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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Control Of The House, Up In The Air; Democrats Keep Senate Majority; Any Minute: New Ballot Count In AZ Governor's Race; Maricopa County, AZ Releases New Batch Of 71,400 Votes; Pence: Republicans Will "Have A Better Choice" Than Trump In 2024. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 14, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Severodonetsk, these now famous small towns that have been pounded into rubble where the fighting has been intense. They could tip in Ukraine's way if they get that way.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, thank you very much, Sam Kiley, live from Ukraine tonight.
And thanks so much to all of you for joining us. AC 360 begins now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening.
Within this hour, we may be able to project a winner in the closely watched race for governor of Arizona. We've just gotten what appears to be the last major ballot update from Pima County, that's Tucson. We are waiting to get a similar update any moment now, a big one from Maricopa County, which is Phoenix.
Arizona Governor's race between Republican, Kari Lake and Democrat, Katie Hobbs, still too close to call perhaps not for long. New results are also coming in from House races across the country with control of the House still up in the air.
So now is certainly not the time to look back at the 2022 Midterms because they are still unfolding right in front of us right this minute now.
Tomorrow, all indications are that the former President will enter the 2024 presidential race through his announcement, if in fact he makes one tomorrow night. It is certainly going to be heard differently in the wake of what has happened in the Midterms.
CNN's Kyung Lah is in Phoenix for us tonight, John King is at the Magic Wall.
We begin with Kyung. What are -- what is the latest on the numbers?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I just heard seconds ago, Anderson that these numbers are going to be dropping at the bottom of the hour. So, 30 more minutes before we know exactly what this have release of votes. From Maricopa County, the most populous county in the State of Arizona, what the voters have decided.
What we can tell you is that it is going to be critical. The information that we are getting at the bottom of the hour will essentially be all of the early ballots that were dropped on Election Day, and it is going to be every single one, except for the ballots that need to be cured.
So, we're just talking about thousands that are out here versus tens of thousands that we will know at the bottom of this hour. And so this is the Lake path. If she has any hope it will really reside in those tens of thousands. She has to make up some ground.
You were going over some of those Pima numbers, they were not in her favor Pima is traditionally a blue county, and so what we saw here is that Hobbs is currently after this release at 58.1 percent, this latest vote dump that we got out of Pima showed her at 58.1 percent and Lake at 41.9 percent of the data that we got out of Pima.
And then I just want to have you turn, Anderson, to something else that we got just minutes ago. Kari Lake has been very quiet. The campaign has been very quiet, not talking to reporters. This is a campaign that almost on a nightly basis has given us some indication of how they're feeling, but now we're hearing from Kari Lake on Twitter. She had been tweeting about having her followers go and check on their ballots.
But just minutes ago she tweeted and here's a tweet she wrote: "Shouldn't election officials be impartial? The guys running the election have made it their mission to defeat America First Republicans. Unbelievable."
She is "tweeting" a conspiracy theory. There isn't a lot of basis in what she is saying. There are -- you know, a lot of what she is saying about the pace of this is not warranted. There is nothing wrong with what Maricopa County is doing compared to how they have counted their ballots in other years, in all the years that I've stood in this very room watching the ballots come in.
So, what we're starting to see is some of the muddying of the waters. And one last thing, Anderson before I toss it back to you, security here is the highest I have seen in all the nights since Election Night.
There are about 20 to 25 officers on the rooftops, on the ground. We have patrol cars ringing this entire building. There is a heightened security approach, because of what's going to happen in 30 minutes.
COOPER: I got some of the buzz in the room you're in. I assume there's got to be -- I mean, every journalist who can fit in that room is they are all waiting for these numbers. Is that what the buzz is?
LAH: Yes. Absolutely. I mean, this could be very, very telling. Is it going to be enough for our statisticians to make a projection? We just don't know because we have to know how many votes are still left out there and what the numbers show, but it is what election officials say is basically everything they have except for what needs to be cured. So, it is going to be a big number and it should be very telling.
COOPER: And you said, I'm always confused by the term, the bottom of the hour, you're talking about the half hour?
LAH: At the half hour, at the half hour, so in 26 minutes -- about 26 minutes, we should have some indication and it is approximate. You know, these election officials have been working around the clock.
COOPER: Kyung, standby. I want to bring in CNN's chief national correspondent, John King at the Magic Wall for us tonight.
John, okay, Maricopa County now saying 8:30 Eastern Time for their big batch of votes. What are you watching for? How many votes are coming in, do we know?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So let me walk through some of the new math we have and then set up the math we're about to get at the bottom of the hour and you get conspiracy theories, Anderson like Kyung was just explaining from Kari Lake when the math isn't going your way. And at this moment, the math is decidedly not going Kari Lake's way.
Here is the statewide total right now. Statewide, 29,048 votes ahead for the Democrat, Katie Hobbs, 50.6 percent. So, round that up to 51. Forty nine percent for Kari Lake. That is about 4,329 votes, if my math is correct, a bigger lead for Katie Hobbs than just an hour ago. So, how did that happen?
Most of it was these votes here in Pima County. This is what just came out in Pima County, 13,937. So 58 percent for the Democrat, 10,070 votes, 41 percent for the Republican. The Republican is losing. That means as every new installment of votes comes in, she needs to win each and every installment or win huge in what is about to come.
And Pima is not the only results that just came in. We got a modest amount of votes in Yuma County, Anderson. You'll notice it's read. In the modest new votes though, Katie Hobbs had more in that one small report. Again, more bad math for Kari Lake.
We've also got some new votes in the last hour from Cochise County, again, a very modest number of votes. You'll notice though, Kari Lake is leading in this county. In that last installment of votes, Katie Hobbs had more, again, bad math for Kari Lake.
And some more votes last hour in Apache County here in the Northeastern county of the State, this one is an overwhelmingly Democratic county and Katie Hobbs, the Democrat had more votes than Kari Lake. So where does that leave us now? Our decision team has been crunching the math, excuse me for turning my back. But we believe there are about 140,000 votes still out statewide.
As Kyung just said, we're going to get most of those for Maricopa County in just a few minutes. At the moment, Kari Lake is getting 49.4 percent of the votes statewide. She would need somewhere in the ballpark of 58 to 60 percent of the remaining vote to catch up.
Now again, you don't need to be a rocket scientist. She is getting 49 percent in all of the votes counted so far. Most of the votes have been counted so far. That's what she's getting. She would need way more than that, 58 to 60 percent in the remaining vote count. She knows that. The hill is getting steeper, and it got a lot steeper in just the last hour, Anderson, which is why you start getting these questions again.
And I'll just say this about the officials counting the votes, especially in Maricopa County, they're the same officials who counted them two years ago. They were audited. Donald Trump went to Court and his allies even brought in the so called Cyber Ninjas.
What did the Cyber Ninjas decide? That they actually under counted the votes. Under counted Joe Biden's votes. These people know how to count votes.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, we should point out nationwide, recounts, audits, checking, hand counting,. recounting ballots by hand, have all shown there was no widespread voter fraud in 2020. All of these conspiracy theories are just that, conspiracy theories.
KING: Yes. Now, there are there are people raising legitimate questions. If Florida can count so fast, if Georgia can count so fast, if pick your State can count so fast, why does it take so long in Arizona? Why does it take so long in Nevada? We're going to be asking this question about House races. Why is it taking so long in California? Different States do it different ways. That is up to the States.
If the voters in Arizona don't like it, they can appeal to their Governor or their State Legislature, but they count the votes, and year after year, election after election, their counts are held up as solid. So, you can complain about the pace if you want, but you cannot complain about their math. It has been tested in election after election after election. They know how to count.
COOPER: Yes. John King, you will, I know, be standing by as well as we expect results in the next 20 or so minutes.
Perspective now from CNN senior political commentator, former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod; CNN political commentator, Scott Jennings and served as Special Assistant to the President in the George W. Bush administration, and CNN correspondent, Audie Cornish.
So David, you heard the numbers from John King. We know that more numbers are coming. How does it look to you in Arizona for Kari Lake?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think she has been trailing throughout. The later numbers are not encouraging to her. I think the handwriting is on the wall, Anderson. We have to see -- I mean, strange things can happen. But right now, it would be a very strange thing for a candidate who has been getting less than 50 percent of the vote to suddenly in the last tranche of ballots get 60 percent of those. So, you know, I think there is, as John suggested, there is a reason that she is sending these inflammatory tweets out, and I will say, look, all across this country, election deniers have been defeated. The American people have sent a message on election denial in this election and there is no more flamboyant exponent of conspiracy theories about elections in this country, in this campaign than Kari Lake. And that is why there is so much interest around the country.
I think this will be the final exclamation point on a message from the American people that this is not the way to go. And the fact that there are Sheriffs Police surrounding that building and security on roofs and so on, really speaks to how tragic these conspiracy theories are, and how deleterious they are to our democracy.
We shouldn't have to have that around polling -- counting centers in the United States of America.
COOPER: And Scott, I mean, it is stunning to see just how many of these election deniers across the country and liars have failed and Kari Lake, I mean, who may still win, but as John, you know, the numbers certainly don't seem to be going that direction. I mean, she's sort of a fascinating case study in the power and limitations of lies.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, she is probably the most talented of the Trump-centric candidacies, maybe the most famous Trump centric candidate in the country. I mean, she has had this sort of communications aura around her that she was kind of Trump next level in terms of being able to carry the message.
But she, if the numbers hold, is not going to win. Blake Masters was a Trump-centric candidate, he is not going to win. And when I think about lessons learned from this election, going into the next one, look at all these States we've been talking about -- Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Nevada -- these are all presidential swing States.
And so if the Trump-centric candidates this year, the people running the sort of re-litigate 2020 and talk about election denialism, if they came up short this year, what would that mean, if the Republican Party nominated Donald Trump in 2024? Do we think these Independent voters who broke against Republicans are suddenly going to rethink that position and fears? I doubt it.
So, there are a lot of lessons to be learned here. She was probably, you know, from a tactical or technical perspective, the best of the all-in-on-Trump candidacies, and now, there is a lesson to be learned.
COOPER: Yes. Audie, I mean, Doug Mastriano conceded defeat, an election denier -- is it too optimistic to think that this is sort of the death knell of the popularity of these election laws?
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I mean, certainly there was such a rebuke of Secretary of State candidates in particular, it was a coalition called the America First Coalition, Mark Finchem in Arizona is one of them, and they have been pretty soundly rejected by the voters.
You know, one thing is a lot of these Republican candidates were emboldened by the primary process. So, there was not some grand pivot to appeal to Independent or persuadable voters like Kari Lake, she's all in on her message, and therefore, I think it was -- it turned out to be a pretty good bet for Democrats who poured money into some of these races to boost the deniers.
COOPER: Because I mean, that was controversial. There were a lot of people who were saying, look, that's --
CORNISH: That was totally controversial. It seemed really unwise and it probably would have been, as I said, if those candidates didn't just run with it, if they had turned and said, "Oh, yes, let me tamp down some of this because now I'm in the General Election." They did not.
And actually, what's been surprising is to hear concession speeches, to hear that the phone calls are being made. That means that maybe some people have taken in that lesson and understood that just kind of going to the mat in the way a Trump might have done is not going to yield the returns that you want.
COOPER: David, what do you think about that? Do you think this is a death knell for these conspiracies?
AXELROD: Well, I don't think it'll be the death knell for conspiracy theories, but I think the Republican party may grow a stronger spine in standing up to it.
You know, actually, in Arizona, there was a very spirited primary campaign, and the Governor and others got behind the different candidate who did not accept the conspiracy theories. She narrowly lost.
I think the lesson here and she may well have won this election for Republicans. So across the country, the lesson should be, let's dispatch with all of this and compete on a different battleground here because this election denier stuff that Trump is so connected with is a loser for us. And, you know, practical people will make that decision, I think.
CORNISH: Can I just one more thing? You know, it does have the effect of also suppressing your own vote. You know, in Arizona, there are some watchers who say that the sheer volume of people who have dropped in their mail-and ballots because they didn't want to put it at a drop box where vigilantes might be sitting on the back of a truck nearby, or they were concerned because they heard their own candidate saying, hey, you better watch out for this.
You know, compared to the last election, there are, like a hundred thousand, more almost, you know, votes that were turned in.
So, when we talk about vote dumps, they're not dumps. More people are bringing in their election to the office rather than using these drop boxes. And I do wonder if over time, Republicans are going to have to adjust to the fact that the voters actually like the convenience of these various voting options and that you're actually suppressing your own potential vote.
COOPER: And also don't like to be intimidated or lied to.
COOPER: Audie Cornish, Scott Jennings, and David Axelrod, everyone's going to stand by.
Next, as we wait for that big and potentially decisive ballot update for Maricopa County, we could finally be able to project the winner in this race. We will talk to the Republican lawmaker there who took on the former President and election deniers who broke with his party, Rusty Bowers, what he thinks of what he is seeing in his State so far.
And later, what's ahead with Republicans jockeying for leadership positions and deciding whether to tie themselves even tighter to the former President or cast him aside, all while he prepares to grab the spotlight from them tomorrow.
COOPER: I am told we just got more some more results right now from Pima County. Let's go back to Kyung Lah. What does it show -- Kyung.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a small drop of numbers, but it's still significant especially in a race that is too early to call like the Governor's race right now for us.
What we have in Pima are about 7,305 votes that just came in. Katie Hobbs,, the Democrat at 4,200 votes -- 4,244 to be exact. Republican, Kari Lake 3,061. So that growth, we have 1,200 net for Hobbs for the Democrats. So she is continuing to pad, continuing to add.
But one other thing that I just want to point out, Anderson, you can see that this room behind me is empty. There is, you know, a separate path that you can see, another camera. This is very unusual for the six nights that we have been here. You have almost always seen workers adjudicating, you've almost always seen the ballots going through the tabulating machines. It's been very busy.
The workers have been here, the election workers have been here 14 to 18 hours, every day Americans just counting and diligently working. It has been exhausting as they stare at screens and they look at ballots and they have a bipartisan panel try to figure out what the voter was saying in that ballot.
But tonight, it is empty. And what that message is, is that we are very near the end. And again, what we are expecting in just about nine minutes or so about, about nine minutes or so, we are anticipating to know essentially everything that Maricopa has to release. That will be all of the early ballots that were dropped off on Election Day. This is where Kari Lake is putting her hopes. The campaign has told us again and again that it is these early ballots where she will win and we will find out hopefully in just a bit.
COOPER: Kyung, I want to go back to, quickly, John King at the Magic Wall to just kind of look at the impact of these new Pima numbers -- John.
KING: So Anderson, let me walk over here and show you. We still have a very close race by Katie Hobbs with a 30,231-vote lead, 51 percent if you round that up to 49, if you round that up, and so, in just essentially the last hour, maybe a little more than an hour, Katie Hobbs has added 5,512 votes to her lead.
Now, you might say in a big State like Arizona, she's got 1.2 million total 1.2, she has -- that's not a lot of votes. It's not a lot of votes, but the math is heading in the wrong direction. Again, if you are trailing, you need to win the new installment of votes that come in and Kari Lake tonight has lost in every single one of the new installments, two from Pima, one from Yuma, one from Cochise, and one from Apache County.
So everything at the moment is going in the opposite direction for Kari Lake. Now does that mean it's impossible? No, it does not. But there are about 140,000 votes even less than that now that we got these new Pima votes.
So the universe of available votes is now getting closer to 100,000. Still a little bit above that. Most of those are going to come from Maricopa County in a matter of minutes and, Anderson, again. Here, let me go to Maricopa County first. Let me turn this off and go to Maricopa County. We do the math for you here.
She is getting 48 percent of the vote in Maricopa County right now. She needs to get in the new votes to come in and the rest of the votes that comes in, she needs to be close to 60 percent, I'll be generous to her and say 58 percent. She is getting 48. She needs to do 10 percent above that in the last vote count.
So these votes coming out in just a few minutes, they could well be Kari Lake's last best hope.
COOPER: All right, John King, standby.
We have got a last big ballot update any minute now. The Republican candidate for Governor who is behind in it is complaining. Her is what Kari Lake said just moments ago on FOX about her opponent, Katie Hobbs and the election itself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARI LAKE (R), ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I don't believe that people of Arizona would vote for her and that she would win. But if that's what happens at the end of the day, how do you certify an election that is this botched? And she is the one that would certify her own election where it was botched? Where the machines didn't work in more than a third of the polling centers?
I don't know how we remedy this, but the people of Arizona are furious. They're reaching out to us by the thousands saying, I don't think my vote even was counted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And they wouldn't be wrong. Kari Lake saying that just moments ago.
Joining us now is outgoing Arizona House Speaker and conservative, Rusty Bowers, who lost his seat after taking on the former President and election deniers in his State.
Speaker Bowers, what is your reaction to Miss Lake calling the Arizona election botched tonight before final results are even in?
Mr. Bowers, can you hear me?
I think we are having trouble. Rusty Bowers, it is Anderson Cooper, can you hear me? Can't make contact. We will continue to try and we're going to take a quick commercial break.
We expect new numbers from Arizona, perhaps deciding numbers in a moment.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: We are just moments away, minutes away from what is expected to be the last major election update from Arizona's biggest counties. You've been hearing from CNN's John King, these next numbers from Maricopa County Could decide the remaining races in that State, most notably, the race for Governor with Democrat, Katie Hobbs right now leading the Republican, Kari Lake by 1.2 percentage points.
I want to go back to Kyung Lah who is standing by.
Kyung, what are you expecting? What are you hearing?
LAH: Well, we are waiting for this vote release, and what we are told by the county is that it will be essentially every vote that they have tabulated that is an early vote that was dropped off on Election Day that they've been able to count, they've been able to tabulate.
The only votes that they will not be releasing, that they still have to go through are the ballots that need to be cured. So, that is going to take a little bit of time, make sure the signature goes back to a voter. So, that's a small percentage.
We're talking thousands versus the tens of thousands we are expecting shortly. What we can tell you right now is that it is still too early to call. That's how close this race is.
And so without that information, it is simply too early to call. I'm going to keep refreshing my page because what we are anticipating and I'm just getting a little bit of information and John King, we are now told by the county that the vote release that we will be getting will be 72,000 votes.
So, if you are following along, and we're doing our math here yesterday (INAUDIBLE), where she's going to look up exactly how many votes, we were told last night, would be released. The 72,000 votes is what we're going to get. And then if we can do some loose math, and we'll know exactly how many are out there. I believe the estimate was about 85 to 95 left to count 80. Yes, 85 to 95,000 left to count 72,000 released tonight.
So, John, now, you know, approximately how many ballots are left to cure. So, it is basically everything. Essentially, we will have the bulk of the results from Maricopa County tonight, the largest county in Arizona, and we will know very soon how close this race exactly is.
Let's talk about recount just very, very briefly. Recount laws change here in the state of Arizona, it used to be 0.1%. Now it is 0.5%. So, half a percentage point, that's the gap. If there is that gap, then there will be -- Scott, how long, how long Scott. Oh, she's going to walk right by me. We're --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fifteen minutes, 15 minutes.
LAH: Fifteen minutes, 15 minutes, we're told now, 15 minutes before we get these results. So just a little bit longer, Anderson Be patient, 15 minutes, and we will have the results about 72,000 votes from Maricopa County. Anderson.
COOPER: And these were all votes brought in early voting dropped off at ballot boxes or at the election centers on election day in Maricopa County?
LAH: Essentially, essentially, this is the bulk of them. This is what the Kari Lake campaign says is the path. Now, what the Kari Lake campaign had run on is you've been talking about disinformation, misinformation. They had been putting out at numerous campaign events that I had been to at different rallies that for some reason the campaign was putting out messages that said, if you vote on election day, those will somehow count more than early ballots. The logic they're difficult to follow. But that is what the campaign did.
So, what happened here in Maricopa County, is that there were a record amount of votes that were delivered on Election Day. The people who voted there as well as those mail-in ballots that were filled out at home and then dropped off of vote centers on Election Day. But if you turn in a ballot with a signature on the outside, that needs to be signature verify. That's what takes time. That is the hard work of the election office here in Maricopa County. And they were working around the clock to make sure that they could verify that. It is still a process that is underway.
So, it simply takes time. There are a few, few of the box three ballots the ones that had the issue with the printer. But really just we're talking about thousands versus the tens of thousands were expecting, 72,000 shortly.
COOPER: Kyung Lah, standby as we wait a related story that will hinge on some of the outstanding House races, tonight House Republicans met behind closed doors this evening to air out concerns about who should lead them a day ahead of an internal vote. Both Kevin McCarthy in the House as well as Mitch McConnell in the Senate are looking to hold on to their leadership roles with McCarthy the next possible speaker should Republicans win a majority in the House. But after Republicans underwhelming performance in the midterms, both faced calls for change and the former president, no surprises weighing in on both racism.
I'm joined now from Capitol Hill by our chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju. So, Manu, this meeting behind closed doors House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke with Republicans at the meeting. What are you learning?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he tried to appeal for a unity. I mean, this is a party that came into the midterms last week expecting a big blowout victory. They thought they would have a massive House majority next year, but now they're looking at the likelihood of a very narrow majority of potentially handful of seats could make or break the difference in any bill that's on the floor and could make or break the difference for Kevin McCarthy himself as he tries to secure the speakership.
Now, today they had a candidate forum in which McCarthy went in appeal to his members and he tried to preach unity. He said to them, they don't give out gavel small, medium and large. We have the majority and we have the gavel, a source told me. He said that meaning that we still have the majority of the committee chairmanships regardless of the size of the majority. Now he did face some sharp questions, including from some critics, but he's expected tomorrow to get the nomination from his conference to be the next Speaker of the House. But that is the first step in the process, Anderson because next January, that's when he will need the 218 votes of the full House to be elected speaker and more than a handful of defections could be enough to complicate things at the moment. His critics are saying he doesn't have the votes yet. Anderson.
COOPER: What about Mitch McConnell on the Senate?
RAJU: Well Mitch McConnell has the votes to become the next Republican leader, he would become the longest serving party leader in history. But that doesn't mean that the Republicans are happy about the way things turned out. Some of them are wanting to slam on the brakes and prevent the Wednesday -- the leadership election from taking place. They are still planning to plow ahead. The question is whether McConnell will even face a challenge or he could face a long shot challenge from Rick Scott, a Florida Republican senator who told me tonight he has not made a decision yet on whether to challenge McConnell, but McConnell still will have the votes, even if he does face that challenge, Anderson.
COOPER: What a former member, or what are members of Congress saying about the former president about his possible run?
RAJU: They're not so pleased. In fact, a lot of them are uneasy about it. They're anxious about it. Some are rejecting it altogether, very few in which we'd span out across the House and the Senate talking to does more than a couple of dozen Republicans and very few are willing to embrace the idea of a third Trump presidential run, even some close allies. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KEVIN CRAMER (R-ND): I think we're all better if there are more people in the race. I think we're all better if there's more of them up on the stage. So, you know, he's certainly not entitled to it.
RAJU (on-camera): Tomorrow, Trump is going to announce. Do you want him to run?
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX): Yes, it's up to him. That's his decision. I think every member wants to wait and see what's in the field out there.
RAJU (on-camera): You think it's a good idea for him to run as a good candidate.
REP. GREG PENCE (R-IN): I'm for my brother. Absolutely. I hope my brother runs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So that last comment from Greg Pence, the brother of former Vice President Mike Pence, who of course is considering a run himself. But you're seeing many Republicans hoping other candidates emerge, hoping a big field emerges to potentially defeat Donald Trump's efforts to try to ascend to the Republican nomination. They blame him a lot of them do for what happened last week for pushing lackluster candidates. A lot of them are wary about the controversies of the Trump era and want to move on. The question is, will the voters agree? Anderson.
COOPER: I'm sure there's some senators who are glad they did not run into you to be asked that question.
RAJU: That tends to happen from time to time, Anderson.
COOPER: I'm sure it does. Don't take it personally, I'm sure you don't. Manu, thanks so much.
Again, Maricopa vote totals coming very shortly. We'll bring them to you live as soon as they come in. We'll take a short break. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:40:57]
COOPER: And we have new numbers just now coming in from Arizona's Maricopa County. Want to go back to Kyung Lah in Phoenix. Kyung, what are you hearing? What are the numbers?
LAH: These are numbers that have just popped on the Maricopa County website. The ballots that we have gotten 72,000 approximately ballots that have been released Katie Hobbs, John, if you are there, Katie Hobbs currently stands at 783,565, 783565. That is a net gain of 30,825 votes, 30,825 votes. Kari Lake, started at -- is now at 744,753 votes, again. 744,753 votes. That's a net gain of 40,575, 40,575 votes. So, she gained just under 10,000 votes beyond Hobbs. She did very well -- she had 10,000 more than Katie Hobbs. But Katie Hobbs still is at 51%. And Kari Lake is at 49%. I leave the math to the great John King.
COOPER: OK, Kyung, can you can you just repeat the votes that have just come in?
LAH: The total that she is now standing at that these candidates are standing out in Maricopa County, Katie Hobbs is that 783,565, a net gain of 30,825 votes. Again, that's 30,825 votes, net gain. Kari Lake, the Republican, currently stands at 744,753 votes, 744,753 votes, that is a net gain of 40,575 votes, again, 40,575 votes. So, you know, Lake --
COOPER: So, Kari Lake is just about 39,000 --
LAH: --just about 10,000 --
COOPER: -- votes behind.
LAH: She is, yes.
COOPER: 783,000 something (INAUDIBLE) --
LAH: Yes, I didn't do that math. But they're separated by about two percentage points.
COOPER: Let's check in with John at the magic wall. John.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Anderson this number you'll see next to me right here. This is the significant number and I'm just double checking. I'm going to look down and double check this in this new batch of votes as counting just went through. Right. Katie Hobbs got 43% of the new votes. Kari Lake got 56% -- of 57% if you round up of this new batch, this is why this gets interesting. Because when I tell you at the top of the hour, she needs somewhere in the ballpark of 60% of the new votes to stay in contention 58 to 60%. This is below that. But it is just below that. It is just below that.
So now that people on our decision desk have to do the math, right. There were about 135,000 outstanding votes before Maricopa County reported this. So now they do the math. They figure out the universe that's still out there. And Kari Lake needed 60%, 58 to 60% was what our team thought being generous. She gets 57% in this one installment. Now in this -- in the Maricopa County numbers, Katie Hobbs is still ahead and I want to come out to the statewide numbers. Katie Hobbs is still ahead you see by 20,481 votes that had jumped up when we were talking just a short time ago. Why? Because Kari Lake came out on top of this latest installment in Maricopa County. We talked earlier Pima County two installments tonight. It was Hobbs on top. Yuma County, Cochise County, Apache County, it was Hobbs on top. But in this latest installment in Maricopa County, Kari Lake finally came out on top in the largest county of the state and this one installment. Isn't enough? That's a math climb. Does it get her closer? Does it keep her in play? Does it is it narrow the gap, some, yes, but it's still 20,481 vote lead.
so, the challenge now is trying to get an exact number on the universe still out there. Kari Lake has closed the gap with this installment. The question is, is that enough? This is -- this particular in so this was a little shy, our team said she needs to be 58 to 60%. Now is the universe of votes shrinks? You rerun the math and we'll know what it is pretty shortly. So, this is a comeback, if you will, she's narrowed the gap. But again, the question is, is it enough?
And remember, in 2020, Joe Biden's lead shrunk and shrunk and shrunk, but then that it held at the end, it was a narrow lead and held at the end. The question is, is that what's happening again, or you have to wait for more votes.
COOPER: So just -- it shows the map because exactly how far ahead is Katie Hobbs just in terms of sheer votes?
KING: Sheer votes she's 20,481 votes ahead. That was a bigger lead when we talked at the top of the hour, because in this latest installment from Maricopa County, it was Kari Lake that came out on top. That is what Lake has been waiting for. And again, throughout the day, the results that have come in since the seven o'clock hour here in the East Coast in Yuma, twice in Pima, once in Cochise, and once in Apache, Katie Hobbs added to her lead modestly but added to her lead modestly with each of those one, two, three, four, five installments, but this one that just came in here, Kari Lake, she still trails overall in Maricopa County.
I know this can be confusing. Kari Lake still trails overall in Maricopa County. But in this latest installment of votes, she got more votes than Katie Hobbs. So, she narrowed the gap some. Again, it's still 20,481 boat lead, and the universe of available votes to count is shrinking and shrinking quite considerably, tonight, Anderson the question now is our decision desk who's doing the math? You know, are you close enough to making a projection? Do you want to wait for more votes? That's complicated math. Again, this is improved news for Kari Lake. The big question is, is it enough?
COOPER: And John, I don't know if you know the answer, or this is akin question. But how many votes are still out there to be counted? I mean, it says what on your -- I mean it says 97% of votes have been counted? KING: Estimated votes, the estimated votes. And so, as Kyung noted at Maricopa, they're almost done, and she can come back in anytime she's ready. Here are -- this, we woke up this morning with about 140,000 votes still outstanding. When you looked at the Yuma and the Pima and the Cochise and the Apache votes, I think we were down to a little over 130,000 votes. And then we just got this universe in count can tell us the exact number out of Maricopa County, and you do the rough math on an envelope at home. And then our team has to call around and check with all the counties and make sure that that number is right.
But we are at about 140,000 to begin today we expect to be below 100,000. At the end of the night, we should be getting close to there now.
COOPER: So, Kyung, do you know how many votes are outstanding?
LAH: Yes. We're just getting and this is an estimate. This is an estimate because there are provisional ballots, and then they're going through the curing process. So, this is a moving target. But the latest number that we have in Maricopa County is that there are an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 remaining ballots. And John, I don't know if it's helpful to break down exactly what that is. But of the five to 15,000 remaining ballots, there are still 3,500 estimated Election Day ballots reported 7,600 to cure and there are a total of 77,885 provisional ballots. So that that's where the moving target is the provisional ballots, how much are they going to be able to get across the line to count as a vote, as an actual vote.
What we are hearing now from the Lake -- we do a little reporting from inside the Lake campaign, a source we have been talking to for multiple days from the Lake campaign is describing tonight, this release tonight as a massive disappointment. That's a quote, a massive disappointment. The Election Day drop offs that we were relying on to be very Republican leaning are just not breaking in our favor enough. The estimate from the source who was working within the Lake campaign, the Lake sphere is that the Lake team was anticipating receiving 66% of that batch. You've been taught -- hearing John talking about the math what she needed in order to break in her favor. The math from inside the campaign is that they were anticipating it would be 66%, that's why you're hearing from at least we are hearing from our source within the campaign that this is a massive disappointment, Anderson.
COOPER: We're going to continue to follow this -- in this hour and also in the next hour all through to 10 o'clock.
More, we're going to take a short break. We'll have more when we come back.
COOPER: Moments ago, we got a new vote total from Arizona's biggest County Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake improved her vote total but she still trails Democratic Katie Hobbs with about 5,000 to 15,000 ballots remaining to count in Maricopa County, depending on how many provisional ballots are counted.
Now, these votes total column as we look ahead to the former president is expected to announce when he's running again tomorrow. Want to play you with the former vice president said tonight on ABC World News about him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MUIR, ABC HOST: We do know that the former president could announce any day now that he's running for president get again. Given all that you witnessed in the Capitol on that day, this is a pretty straightforward question a yes or no? Do you believe that Donald Trump should ever be president again?
MIKE PENCE (R) FMR VICE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: David, I think that's up to the American people. But I think we'll have better choices in the future.
People in this country actually get along pretty well once you get out of politics. And I think they want to see their national leaders start to reflect that same, that same compassion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: perspective now from CNN senior political commentator, John Kasich, former Republican governor of Ohio also served in the House. He's the author of It's Up To Us 10 little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change. Also, Van Jones, CNN political commentator, former Special Adviser to President Obama.
COOPER: Governor, what is your reaction former Vice President Pence assertion that there may be better choices for Republicans in 2024?
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know why he just didn't say no. I mean, why wouldn't you say, no, I don't think he should be president. I can't figure that out. But, you know, it's disappointing. He doesn't say no, frankly, you know, he should have said no, from the beginning, because, you know, Donald Trump has divided our country and, and we see what his influence was in this last election. Can't blame it just on him. We had a lot of Republicans that really didn't have a message in terms of what they wanted to do. They spent their time just attacking Joe Biden. And, look, if you don't have an agenda, if you can't get people excited, you're going to have a problem.
The good news is Anderson out of that election, is a lot of the people who were extreme, they lost. And that's a positive. And maybe we're getting back to some sense of normalcy in this country.
COOPER: Van, I mean, it is interesting. You want assumes if Mike Pence is running for president that he doesn't think Donald Trump should be president. But if he's trying to be a decisive, strong leader, it's I mean, is he just afraid of upsetting the former president? Is he say, afraid of like poking the bear or something? VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I don't think so. You know, Pence has got different personality type, and he tends to be a little bit more understated in all things he's not, he's been very far right wing. He's never been a barn burner. And I think, honestly, this time, tomorrow, you're going to see something that's pretty rare. You're going to see just a complete Parana attack on Donald Trump. If he announces tomorrow that he's running for president, which everybody thinks says he will. The people who were literally worshipping at his feet, just a few weeks ago, are going to be I think, much more forceful than you heard from Vice President Pence today and saying it's a bad idea. And before the whole party, I think was frozen by fear. I think the fear has broken up. I think you're going to hear a lot more criticism of Donald Trump tomorrow --
COOPER: Who do you think he's going to be doing this?
JONES: Allow these elected officials who I think are emboldened. People, frankly, more in the governor's wing of the party, who have been a little bit more muted. I think they're going to be a lot less muted tomorrow. That's my prediction.
COOPER: Governor Kasich, you think that's true?
KASICH: Well, look, here's the situation. Donald Trump controls a lot of the party apparatus. These are the county chair, the state chairman. And you know, they kind of have something at stake to their state chairman today. They want to be state chairman tomorrow. And they're sort of connected to Trump. And so, when the party apparatus is still clinging somebody, it's pretty tough to break it. Are we going to have people come out and be forceful? I mean, we've had some former members say things. Frankly, it's I don't, I don't really understand why many of them just don't say no, we don't want them. I mean, I don't know what they're afraid of.
But, Anderson, it just seems to me that Pence was asked his question. I agree with Van. He's an understated guy. But when somebody asked you after what happened on January 6, then everything he observed in four years, and you say, do you think Donald Trump should be president? And you say, what's up to the American people? That's a dodge, he should have said, no, that's what I would have said. But you know, I'm not him. And he's not me.
COOPER: Governor, do you think someone like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who had a strong showing this election cycle compared to the former president couldn't be one of those better choices?
KASICH: Well, I think DeSantis is going to be a candidate, he'll will be -- it appear as a strong candidate, he's raised lots of money, he's probably going to raise lots of money. And I think he's going to end up running. But you know, running for president ain't easy. You know, you've got to go to Iowa, you got to go to those fish fries, you got to go to New Hampshire. And you just got to get with the folks and you got to connect with them. And they got to look you in the eye and you got to look them in the eye. So, it's a long way. But yes, there's going to be DeSantis is going to get in this race. There'll be more, Pence will probably get in this race as well. And frankly, ironically, if the figure the field is the better chance, perhaps Donald Trump has to be able to pull this off, but he is not going to be President of United States, Van and Anderson. I think if he's the nominee, and he runs, he is not going to be president. People are not going to vote for him again. Maybe that'll be in his calculation as he moves forward. But I don't believe it. I was saying all along, he was fading, he is fading. It could be the nominee, but he didn't going to win.
COOPER: Van, it's interesting, you know, history is replete with candidates who people thought, oh, he's going to be a great national candidate. But somebody's never run for national office before Ron DeSantis has not. We have no idea what sort of a campaigner he is?
JONES: Yes, look, I think right now, he's, he's the great hope for people who want to see the Republican Party move forward. He sort of Trumpism without Trump. And so that that makes him I think, an interesting figure. But you know, the reality is people say he isn't as warm as you have to be in places like Iowa to get the nomination.
But you know, what I will say is that Republicans just don't like party leaders who screw up midterm elections. I remember Newt Gingrich. You know, the great, you know, Titan and somebody who really reshaped Republican Party, he was a dominant speaker.