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CNN Poll: No Clear Leader in PA, Trump Leads in MI; New Biden Ad Attacks Trump COVID Response; Flood Threats in East, Snow in Midwest & Great Lakes. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired March 22, 2024 - 06:00   ET



KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. It's Friday, March 22. Right now on CNN THIS MORNING.


Brand-new CNN polling out just this minute from two key battleground states. How voters in Pennsylvania and Michigan feel about the Biden- Trump rematch.

Plus, New York attorney general taking the first step towards seizing one of Donald Trump's prime properties in the Northern suburbs of New York.

And changes to the iPhone that might be in your hand right now. What's Apple's next move after getting sued by the Justice Department?

It is 6 a.m. here in Washington. Live look at the Jefferson Memorial. When the sun comes up, we'll be able to see the cherry blossoms there. You can't right now.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Kasie Hunt. Thanks so much for being with us on this Friday. We made it.

Just into CNN, we have brand-new polling from two critical battleground states that flipped from red to blue in 2020. There are signs of trouble for President Biden, who almost certainly needs both Pennsylvania and Michigan in his column, if he wants to win in November.

In Pennsylvania, it's a dead heat, with each candidate earning 46 percent. Biden's still strong there among women and voters of color.

But take a look at Michigan. Trump currently holding an eight-point advantage among registered voters. Trump's advantage coming from more support from independents and young voters there.

Let's get straight to our political director, David Chalian, who's here. We're also joined by Republican strategist Sarah Longwell; CNN political commentator Karen Finney; and John Bresnahan, who's the co- founder of Punchbowl News.

David, we have so much interesting -- DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Numbers everywhere.

HUNT: -- from this poll, but let's -- I mean, let's start with the top line. This number is out of Michigan. Is the Biden campaign going to be surprised by this? And what's going on underneath this that's causing this problem?

CHALIAN: Well, Michigan seems to be a particular problem for the Biden campaign and has been pretty consistently. Our poll in November, December, Kasie, had Trump up ten points there. Biden has edged up a little bit.

You mentioned independents. I think we have a look at independents in Michigan. And you can see that Biden is woefully underperforming what he was doing in Michigan in 2020. I mean, he won independents, clearly, in Michigan as part of his victory there in 2020, according to the exit polls.

And here in our poll, he is way underwater with independents. I don't know. We may not have that.

HUNT: I was going to say, I'm not sure if we have --

CHALIAN: OK, great.

HUNT: -- the independents breakdown. If we do, we'll put it up.

CHALIAN: And the other -- you mentioned young voters. The other thing I would say is female voters in Michigan. You know, in Pennsylvania --

HUNT: What's going on there?

CHALIAN: In Pennsylvania, you see he's performing as you would expect Biden to perform with women. It's an advantage category for him.

Not so in Michigan. They're almost evenly divided among women, between the two candidates. That -- obviously, if they're evenly divided among women, that's going to be a real problem across the board for Joe Biden.

HUNT: Yes, Karen Finney, what's up with that?

KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So a couple of things I would say. One, just looking at the averages of a couple of other polls, the margin is about 3 percent. So again, this is going to continue to go up and down.

But a couple of things I would say. No. 1, let's remember that in Michigan, we have a strong governor, a strong Democratic Party. And not just women, but we have, you know, a swath of voters who came out to vote around reproductive freedom.

And so I think we just need --

HUNT: I just mean there's clearly a problem with women in Michigan. FINNEY: Well, let me finish this sentence. But clearly -- so what that

tells me is those voters are still gettable. They're still there. That's the -- and we're in -- it's March, April. Right?

And so yes, you always want to be paying attention to it, but I don't think it's time to set our hair on fire is what I'm saying, because we have plenty of time to have a conversation with voters.


And the other last thing I'll say very quickly is we're also starting to see internally ways to have conversations with voters who are angry about Gaza. And part of it is acknowledging that anger. But what we' re seeing is voters are willing to acknowledge Trump is a bigger threat, that other issues also matter to them greatly.

And that's important, because that's the way we're going to try to move some of those numbers in Michigan.

CHALIAN: I just want underscore one thing Karen says in our -- in both of these state polls, roughly a quarter of the electorate said they're not locked into their decisions and that they could change their minds, just to speak to what she was saying, which obviously could sway how these states go. I mean, if those people move.

And it is early, so there's no doubt. There are real warning signs here for the Biden campaign, right?

HUNT: Right.

CHALIAN: There's no doubt about that, but it is -- in that -- in those warning signs, you can see possible paths to get it back.

HUNT: You can see it back. Yes.

Sarah, let me -- Let's bring up the -- the third-party question mark here, because we've talked -- we've started talking a lot about this, right? That if this is Biden-Trump head-to-head, it's one thing, but it's not going to be. There's likely to be a third party, and we have this.

Let's look at Pennsylvania. The choice for president when you add in Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornell West, you'll see Biden gets 40 -- 38 percent, Donald Trump 40 percent. Kennedy, so this is actually the breakdown of who they pull, pull from, right?

So this is attempting to answer the question of, if Kennedy is on the ballot in a given state, who does he hurt? And among Democrats, 14 percent there, Kennedy, 12 percent GOP. So he's pulling slightly more for Biden, but there is some effect on Trump, as well. What do you see in this?

SARAH LONGWELL, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, I've said for a long time when it comes to the third parties and Kennedy's more of a wildcard than maybe like a No Labels candidate would be there. They pull from different people. But the fact is, you are not building a pro-Joe Biden coalition for this election. You're building an anti-Trump coalition. That is your big broad coalition, and you need center-right independents. You need soft GOP voters in that coalition. And so anything that splits up the anti-Trump coalition ultimately hurts Joe Biden.

HUNT: What do you see here? I mean, I know when you -- when you talk to folks on the Hill, in particular, about the concerns that they have in some of these -- these Midwestern states. And you're listening to Karen Finney say, here are the arguments that we could make. What do you think would actually work?

JOHN BRESNAHAN, CO-FOUNDER, PUNCHBOWL NEWS: I think a lot of the words she's talking about. I mean, they're going to spend -- the Biden campaign and Democrats will spend $1 billion, you know, in the next eight months, seven months, you know, against Trump. And they have a huge financial advantage, which is, you know, a big deal.

I mean, super PACs kind of level that out, but they'll have a big financial advantage. And they'll just -- you know, they're starting a really aimed directly at Trump talking about chaos and everybody remember what January 6 was like. Remember what the last year of his presidency was like? I think those will be effective messages.

But there's clearly on the Hill the concern about this. And you talk about Michigan, Senate race there, and that's going to be tight. Pennsylvania has a Senate race. Casey should be fine there, but McCormick has a lot of money.

But there's other places where -- you know, Wisconsin has another -- has a Senate race that there were some polling out there this week showed Trump had a slight lead.

I mean, those three states -- Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin -- those were huge for, you know --

HUNT: The Blue Wall.

BRESNAHAN: Yes, the Blue Wall right there.

HUNT: Yes.

BRESNAHAN: But he's also got issues in Nevada. He's also got issues in some of these other swing states. I mean, definitely, I think on the Hill there's a lot of concern about Biden, less so than I think a month ago or six weeks ago, yes.

HUNT: Yes.

BRESNAHAN: Before the State of the Union, right. Less so, because there was a lot about him personally. But now I think it's -- you know, OK, Karen would say, what's the path? What's the winning message? Or how do you get this together?

CHALIAN: And we should just note the Blue Wall that we talked about so much. HUNT: Right.

CHALIAN: Joe Biden can get reelected to the White House just by keeping the Blue Wall.

HUNT: Yes, yes.

CHALIAN: He can lose Arizona. He can lose Nevada. He could lose Georgia, if he can get Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan still in his corner. And that's why this Michigan thing is such a concern for them. He's president again. So that's the importance of those states.

HUNT: Right.


FINNEY: That's why having a strong party in Michigan and a strong infrastructure versus what we're seeing on the Republican side, actually matters, because that is how you reach voters. And again, having just gone through a special election, and an election specifically, reproductive rights were on the line. Those are not just Democratic voters. Those are people you can still -- you are still talking to and messaging to, to Sarah's point, building that coalition.

HUNT: David, actually, let me give you the quick last word. I am actually really interested in what you think about the third-party thing, especially Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

CHALIAN: Yes. So what you just pulled up in Pennsylvania when you showed how each party was looking and you said 14 percent of Dems go for Kennedy, 12 percent of Republicans. I call that an even split, basically, that he's getting, maybe.

But I'm looking more here at the 75 percent and 80 that Biden among Dems -- is at 75 percent. And Trump among Republicans is at 80 percent. Biden right now is having a tougher time holding onto his coalition, than Trump is having holding onto his. And that is something that is the work ahead in these next eight months for the Biden campaign.


HUNT: Really interesting, considering we've spent so much time talking about how, you know, Nikki Haley shows the problem Trump has with his coalition. That it's actually Biden that's challenged there.

David, thank you very much for kicking us off. Great to be able to start the show with the new numbers.

All right. Coming up next, the Biden campaign taking a page out of the Trump playbook, assigning a new nickname to the former president.

Plus, new video of unrest at the border in El Paso, Texas. We'll show you that.

Plus, the Alabama woman who faked her own kidnapping.




RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago?


HUNT: Have you heard that before? That's Ronald Reagan delivering one of the most iconic, frankly, debate lines in politics. Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Biden team trying to flip the script on Trump, asking voters in 2024 that question.



GRAPHIC: Four years ago.

DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And then I see the disinfectant. And is there a way we can do something like that? By injection inside?

We're doing, I think, really, really well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How? A thousand Americans are dying a day.

TRUMP: They're dying. That's true. And you -- it is what it is.



HUNT: OK. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez joins us now, live from the White House. Priscilla, good morning.

You know, I have to say, we talk a lot at this table, and I think a lot about how people have turned off politics, right? There's kind of this sense that people are over it.

And I often think maybe it's -- it's to do just with the division. And I'm sure that there's some of that.

Then I also forget that we all went through this just collective national trauma that was COVID, and that's what we were dealing with from the White House at the time. And like, no wonder everyone wants to forget about it. But it does seem like the Biden campaign thinks that there is some

advantage to them to try to remind people what it was like when Trump was president; we were all going through that at the same time together.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, exactly. Kasie. Because oftentimes we talk to voters, they sort of think about the Trump administration ending in 2019. 2020 is forgotten in a lot of people's memories.

And so that is what the president and his campaign are bringing back to the fore. Because again, they were prompted by former President Donald Trump.

And look, in a lot of cases, this ad is a classic example of two candidates sparring in real time, but it's notable -- notable because President Biden is engaging in this more often, in this case, releasing this ad.

But the night before, he was at a fundraiser in Texas, where he previewed this message. He took on this question by his Republican rival, Donald Trump, and listed what was happening in the United States in 2020, talking about the state of the country, the crippling healthcare system, and the thousands of deaths that occurred over that time.

And it is part of the broader strategy by this campaign to remind voters about what it was like under the Trump administration. It's not just the pandemic. They often go talk about January 6, about immigration and about a whole host of issues.

Now, it can be precarious for Democrats, but it is a -- a path that they're deciding to take now.

HUNT: All right. Priscilla Alvarez for us at the White House. Priscilla, thank you very much for that.

Panel's back here. The other thing we've got going, guys, is the -- the Biden-Harris team trying to get in on the Trump nickname situation. They've got: "Not a Winning Campaign" -- colon -- "Broke Don Hides in Basement."

Karen, do we think Broke Don has the same ring to it as a lot of the Trump nicknames have? Not to give him too much credit.

FINNEY: Yes. I mean, it's -- it says it directly. So while I'll give them that, as somebody who does branding.

But yes, I would go for Destitute Don. Give me a few more syllables. Because the fact remains --

HUNT: Alliteration?

FINNEY: A little alliteration. Just to have fun with what will be a really significant point in this campaign, which is where's he going to get the money? I mean you know, the question is also think about what the source --

when we see how he is able to put it up, who pays? Where's that coming from? And what do they expect for the money that they will give him? Because he's certainly not looking to spend any of his own money on this.

HUNT: No, he does not seem to.

John, what do you think?

BRESNAHAN: Yes. Deadbeat Don, something like that. We were talking -- we were workshopping. We were workshopping this before. If you're going to do it, do it right.

Look, Trump has big financial problems personally. He could go -- they're talking about him maybe going bankrupt again. But he's also maybe bailed out by Truth Social going public. He may get access to billions of dollars --

HUNT: Yes.

BRESNAHAN: -- as soon as next week which is, you know -- which is you know --

HUNT: How fortuitous.

BRESNAHAN: Yes. I mean, it's unbelievable.

And if you kind of look at the people buying the stock of the company, that shell company that owns it is, it's really kind of a movement thing. It's really what's happening. It's not -- Truth Social is not making any money. It's making, like, $4 million a year. It's not doing.

So look, I think the thing about Trump is he is enormously -- I mean, he -- you don't have to explain who he is. He doesn't -- he's not a new candidate here. This is his third time running for president. He starts at a -- beat me, everyone knows who Trump is.

So like, I mean, it's not -- he doesn't have to play by the same rules as other presidential candidates. So it's kind of equalizes them, but it's also -- you know --

HUNT: Right.

BRESNAHAN: He's got all the downsides.

HUNT: Right. Well, this does undermine what everyone knows about him, which is "The Apprentice," et cetera.

All right. Up next, it's apparently come to this. More lawmakers getting threatened over TikTok.

Plus, the FAA's move that could ease flight delays this summer.


HUNT: Welcome back. New video shows hundreds of migrants rushing at the fence at an El Paso border crossing as border agents try to hold them back.




HUNT: Yikes. We don't know what happened before this video was recorded. So it's unclear what led to the events that you are seeing here.

Border officials say that they had the situation under control and that additional personnel were deployed.

The razor wire is located several hundred yards from the actual border wall where the migrants were all stopped. Officials say every migrant that breached the fence was arrested.


All right. The FAA making a move that could ease flight delays this summer in the New York City area. Pay attention if you're an LGA frequent flyer.

The agency says it will relocate the control of the Newark, New Jersey, airspace to Philadelphia to address congested traffic. The FAA confirming they've got an agreement with the air traffic controllers union that will make the changes by the end of June.


And Tennessee's governor has signed the Elvis Act into law. It is designed to protect the voices of all artists in the state from deepfake, artificial intelligence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Viva, Las Vegas! Viva, Las Vegas!


HUNT: So that is an actual human Elvis impersonator. Of course, the Elvis Act replaces Tennessee's Personal Rights Protection Act of 1984, which only included very specific protections for artists.

The new law protects the use of an artist's name, image and their voice. The things that we need in this day and age. All right.

More than 50 million people are under flood watches across the East. Storms bringing more snow to the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest than they've seen all winter. Welcome to spring.

Let's get straight to our Weatherman van Dam. Derek, good morning. Not fun.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No. Check this out. We have a quick- hitting three to six inches of snow if you're located in Milwaukee, Madison, Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can see that batch of snow moving through right now, very active on the radar.

By the way, that storm is going to conjoin -- combine, I should say, with another storm system along the East Coast, currently located across the Gulf Coast states. That's going to produce a thumping of snow for the ski country across Northern New England.

But also warm enough to bring rainfall to the East Coast. In fact, we have flood watches in effect from the nation's capital right through Boston and coastal Maine. Two to four inches of rain, National Weather Service warning of urban flooding possible, even some local river rises, as well.

Two to four inches of rainfall across Miami-Dade. So be aware, this is all thanks to a storm system. And this cluster of showers and storms that's moving into Southern Florida, they are going to combine. Look at how these storm system pull the moisture together, creating the rain for the I-95 corridor, snow for the higher elevation.

And then we start to focus our attention on the next approaching storm system across the Midwest. There's the snow and rainfall totals again, two to four inches of rain. Yes, that's a wet weekend for New York City.

Heads-up, Minneapolis. You have the potential to experience over a foot of snow by the early parts of next week as the storm system brings strong winds and heavy snow to the region.

Kasie, lots going on in the weather.

HUNT: Right. My personal short weather forecast, Derek, is lots of "Bluey" forecast for Saturday morning.

Thank you very much.

VAN DAM: Lots of "Bluey" for the kids, right? That is a good weekend.

HUNT: Have a great weekend, Derek. I really appreciate it.

All right. Coming up next year, the Trump properties that could be targeted for seizure in just three days.

Plus, the epic upset in the NCAA tournament.

And we'll leave you with the real Elvis. We'll be right back.