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Biden's Poll Numbers Dip; Trump Lawyers Look to Delay Trial; Investors on Edge over Rate Decision; Voting for CNN 2023 Hero of the Year Opens. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 01, 2023 - 08:30   ET



HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Election time back in 2020 among black voters in South Carolina was 86 percent. Look where his job approval vote - or rating is today among black voters in that state. It's just 63 percent. An over 20 point drop.

Now, the question I had was, we see this in South Carolina. Do we see it nationally? And, yes, we do. So, OK, national, black voters with a positive view of Joe Biden, favorable rating in October/November of 2020, 82 percent. Look where his job approval rating is today. That same 63 percent that we see in the state of South Carolina at this point.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, views on the economy not helping Biden for sure. But what about a hypothetical Biden/Trump matchup?

ENTEN: Yes, so, you know, it's one thing when we look at it in the singular with just Joe Biden, right, but what happens when we match up Biden versus Trump? This is nationally. In the 2020 pre-election surveys, Biden had a 75-point lead over Donald Trump. Look where we are today. Biden with just a 54-point lead over Donald Trump. So, we've seen again a double-digit decline.

Now, what states are we looking at that may be most important for black voters, right? Black voters were ten percent plus of 2020 voters in these key swing states, Georgia, 29 percent, North Carolina, 23 percent, Michigan, 12 percent, and Pennsylvania, 11 percent. So, the decline among black voters that we've seen for Joe Biden could see a big effect in these key swing states. And it's just part of the reason why, at this particular point, the race between Biden and Trump is so close.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Harry Enten, my man, thank you.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Thank you.

Joining us now, national correspondent for "The Washington Post," Phillip Bump, and White House correspondent for "Bloomberg News," Akayla Gardner. Good morning, guys.

Akayla, how worried should the Biden team and Democrats be?

AKAYLA GARDNER, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "BLOOMBERG NEWS": I think the Biden team is very unhappy to see these numbers. You know, as Harry mentioned, South Carolina was huge to his 2020 win. It turned around that - those primaries for Biden. And so he knows he needs to win this again.

And I think the same trends that we're seeing in South Carolina is also true of the trends that we're seeing it Georgia when it comes to black voters. It's systemic of a larger problem that he has with this very key demographic. And a lot of the things that I've heard from black voters is student debt relief. That's something that they really wanted to see. Something that they were --

HARLOW: That they couldn't carry it through?

GARDNER: Exactly, that they couldn't carry it through. And views on the economy. People still feel like inflation is too high.


GARDNER: And for most people they just say they want the economy to go back to the way it was. And for many people, that's before the pandemic and before Biden took office.

MATTINGLY: Akayla, I do have to ask though, when I first saw these numbers, the first thing I thought of, you had a story about Georgia. And I want to say it was July/August -- sometime July/August timeframe. It was this summer. And it was -- the problems were so acute and seemed wider spread than anybody in the White House either wanted to acknowledge or knew. What have they done in the last several months to solidify this critical group?

GARDNER: I think they're certainly trying to shore up data. They're reaching out to some of these groups on the ground, voting rights groups, voter engagement groups, that's what we're seeing from the campaign internally trying to get those kinds of data. But a lot of things I'm hearing from people on the ground is they want to see investment early. Black voters want a sincere engagement before it becomes 2024 and they want to know that they're just not wanted for their votes, but they want to know that their concerns are being heard.

HARLOW: Talk about a Nikki Haley in this poll, in the South Carolina poll. Big bump.


HARLOW: In the Iowa poll, big bump. And here's what Nikki Haley had to say about that.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's pretty remarkable. We've gone up ten points in the last two months.

We continue to try and touch as many hands as we can and, you know, answer every question.


HARLOW: Still a big spread for her to catch up to Trump, but notable.


PHILIP BUMP, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes, I mean, it's a big spread. It's also a pretty consistent spread. If you look basically since the end of August, it's been about 30 points in Iowa, South Carolina and whatever the -- New Hampshire, of course, right. You've seen this pretty consistently.

What we're really seeing in Iowa is, yes, Nikki Haley has surged relative to Donald Trump to some extent, but mostly to Ron DeSantis. DeSantis stayed flat for the most recent Iowa poll. Nikki Haley gained on him by sort of eating into other people's support.

And so I think the dynamic here really - I mean, obviously, South Carolina, something of an outlier because she used to be governor there. She's very well known. Really I think what we're seeing is, Ron DeSantis has lost the mantle. He had the mantle of, I am the non- Trump. I am the guy you're going to consolidate around behind. I am the guy who can win this thing.

And I think he was always in danger of losing that. You know, there's only one Trump. There's an infinite number of non-Trumps, right? Anyone could be that person. I think Nikki Haley's that person.

You see her support is often very soft in the Iowa poll. It's not like people are like I'm gung-ho for Nikki Haley. They're just like, I'm supporting Nikki Haley. That suggests that they're just looking for someone.

HARLOW: The shoulder shrug is not a good sign?

BUMP: That is not a good sign.

MATTINGLY: Nor is forgetting New Hampshire as you list off three states.

HARLOW: Don't call him out.

MATTINGLY: Live free and die, not happy about that.

BUMP: That's fair (ph). That's fair (ph).

MATTINGLY: Akayla, real quick, because we're running out of time. The debate, it's coming up. Won't include Donald Trump. Will include Nikki Haley and Chris Christie and others. Does it change anything?

GARDNER: I think Nikki Haley has continued to have strong debate performances and I think that's why she is polling so well in Iowa and South Carolina. She has continued also to strategically take on Trump in a way that has not isolated some of his voters. And I think that's exactly what we're going to be watching for again.


And if DeSantis can kind of get out of the background. He has sort of faded in many of these debates. And Nikki Haley is sort of leading the narrative right now as the strongest alternative to Trump.

HARLOW: What do you think on the debate stage?

BUMP: Yes, I think that's right. I don't think the debate's going to make any difference, right? I mean the first debate made no difference. The second debate made no difference.

HARLOW: The moderators, who are prepping so hard for this, are not going to like hearing that.

BUMP: I know, God bless them. God bless them. But, you know, I mean this last debate, I was like, is this going to be the least -- you know, the least consequential debate in history? It had no consequence. So, I'm not sure this one will be different.

MATTINGLY: Can I ask, Poppy, being surrounded by three Ohio State Buckeyes.

HARLOW: Oh, I was like -

BUMP: Oh, you're a Buckeye?

GARDNER: Exactly.

BUMP: Nice.

MATTINGLY: We're Ohio State, Minnesota. We'll allow it. It's Big Ten- ish. Big Ten-ish. Akayla, Phil --

HARLOW: It is Big - I'm just glad - I'm just glad you're all part - from the best part of the country, the middle.

MATTINGLY: Big game against Rutgers this weekend.

Thanks, guys, appreciate it, as always.

BUMP: All right.

MATTINGLY: Well, in just a few hours, a crucial hearing in the Mar-a- Lago documents case that will answer whether the former president will be tried before the 2024 presidential election. We're going to be live in Florida.

HARLOW: Also, George Santos facing a vote to expel him from the House. We have the latest on the congressman's future.



HARLOW: Well, right now we're showing you a split-screen. Live pictures of the Rafah border crossing. Also live pictures of Gaza City. The border crossing critical to a deal that has been reached to allow some civilians to receive medical attention after crossing the border. Also foreign nationals will now be allowed to cross as well. Over Gaza City you continue to see smoke as strikes continue in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

HARLOW: As you get your morning started here, "5 Things" to know.

Today, former President Trump's eldest son, Don Jr., set to take the stand in that $250 million New York civil fraud trial brought against the Trump Organization. He's accused of inflating his father's net worth to obtain better loans and insurance policies.

MATTINGLY: Also this morning, Texas has installed a razor wire fence without a federal permit again, this time along its border with New Mexico. It's Governor Greg Abbott's latest move in his battle with the Biden administration over the border crisis.

HARLOW: Republican Congressman George Santos facing expulsion from the House today after members of his own party introduced a resolution against him citing 23 counts in this federal indictment and the many lies he told to voters during his campaign.

MATTINGLY: And teachers in Portland, Oregon, are striking after the district and the teachers union failed to agree on a new three-year contract. Their top issue includes class size, student discipline and wages.

HARLOW: Also this morning, closing arguments set to begin in the case against the former crypto billionaire, Sam Bankman-Fried. On the stand yesterday he denied knowing employees of his hedge fund were spending $8 billion of customer funds until shortly before that crypto exchange collapsed.

MATTINGLY: And that's "5 Things" to know for this morning. Don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast every morning.

HARLOW: In just a few hours, a crucial hearing in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. Lawyers for former President Trump expect to formally make another attempt to try to delay this until after the election.

MATTINGLY: Now, team Trump has repeatedly complained to the judge that they haven't had proper access to classified evidence in the case as they prepare for the trial.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz is live for us in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Katelyn, any sense which way the judge may lean here?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Phil and Poppy, she has already had a trial date set on the books right now. So, this is Judge Aileen Cannon, here in Florida, in federal court. But this is really Judge Cannon's first opportunity to truly revisit whether that trial timing of next year, right after much of the bulk of primary season is through for Trump running for the Republican nomination, whether she wants to choose on moving this case to a later date.

Now, Donald Trump's team, they have legal arguments that they're making right now. They want to move this trial at least until mid- November. That's what they've told her in recent weeks. They're saying that the prosecutors are trying to have a rush to trial. The other thing that they're saying is that they haven't had a lot of time to do the sort of work that they need to do pretrial. They're very busy. They want to make sure they're access classified documents.

Now, the Justice Department has come back in court filings leading up to this hearing saying, these guys are dragging their feet. They 're being hyperbolic about how much work they're able to put in as a defense team. And, in fact, Donald Trump and his lawyers were in Miami yesterday at what's called a SCIF, so a specialized compartmented facility where they can access classified information in this case. That's something that you do as a defense team to prepare for trial, a necessary step.

Trump's team wants a little bit more time. They want to move the deadlines back. And then, ultimately, they hope that that will convince Judge Cannon today to move the trial date back from when it's set in May.

But we're going to have to see exactly how she responds. She's given Trump a lot of leeway. We don't expect to be him -- to see him here in person today at this federal courthouse as of now. But there is a lot to talk about today about when we will see Donald Trump in person in this federal courthouse for his trial.

HARLOW: Yes, a big day on that front.

Katelyn, thanks for the reporting.

MATTINGLY: Well, in money this morning, Wall Street investors are on edge, because they always are, but particularly today as they await the Federal Reserve's latest policy decision. The central bank widely expected to hold interest rates steady at a 22 year high for the second straight meeting, but the possibility of future rate hikes may not be completely off the table as the Fed continues to work to bring inflation back to its 2 percent target.

Joining us now, CNN's business correspondent Rahel Solomon.

Rahel, there's been some really good economic data over the course of the last couple of weeks.


MATTINGLY: Does that change what people are expecting today?

SOLOMON: No, not really. I mean we're not expecting any major surprises. So, we expect the Fed to pause. Not do too much, right, sort of pause with the rate hikes, but keep them elevated. And they are quite elevated, right? And the reason why is because they have done so much since March of 2022. They've hiked interest rates about five percentage points. So, essentially they're taking a wait and see approach. Let's take a beat. Let's see how all of these interest rate hikes have impacted the economy. The labor market's still strong. The GDP is still strong.


Consumer spending, just a huge boost to GDP. So, they're going to wait to see how this impacts.

What I think might be more interesting in this meeting is less what they do, more what they say. So, at 2:30, Jay Powell will get in front of the podium and he will make his statement and then he will take questions from reporters. And this is the - this is the part of the meeting that gets most interesting, most juicy. And this is where we will learn the path moving forward. Do they see more rate hikes, for example, at the December meeting? Even into 2024. Also, when do we start to see rate cuts? I mean anyone who has a variable interest rate probably has noticed that borrowing costs are very high. I mean you name the thing. Mortgage rates very high, pushing toward 8 percent for a 30-year. Credit card rates at record highs. And so a lot of folks are wondering, when are we going to start seeing rate cuts.


SOLOMON: So, we're going to be listening very closely at 2:30 for that.

So, this is a meeting where less interesting what they do, more interesting perhaps what they say.

HARLOW: Yes. And we say Wall Street, but it's really about main street and - and the -


HARLOW: People who are just trying to build their net worth, trying to buy a first home. Eight percent is prohibitive for a lot of them. So, it matters.

SOLOMON: It's very expensive to buy a home right now.

HARLOW: Thank you. Appreciate it.


MATTINGLY: I needed this.

HARLOW: I needed this.

MATTINGLY: CNN Heroes is back. Voting opens today for the CNN Hero of the year. And our Anderson Cooper joins us to announce the top ten CNN Heroes of 2023.

Stay with us.


HARLOW: Here's some good news for you this morning. For the last 17 years, CNN Heroes has shined a spotlight on everyday people changing the world. CNN has shared these inspiring stories with you all year long.


And now here to announce the top ten CNN Heroes of 2023, our own Anderson Coopers, the host of "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," that will air live across CNN platforms on Sunday, December 10th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

I always love this time of year. Good morning.


Yes, I mean, certainly in this time of turmoil and, you know, all the horror that we have been witnessing, it's nice to have a focus on just people who are doing extraordinary things around the world.

So, we've had, you know, hundreds of folks that we've looked at and profiled over the last year on CNN Heroes and these are the top ten CNN Heroes.


COOPER (voice over): From Washington, D.C., Yasmine Arrington grew up with a father who was in and out of prison. Today her scholarship and mentorship program is helping children of incarcerated parents succeed.

In Ghana, Osei Boateng's mobile medical clinic is delivering essential health care to remote communities where hospitals are often hours away.

From Fayetteville, North Carolina, Stacey Buckner and her converted offroad vehicle provide showers, laundry services and meals to local homeless vets.

In the Florida Keys, Mike Goldberg recruits an army of recreational divers to help heal our oceans by transplanting coral and restoring dying reefs.

In northern Montana, Tescha Hawley is providing a health care lifeline to her remote Native American community. She offers free patient transportation and fresh food to people on her reservation.

From New York City, former schoolteacher Alvin Irby's innovative reading program is strengthening the literacy of African American boys in neighborhood barber shops across the country.

From Burlington, Vermont, after his brother Kevin suffered a traumatic brain injury, Adam Pearce witnessed the healing power of yoga and meditation. He now shares that power at transformative retreats for TBI patients and their caregivers.

From Los Angeles, Estefania Rebellon uses buses transformed into mobile classrooms to provide education and stability to migrant children living in shelters along the U.S./Mexico border.

In Detroit, the hit and run death of her two-year-old son inspired Mama Shu to transform her neighborhood. By purchasing abandoned lots and providing needed services, she's built a flourishing eco village.

And from San Diego, California, veterinarian Dr. Kwane Stewart brings free medical care to the pets of people who are experiencing homelessness across the country.


COOPER: And they're truly an extraordinary group of people. Anybody is interested, they can go to right now and learn more about each of the heroes. They can donate to the heroes if they want. But also for our purposes, they can vote for the CNN Hero of the Year And you can vote multiple times. You can get your friends to vote. And the winner will get $100,000 to continue their life-changing work.

MATTINGLY: You, I believe, actually go through every single submission, right, and you make the choices of the 10, is that -

COOPER: It is not up to me, no. I --

MATTINGLY: Because you've got nothing else going on.

COOPER: I've got nothing else going on.

MATTINGLY: No, but I think, as you do this every single year, what I'm always struck by is, there's always an amazing story that I never could have expected or somebody who's doing things almost every time.


MATTINGLY: Is that always the case for you? Like, do you ever get -

COOPER: You know, they're -- I mean I find they - they are all, obviously, doing incredible things and, you know, it's often at the actual CNN ceremony that, you know, we put together these really beautifully produced films about their work. And to actually get to meet them and, you know, hear from them in person, you kind of fall in love with them all over again. And I think that's one of the things that I love about doing this, getting to actually, you know, meet these people. And you leave so inspired. I leave feeling like just -- like, I mean, what am I doing with my life? You know, nothing compared to what these people are doing. So, it certainly inspires me to try to be better

HARLOW: Same here, in the audience, I feel like -- I leave feeling like I've got to do more.


HARLOW: But can you just, I mean, speak to the importance of this work and these stories when a lot of what people are consuming right now is the worst of humanity?

COOPER: Yes. Yes, and, you know, we -- it's so interesting. And we - you know, there's all these awards ceremonies for celebrities and people for all different things. These are people who have no access to power necessarily. They don't have a lot of money in many cases. They are people who just saw a need in their community and decided to roll up their sleeves and do what many of us think about doing or talk about doing, but they actually just start doing something good. And sometimes it's just opening up their homes and working out of their homes and then they're able to get some donations and grow an organization. And, you know, that's what's been so extraordinary over the 15 years or so that we've been doing this to see how this, you know, people voting on, how that changes their work and their ability to reach more people.


MATTINGLY: That's what I was going to actually ask. Of the 15, 16, 17 years you've been doing this, do you still stay in touch? Do you see? Do you know?

COOPER: Yes. Well, you know, and I run into CNN Heroes all around the world.


COOPER: And you see them in disasters. When disasters strike somewhere, we'll -- we know who will be in what spot because this is what they do. And so it's -- it's been amazing to see these people over the years, how their work has evolved and grown.

And even the CNN Heroes things, I mean, it mobilizes whole communities to come out and vote for a person, because you can - you know, you can vote numerous times.

HARLOW: And you can vote as much as you want, right?

COOPER: Yes, you can vote a number of times.

HARLOW: All right.

COOPER: It's all at

HARLOW: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: My pleasure.

HARLOW: See you soon.

MATTINGLY: Appreciate it.

We needed that. HARLOW: Yes.

MATTINGLY: I'm very excited.

There will be ten individuals. You can vote, obviously, online. Anderson just laid out the entire detail that matters.

But what we are showing you right now is still the breaking news, the Rafah border crossing. We are being told the first group of foreign nationals has arrived. We also know, of course, that civilians, 80 plus from Gaza that have been going out to seek medical attention, one by one, have been going through as well.

HARLOW: We'll keep you posted on this. It's a huge development this morning, the first time that these people are being allowed, some of them, over the crossing and more to come in the days ahead.

MATTINGLY: Well, we're continuing to following breaking developments across Gaza, Israel, the Rafah crossing. "CNN NEWS CENTRAL" starts after this break.