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Suburban Revolt Heading into 2020; New HIV Strain Found; Virginia Democrat Wins after Losing Tiebreaker; Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 7, 2019 - 08:30   ET



RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Lost them by a combined 15 million votes, but he won 2,600 of the other 3,000, more than any candidate in either party since Ronald Reagan. And that is -- that separation is what we have seen consistently through his presidency, starting in 2017 with the Virginia surge toward the Democrats in the suburbs of northern Virginia and Richmond continuing in 2018 when Democrats won 40 House seats, most of them in suburban areas, now hold three quarters of all the House seats in the country where there are more college graduates than average.

And then yesterday we saw it continue where -- Tuesday where Democrats held all of their gains from 2017 in Virginia, John, which is very important because it said it was not a one-time kind of blip, it was an ongoing trend.

And then, in Kentucky, we saw, in the counties that have Louisville and Lexington, the Democrat, Andy Beshear, had a margin of victory that was three times that of the Democrat in the last governor's race in 2015. And as many people voted for him, roughly, as voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 in those counties. Incredible margin. Incredible turnout.

Still a lot of Republican strength in rural areas, but no question there is a suburban price for the stamp, the imprimatur, the definition that Donald Trump is putting on the Republican Party.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: I think Ron's exactly right and I think what's so important here is to point out that Trump is losing ground, right? If you look back to 2016, you look at the exit polls, you see that Trump actually won in the suburbs. But look at his approval rating right now in the suburbs and you see it's under water. And I think that's very, very key because the suburbs are ultimately what decide elections.

And, yes, Ron also hit on it. There was all this attention to what happened in Kentucky. But I was actually more interested in what happened in Pennsylvania. And what you saw was tremendous gains for the Democrats in the suburban areas of Philadelphia, what Republicans gain in the southwest part of the state.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. ENTEN: But the fact is, there are more people in southeast Pennsylvania than there are in southwest Pennsylvania. So the Democrats are making a very good trade in that situation. And as long as they're able to boost up those margins in the southeast, eventually Trump is going to run out of voters in the southwest of Pennsylvania, and that is, obviously, a very important state heading into 2020.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Ron, I want to also ask you about this voter panel that we had on today because we compiled it from a key demographic that you have told us about, which are white women who have some college education but not college degrees. And I know that that's a demographic that you say is all important. These are swing voters. They voted for both Republicans. They have voted for Democrats. And what -- I mean it's only six people, but some of the people on that panel who voted for President Trump are today more on the fence.

What are you seeing on a larger scale?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Right. Well, that's one of the biggest movements. And we're talking about movements since 2016. I mean the biggest single reason Donald Trump is president is because so many white women without a college degree in those key Midwestern states, particularly, you know, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, picked him over the first female nominee of a major party ever.

And if you look at 2018, there's no question that there was an erosion for Republican with those women. I mean the men, the blue collar white men, are a much harder case for Democrats. You know, they are -- there's a lot they like about Donald Trump, not only in policy but in style. But for the women, I think there is a clear opening.

And one of the -- one of the biggest questions for Democrats is, who can consolidate that opening? And Trump's approval rating, depending on the poll, is even or below water now with those women. And in -- you know, and in Wisconsin, which is probably the pivotal state of all, there's polling that has him in the low 40s among those women.

I don't think he can survive that kind of erosion with those blue collar white women, especially given what Harry and I are talking about, which is this suburban movement among white collar voters away from the GOP and his presidency. So, in some ways, they may be the single most pivotal group if you can -- if you can identify one in the electorate because of their particular role in the Electoral College.

ENTEN: I just want to say, I think Ron is exactly right. In so far, you know, we picked out Erie County, right, which is, obviously, in the northwest part of Pennsylvania. That was a county that voted for Barack Obama. That was then a county that voted for Donald Trump. And then we saw massive movement back towards the Democrats in 2018. We saw Bob Casey win that county. We saw Tom Wolf, the Democratic candidate for governor, easily win that county. And I think what you're seeing there, white women without a college degree, that is a massive bloc and that is a bloc that Donald Trump needs to hold on to. And right now the polls indicate he's not necessarily doing that.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I will tell you, though, there are two words --

BROWNSTEIN: And one -- one quick point to add --

BERMAN: Hang on a second, Ron. There are two words that serve as something as a bulwark, you know, for Republicans against these demographic trends you're talking about, and those two words are Electoral College, Harry.


ENTEN: Right.

BERMAN: Or, Ron, if you want to take this.

I mean, look, Wisconsin, some of these trends aren't happening fast enough for Democrats.

BROWNSTEIN: I was going to say, I think -- right. Well, look, Wisconsin is the single toughest state out of the blue wall states that fell to Trump in 2016 because non-college whites who are his strongest group are a bigger share of the electorate there, considerably than even Michigan or Pennsylvania. There are fewer of the college whites and there are fewer minorities, plus they have the -- all the voter suppression laws that make it tougher to turn out African-Americans.

But, you know, the erosion among the blue collar white women, I believe, traces back to the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which is when we started seeing these numbers move. Trump promised them economic security in 2016 when he went after the ACA, particularly when they came to see it as a defense of coverage for pre-existing conditions. That created a breach.


And then the style is an issue, too. Even if they agree with some of the views Trump expresses on race or immigrants, the women, the working class white women are much less likely than the men to kind of be on board with this relentless confrontation. I don't think they like -- they liked having to explain to their kids why you can't say go back to someone in their class. So there is an opening for Democrats. But, you know, these are not -- these have not been Democratic voters. So it's not as though you can push them, I think, toward any Democratic nominee.

And, yes, because of the Electoral College, you know, you have Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, states where the demographic trends we're talking about may not be quite as -- demography may not be changing quite as much, but even there, John, it is worth noting, even there, non-college whites will be a smaller share of the vote in '20 than in '16.

ENTEN: One last thing I want to point out, Ron, which I think is important. You know, we're paying so much attention to the northeast right now, whites without a college degree. The suburbs, obviously, are also in the south. Texas. BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

ENTEN: This is a state which you have -- you had major Democratic gains in the suburbs in 2018. That is a state that, honestly, I haven't seen enough polling from. So even if you do have that Democratic erosion in a state like Wisconsin, it's going to be very interesting to see if one of the Democratic nominees decides that they want to make a play in a state like Texas, and that could throw the entire electoral map board in a completely different direction.

CAMEROTA: Well, you're our numbers guy, get on it.


CAMEROTA: All right.

ENTEN: Arizona as well. Yes.


CAMEROTA: Harry, Ron, thank you very much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

BERMAN: Right.

Now here is what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: 12:00 p.m. ET, Elizabeth Warren starts tour of Carolinas.

6:00 p.m. ET, Trump residents Presidential Citizens Medal.

7:30 p.m. ET, "Frozen 2" world premiere in Hollywood.


CAMEROTA: OK, now to this.

You will remember that viral video of a woman taunting a lion inside the lion's den there at the Bronx Zoo. Police have finally tracked her down and we have some details on what happened next.



BERMAN: New this morning, we're learning that following weeks of public pressure FaceBook is considering some changes in its policy on political ads.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has learned that the social media giant is looking at ways to limit how political ads can be micro-targeted to voters. There's also discussion of FaceBook tweaking their design of the ads so they're more prominently labeled.

On the flip side, Twitter announced a ban of political ads as FaceBook continues to say, though, that it will not fact check political ads.

"The Wall Street Journal" reports that Google is also weighing changes to how it handles political ads.

I think the important takeaway here that what's so clearly stated there is FaceBook is changing some of the ways ads will be delivered, but not changing the policy that you can advertise fake things. That's important.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I think they may want to tweak that.

Also breaking news, the woman who went viral after climbing into the lion exhibit at the Bronx Zoo has been arrested. You'll remember this video showing a woman standing feet away from the lion, waving and dancing as the lion stared perplexed and tried to figure out if this was even worth his time.

Police have identified the woman at 32-year-old Myah Autry. Authorities say she also snuck into the giraffe exhibit. Autry has been charged with two counts of criminal trespassing. She is due in court today.

BERMAN: Um, yes.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, look -- I mean, seriously, I'm guessing there are some mental -- there's a mental health component here. I'm just guessing. We -- maybe that will come out because otherwise I'm not sure what she was doing and what was in it for her.

BERMAN: Although it does seem to be a case of criminal trespass, at least that's what the authorities say.

Here is now "To Your Health."

For the first time in almost 20 years, scientists have discovered a new strain of HIV.

CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us now with that.

That's a headline you don't like to hear.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And I think that was the first concern a lot of people had, is this some new, mutated type of superbug of some sort? It's not. It doesn't really pose a new threat at all.

It's interesting because they were able to find this, but this particular subtype now is part of a larger group of HIV viruses.

And I'll show you this graphic quickly here. You know, people think of HIV as one disease. It's actually several groups and then several types. And now an additional subtype up in the upper right corner there. That's the l-subtype.

But it's tested. The current testing will find it. So it's not a threat in that way. And the current treatment will treat it.

CAMEROTA: Oh, is that right?


CAMEROTA: So the preventative drugs that are on the market right now do treat this new strain?

GUPTA: So, you know, with the preventative drug specifically, what those are doing is trying to decrease the risk of transmission, OK? So someone who does -- you know, is not HIV positive, does not become HIV positive. Those have been very effective. And, you know, I think a significant effort in terms of curbing AIDS.

In fact, if you take a look at the numbers specifically with regard to prep drugs, as they're called, you -- having, I think, 500 percent more people are taking it. But look at what it does. It reduces by about 99 percent when taken daily the risk of someone getting HIV through sex. So it's a really good preventative.


And there are vaccine trials that are going on around the world as well, which we're going to have some results on in the next few years.

BERMAN: One of the most remarkable stories of medicine over the last few decades to be sure.

GUPTA: Yes, we shouldn't forget that.

BERMAN: Also I'm just hearing -- my sources are telling me, Sanjay, has there been a birthday? An important birthday recently?

GUPTA: Yes, sure has.


GUPTA: Yes, I mean, you know, thank you. Yes.

CAMEROTA: Congratulations on turning 40.

GUPTA: Fifty. Fifty.

CAMEROTA: Oh, you -- you outed yourself.

GUPTA: And I'm owning it. Totally owning it. I feel better now than I did at 40.

CAMEROTA: Do you really?

GUPTA: And, John, you'll appreciate this, I can -- I ran a mile when I was 40 just to see how fast I'd run, and my goal over the last 10 years was to run a faster mile. And I did it by about 38 seconds. So --

BERMAN: That's fantastic.


CAMEROTA: Congratulations.

GUPTA: Thank you very much.

BERMAN: Don't rub it in.

Thanks, Sanjay, appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: That's so great.

GUPTA: Come on.

BERMAN: All right.

CAMEROTA: Happy birthday.

BERMAN: So, she lost in 2017 by zero votes. A tiebreaker cost Shelly Simonds a spot in the Virginia House of Delegates, but now she has won that seat by more than zero votes. And this is a victory that could show how things are headed in 2020. And Shelly Simonds joins us, next.



BERMAN: This week, Democrats flipped both chambers of the legislature in Virginia, taking control for the first time in over 20 years. Now, this was especially sweet for one of the newly elected Democrats. She came painfully close two years ago. The race was called a tie, and she lost in a blind drawing out of a bowl. But now Shelly Simonds is the undisputed winner in the 94th district and she joins us now this morning from Virginia.

Thank you so much for being with us this morning, Shelly.

And I just have to ask, how does winning by 3,487 votes compare to losing by zero?

SHELLY SIMONDS (D), DELEGATE-ELECT, VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES: Oh, it is a really sweet victory, let me tell you. But the voters made it happen. They came out to vote in droves. And I think the lesson really is, if you've got an election outcome that you don't like, you need to come out and vote next time to make it right.

BERMAN: And I don't want to make you relive the past again and again and again, but just take us back to that moment with the bowl in that room. After running a full election season, the race ends in a complete tie and then they drew names from the bowl. What was that moment like? Walk us through it.

SIMONDS: You know, it was really tough. It was a really tough situation. But I knew that I had to get through it for my community. They needed me to be strong. We needed to run again to make sure that we flipped the seat. And I am really glad that we made it happen this time around.

And I am looking forward to getting in the general assembly and changing some of those laws because I think at the state level, if you've got a tie, you really should go into a special election and not leave our democracy up to chance.

BERMAN: So the districts changed a little bit. There was some redistricting and that may have contributed to your margin of victory.


BERMAN: Also maybe there were some changes in political trends.


BERMAN: So why do you think the 3,487 vote difference occurred this time around?

SIMONDS: You know, I -- it's true the district was different. But there was a lot of energy out there. A lot of pent-up frustration. We had voters who were unhappy with the outcome in '17. They came out to make it right this time around.

But we also had another group of voters that came out because they were frustrated with what's happening at the national level, and they know that by coming out they can make a difference locally.

BERMAN: Any trends that can extrapolate nationwide? We were just talking about movement in the suburbs towards the Democrats. Did you see anything in your district that Democrats could take away as they run for office around the country?

SIMONDS: You know, I think that voters are looking for action. And we talked a lot about what we can do to protect health care, to stop these drug price increases that hurt everybody in our community. I think people want to see bold, new initiatives. They want to see increases in minimum wage. And when you talk about real issues that they care about, they're more likely to come out to vote.

We did see a lot of young people out on Election Day and a lot of diversity. So I'm really excited for our country because I think there's -- the message that every vote counts has gotten out and people are really wanting to participate and make change.

BERMAN: I feel partially responsible for the drawing out of the fish bowl because you and I actually talked just after the election, and there was a period of time, a few minutes, where you were actually ahead by one vote. And the recount wasn't going to need to happen.


BERMAN: And we talked about that moment and you told me the lesson was, you know, every person has to go vote and you were telling all your friends, you can't be the person to stay at home.

SIMONDS: Exactly. Exactly. And that was, I think, what made our story so compelling in '17 is that it kept changing. One minute we had won and then it was a tie and then we had the drawing. But it really drew attention to the idea that you never know when your one vote could be that one vote that decides an election, that keeps dangerous weapons out of our community, that gives teachers a pay raise.


You never know when it could be your one vote that decides an election. And I think voters heard that this time around. And that message is getting through.

So I'm really excited. I think this has great implications for 2020 and that we're going to have everybody coming out and participating in our presidential elections.

BERMAN: Very quickly, we have about 20 seconds left. I talked to Governor Northam yesterday and he told me he wanted to bring legislation to fight gun violence up for vote in January, when you first get there. Do you want that to be one of the first things discussed?

SIMONDS: Yes, absolutely. I mean we've got illegal guns flowing out of Virginia, up and down the eastern seaboard, used in crimes. Virginia has to tackle the gun safety issue.

And the next thing I want to get done is the Equal Rights Amendment, which is something that my grandmother had been fighting for in the 1920s. And it's high time that we get the Equal Rights Amendment passed.

BERMAN: All right, Shelly Simonds, congratulations on your win by more than 3,000 votes as opposed to, as we said, losing by zero.

SIMONDS: Thank you. Yes.

BERMAN: Great to have you here this morning. Thank you.

SIMONDS: Wonderful.

CAMEROTA: Fish bowl loss is -- has got to be very frustrating.

BERMAN: Brutal. It's got to sting (ph). It's got to sting (ph).

CAMEROTA: Yes, absolutely.

All right, CNN has confirmed the president discussed having the attorney general publicly clear him in the Ukraine scandal.

CNN's "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto has it all covered for you, next