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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Biden, Trump Both Campaigning On Final Day Before Election; Up For Grabs: 435 House Seats, 35 Senate Seats, 36 Governors; Pelosi Recalls Learning About Attack On Her Husband; Minority Leader McCarthy Lays Out Plans If Republicans Win House. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired November 07, 2022 - 16:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: The benefit of having warmer weather is people were really out there in droves.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Well, you finished, though.

GOLODRYGA: I finished. You're going to wheel me out today, carry me off set. It was great. Other CNN-ers did it, the whole hour ahead of me, Evan Perez, and Laura.

BLACKWELL: Well done. Well done.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: THE LEAD starts right now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Someone tell John King came to warm up that magic ball. He's in for a busy night.

THE LEAD starts right now.

The day before Election Day, and last chance for candidates to make their pitch, the big events signaling the races to watch. Plus, where some early ballots are already being challenged in court.

Also, a victory lap before Election Day. In a CNN exclusive, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has big plans as he banks on his party winning control of the House.

And another CNN exclusive, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealing how she learned her husband had been attacked, and how it's been agony for her entire family.


Hello and welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Jake Tapper.

And we are officially in the home stretch. Here in a little more than 12 hours, the midterm campaign ends and Election Day voting begins. More than 41 million voters have already cast a ballot, eclipsing early voting numbers from 2018. Today, candidates are racing around. They're trying to get FaceTime with the people that they hope will be become their constituents.

President Biden and former President Trump are both on the campaign trail today. Biden heading to Maryland tonight, while Trump will stump in Ohio. Hoping to energize their respective bases and sway any last- minute swing voters. But, ultimately, you, the voters, will decide who controls the House, the Senate, your state's elections and laws, and who will be governor in 36 states.

Let's bring in CNN political director David Chalian here to help us prioritize what to watch for up and down the ballot.

So, David, let's start with some of these key East Coast house races to watch earlier in the evening in places like Virginia, Connecticut, and Rhode island.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, these are some keys, tea leaves that I'm going to be reading early on. This is the empty map. It's going to fill in tomorrow night as votes start coming in. 435 races up for grabs.

I want to show you in Rhode Island. Just an unexpected competitive race here in the second congressional district. Joe Biden won this congressional district by 13 percentage points just two years ago. But Republican Allen Fung, Seth Magaziner, the Democrat, they are in a very close election there. So, watch that.

In Connecticut, next door in the fifth congressional district out here. You have the Democratic incumbent Jahana Hayes against George Logan. Democrats are so worried about this district in blue Connecticut that Vice President Harris was there campaigning. Joe Biden won this by more than ten percentage points.

And then down in Virginia, Abigail Spanberger, she was one of the majority makers in 2018, in the seventh congressional district. This district was redrawn, Brianna, to become a little more Democratic. Actually, it should benefit her. Joe Biden won it by more than six percentage points.

If Abigail Spanberger falls to Yesli Vega in this district, that will be a telling sign that Democrats are in for a tough night.

KEILAR: Yeah, certainly, it will be.

So, let's talk about Pennsylvania, specifically suburban women in the Philadelphia area.

CHALIAN: Yeah, I'm going to flip to the Senate map here. There are 35 senate's upper grabs. It's blank now. It'll feel and when the votes come in. And we go into Pennsylvania to that crucial race between Fetterman and Oz, one place I'm going to be looking are these four counties right around Philadelphia, the Philadelphia suburbs. Specifically, I am going to be looking at female voters there.

We looked at the exit polls from the 2020 presidential race. Among female voters in those four collar counties, Joe Biden won them 62 to 38 against Donald Trump. I'm looking to see if Mehmet Oz can increase -- overperform what Donald Trump did with those female Philly suburban voters. That will be a telltale sign.

KEILAR: And then the Latino vote in Arizona and Nevada will likely prove more important than ever. We've been reporting there, David, that Republicans are making gains with Latinos. Are Democrats at risk of losing their edge with the voting bloc?

CHALIAN: Yeah, a critical word, losing their age. I don't know if anyone's predicting that the Republicans are going to win the Latino vote, but they're digging into the Democratic advantage among this key constituency.

Nevada, one example, Catherine Cortez Masto there, and in Arizona, and I look at both states in the 2020 exit polls. And again, you see here, it's very similar and Nevada in Arizona. Joe Biden was beating Donald Trump just two years ago 61 percent to 35 in Nevada, 61 percent to 37 in Arizona. If this gets much closer, if Adam Laxalt in Nevada or Blake Masters in Arizona can really dig into this Democratic advantage, that could be a very problematic development for the Democratic candidates there.


KEILAR: A record number of election deniers are on the ballot this cycle. I mean, that's a big theme that we are seeing here. What are you watching?

CHALIAN: Yeah. I mean, specifically, in Arizona, it's one place to really watch. Kari Lake, an election denier is running for governor. Perhaps might win the governorship. So is the Senate candidate, Blake Masters, the secretary of state candidate.

So, the statewide Republican nominees in Arizona, it's sort of ground zero for election denialism. Watch to see how this election goes. It will tell us how future elections in Arizona are conducted.

KEILAR: All right. David Chalian, thank you so much for that road map.

Two men have outsized potential to influential tomorrow's vote. President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump.

CNN's Kristen Holmes is in Vandalia, Ohio, where former President Trump will take the stage and a few hours. And CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond is traveling with the president in Bowie, Maryland.

Jeremy, what's the closing argument there?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: -- launched his midterm campaign effort in the state of Maryland, 75 days ago. And the closing message that we're going to hear from him during this election eve rally is largely the same court message that he delivered 75 days ago in about 20 miles from here and another part of the state. And that is that these midterm elections, according to the president, are a choice rather than a referendum. But we have seen some changes, particularly in the final weeks of this

campaign, as voters have signaled that the economy and inflation are their top concern, and polls have shown that the issues are driving voters towards Republicans. We've seen the president put a bigger emphasis on those economic issues, particularly at the top of his speech, whereas before, it was further down.

At the top, before, you might have heard about abortion and democracy. Now you're hearing the president drive home this economic message. He's also driving home that contrast, sharpening the contrast with Republicans. And Biden advisers tell me, that's largely thanks to Republicans, laying out in clear terms what they would do if they take back the Republican majority.

And that is, according to Biden advisor, the biggest thing that has changed in the presidents speech overtime. Now, Maryland was selected in part because it is where the president delivered his opening campaign message. But also because Democrats are expecting that Maryland will be a bright spot in a night that could otherwise turn very dark for Democrats as it relates to Congress. That's because Democrats here expect to flip the governor's race with the Democrat expected to win -- Brianna.

KEILAR: And, Kristen, former President Trump is in Ohio to campaign for the GOP Senate candidate there, JD Vance. But sources tell CNN that Trump is actively discussing an 11th-hour surprise announcement. What are you learning about this?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brianna. Multiple sources have told us that within the last several days, former President Trump has floated the idea of this election eve night presidential announcement for a third term. This is something that he has been way for quite some time.

Now, the sources do say that this is not set in stone. Just moments, ago I talked to two people who are incredibly close to Trump who say they have are not aware that any firm decision has been made.

Now, as we reported four weeks, Trump is eager to announce a third presidential run. The timing was the big question here. What we are looking at, the potential of him getting up here in announcing that run while he is sitting here with his handpicked candidate. Now, he had tried to announce, or wanted to announce before the midterms, but was convinced by people close to him, that was a mistake. If Republicans didn't do, well he would be blamed.

But sources tell my colleague that, Gabby Orr, he believes he could announce tonight, and not be blamed, because the advertising window is closed. Meaning, they could actually put up any ads linking him to these candidates.

I will note one thing. Ohio was always a place that we're looking at for this third presidential announcement. It's a state he flipped red and won twice. But again, there's nothing set in stone right now. It's all speculation as we wait and see before he takes the stage.

KEILAR: Nothing set in stone.

All right. Kristen, Jeremy, thank you to both of you as you follow Trump and Biden tonight.

All right. Kristen, let's discuss this. A potential Trump announcement of a run. But also, either way, people are talking about it. He's put it out there, right? Or his folks have put out there. What's the impact of this on this election?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It might be pretty minimal, if only because so many ballots have already been cast. And so, few voters at this point are generally undecided.

But I do suspect that if it hurts anyone, it's Republicans, just a little bit. If you were the kind of voter who might have voted for Republican and any other year, but Donald Trump just isn't exactly your flavor of Republican, him being a big number one headline in the news on election eve, it just reminds you the things you might not have loved about the last couple of years of the GOP.


With that said, I expect any impact to be relatively minimal.

XOCHITL HINOJOSA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if you're thinking about it, these races will be on the margins. In places like Nevada and Arizona and states that Trump lost, if you are the Republicans in those states, you don't want Trump to sort of make an 11th-hour announcement that could potentially play into your race. I mean, nobody would want that, right?

And so, I do think it hurts these Republicans, especially in the states where they need to flip them in order to sort of have control of the Senate.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: I was going to say, at the margins -- remember that Donald Trump was the guy who was, during the runoffs in January of 2021, but saying the election is rigged, there are people saying don't vote.

The margins matter, you know? And he does, like him or hate him, he has the ability to attract news coverage, like very -- something we rarely seen before. So, even at the margins, like in Nevada for example, we think that race -- Nevada Senate, we think that race is almost tied, Adam Laxalt and Catherine Cortez Masto. A couple hundred, a couple thousand votes wonder in other can make a real difference. In these races, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia, they are close enough that 1,000 here, 1,000 dare matter.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: In fact, I think we're already, his shadow is already part of this election. Normally, if you're looking at the level of presidential disapproval, discontent over the economy. 80 percent of the economy -- that would argue for a blowout for the party out of the White House. I believe we are in a double negative election, where you have a majority of voters who believe that Biden has not performed adequately on crime, immigration, and inflation. But you have pretty close to a majority that is an easy about what the Trump era Republican Party means for their rights, their values, and democracy itself.

So, on balance, the verdict on Biden is probably going to weigh more than the verdict on Trump and the Trump era Republican Party. But it does I think create an opportunity for Democrats to avoid what the models would tell you you could expect with this level of discontent over the president's performance in the economy.

KEILAR: So, when we look at who is on the ballots here across the country, there are a large number of election deniers, right So, CNN found at least 22 candidates for governor, 19 percent, and 12 for secretary of state. 12 candidates for attorney general who have either denied the results are cast doubt about the results of the 2020 presidential election.

So, what are the implications about, Ron?

CILLIZZA: This is going to be the most significant long term implication of this election. We talked about it in normal partisan terms, whether Republicans take control of the congress. I think what historians will remember of this election is that it provided a beachhead inside the electoral system to a large number of candidates who are untethered to the traditions of American democracy as we have known it.

It's going to take us into an unpredictable -- no one can say exactly what it's going to mean in Arizonan or Wisconsin if full scale election deniers are in control of the election machinery in the roughly half dozen states that get to decide everything for the country, get to decide Senate control, get to decide presidential control. But the odds are high that this is going to lead to some kind of crisis sooner than later.

KEILAR: Kristen, how are Republicans who want traditionally Republican policies in place but are not fans of election denialism, making sense of this even as they are hoping to win over majority in the House and Senate?

ANDERSON: I think they are saying that when it comes to the issues that matter to them, they are not focused on those sorts of things. Whenever you talk to any of these Republicans who are not in that kind of election denier camp, that's the term we're using, they also want to pivot back to the issues that they're focused on, the policies that they want to change.

They are not talking about, and then I want to change XYZ when it comes to election laws. And I do think that's going to be an interesting distinction, right? Are these folks more rhetorical perspectives, saying I'm worried about voter fraud, so forth, or are they actually upon assuming office trying to make changes? And are they changes that are not just, say, rolling back COVID era changes to election law, but actually going further?

HINOJOSA: Yeah, I absolutely think there's a lot of talk about why Democrats are talking more about the economy. I do think that they are. The reason that they're talking about threats to democracy, exactly what you laid out. There are election deniers out there that are on the ballot that could potentially be elected.

So, I think it is right for President Biden to go and address the nation and talk about the threats to our democracy. He also has to talk about the economy, he's doing it. We need to do both. And that's why you see Democrats do that.

KEILAR: We do have a lot of time together today. Stick around if you will. We have still much more ahead to discuss.

Ahead, a judge's ruling today when a Republican try to call a foul on a group of absentee ballots in Michigan. And as you vote, what to trust is fact, what to ignore is a lie. The spread of deliberate misinformation in this election, and efforts to shut what's not true.



KEILAR: We are back with our politics lead.

The first polls closing are just a day away. And several key swing states could be make-or-break for the Democrats chances to control the Senate.

CNN has reporters all over the country. First to CNN's Jessica Dean who is in Pennsylvania, where the race could decide it all.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After months of campaigning --

MEHMET OZ (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I believe we are the land of opportunity. Tell them we are the land of plenty. Tell them that I will bring change to Washington.

LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm running to serve Pennsylvania. Oz is running to use Pennsylvania.

DEAN: And tens of millions of dollars in ads.

FETTERMAN: I got knocked down but I got back up.

AD ANNOUNCER: Dr. Oz knows we can work together.

DEAN: The hotly contested, closely watched Pennsylvania Senate race is closing out its final hours. Democratic nominee John Fetterman who suffered a stroke in May, framing his closing argument as a stark choice between himself and Republican challenger Mehmet Oz.


FETTERMAN: I've spent my career fighting for people. Oz has spent his life taking advantage of people, making himself rich. I've taken on the powerful, been different, Oz will only work for himself in Washington.

DEAN: While Oz, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump has pitched himself as an independent voice.

OZ: Politicians point fingers. Doctors solve problems. Together, we will stand up to extremism on both sides and bring balance to Washington.

DEAN: And a sure sign of just how critical this race is to both parties, three presidents hit the trail in the commonwealth over the weekend. President Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama rallying voters in Democratic stronghold.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Listen, it's easy to joke about Dr. Oz and all these quack remedies he's pushed on TV. But it matters. It says something about his character. If somebody is willing to peddle snake oil to make a buck, then he's probably willing to sell snake oil to get elected.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know Pennsylvania well. And John Fetterman is Pennsylvania. He is Pennsylvania.

DEAN: And former President Donald Trump appearing in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, to boost Republican candidates. Oz briefly appeared on stage with Trump, even as the celebrity doctor continued to position himself as a moderate.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Pennsylvania desperately needs Dr. Oz in the U.S. Senate. He could very well be the tie breaking vote, as I said.

Inflation, crime, abortion rights, threats to democracy. These are some of the issues driving this race. It will be the decision of Pennsylvania voters, whether it will be for us or Fetterman.


DEAN (on camera): And again, it's projected to be quite a quite race. With that in mind, Brianna, there is a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that said any of the mail-in ballots that didn't have the secrecy envelope, didn't have a date on the outside could not be counted by election officials.

So, there's about 3,400 of those in Philadelphia. There's about 1,000 of them in the Allegheny County. Those counties are started to reach out to the voters. They released a name saying please can fix your ballot before election day to make sure we can count them.

In Monroe County, Pennsylvania, they are doing the same thing, the Republican Party their head suit to get that voter outreach to stop. The judge saying they can't proceed forward and letting people know that they can come. Adjust the ballots, assigned the outside, do whatever they need to do in terms of remedying the missing information so their vote can be counted tomorrow.

KEILAR: Yeah, those are a lot of votes there. Jessica Dean live for us in Pittsburgh, thank you.

And to Eva McKend now in the critical swing state of Georgia.

So, Eva, a record-breaking 2.5 million Georgians have already cast their ballots there. What is the mood on the Walker and Warnock campaigns here in these closing hours?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Brianna, as you can imagine, both campaigns really projecting confidence. Walker really leaning into his background. Not a standard politician, Senator Warnock arguing that this contest is really about who is prepared to serve the United States Senate.

And notably, Warnock seems to be talking more to his supporters about avoiding a potential runoff. He's up with a new ad where he's standing in a football field with competing scores, basically driving home to his supporters, please bring me over that 50 percent to avoid the December runoff, if neither candidate gets above 50 percent.

Also of note, Herschel Walker not campaigning together today. Governor Kemp having a unity rally. Governor Kemp, of course, competing against Democrat Stacey Abrams. Governor Kemp and Herschel Walker will both be in Kennesaw, but they will be holding separate events.

Meanwhile, Senator Warnock, he's going to be campaigning here at a church in Columbus this evening -- Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Eva McKend in Columbus, Georgia, thank you.

Next to CNN's Miguel Marquez who is in Detroit.

And, Miguel, tell us what we're learning about absentee ballots there that Republicans have called into question.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, there was a l a Republican who's running for secretary of state here. A judge issuing a denial of the request to stop absentee ballots here in Detroit. Just Detroit from being cast. They called into question those ballots that had been requested by mail.

So, they had to be either requested in-person or voted in-person. I can show, you even after 4:00 here, we're at the department of elections. All of these are waiting to drop off absentee ballots in this ballot box here they were collecting them earlier when they were open. Even the people you see here are now waiting to either try to vote or to try to register to vote here in Detroit. Very high voter turnout. That is the judge saying that lawsuit was basically a false leg and when stand for it. Saying it would have invalidated tens of thousands of votes here in Detroit -- Brianna.


KEILAR: All right. Miguel Marquez in Detroit, thank you

I want to bring in CNN's Sara Sidner who is in Arizona, there in Maricopa County. Sara, this is shaping up to be an election about elections. What are you hearing from voting officials there?

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. So, they have already counted in this county more than 800,000 votes. One of the issues here, there is concern about safety. They have changed some things at the voting center. There are 223 of the voting center in the county.

And they are saying, look, we are seeing large numbers of people who have come out to vote or have mailed in or put their votes in ballot boxes. Typically, about 85 percent of the vote here, they vote early.

So, they are going to have a huge number of those of voters already counted by the time that the election happens. We will be watching all of that. We are also here waiting to hear from the sheriff and the board of supervisors as well as election officials about false narratives about voting and the election that have been spread or that they are worried about will be spread. They're trying to knock that down as soon as possible.

KEILAR: Sara Sidner in Arizona, thank you to you and to all of our teams across the country.

Next, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealing have she learned that someone had broke into her home and attacked her husband. It's an interview that you'll see only on CNN.



KEILAR: We're back with a CNN exclusive. In her first interview since the brutal attack on her husband in their San Francisco home, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks about his recovery with CNN's Anderson Cooper, how she first learned her husband has suffered a skull fraction from an intruder and about the Democrats' prospects in tomorrow's midterm elections. Here's a preview.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I was sleeping in Washington, D.C. I had just gotten in the night before, from San Francisco. I hear the doorbell ring and think, it's five something. I look up and I see it's five. It must be the wrong apartment. No.

It rings again. And then, bang, bang, bang on the door. So, I run to the door. I see the Capitol police. They say we have to come in to talk to you.

I'm thinking, my children, my grandchildren, I never thought it would be Paul. I knew he wouldn't be out and about should I say. And so, they came in at that time. We didn't even know where he was.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: And you can see more of Anderson Cooper's exclusive interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tonight on AC360 at 8:00 Eastern, here on CNN.

And we are back now with our analysts and commentators. Chris, what is your reaction, do you hear it's part of that interview?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Yeah, it's harrowing. I mean, I think we all put ourselves in that situation, a doorknocker or a phone call at 5:00 in the morning. And your thought goes to exactly what her thought went to. You know, I think that, at least part of the reason we are where we are is because we forget that politicians are people. I know that's odd, but they have families. They have interior lives. If that happened to us, it would be hugely affecting, and I think it was hugely affecting to her.

And, you know, we also played her talking about her future, and how this impacts her future. Obviously, her futures a little bit up in the air. We don't know if she will remain speaker. She did last time. I don't see how this could. I mean, again, I selfishly think about my own. Life if something like that happen, it forces you to re-examine your priorities.

KEILAR: You know, what stands out to me is sort of just the human response that I think anyone would have talking about their loved one being attacked. But also how it stands in contrast to the reaction that we've seen from some people, right? When it comes -- it's either been a sort of check the box condemnation, not the kind they would have if someone in their own party. Or some folks either, you know, who are officials in the Republican Party or they are associated with it, have joked about it.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, you know, we all live in the day today and things change so incrementally, but you step back half a step, it was a very different country than it was when Donald Trump came down the escalator. If you look at the level of both actual and threaten political violence up and down our system, local election officials, public health officials, education officials, members of Congress all the way up to the speaker and her husband. There is a level of political violence that is integrating itself into our civic life.

That just has no precedent. Maybe the Jim Crow South, you know there were constant threats against black people that keep them from voting. We are now seeing this. You know, experts in this world, Juliette Kayyem, Elizabeth Neumann, will say that the single most important thing when political violence takes root in a movement is for the leaders of that movement to unequivocally denounce it, and we are just not hearing it.

CILLIZZA: And we have the opposite. Just to add, we have the opposite of that. We have Donald Trump sort of okaying it.

KEILAR: Well, I want to play, let's play this. This is President Trump appearing to mock the attack on Pelosi's husband during a Florida rally yesterday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Crazy Nancy Pelosi, by the way, how's she doing? How is she doing?


KEILAR: I'm curious, when you're doing focus groups, Kristen, do you get a sense -- I mean, what do you see from people, about what is acceptable to them?


And I'm sure it's on either side. This inability to have sympathy for someone on the opposite side of the aisle when it comes to something that clearly people should.

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if people are able to recognize that if they have a family member or friend who disagrees with them on the politics, there is a level of humanity, there is the connection. It's when it's somebody that you only know from television. It doesn't feel like a real person anymore. And that's what allows these really toxic beliefs and emotions to just metasize in so many people.

And there's also the, well, but the other side does it. It always happens. If I did a focus group of Republicans today, and said can we condemn this? I guarantee they'd say, gosh, people just forgot there was someone who showed up outside of Supreme Court justices house with a -- cop that to arrest him. No one cared about that. Why don't they care about when it happens on our side?

That's the other piece of this kind of doom spiral that lets this behavior, this violence gets normalized. It means that decent people, they don't want to run for office anymore. They don't even want to step up for office, any sort of thing that put you in the limelight. It could put you in harm's way. And that's going to be really toxic for our democracy.

KEILAR: All right. I'm going to have you all stick around. We have so much more to talk about.

Next, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy's plans if his party wins the majority and what he said when asked if he thinks he'll be the next speaker of the House.



KEILAR: We're back with another CNN exclusive this election eve. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy sitting down with CNN's Melanie Zanona to outline his vision for the GOP agenda should his party win control tomorrow night of the House and he's sounding pretty confident they will.


MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy is promising to pursue on an ambitious agenda if Republicans win back the House on Tuesday.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: I think the first thing you'll see is a bill to control the border first. You've got to get control over the border.

ZANONA: His closing message, a day before the midterms, addressing the economic outlook and surging prices.

MCCARTHY: The first thing we're going to do is make sure the economy is strong. You need to make sure that the new regulations that are adding to inflation got to get curbed back. Then, you got to make sure America's energy independence. If you lower the price of fuel, you also lower transportation costs and others.

ZANONA: But McCarthy also has to keep an eye on the MAGA wing of his party and secure their support to propel him into the speaker's office.

How confident are you that you have the votes to become speaker?

MCCARTHY: Well, we've got an election on Tuesday, two days away. I know all the pollster said last time we'd lose 15 seats and we ended up being 13 Democrats. We are going to work and we're going to run hard. And if we win the majority, I'll run for speaker.

ZANONA: But do you think you will have the votes for speaker?

MCCARTHY: I believe I'll have the votes for speaker, yes.

ZANONA: One way of avoiding potential obstacles from his own party, elevating some of his more controversial members into positions of power.

MCCARTHY: Marjorie Greene, she's going to get reelected, she's going to have committees to serve on.

ZANONA: On oversight, though, would you give --

MCCARTHY: She's going to have committees to serve on just like every other member.

ZANONA: And on the question of investigations and whether impeachment is on the table --

MCCARTHY: You know what's on the table? Accountability. We will hold the rule of law and we won't play politics with this. We'll never use impeachment for political purposes.

That doesn't mean if something rises to the occasion, it would not be used at any other time.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ZANONA (on camera): Now, McCarthy declined to predict how many seats he thinks Republicans will pick up in the House on Tuesday. But he did expressed confidence that will be enough to regain the house majority. And he's also expressing confidence that he's going to get the votes to become speaker.

Of course, in 2015, he was denied a bid for the speakership by the House Freedom Caucus. But he says, this time around, he's going to have support of the MAGA wing as well as former President Donald Trump -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Melanie, thank you. We'll be watching for that.

All right. So, he said anything over 20 seats would be a red wave, Kristen. Is that a wave? Is that a mandate?

ANDERSON: I think that counts as a wave in this sort of year. And part of why as accounts as a wave, let's think back to an election where Republicans under speedily had a wave. 2010, that was the Tea Party year. They were in such a deficit heading into that election that you could conceivably pick up 60 some seats and that was possible. That constituted away.

This year, there are so close to a majority already. They don't need 60 seats. They don't need the wave to crash and big for it to be enough to give him that majority. That's all that matters.

KEILAR: What do you think?

XOCHITL HINOJOSA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, I think that it's going to be extremely hard for Democrats to maintain the House. But I think that what's interesting about that interview is he was focusing a lot on the border. He was actually on the border where he talked a lot about how he wants to strengthen the border.

The reality is, is that border, both sides, both parties, will tell you that what's happening in the border, it's broken. It's a problem for every president. The reality is, is that he's not coming up solutions that's going to fix it. It's just going to cause chaos.

And another thing he mentioned, he talked about repealing the Inflation Reduction Act. That, I, mean if you are the party in power that's going to take away lowering prescription costs for families, that could end up hurting you.

CILLIZZA: Just quickly, one thing that we know is going to happen, we don't know a lot about going to happen tomorrow night and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday. One thing we know is that Joe Biden will still be the president of the United States for two more years. I mean, that -- when you hear all this talk, I think it has to come with a grain of salt, which is -- yes, Kevin McCarthy can put forth that they have the majority. They can put forth an immigration bill.

At the end of the day, if there's going to be anything done on it, it's going to have to be, sorry, my notebook is rebelling against me. It's going to have to be -- yeah, it's attacking me. It's going to have to be done with Joe Biden.

Like, yes, Joe Biden will probably be incentivized to be more if Republicans do control to get something done. But all of this talk, like, just remember, Joe Biden is president for two more years no matter what happens tomorrow night.

KEILAR: Ron, you have a new piece, a really interesting piece in the Atlantic. You're laying out what a Republican control of Congress would look like. You write, quote, they will likely begin a project that could reshape the nation's political and legal landscape, imposing on blue states the rollback of civil rights and liberties that has rapidly advanced the red state since 2021.



KEILAR: Lay this out for us.

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, we've seen extraordinary offensives since 2021 across the red states, really rolling back what people call the rights revolution that began in the 1960s, nationalizing more rights and reducing the ability of states to constrain them.

Since 2021, we've seen red restrict abortion, act on voting, restrict LGBTQ rights, classroom censorship and how teachers can talk about race and gender and sexual orientation, eliminate any requirements for permits for concealed carry. This has spread almost completely across the 23 states where Republicans had unified control.

With much less attention, there has been Republicans in the house and Senate who have introduced bills to nationalize each of these initiatives, and in effect, to impose the red state regime on to blue states. I think what you're going to see and the next two years, Biden is still president, is the off Broadway stage of this, where Republicans are going to test out what they can build support for in their coalition, in their caucus, and work toward it the next time they have unified control. One of the key fights is going to be, how much of this red state regime can you impose on California, New York, Illinois, and other blue states.

KEILAR: Have Democrats effectively communicated that to their constituents?

XOCHITL: Well, I think, fast four to 2024, to your point, President Biden is still going to be in office. He will serve as a stock up. He will say, you know what, I am -- I will not allow this legislation to pass. But if I'm not elected, if Donald Trump Republicans are elected, your rights will be taken away.

They try to make that case. It's really, really hard because Democrats do have control of everything, right? But I think it's more of a effective case if Biden is on the campaign trail ahead of 2024, making the case that he has stopped all of this from happening. And now, if he is taken out of office, Democrats do not win back the House or the Senate, whatever happens after tomorrow night, then this could end up a problem and your rights will take you takeaway.

KEILAR: Xochitl, Kristen, Ron, Chris, thank you for spending this election eve with me. I appreciate it.

BROWNSTEIN: And Christmas' eve, Brianna.

KEILAR: It is.


CILLIZZA: Or New Year's Eve.


KEILAR: Any year, really.


KEILAR: Deliberate attempts to spread disinformation will continue well after the votes are cast tomorrow. What to watch for the coming days, we have that next.



KEILAR: The next few days, you are going to see a deluge of election related post on social media. So, how do you separate fact from delivered attempts to confuse, distract, and scare you?

Let's bring in CNN's Donie O'Sullivan with the answer here.

Donie, there are different kinds of falsehoods that go viral on Election Day. We should be clear. So, it's important to know the difference between misinformation and disinformation.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, look, I mean, what we're going to see tomorrow something we've seen the last year election days over the past few years is we're going to see, people that they're going to post they may have some issue at the polls, with a machine. That can get spun into something nefarious. People post their own experience.

But then there is going to be a lot of posts out there of people deliberately creating content to try and undermine your faith in American elections. I want to show you an example from 2020. A video went viral that week that alleged to show ballots for Trump being burned. Now, that was actually retreated at the time by the then- president's son, Eric Trump. It turned out to be totally false, totally bogus. CNN and many other outlets were able to debunk it.

But I want to show you a clip from Harrisburg and Pennsylvania just a few days at thoroughly election in 2020. It really demonstrates just how quickly election date lies can spread.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NOVEMBER 2020) MELISSA, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I've seen too many pieces of different evidence that shows that, at this point, I would be okay with a revote.


MELISSA: Yeah, absolutely. When you have video footage of people taking bags of ballots and showing that they are for Donald Trump and lighting them on fire --

O'SULLIVAN: I do the fast-track on that particular video. The officials have been saying that has been going on for the couple days. They are print out ballots. They are not real ballots.

MELISSA: You use the information of election officials.

O'SULLIVAN: If somebody like me comes along, tries to research it, tries to fact check it, and then I fact check it. You come back and say, well, the election officials would say that.

MELISSA: Wouldn't they, though? That's the thing, though. Question everything, right?


SULLIVAN: That was November of 2020. It was kind of a sign of things to come. Those just show how effective misinformation and disinformation on Election Day can be. It sticks with people. So, really, just take your time as your on social media tomorrow.

KEILAR: Sure. So, quickly, Donie, what should people be watching out for the next few days?

O'SULLIVAN: I think it's precisely videos like that, videos that are designed to in rage. Also, videos that make you want to like it, make you want to retweet it. They are oftentimes the very videos that could end up being bogus are false.

Not all of it is just created by disinformation artists. Sometimes a confused voter can post an experience with a voting machine that can get spun into all sorts of nefarious-ness. So, just be mindful of everything you see and take a breath tomorrow.


KEILAR: All right. Donie, thank you.

Parts of Florida under a hurricane watch as voters head to the polls. What is in store for areas still recovering from Hurricane Ian?


KEILAR: And we're back with a quick election day whether report. Voters in a key swing state of Nevada will get drenched tomorrow with several inches of snow forecasted as well. While on the East Coast, Floridians bracing for another hurricane.

Nicole, moving toward the sunshine state expected to strengthen to a category one when it makes landfall Wednesday. This, of course, after Hurricane Ian killed more than 100 people, and obliterated parts of Florida.

Be sure to tune in for CNN tonight, Jake speech with Josh Shapiro the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor. Also on the show, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That is tonight at 9:00 Eastern.

And then join us tomorrow, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern for the start of CNN special live coverage of "Election Night in America".

Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM".