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Aired November 04, 2014 - 02:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Election night in America. Welcome back to the CNN Election Center. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. We want to update you on some outstanding races right now, a big, big win right now for the Republicans.

Not only will they continue to be the majority in the House of Representatives, they will now also be the majority in the United States Senate, very important for the Republicans. Take a look at these outstanding races.

We have not made a projection in Virginia yet, 95 percent of the vote is in. The incumbent Democrat Mark Warner has a slight lead over the Republican challenger, Ed Gillespie, by 12,150 votes. Look how close it is, 49.1 percent to 48.5 percent. It was not expected to be as close as it is. No projection in Virginia yet.

In Alaska, Dan Sullivan, the Republican challenger to Mark Begich, the incumbent Democrat, he's ahead right now with 38 percent of the vote in. He's only ahead by 5,108 votes that's translated to 49 percent for Sullivan, 45 percent for Begich, once again no projection in Alaska.

Let's take a look at a few of the outstanding governors' races where we still have not been able to make a projection. In Connecticut, the incumbent Democrat, Dan Malloy, has a slight lead over the Republican challenger, Tom Foley, but only 73 percent of the vote is in. Malloy ahead by 14,806 votes, 50 percent to 49 percent.

In Colorado, 88 percent of the vote is in. Bob Beauprez has a slight lead over the incumbent Democrat, John Hickenlooper by 5,912 votes. Look at how close it is, though, 48 percent for Beauprez to 47.6 percent for Hickenlooper. Very, very close in Colorado. No projection there yet.

Very strong showing, though, by the Republicans tonight, certainly has allowed them to take back control of the majority in the Senate. Here are some of the reactions tonight from the winners and the losers.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), VICTORY SPEECH: For too long, this administration has tried to tell the American people what's good for them and then blame somebody else when their policies didn't work out. ALISON GRIMES (D), CONCESSION SPEECH: Well, tonight didn't bring us the result we had hoped for, this journey, the fight for you, it was worth it.

REP. TOM COTTON (R), VICTORY SPEECH: I think it was a win we all hoped for and maybe expected, but perhaps a little earlier and bigger than any of us would have expected.

DAVID PERDUE (R), VICTORY SPEECH: I think Georgia has made it loud and clear tonight that we want to stop the failed policies of this administration and Harry Reid.

SCOTT BROWN (R), CONCESSION SPEECH: Regardless of what happens here tonight, I have one thing that's come true. Harry Reid is the minority leader.


BLITZER: Let's take a look at some of the before and after. John King is over here at the magic wall. We remember what it was like before tonight and now it's after, quite a difference.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dramatic change. You have to call it a Republican wave and a big Republican night and a bad embarrassing repudiation for the White House and the Democratic Party. Here's where we started the night, 55 Democrats in the Senate that includes two independents, 45 Republicans.

Here's where we are right now, Wolf, at least 52 Republicans, Democrats down to 45, and any betting person would tell you they expect that Dan Sullivan will win the race in Alaska as we count the votes there.

And odds are right now, Mary Landrieu trails in the polls. She has a run off in a month, five weeks against Bill Cassidy. Odds are Republicans will take that seat as well. It looks like, although we haven't been able to call it, that Mark Warner is holding on to a narrow lead there.

If you assume that Mark Warner holds, and again, we haven't made that final call, but something in that ballpark, 54-46, a big flip in the United States Senate.

Now let's switch a map to take a look at the United States House, another big change here. I'm going to start with this map. This is when the president took office. And at this point in time, the Democrats had 257. Remember that number.

I want you to look at this again. Just look at this. This is when the president took office. Look at this blue, look at this blue. Look at it everywhere. The northwest in the southwest, in the south, in the northwest and even up here in New England in the north, look at all that blue, this is where we are tonight.

Look at how much red in the House. These are the House districts. We now know Republicans started at 234 tonight. They will be in excess of 246. They will pick up at least 13 seats and that's their previous high water mark.

They will pass that tonight, exceeding that number. So dramatic turnaround, Republicans take the Senate. Not just taking it, but a couple seat cushion and a big boost to the Republican House majority again. Again, this will be the largest Republican House majority, at least 246 members since World War II.

BLITZER: It's a huge win, not only did they expand their majority in the House of Representatives. They dramatically take over the United States Senate. There's going to be a new majority leader. They can subpoena members of the administration. They can have all sorts of investigations and committees.

They can make the life of the executive branch quite miserable presumably if they want to do that in the Senate they'll have the votes to go ahead and do that now as well.

KING: And you'll see some tensions in the Republican Party on that very point. Ted Cruz said let's have an oversight hearings. Let's look in the regulatory abuses. He believes it's been criminality. He wants to have oversight hearings.

Mitch McConnell, I suspect, will be looking at 2016, looking to try to keep that majority in that presidential election. So no question, there will be some tensions there. Not only is the balance of power, the map has changed, the balance of power in Washington has changed a little bit.

Now watch Vice President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite for the nomination. Joe Biden has a good relationship with Mitch McConnell. The president doesn't. He could be more important in the final two years.

And I just talked about Ted Cruz. Remember when the Republicans were in the minority how often he jumped in the way of getting things done. A lot of people wonder if the president will start negotiating with the Republicans on issues like taxes and entitlements.

Here's the flip side. Watch and see if Elizabeth Warren in a Democratic minority could emerge as the new Ted Cruz. If the president tries to move to the center and cut deals, will the liberal Democrats following Elizabeth Warren's lead stand up in the Senate to fight it.

BLITZER: They want to get rid of Obamacare. I spoke to Ted Cruz tonight. He made it clear that's one of their top objectives. They don't have the votes right now to do to override a presidential veto and he understands that, but they're still going to go ahead and try to send legislation to the president doing what they want to do, passing the House, passing the Senate. Let the president veto it.

KING: I think Michael Smerconish is making this point earlier. Look, the Republicans promised that to their voters. They promised that in the House races. They promised that in the Senate races. So whether you agree or disagree with them, you fully expect them to keep their promises and try. The president does have that veto pen. Even if they can get the votes in the Senate to pass a full repeal, which is unlikely at this moment, a full repeal, the president would veto it. The question is what do they do next?

Are they willing to make some change once they realize they cannot repeal at all. The president said he's open to some. Republicans in budget negotiations will have some leverage in negotiations. I think that is the big question.

Is it all or nothing, which is what we've had in Washington from both parties essentially the last few years or does compromise suddenly come back in vogue.

BLITZER: Well, I'm not holding my breath.

KING: I wouldn't.

BLITZER: All right, Anderson, back to you.

ANDERSON COOPER: Take a look at the races that were won and lost. Let's take a look just for a few minutes and what political strategies work and what messages work. In Colorado, there was a lot of talk on the so-called war on women by Democrats. Did that fail?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: yes. Cory Gardner got elected. Stephanie, Mark Udall, it's 1:30 in the morning. He was getting called Mark Uterus. He overplayed his hand and you had a candidate -- you had a candidate who fought back and who frankly --

COOPER: Have Democrats overplayed their hand on that?

NAVARRO: I think in some races they have, frankly. And look, the war on women is a lot harder to win when you don't have a Todd Akin or a Richard Murdoch saying stupid things.

MADDEN: And the gender gap is shown for Republicans on one side and it's actually advantage with men, and Democrats having a hard problem --

CUTTER: In midterm elections in 2010, there was actually no gender gap. The Republicans --

MATTER: It's not 2010 anymore.

CUTTER: I know, but it's a midterm election where typical Democratic coalitions come out less often than in presidential years. And where the war on women, or women's issues were at play in this election, Colorado, North Carolina, Iowa there was -- there was a big gender gap in those races where Democrats won women. I wouldn't say it failed. I wouldn't say that Republicans got a little bit smarter about it and changed their positions, which --

MADDEN: No, they didn't change their positions.

CUTTER: It tells me the war on women actually won. We got Republicans to change their position.

MADDEN: Cory Gardner recognized that energy is a women's issue.

CUTTER: Cory Gardner backtracked --

MADDEN: Joni Ernst recognized that women voters also cared about excessive spending in Washington, D.C. She focused on those issues and that's why -- the other thing, too, that emerged. And Peter probably knows this as well, what really emerged is the national security issue and the confidence crisis that so many voters had. That really helped Republicans close the gap with women voters.

CUTTER: That actually got men out to vote. All of those candidates that you just mentioned, she may have wanted to talk about energy, but she still had to own her personhood vote. And she ran so far away from that vote.

BELCHER: No, but what they are both saying is actually not that far from the truth, is as a Democratic strategist -- as a strategist in general, when you have an issue you can't win on, you want to muddy the water on that issue.

The truth of the matter is they didn't have necessarily pro-women's policies and agenda. The personhood stuff, they tried to muddy the water on that. Where Democrats made a mistake, I will be a little contrary here. I think we're to a certain extent, we were too one- note on the women issue.

The women's issues absolutely helped us, but the number one issue was still the economy. When you get inside the polling and on the jobs, it was really interesting is that neither party had a big advantage on the issue of jobs. And it was the number one issue.

The Republicans had a slight advantage on the economy overall. I would argue that going into 2012, one of the things that we made sure of was that Mitt Romney did not have -- or open up an advantage on us looking out the middle class and doing a better job on the economy.

Somewhere in between that, we lost the sort of economic argument and the progressive economic argument that took --

NAVARRO: I totally agree with that in Florida there was an ad play that we have of Charlie Crist, which was targeting women. It was a woman of every color, shape and size looking at the camera. Looking like somebody had just told them that their puppy had died.

Talking about how if Rick Scott got elected, basically forget the idea that you're ever going to be able to have sex again. It didn't work. It was condescending and it was one note because Republicans want to pretend that women don't care about reproductive rights.

And Democrats want to pretend that that's all they care about. The true is that it lies somewhere in the middle.

COOPER: Ana was able to bring it back to Charlie Crist. HAMBY: There's a theory that the political director of the AFL-CIO has -- it's very interesting, and it's that if you look at voters who make under $50,000 a year, Democrats always win those folks. When they win big, as they did in 2012, they won that by 20 points.

In 2010 wave year, they only won that vote by 10 points. He e-mailed me earlier and said we only won it tonight by 14 points. His theory of the case is that, to you guys point, Democrats didn't do a good job sort of relating women's issues to a broader economic theme.

Look at places where Democrats did win, Michigan with Gary Peters, Al Frank in Minnesota, really stuck to kind of like economic populism. Those are tough states for Republicans anyway, but they did pull it out in Michigan and that's interesting.

COOPER: You know, I think it would be interesting to look at the voter -- the people who came out to vote in this midterm election versus the people come out to vote during a presidential year election. I think Wolf and John are going to do that. Let's take a look.

BLITZER: You've been studying this, you're looking at who actually showed up to vote this time as opposed years past and it makes a difference.

KING: To me, no offense to the candidate, the first thing you look for in the exit polls because you can tell by the demographics of the electorate, you can often tell at least who it's going to lean in Florida.

So let's look at the map, look at our exit polls and compare the electorate. We're going to compare -- there we go. We're going to compare 2014. This is your national electorate tonight, 51 percent men, 49 percent women, a 2-point gap, remember that, right.

This is your electorate tonight. Now you come over to 2012, more women, fewer men in the electorate. This is a much more favorable climate for Democrats. The president won in 2012, of course. Now we look both by race, 75 percent of the electorate tonight was white.

A smaller slice of a nonwhite African-American Latino, et cetera, electorate there, remember that number, 75 percent 2014. In 2012, in the presidential race, it was 72 percent. Might seem like a slight drop. The difference makes a difference. I'll show you that in just a minute. That's vote by race.

Now we vote by age. This is 2014. This is tonight in a national electorate. The electorate, a smaller percentage of younger voters and a higher percentage of older voters than in a presidential year, older voters tend to vote Republican. Younger voters tend to vote Democratic.

Here's the comparison. Remember the 13 and the 22 in the presidential year, it was 19 and 16. Huge swings there, younger voters and all the voters advantage Republicans by far. Just look at some of the battleground states. In North Carolina, for example, Democrats lost that Senate seat. You had a smaller portion of younger voters and a larger portion of older voters than in a presidential year. That makes the difference in a very close election.

Another race the Democrats lost tonight, the Iowa Senate race, same exact thing, in a presidential year, that vote was significantly higher. This vote was a little bit lower. So what happens, Wolf, when that happens?

In the presidential year, when you have more women, more young people voting, this is what you get. President wins an election, 51-47, relatively close in the math, but from the electoral college standpoint, it's a sweep.

What do you get when you get the other turnout? You get this. Republicans building their House majority, they take control of the Senate and you have a vastly different outlook across the country, much less blue.

That's a presidential year, that's this year, and this is two midterm elections in a row where the president has been trounced and his party has been trounced.

BLITZER: But in between those two midterms he did come back and win a second term rather handsomely.

KING: That's the challenge for the Democratic Party trying to figure how to make the Obama coalition, younger voters, unmarried women, college educated women, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians coming over to Obama in the presidential years.

How do they make the Obama coalition a lasting Democratic coalition? They have not been able to pass that test and in fact tonight they failed that test.

BLITZER: And the huge challenge for the Republicans, take what they've learned tonight and build on it going ahead to 2016 whoever the Republican presidential nominee might be, and whoever the Democratic presidential nominee might be. We don't know who they're going to be. But we're going to study and get announcement fairly soon.

KING: And again, back to how I started this, the demographics matter sometimes even more than the candidates. We don't know who the Republican nominee will be. So as the Republicans celebrate this map tonight, they have every right and every reason to, they won a big election.

As they celebrate the Senate map tonight, the smart Republicans will be mindful of this map. They will understand the reason in two consecutive presidential election, Barack Obama, first Senator Obama and President Obama was able to win is because of the demographics.

Because he won 90-plus percent of the African-American vote, 2/3 of the Latino vote. If the Republicans don't deal with their problems nationally at the presidential level with nonwhite voter, can they squeak out one win? Maybe. But the demographics are changing way too fast.

BLITZER: Yes, we don't know what's going to happen in 2016. We do know what happened in 2014, Anderson. And the Republican establishment, the Republican leadership, they did a pretty good job in scoring these gains tonight.

COOPER: They certainly did. Let's talk about this with our political panel. How do both sides learn the lessons of what happened tonight in regards to 2016?

BELCHER: Let me throw out a problematic note for the Democrats. There was a funny conversation we had around a small table then with Senator Obama talking about if you're going to become president, if you're going to win the nominee to become president, you have to expand the map and bring more voters into it, we have to change the face of the electorate.

And we went about doing that, doing crazy things like spending money targeting young voter, something that the establishment has never wanted to do, putting ads in video games. These voters, 11 percent of our electorate in 2008 was brand-new voters, people had voted before.

These voters were Obama voters. They weren't Democratic voters. And the problem is, you know, for the party over the next couple of months is figuring out how to turn these Obama voters into Democratic voters. Here's the problem.

When was the last time a Democratic president won back to back terms with a majority? That's the Obama coalition. And so whoever the nominee is, they have to be careful how far they distance themselves or how well they treat President Obama.

Because quite frankly the majority that he created is, in fact, a solid new majority. And there's not a -- there's not a majority Democratic majority anymore without those younger voters and without those increasingly Latino voters and still the strong back of the America.

SMERCONISH: And there's not a Republican constituency out there that can win a presidential race if they're so dependent on white males as their core. The Romney pollster in 2012 wrote a great piece on this in "The Washington Post" this week.

He was on my radio program this morning, as a matter of fact, saying there will be a big GOP celebration tonight, but the branding issues faced by the Republican Party and the demographic issues are still going to exist. So don't conflate this victory with what's to come in 2016 because it's a whole new dynamic.

HAMBY: Every 30 seconds in this country, Hispanic turns 18, responsible to vote.

CUTTER: Which means that they've got to find a way to deal with the immigration issue, which means they have to deal with the Ted Cruzs of the world, which keep dragging them to the right away from immigration reform.

So if a Republican wants to win a presidential election, they have to figure out how to inspire youth to be for them, how to solve their women's problem, and how to appeal to Hispanics. And that's through an agenda, through rhetoric, and they've gotten part of the way there through some of the rhetoric in this election, but they're not there with the agenda --

NAVARRO: I think this race in Colorado was so important and I was very excited about two races, Iowa and Colorado. Because, you know, after 2012, the Republican Party had so many gaps, a gender gap, a youth gap, a Hispanic gap, an African-American.

We had so many gaps we really should have been paying royalties to the brand company, to the clothing company, and we chipped away at those in this election. We have a long way to go still, but I think it showed Republicans that if you put on a concerted effort, sustained effort, not just show up the last few weeks before the election.

If you put the bodies on the ground, if you really go out and show up at the place, this guy, Mike Kauffman in Colorado, who was the most targeted House race, he taught himself Spanish.

He did a debate on Univision in Spanish, which had me terrified. But he did it and he did just fine today. He was supposed to be one of the most as I vulnerable House seats in America.

MADDEN: There are lessons to learn. I actually agree with everybody that, you know, while we had a very good night tonight, this was an event and the process starts all over again tomorrow. We have a 2016 election. In a 2016 map that isn't as favorable as the 2014 map was.

But we also have some templates that Republicans can take lessons from. And to Michael's point, everybody is reading that piece and they all agree with it. It's not like it's being dismissed. Ohio is like a microcosm of the country.

It's like the mother of all swing states. How did John Kasich win there? He ran a solutions oriented administration. He focused on a lot of issues like health care. He focused on reaching out to middle class voters, winning those economic arguments in the state.

So that provides a template. Cory Gardner provides a template on how you compete in the suburbs of around Denver for other candidates that have to win there. Because if we're going to win a national election, we're going to have to win Ohio, which we lost last time and win places like Colorado.

HAMBY: The economic argument in Ohio, he took Medicaid expansion, and that is a poison pill in Western Iowa.

MADDEN: Only of those debates on health care and where we go forward as being -- rather than justifying ourselves by what we're against, but what we're for and what more patient-centric health care looks like. That is something that a Republican nominee is actually -- BELCHER: Basically dropped out of the race in Ohio. If I was a

Republican, I would ask one question, does this help me win Florida. Whatever I do, does it help me win Florida because everything that's changing in America with the growth of Latinos, and still the strong voting power of African-Americans, if it does not help you win Florida, you should not be doing it.

MADDEN: I'm a Cincinnati Bengals fan, are you going to hold that against me.

BELCHER: I'm a Redskins fan.

NAVARRO: We don't call them Redskins anymore, haven't you gotten the memo?

COOPER: Can we please stop talking about sports. Senator Rand Paul seems to be setting the stage for 2016, his views on the results and a message from Democrats ahead.


BLITZER: Welcome back. It's CNN election night in America. We're at the CNN Election Center. Let's review some of the races that remain outstanding stand right now. In Virginia, we have not made a projection. The incumbent Democrat Mark Warner, slightly ahead of his Republican challenger, Ed Gillespie, right now about 12,150 votes.

That hasn't really changed a whole lot. Lately it's a trickle of votes coming in, but still 5 percent remain outstanding, 95 percent of the vote is in Virginia. No projection there.

In Alaska, more than half of the vote is now in. Dan Sullivan, the Republican challenger to the incumbent, Senator Mark Begich, he has a slight lead, 8,500 or so, 50 percent to 44 percent, 56 percent of the vote is in, slightly for Dan Sullivan. We have not made a projection in Alaska, at least not yet.

We've got some other races we're following. The governor race in Connecticut, Dan Malloy is the incumbent. He's got 50 percent. Tom Foley, 49 percent, 73 percent of the vote in. Dan Malloy has an advantage of about 14,600 votes. We have not made a projection there.

Similarly in Colorado, even though 89 percent of the vote is in, we have not made a projection. Look how close it is between the Republican challenger to the Governor John Hickenlooper, Bob Beauprez has 47.9 percent to 47.6 percent for John Hickenlooper.

Still not enough information for us to make a projection, Only 5,572 votes separates these two candidates in Colorado. This year's campaign could be the starting point of something even bigger looking forward to 2016. Here's what some of them had to say.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), VICTORY SPEECH: I'm an optimist, I believe here in Wisconsin and America we want to be for something, not against something. But you know what, that's the difference between Washington and Wisconsin. They're all against something. We are for something.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), VICTORY SPEECH: You see folks we're now part of a movement. This is not just another election, another political campaign. This is a movement to restore hope in our state and maybe it can even become contagious with hope being restored all across the United States.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), VICTORY SPEECH: We said we would not be pushed or pulled by the extreme forces on the left or right, that we would always remember the guiding star is service to the people.


BLITZER: So how will tonight's results impact 2016? Let's go to CNN Tom Foreman. He's joining us now from our virtual studio. Tom, what do you think?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Wolf, if you think about it, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has had a unique advantage by having a president in the White House, Barack Obama, in the White House. When you have a president in the White House, it tends to quiet down people in your own party.

They don't make too much noise about becoming president and they fall in line a little bit better. That is not going to be the case for Mitch McConnell. All he'll have to do is look across the room and see people with a lot of ideas about the White House in 2016, starting with his fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul.

Remember just last year, it wasn't clear if Rand Paul would even endorse Mitch McConnell for reelection. Back in the corner, Ted Cruz, he has a way of getting headlines that Republicans really don't know what to do with.

Marco Rubio from Florida is also back there. He has a way of getting attention and what about the people outside this chamber. If you look across the hall and Paul Ryan comes in, you have to consider what ideas he has about the budget.

And what about the governors and former governors, Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and people like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. The bottom line is there are a whole lot of people out here in the Republican Party because they don't have the White House who would very much like to be in there, Wolf.

And those people can make it very difficult on Mitch McConnell because their ideas about what ought to be done with all this Republican power could be very different than his, and very much focused on their own desires for 2016 -- Wolf.

BLITZER: A lot of people looking ahead to 2016 already. We'll see what happens on that front, Tom. Thanks very much. Senator Rand Paul among them, he said voters sent a message today and that was aimed at the man at the White House and a certain woman who might like to live there once again.

Listen to what the Republican presidential prospect, the potential told CNN's Brianna Keilar about tonight's results.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We're all smiles. Big victory here in Kentucky and I think it's really a repudiation of the president's policies, but also of Hillary Clinton. She was very active in Kentucky. An interesting thing is, Ms. Grimes decided she was going to run as a Clinton Democrat. She wouldn't admit who she voted for president, but she was a Clinton Democrat. I think we soundly rejected that in Kentucky, also in Arkansas.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I asked you that and you switched immediately to talking about Hillary Clinton. Any reasonable person thinks you're preparing to take her on, on a bigger stage.

PAUL: Well, I think she put herself out as a face for Democrats. They try to differentiate between Obama Democrats and Clinton Democrats. It doesn't look like it was very successful. In Kentucky, we rejected that. In Arkansas we rejected that. And I think you're going to find in Iowa that we're going to reject that as well.

KEILAR: When you look at what you're seeing across the country with these races, do you think that Republicans are going to win the Senate?

PAUL: Yes, I think there's every chance. If not tonight, we'll see. There may be some runoffs. But I think we're going to be very close if not there tonight.

KEILAR: OK. So if not tonight, if it is later, if we're working under that assumption, what are Republicans prepared to do. Will Republicans compromise with President Obama?

PAUL: Well, that is the real question. I think we're going to put legislation on his desk, and the question is, will he compromise with us, really? I think for so long they've wanted everything they want without any compromise.

For the last two years in the Senate, there's been no Republican input. Even on their signature achievement, Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, really not much Republican input at all on this.

So what we will do, Senator McConnell said he will do is he will work with Democrats. He will allow them to have amendments and he will allow them to have input on bills and we will present, pass bills and send them to the president.

KEILAR: What are the issues out of the gate that Republicans want to work on, under the assumption that they win the Senate. What are Republicans wanting to do right out of the gate?

PAUL: I think our number one issue is that at least for me, is I would like to see a lot of American profit that's been earned around the world and overseas, let that American profit come home. There's $2 trillion overseas. And there's bipartisan agreement on this.

In 2005, we lowered the tax and $300 billion came home. Some people think nearly $1 trillion would come and stimulate business and bring jobs home with it. I think that's something we could do on a bipartisan basis.

KEILAR: Do you think President Obama is really going to go for repatriation?

PAUL: He voted for it in 2005. I talked to him about it about a month ago. He wasn't so enthusiastic, but he used to support it. There are many Democrats, Barbara Boxer supports it. I'll work with Barbara Boxer. How many issues are there that Rand Paul and Barbara boxer can work together on? I think we ought to do something when we have some agreement. It would be good for America and good for American jobs. Be a big stimulus for the economy.

KEILAR: Are you looking, I'm assuming, at Virginia. What are your thoughts?

PAUL: Virginia is amazing actually. How close it is. And Ed Gillespie has a real shot. I campaigned for him down there. I really wish the best of luck and we're going to be late night and see if he can pull it out.


BLITZER: We still haven't made a projection in Virginia and it is late tonight. That interview, by the way, taped -- Brianna taped it earlier before we have several of the other results with Rand Paul.

Rand Paul, by the way, he's opened up a whole new Facebook photo album and it's called #hillarys losers. There you see Hillary Clinton with Bruce Braley, the loser in Iowa. There are some other pictures with Michelle Nunn, that's Kay Hagan in North Carolina.

Another one of his losers and Michelle, she's a loser as well. Interesting that he's going after Hillary Clinton right now. Rand Paul is thinking very, very seriously of running for the Republican presidential nomination because he's looking ahead running against Hillary Clinton.

COOPER: No doubt about that. He's done a number of interviews tonight. A lot of different outlets, all of them immediately, he tacks on to Hillary Clinton. You had some thoughts watching Rand Paul.

SMERCONISH: Five hours ago, I received one of the more interesting tweets of the evening. Here's what it said. Republican control of the Senate equals expanded neo-con wars in Syria and Iraq. Boots on the ground are coming. Maybe it wouldn't be so significant if it hadn't been sent from Ron Paul, Rand Paul's dad.

Part of the appeal of Rand Paul for many folks has been that he's a younger chip off the old block. But the closer we get to 2016, the more he looks to distinguish himself from dad. And I can't believe that this would sit well that he serves in the Senate body.

HAMBY: When he goes to Iowa to talk to religious conservatives. You know, he's tried to ingratiate himself with Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment at the risk of his grassroots base. He's sort of straddling all of these lines.

It's going to be really fascinating to watch, which lane he kind of plays in in the Republican primary. Clearly he's trying to invent his own space, but the minute he sort of overcommits on one side to a policy or whatever, he's going to get flamed by somebody else. He's just sort of all over the place in a lot of different issues.

COOPER: To his point about Hillary Clinton, does any of this blow back on Hillary Clinton tonight?

CUTTER: She campaigned for Democrats. She's campaigned for Democrats for a very long time. Saying this has anything with her is just ridiculous. I understand why Rand Paul is doing that. He's already running against her. He's trying to tag her with these losses, but it's just not accurate.

MADDEN: It was a huge repudiation of President Obama and this current environment right now belongs to the next Democratic leader, I think. So Hillary Clinton is going to have to navigate this environment. In order to do so, she's going to have to choose and put together a strategy where she starts to draw contrast with the president. At the same time, she's got to stake out and actually develop a greater argument where she can take both the party and the country in a different direction.

NAVARRO: We're spinning this, right? But the truth is, you know, you had a woman lose resounding in Kentucky who self-described herself, ran away from President Obama and self-described herself as a Clinton Democrat.

If she had an ally in the Florida governor's race, yes, that would be good for Hillary Clinton. If she had an ally in the Massachusetts governor race, that would be good.

If she had an ally in North Carolina Senate, if she had an ally in Iowa Senate, that would be good. So we may disagree on whether it was a good night or a bad night, but I think we agree that it wasn't a good night.

CUTTER: I do agree with you that the results of tonight don't exactly help Hillary Clinton in terms of having allies out there. More Republicans are in control. That doesn't help Democrats get elect popped.

COOPER: Or does it allow Hillary Clinton to run against --

CUTTER: Exactly. Now that Republicans are actually in charge of government, they have to take ownership of these things. And there's going to be a big contrast between the Republican agenda and what Hillary Clinton -- if she decides to run will be running on.

BELCHER: Two things. One, we should get time off the starship enterprise.

COOPER: Tom Foreman lives in a virtual reality world.

BELCHER: Kind of creepy.

COOPER: Nobody puts Ted Cruz in a corner.

BELCHER: What is it, 3:00? The other part of this is look, you can't run away from the president. You can't. I mean, ask Al Gore how well that worked out for him. Yes, you've got to be your own person, but here's -- if you look at the truth of the matter, if, in fact, Democrats had embraced where our economy is right now and embraced where quite frankly even healthcare is right now.

Because healthcare costs right now are leveling off and we have more people insured. If people actually embraced that as opposed to trying to run away from it, I would argue we would be in better shape.

The other point is this, we're not going to have the electorate in 2016 that we had tonight. If we had the same electorate, yes, Hillary Clinton is going to lose. And the last point is here's a real problem for Republicans.

NAVARRO: You said two points.

BELCHER: I can't do math. My last point is this. Hillary Clinton will not lose white women by the same percentage points that Barack Obama lost white women votes.

MADDEN: Is it a healthy process given a repudiation of the president that we're going to see a basically an anointment of one candidate? Is that a healthy process to go through right now?

HAMBY: You might disagree. I haven't talked to a single Democrat activist, operative whatever who thinks that's a good thing. Even Clinton supporters want her to have a challenge. Probably more like a Gore-Bradley challenge. Like a 60-30 race.

MADDEN: If you don't have it, the primary is between Hillary Clinton and President Obama again.

CUTTER: It's not clear this is going to be an anointment. There are many Democrats who haven't said whether they're going to run or not or whether they're going to step out if Hillary does --

MADDEN: That's different from what many people said. They said the field has been cleared for Hillary Clinton.

NAVARRO: If I was a Hillary Clinton supporter, I would be hoping and praying right now for some sort of challenge. Not a really serious challenge. Not an Elizabeth Warren, but maybe somebody who can make you break into a slight sweat. Let's face it. This is a woman, a candidate who has not debated since 2008. We saw the rollout of her book tour. It wasn't exactly perfect.

HAMBY: So what you're talking about, what Obama did in the primaries, and --

COOPER: Made him a better candidate.

HAMBY: But the party also figured out what he was about. They built a party infrastructure. You know, they got e-mail addresses and they registered voters. And they kept people engaged in the process and if it's just Hillary Clinton coming to Iowa every few weeks.

COOPER: Does she want to run if it's not an anointment? Does she really want a rough and tumble campaign?

MADDEN: I think they want --

NAVARRO: I think they want to -- they would like a challenge from a Jim Webb or somebody that just has very little chance of beating her. Not a real challenge.

HAMBY: The dynamic isn't going to change that much from the way it is now. The minute she left secretary of state and started embarking on paid speeches and a book tour and then doing surrogate work like for the last few weeks, she was getting it from the media. She was getting it from Republicans. It's -- it will be a lot hotter in the presidential, but still, she's already living in this world.

MADDEN: She hasn't gotten that much better as a candidate. That's a big problem. That's why I wonder if this anointment process we're seeing right now is very healthy.

COOPER: I'm still waiting for Cornell and Stephanie to say something.

BELCHER: It's only 3:00 in the morning.

NAVARRO: You do have a stool to sit on, don't you?

BELCHER: Isn't it time for commercial?

SMERCONISH: This was a bad night for the president. But I think it transcends President Obama. And take it from someone who answers the telephone for a living because that's what I do for 15 hours a week. There is a funk out there. And it transcends Obama.

People are very nervous. I saw one statistic today that I think embodies the general sentiment out there. And it's this feeling that people no longer have the confidence that their children will exceed their station in life. That's just not about R's. That's not just about D's.

COOPER: We saw that in the exit polls as well.

SMERCONISH: I think it's a real problem that we feel overwhelmed with Ebola, with ISIS, with all of that, which is going on and we are holding him accountable.

COOPER: I got to get a quick break in. It is clearly Republican tonight, not all wins are created equal. The biggest winners and losers so far. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome to the CNN Election Center. I'm Wolf Blitzer. Here in Washington. What a night it's been for Republicans especially as they go on to get a majority in the United States Senate.

Let's recap what the Republicans have done. Mitch McConnell defeated Alison Lundergan Grimes. He gets another six years. He's the minority leader, but he's presumably going to be the majority leader. Right now, the Republicans win.

In Georgia, David Perdue defeats the Democrat Michelle Nunn. That's another major win. David Perdue gets six years in the Senate. Shelley Moore Capito, the Republican from West Virginia, that's a pickup she beats National Tenant.

Tom Cotton, another pickup. He defeats incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Pryor in Arkansas, a major win in Arkansas. Let's go to South Dakota. Take a look at this. Mike Rounds, the former governor of South Dakota. He defeats Rick Weiland and Larry Pressler, another pick up for Republicans in South Dakota.

Similarly in Montana, Steve Daines defeats Amanda Curtis, this is another pickup for Republicans in Montana. Colorado, another pickup. Cory Gardner defeats the incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall.

And in North Carolina, this is a pickup. Thom Tillis defeats the incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan. Major, major pickups for the Republicans. In Kansas, Pat Roberts survives and defeats the independent Greg Orman. He gets another six years in the United States Senate. That's pat Roberts, he wins.

In Iowa, Joni Ernst the Republican defeats Bruce Braley. This is a pickup for the Republicans. And Jeanne Shaheen, she manages to hold on to Democrats in the state of New Hampshire, defeating Scott Brown, the former Republican senator from Massachusetts.

We have not made a projection yet in Virginia. It was not supposed to be this close but look how close it is, 49.1 percent for the incumbent Democrat Mark Warner, 48.5 percent for the Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, 12,150 votes separate them so far, Warner slightly ahead.

No projection yet in Alaska. But Dan Sullivan, the Republican challenger ahead right now over Mark Begich, the Democratic senator in Alaska, ahead by 8,500 votes.

In Louisiana, we do know there will be a runoff. None of the candidates managed to get 50 percent of the vote. So Mary Landrieu will face the Republican challenger, Bill Cassidy, December 6. We'll see what happens in Louisiana.

But all the exit polls showed in a two-person race, Mary Landrieu versus Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, at least according to the exit polls, Bill Cassidy would win. Rob Maness, another Republican, got 14 percent of the vote. So it doesn't look good for Democrats in Louisiana. Here's where it stands right now, 52 Republicans will be in the next United States Senate at least 45 Democrats, 51 you need. The Republicans have more than 51. So they're in good shape to be the majority in the United States Senate.

They expanded their majority in the House of Representatives. Po optimism is a part of politics. Here is what some of tonight's losers said to console their supporters.


ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES (D), CONCESSION SPEECH: This journey, this fight was for each and every one of you. And I will work my hardest to keep this amazing organization that we have built together intact to fight for a brighter and better future. We deserve that.

SCOTT BROWN (R), CONCESSION SPEECH: We stood strong. We fought, even in defeat. We've got no business in politics unless you respect the judgment of the people. If you run for office, you've got able to take it either way. I accept the decision of voters and have already offered my sincerest congratulations and good wishes to Senator Shaheen.

WENDY DAVIS (D), CONCESSION SPEECH: The genius and the beauty of our democracy is that ultimately the power rests with the people. Even when the results don't go the way we want them to, we celebrate the fact that we live in a country in which the people get to decide their elected leaders. And tonight, the people of Texas have spoken.

SEN. MARK PRYOR (D), CONCESSION SPEECH: I must confess that I have some sadness tonight. I'll miss waking up every day to go to work for the people of Arkansas, but as one chapter of my life closes, another chapter begins.

GREG ORMAN (I), CONCESSION SPEECH: It's absolutely amazing that with everything aligned against us until 30 minutes ago, we believe that there was a chance that we would fundamentally change Washington. And I believe we did.


BLITZER: Those were the losers. Coming up, some of tonight's biggest winners. They'll talk about what happens tomorrow.


BLITZER: Welcome back. One of the favorite topics we're hearing from speeches from the winning candidates across the country is tomorrow.

COOPER: The word tomorrow?

BLITZER: Tomorrow, you know that song?

COOPER: Really? OK. You were in a band called "The Monkeys," weren't you? Before the actual monkeys.

BLITZER: That's correct.

COOPER: OK, what does tomorrow bring? Let's have a listen.


REP. CORY GARDNER (R), VICTORY SPEECH: Tomorrow we go to work to fix the Washington that is out of step, out of touch, and out of time. Tonight, Colorado became the fulcrum of the balance of power.

DAVID PERDUE (R), VICTORY SPEECH: Tomorrow morning, my commitment to you about 5:00, I understand my first day starts as a senator-elect. And I'm very proud to be up tomorrow morning. I'm going to roll my sleeves up and get to work like I've done all my life.

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), VICTORY SPEECH: Tomorrow, we get back to work, back to our regular lives, but tonight, tonight let's celebrate!

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), VICTORY SPEECH: Some things don't change after tonight. I don't expect the president to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently than he did when he woke up this morning. He knows I won't either.

GREG ABBOTT (R), VICTORY SPEECH: Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow we go to work.

GOV. JERRY BROWN, VICTORY SPEECH: I jump out of bed and I want to go. So tomorrow I'll be there figuring out what the hell do you do in a fourth term?


COOPER: We got a couple of minutes. Let's talk about the winner, losers, or most important moments. Ana, for you?

NAVARRO: All right, I think the winner of this, and Kevin is going to go into septic shock. I think the big winner was Mitt Romney. Became the most sought after surrogate after being, you know, the biggest loser obviously in 2012. And the biggest loser, I'm sorry, but I'm taking another damn shot at him.

COOPER: Because it's been about 20 minutes.

NAVARRO: Listen, when you lose as a Democrat, you lose as an independent, and you lose as a Republican, hell, yes, Charlie Crist is the biggest loser of the night. But he still has his fans.

BELCHER: Mitch McConnell is the biggest winner tonight. He's the majority leader now. He's been chasing this for a while, hats off to him. Be careful what you ask for. The biggest loser tonight I think for my part is you think you have to go out in persuasion and not pay attention to the base. Republicans do almost the opposite. Hopefully we will put that thinking to bed.

COOPER: About a minute left, Kevin.

MADDEN: I would say the biggest unheralded winner was Rob Portman who did a lot of raising money for and campaigning for so many of these Senate candidates that surprised tonight. The biggest loser still has to be President Obama. It was a repudiation of the president.

CUTTER: The biggest winner is just quite simply the Republican Party. They're getting a second chance and now we'll see if they'll take the opportunity that's been given to them.

SMERCONISH: Greg Orman's loss is a lost opportunity for independents. We're 42 percent of this country and it would have been interesting to see if others would have stepped forward if he had been victorious.

HAMBY: Since we're out of time, I'm going to say the biggest loser tonight was Clay Aiken because why not?

COOPER: Ten hours flew by.

BLITZER: We're having a good time.

COOPER: I'm going to sit down.

BLITZER: Our coverage of election night in America continues right now. Right now we're saying, John Berman and Christine Romans, they're going to pick it up and have a good time. Thanks very much for joining us.