, you know, there's a big loss. The Clinton first term big loss, Obama bigger loss, and so this 30 or 35 seats is relatively pretty small.
JONES: I -- first of all, I love Obama and I hope he goes out more. But listen. We had a popular performance bigger than the Tea Party. The Tea Party, 6.8 percent in terms of your margin, we had 9 percent apparently tonight. The reason is you gerrymandered the map so bad that even when we have a 9 percent victory like that we can't get all the seats.
JONES: And in Pennsylvania, the only place where you had an impartial judge to...
URBAN: They're Democrats. They're elected by Democrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Talk big picture for viewers who are just kind of joining. How do you see tonight, big picture, and what this means moving forward?
CHALIAN: Well, listen. The President of the United States received a report card on his first two years in office. And one of the Houses of Congress went the other way and in a pretty dramatic fashion, and so there is a rebuke here of the President. And there is evidence that the President maintains his unique ability to bring out voters in parts of the country that are very supportive of him, which is why they're adding seats to their total in the Senate.
[23:45:16] I would not sit back, though, and just say split decision. Democrats won the House and Republicans won the Senate, because Donald Trump is going to wake up tomorrow morning in a whole new world, this President of the United States, dealing with an opposition party House. That is not been part of the story the last two years.
And he's going to be dealing with that Democratic House, because he has sent independent and suburban voters across the country fleeing from what was part of his coalition in 2016. That is -- so the one thing, Anderson, I think about with the Trump presidency, I always ask everyday for the last two years. Am I seeing him do anything to try to broaden his coalition from what it was on Election Day 2016?
And in his governing style and his tone, he has not shown a desire or an ability to really broaden his coalition. And so if I am Donald Trump's political advisers looking at the night and preparing for 2020, my first thought is how are we going to get those independent voters and some of those suburbanites back into the fold that we lost tonight.
BORGER: Yeah. I don't think -- and I think that's a very difficult task. And what happened tonight shows you the different terrain that Donald Trump is fighting on in the Senate, in red states, rural America, versus the terrain in the House which is growing, OK? These are suburban, moderate, well-educated, white voters who now comprise what, 50, 60 percent of the Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party is not the blue collar party anymore. The Democratic Party is what I was just talking about. And that has changed except for minorities, except for minorities. And so I think, you know, you see the country being split. And you see Donald Trump saying OK, I am with them. I am going to stick with my folks in those other states. But if you want to win another Presidential, you can't defer the inevitable.
URBAN: You don't have to win 50 states. You have to win enough to win the Electoral College.
PHILLIP: The dynamic tomorrow is as much about the Democrats as it is about the Republicans. I think tomorrow morning Donald Trump wakes up with the Republican Party that is more beholden to him than they were yesterday, because the people who couldn't run on him lost, and the people who are left need him more than ever before.
And I think the Republican Party is going to more and more tomorrow and the day after become more like Trump. They're going to be running with this President in 2020. And that's going to totally change the dynamic.
URBAN: Do you think the party is more energized tonight, tomorrow morning than they were today? I guarantee they are.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's true on the Democratic side, as well.
AXELROD: I just wonder. I agree with what David said. I just -- you can't win playing base politics. He drew an inside straight in 2016. And it's going to be hard to win re-election if he just plays base politics.
COOPER: We're going to -- the Democrats are certainly celebrating their major victory, retaking control of the House. We're breaking down what this all means for the Trump presidency in the next two years. We have a lot more ahead. We'll take a short break on election night in America.
[23:50:00] WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT: Democrats take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Republicans keep control of the U.S. Senate. We're watching all of these races very closely. A mixed bag for the Democrats and Republicans tonight, but there's been some more surprises. Let's take a look at some of them, Oklahoma 5.
JOHN KING, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: And so you look at the national map, Democrats have gone ahead in races leading. We know they're going to win the majority. The question is how high can you go? They have 217. They're leading in 35. Every election, Wolf, there's one or two where you scratch your head and you say huh? Let's go to central Oklahoma.
Right here, the 5th Congressional district, Steve Russell, 100 percent of the vote in, Kendra Horn winning, a Democrat winning in the middle of Oklahoma. And I have texting Republicans saying what happened? They say I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. That's what they're saying. This used to be Jim Lankford's seat. He became the Senator from Oklahoma.
If you go back to 2016, Steve Russell wins his seat with 57 percent of the vote. If you go back to 2014, Republican year, Steve Russell wins his seat, 60 percent of the vote. Let's fast-forward here, at a year where Republicans can't afford to have any giveaways, because every giveaway increases the Democratic majority. Republicans are scratching their head today saying why did one of their incumbents in what should be a safe Republican district, where there was a race for governor.
It was more competitive maybe than -- Democrats are losing. They lost the race for governor. But you did have the race for governor. This is Oklahoma City. You do have, you know, little bit of an African- American population here, more of a Democratic base than anywhere else in Oklahoma. But this is a safe Republican seat. And you have a Republican incumbent on a night when the big question is how much higher from 23 can Democrats go?
This is a give me. And so remember when Joe Crowley, the Democratic member of the Democratic leadership, lost his primary in New York. People said he didn't pay attention. He wasn't going home. He wasn't doing the math. He wasn't doing the work. That's the conversation about Republican incumbent Steve Russell tonight.
KING: As you look for Democrat pickups and you look all across the country, yes, the Democrats are picking up seats from coast to coast. One place we did not expect to see one is right there in the middle of Oklahoma. But there it is. And guess what? If you're Nancy Pelosi, you're seeing how high you can go, you're happy.
KING: Can you hold that seat in two years? We'll see. But you've got it now for two years. We'll see how it goes.
BLITZER: You saw how happy she was. Wisconsin governor's race looks like a surprise developing.
KING: So switch over to the governor's race. Scott Walker, the ultimate survivor when it comes to governor of Wisconsin, did not do well as a 2016 Presidential candidate. But Tony Evers ahead 14,000 votes, we're at 82 percent reporting. Again, Scott Walker's been counted out before. So we'll count the final votes. But let's just go through and take a look.
These gray areas where you don't see votes, very small rural counties, likely to go Republican, but I went through these a little bit earlier during one of the conversations, one percent of the state population, maybe two percent of the state population in these counties that are left out. So where are you looking? You want to come down here. Milwaukee County, 17 percent state population. [23:54:52] A Democrat has to do well here. Here's the question.
Scott Walker has survived tough close races before, right, Tony Evers getting 65 percent to 33. Let's go back in time. Mary Burke, the Democrat won here with 63 percent. So Tony Evers outperforming a little bit there. Let's come back down here. Move to the college town of Madison. Tony Evers 75 percent, 93 percent of the vote in, big Democratic base, college town, college suburb, got to turn them out.
Let's go back in time and look. Again, over performing Mary Burke here quite significantly here. So you come back out to the map, come back out up 2018. And look, you're looking at this map. Can Scott Walker pull it out at 82 percent? That's a pretty good lead. He's the ultimate survivor. We're going to watch this. But this would be a major upset.
You talk about how happy the Republicans are to hold Ohio with Mike Dewine. This would be an upset in one of the states the President likes to hand out his maps about Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. At the end of the night tonight if this holds up, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will have Democratic governors.
BLITZER: Interesting. What about Arizona? The Senate race right now.
KING: Let's switch over to the Senate map. Let's head west. Let's bring it up and see what we've got, 9,000 votes, 49 to 48.5, 57 percent of the vote in. Let's watch this out. It's a competitive race in Arizona. That in and of itself is an anomaly, in the sense that Jeff Flake won easy when he last ran. John McCain had some interesting primaries, but he won when he was in the race.
So what are you looking at? Maricopa County, this is your big Democratic base, 60 percent of the population. Look how close they're running. Look how close they're running. So you have Phoenix in the suburbs. Then you get out here it gets more rural, gets more Republican. Very close there. Come back there. Move up to this part of the state here, 61 percent for Kyrsten Sinema up here to 35 percent. This is going to be back and forth.
But advantage to McSally as you start to look at it, again, this was Jeff Flake's seat. Let's just go back to 2012. Jeff Flake wins 49 to 46. So it was a closer race than I thought it was, if you go back in time. You watch where the blue is. See the red here. As we watch this play out tonight, again, Maricopa County, Jeff Flake barely won it six years ago.
Come up here, the Democrat barely winning it right now. This is where most of your votes are in the state. So Kyrsten Sinema can keep her lead there. We'll see if she can keep it, otherwise as we go. But this is again, this is critical now. We know Republicans will keep control of the Senate. The question is do they grow? Democrats really want to flip this and flip Nevada to keep the Democratic -- keep the Republican Party in the Senate a bit more tempered. So we'll keep counting here. That's very close.
BLITZER: Let's go walk over to Dana. You've got some projections in the Senate. What's going on?
BASH: Wolf, in the Senate we can -- in the Senate, we can project that Republican challenger Josh Hawley will go on to be the next Senator of Missouri. He is 38 years old. He'll be the youngest Senator. And he is beating the Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, who I was out in Missouri. She was saying that she's going to do it again. She's going to beat the odds.
But she didn't. Instead, she called Josh Hawley and conceded a short while ago. So that's a big win for Republicans, a big win for the President, who campaigned hard there. Let's go now to Michigan. Debbie Stabenow, CNN can project that she is going to go on to win another term. Democrat Debbie Stabenow is keeping Michigan in Democratic hands.
So let's look at what all this means for the balance of power as we speak right now. Democrats have 43 seats, Republicans 51 seats, 3 pickups, 3 GOP pickups so far this evening. Six seats remaining, Wolf and Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT: Let's take a look at the six seats that are remaining on my computer here. Right now, we see that Democrats have managed to hold on to West Virginia and New Jersey. You see them on the left side of the screen. On the right side of the screen, Tennessee stayed Republican. Texas stayed Republican. Democrats have lost Missouri, North Dakota, and Indiana.
One might observe also, by the way, that all three of these Senate Democrats voted against Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. We still don't know what's going to happen with Jon Tester in Montana. But that does perhaps say something about Democrats in Republican states or in Trump-winning states. So right now, Republicans have -- they've won control of the Senate.
So now the question is how big is the margin going to be? Let's give -- let's say that the current vote totals hold up and Republicans win Florida. Let's say that the current vote totals hold up and Republicans win Arizona. Let's give Mississippi special election that's probably going to happen in a runoff. Look at that, 54 votes. And I am still not even factoring in what could happen in Nevada or Montana. I mean Republicans are having a very, very good night in the Senate.
BASH: Mitch McConnell is watching right now probably and smiling from ear to ear, because he worked incredibly hard alongside with the President. And that's a storyline that is quite different from the way the President worked or didn't work with the House Republican leaders, particularly the current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.