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Erin Burnett Outfront
Kari Lake Campaign Headquarters Gets Mail With Suspicious White Powder; Democrat Raphael Warnock Holds Rally In Tossup Race Key To Senate Control; Fight For Senate May Come Down To Seven Key Races; Trump Holds Rally For Marco Rubio In Miami; 12 GOP Nominees Running To Oversee Elections Disputed 2020 Election; Democrats See Bright Spots Among The 36 Governors' Races Up For Grabs. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired November 06, 2022 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Our very special CNN night of coverage of the upcoming midterm elections right now. Have a good night.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett, and welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT. Tonight, we are in the closing stretch of this extremely consequential election. There are only two days to go and control of the U.S. Congress is literally hanging in the balance.
The biggest names from both parties are out in full force with the candidates on this Sunday in these final hours. In Florida the former president Trump headlining a rally for Marco Rubio who is facing of course the Democrat Val Demings there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You're going to elect an incredible slate of true MAGA warriors to Congress, many of whom are here right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: In New York President Biden is about to take the stage in New York Governor Kathy Hochul's reelection effort. The race between Hochul and Republican Lee Zeldin is much tighter than expected as election day nears.
So across the nation here is how it boils down. 435 House races. 35 Senate and 36 governor races all up for grabs. Now in the House, 56 seats are considered in play. This includes 12 states with races that are considered tossups. In the Senate, seven of them are either tossups or just vary so slightly tilting Republican or Democrat which is why the stakes truly could not be higher.
We have correspondents across the country tonight along with the best team of analysts standing by on this special Sunday night. I want to begin with Kyung Lah, she's in Arizona in Queen Creek.
And in these final hours, Kyung, Kari Lake, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, receiving a suspicious white powder I understand today. What do you know about that?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they haven't had a chance, at least Kari Lake hasn't had a chance to appear on camera yet. We anticipate that she will at this event that's happening behind me in just a couple of hours where she will make her final campaign stop two days before the election. But overnight they dealt with the security threat.
So what happened? Phoenix Police say it took place at her headquarters. The Lake campaign said that it received -- a staffer got an envelope and opened up an envelope that contained white powder. The bomb squad was called as well as the FBI, the fire department, and police. The street was shut down for seven hours.
We are told the staffer is doing just fine. The campaign did release a statement saying that essentially rest assured that they will not be intimidated. Democrats on the campaign trail have been condemning this incident from Katie Hobbs who is running against Kari Lake to Senator Mark Kelly, the Democratic incumbent, who said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): That's horrible. I mean, there is no place in our democracy for stuff like that. You know, hopefully it turns out to be nothing and, you know, I hope nobody is, you know, hurt or injured from, you know, stuff like that. But we don't need it -- anybody doesn't need to be doing anything like that. It's just wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: And his words especially meaningful and poignant because he is a husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was shot at one of her political events -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Kyung. Thank you very much.
And in Georgia, another one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country, and one that could take a long time to know who wins in, the incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock is neck and neck with the Republican Herschel Walker. Today Walker on the trail hammering President Biden, though.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERSCHEL WALKER (R), GEORGIA SENATE CANDIDATE: Somebody in the Republican Party, is he crazy? The biggest threat to a democracy is to have him in the White House, is it not?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Let's go to Atlanta tonight, where Jeff Zeleny is.
And Jeff, Herschel Walker made it actually all about Biden, right? He wasn't talking about Warnock, it was about Biden again and again and again, trying to tie his opponent to the president and make this about Biden. Obviously he believes this is the winning strategy in these final hours.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Erin, they certainly do believe it's the strategy to tie the two together, to say that Senator Warnock is simply a rubber stamp for the Biden administration. And of course that is not necessarily accurate because Senator Warnock has been pushing back, actually was one of the first Democratic senators, the incumbents, to try and put distance between himself and the Biden administration. He said -- he is even saying now on the campaign trail he is going to work with anyone even Ted Cruz. So trying to cast himself as a bipartisan senator.
But the reality here is President Biden has not stepped foot in Georgia for months. This is a state of course he narrowly won in 2020. It's the state that delivered the Senate, the Democratic majority, the very slim majority, but his unpopularity has kept him from here. So the strategy of Republicans and the Walker campaign is to try and tie Senator Warnock to the president.
It's happening in direct mail that people are getting in their homes. It's happening on a television ads and also on the campaign trail as well. So we will see if it works but certainly that is what they're trying to do here.
And as you said, this race could go into overtime. The reason is, we should remind people, that if neither one of the candidates get over 50 percent on Tuesday, it goes into a run-off and that is December 6th. So there could be some more time to go here in Georgia -- Erin.
BURNETT: Yes. I mean, and imagine if everyone is waiting until December 6th or after that even. All right, Jeff Zeleny. Thank you very much.
So let's go to John King at the magic wall. And John, let's start with that Senate race in Georgia. Obviously as Jeff is explaining it could go to a run-off. Many expect that it will in which case we might not know the winner there for several weeks. But when you look at the complete map and who will control the Senate, let's talk about the Senate first if that's OK, what are you looking at?
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Your show your rules. What am I looking at? I'm looking at, as Jeff just pointed out, the most complicated chess game of midterms I've covered in quite some time.
The Democrats could lose one or two seats in the Senate. Historically that would be good except because of this, Erin. It's a 50-50 tie right now. We all know that. So the Democrats need to defy history if they are to hold the Senate.
Where does the Georgia race play in? Well, let's flip the map this way. Here's how we rank them heading into election day. Georgia is one of the tossups. So is Pennsylvania. Georgia currently held by Republican. I mean, Pennsylvania now held by Republicans. Georgia of course by Senator Warnock, the Democrat. So what happens here? Why is Georgia so important?
Well, Democrats are worried out here. They're worried that Nevada is going to go Republican, right? So Nevada right now is a Democratic state, if you pull out to the map, but if Nevada goes, right, say they lose one, this is a hypothetical. But let's just say the Democrats lose just one. Right? Then what happens? Right? If you pick up one here in Pennsylvania it would all come down to what? Georgia.
Now the Republicans need 51 for the majority. Democrats need only 50. So in this complicated chess game the question is, can Senator Warnock overcome the governor's race? The Republican is favored there. Can he do that on Tuesday? Or do we do the math and then do we have a chance where, is it possible? December 6th could decide the fate of the Senate. Is it possible yet again the Georgia run-off will decide who controls the Senate? It absolutely is.
BURNETT: I mean, it's incredible. All right, now the House theoretically we would know before that point but when we talk about 12 races that are essentially tossups or ever so slight leans what are you focused on there?
KING: So 435 in all but of course most House districts are pretty safe Democrat or safe Republican. That's the way the lines are drawn.
KING: So how do we rank them here? Using with our partners at Inside Elections we see 82 competitive races. Let's take a closer look at those competitive seats, Erin. When you look at them this way. Now we rank them. You see a lot of blue on this map, right? Democrats are on defense in a lot more races. 57 Democratic incumbent districts on defense. Only 20 Republican districts.
So Democrats on defense heading into the Democratic president's first midterm year and these challenging races, Erin, are coast to coast. It may take days. It could take weeks. Remember 2018. It took a long time for California to finish the count. Now on the West Coast. But we will get a pretty good sense early on in the night because there are so many competitive districts here in the east.
There's a Democrat in Maine trying to hold on. There are two in New Hampshire. There are three in Pennsylvania. And so on. So we will get a clue pretty early in the night from the Eastern Time Zone, the early poll closing. The question -- we'll know then, is there evidence of a red wave? Is there evidence of a red whip? Or is there evidence that Democrats are doing hand to hand combat and potentially define history? We'll know pretty early.
BURNETT: Yes. And it's amazing, right, because right now the forecasts are for either outcome. And to this point, there are many people in this country who associate watching elections with you, John. They watch you, they watch the wall, and so when you and I were talking a few days ago and you said to me that this is the most unusual and strange election that you have seen in your entire career it really stuck with me.
Is this still the case in the final hours that you find this to be the strangest one thus far?
KING: Less so if you track the data. Meaning in the last 10 days the data has broken toward the Republicans pretty consistently. However, the counterargument from Democrats is, number one, the early vote. They insist they're going to overperform in the early vote. We'll see when it gets counted. They also insist they have a turnout operation especially learning the lesson among Latino voters in places like Arizona and Nevada. We will see if that is true.
I said it was complicated because they had the Dobbs decision. You had pretty much a traditional midterm year then the Dobbs decision. We saw the Kansas referendum. We saw spike in voter registration. So here's the tug of war in the final days, crime, inflation. Those issues work for Republicans in the suburbs. A lot of these House districts when you pull out to the map, a lot of these competitive House districts from the suburbs. All of the big Senate races will be decided in the suburbs.
Crime and inflation are issues working for the Republicans. They're working quite well. The abortion issue works for Democrats. The question is, has it faded in the end? And you see with the president of the United States and others trying late in the end to make democracy, decency, the return of Trump an issue in the suburbs. It's a tug of war. Tuesday we count them.
BURNETT: All right. Tuesday we count and start to count in some cases.
KING: Start to count.
BURNETT: All right. John is going to be back with us in our special coverage tonight. Thanks for now. We'll see you in a few minutes.
But next President Biden campaigning with the New York Governor Kathy Hochul, as I mentioned, at this hour, joining a long list of the biggest Democratic names heading to New York. Why in the world do they have to head to New York? You would never think of such a thing. So what's going on in the Empire State?
Plus Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis holding dueling rallies in Florida today. Is this how it's going to look in 2024? And a major bright spot for Democrats tonight is the Maryland governor's race. I'm going to talk to the candidate who has never run for office and is on the cusp of making history.
This is a special edition as we count down to election day. Our panel is next.
BURNETT: OK. It's a Sunday night and that means President Biden and former president Trump are both hitting the campaign trail because they're just two days out and they are all pedal to the metal right now.
President Biden is in New York about to take the stage for Governor Hochul in the closer-than-expected race against Republican Lee Zeldin. Trump is in Florida where he just wrapped up that rally for Senator Marco Rubio.
OUTFRONT now, John Avlon, our senior political analyst, Audie Cornish, CNN anchor and correspondent, David Urban, Republican strategist and former Trump campaign senior adviser, and Bakari Sellers, former Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representative. All going to be here tonight for our full special coverage.
OK. So let's start with New York, John. You know, you and I are New Yorkers. It is a little surprising that you're seeing this race look like this, shall we say, or a lot surprising that the president of the United States is choosing to be in New York tonight to campaign for an incumbent Democratic governor.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. Look, it's Democrats on defense. You don't send the president to New York on the weekend before the election unless you're scared. And Democrats are running scared. They didn't think they had to worry about the governor's race with Kathy Hochul versus Lee Zeldin.
AVLON: They didn't think they had to worry really about the congressional seats. I know they screwed up that redistricting. Now they do and they're playing serious defense. And Democrats are panicked. They think they may be able to pull it out at the end of the day. Zeldin has got some negatives, voted to, you know, not certify the election on January 6th, but he's a congressman from the swing district, east end of Long Island. And Democrats may have a problem with crime, they got problem in the suburbs, and they're running scared right now in New York.
BURNETT: And Bakari, it's not just President Biden, right? I mean, it's the former President Bill Clinton, it's the Vice President Kamala Harris, it's Hillary Clinton. I mean, that's a lot of people to be putting in New York.
BAKARI SELLERS (D), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE: Well, Bill and Hillary Clinton actually are New Yorkers.
BURNETT: OK. I get it. You don't have to pay for their travel.
SELLERS: They don't have to go far. All they had to do was pay a toll and they were here. So I mean, that's a little bit different.
BURNETT: Well, actually tolls are a big part of this election. But anyway go ahead.
SELLERS: I've been watching the ads among the governed.
BURNETT: Yes. SELLERS: Look, first of all Joe Biden had to go somewhere where a
candidate wanted him to be. That's first. But, I mean, that's just the fact. I mean, when you're running in midterm elections, what do you know? The president, when a president is unpopular usually people distance themselves from that president. But the fact is this. Democrats are going to have a good night when it comes to gubernatorial races.
SELLERS: Oregon, Washington state, New York, where Republicans thought they were going to play offense, they're going to put those to bed. The three states that really, really matter particularly for 2024 going forward, you have Wisconsin, you have Michigan, and you have Pennsylvania. And we're going to do extremely well in those three races, some of them are going to be closer than you wished, but those three races are important as you go into 2024.
SELLERS: So when Republicans do whatever machinations they want in a legislature to inhibit voting, you have Democratic governors. And so the Senate, the House are important, but a lot of Democrats are going to be looking at gubernatorial mansions.
BURNETT: All right. Where they want to score some wins of course. You know, you have Trump did not appear in New York for Zeldin, which probably was smart.
DAVID URBAN, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Listen.
BURNETT: But, you know, we even saw (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But when I said that people laughed.
BURNETT: (INAUDIBLE) if there was some places, but again, he was with Rubio today.
URBAN: Well, I just wanted to agree with Bakari. I'm glad Bakari said it, like there's not many places in America Joe Biden would be welcome with open arms Sunday night before an election. I mean, New York state is one of them. New York state is one of the places that Trump wouldn't be welcomed with open arms, right?
BURNETT: That is true.
URBAN: He'd get off, Letitia James may be hunting him down if he came here to the state, right? So if I were the president I would not be coming here and be going to places like Florida and places that are ruby red. Maybe even Arizona might not be a bad place for him to show up. But it would have been a mistake. You know, he's got -- Lee Zeldin has got a tough race here, it's going to be tough to close in Manhattan. I don't know how he gets across that threshold of 30 percent or whatever he's going to need to vote here to win. BURNETT: That would be as the young kids would say these days epic and
Audie, so Bakari said one of the governor's races that he thinks that's going to be good for Democrats. One of the ones that I know you're watching very closely is Michigan. Governor Whitmer obviously is running for reelection. She has a rally tonight in these final hours. Why do you think that one is so important?
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I think because so many of the big themes of this election kind of come to a head in Michigan. So there is the election denialism. You have candidates who have embraced that. And then you actually have consequences and that you saw threats on the governor, right, so it's not theoretical to the voter.
CORNISH: It's like oh, OK, that seems bad. You know, kidnapping plot. And then there's other, you know, there's other aspects of it on the Republican side. I've been following the candidates who care a lot about education and have been talking about parents' rights and trying to thread the needle on that issue which many suburban voters especially white Republican women are very compelled by.
So all of these things kind of are wrapped up in that state in a state that people thought was part of the blue wall, right, thanks to Barack Obama.
CORNISH: But clearly because of Trump and his sort of drawing of this, you know, this kind of Reagan Democrat concept, there's just like much more at play there.
It's not as obvious and at the same time all of the themes we've been talking about kind of come to a head.
BURNETT: OK. So now, you know, you were joking but I know being serious when you said there's not many places President Biden would be wanted right now. Now part of the reason for that, John, is historical. Right? I mean, we're in a midterm election and usually the incumbent president is not somebody that anybody wants hanging around their district at that time. So what are you looking at here? His approval rating is, what, 40-ish percent?
AVLON: Forty in this sort of CNN Poll of Polls, which is, look, you know, I love some perspective and some history. So here's the benchmark to keep in mind. Since 1982, the last 40 years, when a president is below 50 percent they have averaged 46 House seats being lost. 46. And if you look at the presidents who that falls by, it's Ronald Reagan. He lost 26. It's Bill Clinton, lost 52 in '94.
Obama lost 63 seats in 2010. And Trump of course lost 40 in 2018. So you see that gravitational pull. The pendulum swing away from a president's party and it's compoundedly worse when the president is under water. I will note, though, three of those four presidents got re-elected pretty handily.
BURNETT: Right. So that -- OK. Now that's a more complicated one this time around obviously but it's an interesting point. But, Bakari, do you share that -- do you think you're going to buck that trend? I'm sorry.
SELLERS: Like no, I mean --
BURNETT: Sort of like the Schumer optimism.
SELLERS: So the bucking the trend thing, I'm not necessarily certain. But I do think what is going to highlight, though, is Democrats will fare better than people will imagine because they're only going to lose 25 House seats, right? I mean, let's just be honest. 25, it's not going to be --
BURNETT: You think you're losing 50. 25 --
AVLON: He's just giving away 25 seats.
SELLERS: But I'm just saying it won't be 63.
AVLON: But I think it's physically impossible.
SELLERS: I think what this race -- I think what Tuesday night is going to show us is the difference in caliber of candidates because when you highlight what Avlon was just mentioning, you have people like Raphael Warnock, Tim Ryan, Mark Kelly, who are literally running 10 percent above the president in their respective states. That is very, very difficult to do. If you didn't have Blake Masters, if you didn't have Herschel Walker, you didn't have Mehmet Oz --
URBAN: But they're still going to lose.
SELLERS: -- you might have a different night.
URBAN: But they're still going to lose, right, so that's the downside.
SELLERS: You are so certain.
BURNETT: I like this. Perhaps.
URBAN: It's a 1 percent race. It's going to be a 1 percent night.
BURNETT: Appears. Alleged. OK.
URBAN: Could be a 1 percent night.
BURNETT: All stay with us on our special coverage tonight.
Next the Republican Senator Ron Johnson is running for re-election. He is casting doubt on the election process just days before voters go to the polls. So will that help him win? And there is a really interesting story out of Maryland. The bright spot for Democrats there. Wes Moore has a good shot of becoming the state's first black governor. He is not afraid to campaign with President Biden. And Moore is OUTFRONT next.
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special weekend edition of OUTFRONT with just two days to go until the 2022 midterms. All right, just moments ago the former president Donald Trump wrapped up that campaign rally in Miami. It was for Senator Marco Rubio. Taking the stage for more than an hour and a half. Rain poured down in the final minutes of his speech. Not enough to stop him. He still continued to push his baseless claims about the election that he lost in 2020 while also raising doubts before election day about this year's results.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The election was rigged and stolen and now our country is being destroyed. I ran twice. I won twice. And I did much better the second time than I did the first. Getting millions and millions more votes in 2020 than we got in 2016. We are just two days away from the most important midterm election in American history. And we need a landslide so big that the radical left cannot rig it or steal it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Kristen Holmes is OUTFRONT. She's at the rally.
So, Kristen, an hour and a half, even speaking through the rain. What else did you hear as part of Trump's message there for the midterms? Obviously that was a, you know, place Marco Rubio wanted him to be.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Erin. You say an hour and a half like it's long. The last several rallies have been over two hours. So this was considered a short one. But you talk about the closing message, the final days before the midterms, and the message that we've heard from Donald Trump has been a dark one. Of course you heard him talk about the election denying and talking about possibly a rigged election coming up in 2022 and 2024.
But he's also been focusing on crime particularly the hands of illegal immigrants. He has talked about death, murder, drug dealers. Very similar to what we heard back in 2016 when he was running for president. And of course as we have reported he is eyeing a third presidential run and announcing as early as the two weeks between the midterms and Thanksgiving. But I will say that the crowd here seemed to be eating it up.
They stayed here through the entire rally even when the pouring rain was coming down, cheering for him. Perhaps the largest cheers did come when they started chanting four more years when he hinted at another presidential run. One interesting thing that we saw here in Miami that we haven't seen at other rallies is the focus that he put on Senator Marco Rubio. He usually comes to these rallies and stumps largely for himself with a small mention of the candidate.
Here he spent a lot of time talking about Marco Rubio, which again interesting given their history, the fact that they haven't always been completely aligned on everything. The other reason why this is interesting is because there were a lot of questions as to why Trump even came to Miami. Rubio is running against Val Demings for his third term as senator and he's largely seen as a strong favorite.
There were a lot of questions as to whether or not this was a shot across the bow actually to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who is largely seen as Trump's most formidable Republican opponent in 2024.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kristen. He's making sure Little Marco won't run against him, his nickname for him. Now it's Ron DeSanctimonious.
OUTFRONT now, CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett is with me, along with David Becker, the executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research.
They are the coauthors of "The Big Truth: Upholding Democracy in the Age of the Big Lie."
So, you know, you talk about this book, Major, as a cause, that you wanted to be make sure people knew the truth. So let's start with where we are now. More than 40 million pre-election ballots have already been cast. 40 million Americans have already voted in early voting in 47 states. That's way ahead of anything we've ever seen before. What does that tell you?
MAJOR GARRETT, CBS NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It's way ahead of the midterm in 2018 which is the benchmark to measure it against, and it tells us that there's a lot of anxiety and concern about the state of American democracy at this fundamental level. American voters are experiencing an accessible, safe and for them logical way to vote, and they're doing it. They're letting their voice be heard and their voices will be counted. And one thing that is important about this book is it tells Americans of every political party that the way we cast and count ballots in our country has never been better.
One quick note about what the former president just said about he got millions more votes in 2020 than 2016. That's true.
BURNETT: That's the true part of the statement. Right.
GARRETT: That's true. That's the true part of it. The election was not rigged or stolen from him. And then he had this idea that the radical left did something in 2020 to him. Well, if that's true how did all those Republicans win those House races that they won? How did Republicans win disproportionately and unexpectedly large numbers at state legislative outcomes? Was the radical left propelling Republicans to win all those races? No. That's the actual result. Just as the actual result in 2020 is Joe Biden won. Donald Trump lost.
BURNETT: And, yet, he pumps it every time he can, David. And he has a whole cadre of people across the country who are running in races right now who pump the same lie. OK. By our count in 12 states the Republican nominee for the job of overseeing future elections, so we're talking about secretaries of state here. A direct election denier. Someone who's questioned, rejected, or even tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Here are three of the secretary of state candidates with that point of view. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump won Michigan.
MARK FINCHEM (R), ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE CANDIDATE: Ladies and gentlemen, we know it. And they know it. Donald Trump won.
JIM MERCHANT (R), NEVADA SECRETARY OF STATE CANDIDATE: We have something in common. President Trump and I lost an election in 2020 because of a rigged election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: You write in your book, and I quote you, "Putting election deniers in charge of elections is like hiring a surgeon who does not believe in blood transfusions, anesthesia or scalpels." What do you think election will look like if even some of those individuals win?
DAVID BECKER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER, CENTER FOR ELECTION INNOVATION AND RESEARCH: And some of them might, I mean, some of those races are very close. Look, a chief election official performs a very important function. They support their local election officials who actually run the elections. They often set standards, they're applied statewide, so everyone knows what the rules are going into an election. That's a very important part of the process.
And what someone who is somewhat corrupt in that position could do is put their thumb on the scale for their party, they could fail to support local election officials who need that support desperately. They could fail to establish standards. And ultimately the goal might be to actually erode the guard rails around democracy to allow for more election denialism only when their candidates lose. As we point out, this doesn't happen when they win.
This is all about outcomes, it's not about an actual problem with the process. So to create more uncertainty which could lead to potentially violence in the post-election period might be the ultimate result of this.
GARRETT: And that's one of the things we worry about very much in the book.
BURNETT: Right. And you write about that. And now, Major, you also write about how it is personal for you. I actually was thinking about this. You know, I remember going to vote with my mother. It was a fire house in our small town. And it was a ritual to go and vote. And your mom regularly worked polls for elections until she passed away. I know in 2014 your daughter has served as a poll worker. And now there's all these threats on election workers.
BURNETT: I mean, in a sense, it's personal, it's something you personally understand.
GARRETT: It's not just personal to me, it's personal to millions of Americans who either work the polls themselves or they know someone in their larger family or circle of friends who do this. Hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Americans fuel our democratic experiment by volunteering to work precincts as poll workers. They don't get paid a lot. There is certainly no glamour involved. And it's hard work.
You show up well before election. The day starts and you stay long after. And your training period is weeks and weeks before. It's their civic commitment just as it was my mother's. My mother in the '60s and '70s, Erin, was an executive for a company back then known as AT&T Ma Bell. She was an engineer. She had a very busy life. But she never missed an election, to walk up the hill to the neighborhood precinct and do her civic duty.
And it also helped her keep track of the neighborhood. She was a busy person. That's the way she kept track of things. As hundreds of thousands of Americans do. It is one of the best things we do in our country and the dichotomy that we're going through right now, we don't have a structural problem. We have a psychic problem.
GARRETT: The psychic energy is to doubt and to proclaim something stolen when it wasn't just because you feel bad about the result.
That's an exercise in psychology. It is not an exercise in how we actually do this.
GARRETT: Or a furtherance of the American democratic experiment.
BURNETT: And as the former president has said, if you say it enough they believe you. And this is why, part of the reason why I know you talk about the fear, you both have, of violence.
BECKER: Well, it's really remarkable because as Major alluded 2020 was the most secure, transparent and verified election in American history. It's was a triumph of American ingenuity. We somehow managed the highest turnout we ever had in the middle of a global pandemic and all of the results have withstood the most intense scrutiny from over 60 courts. And as we sit here two years since that election there's still not been a shred of evidence presented to any court or to any law enforcement agency. And yet that has driven tens of millions of people, these lies, to the
brink of violence. And we saw it on January 6th. I hope we don't see that in the aftermath of this upcoming election. The officials have the job well in hand. They are doing a really good job. We are going to see probably potentially record turnout for a midterm. They are doing a great job. Everything up until 8:00 p.m. on election night is going to go well. The question is what happens after?
BURNETT: What happens then. And a lot of that is in the hands of some, you know, very public and powerful people like the former president.
Thank you both very much. And I hope everyone will get this and read it. I know there is so much in here. Thank you.
And OUTFRONT next the bright spots for Democrats, governors races in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Why voters there appear to be rejecting the Trump backed Republicans for governor. The Democratic candidate for governor of Maryland, Wes Moore is OUTFRONT. And Democrats pushing back on this stark comment from California Governor Gavin Newsom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: We're getting crushed on narrative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT. You are looking at a live picture of President Biden campaigning tonight with the New York Governor Kathy Hochul. He will be in Maryland tomorrow supporting the Democrat running for governor there. That is a race that is expected to be a major bright spot for Democrats. Polls showing the Democratic candidate Wes Moore who's never held public office with a commanding lead over his Republican challenger Dan Cox. President Biden is spending the day before election day, campaigning with Moore.
If Moore wins, he would be the first African-American governor of the state of Maryland. It would be a pickup for Democrats because Moore would succeed the Republican Governor Larry Hogan, a moderate Republican who is term limited.
Wes Moore is OUTFRONT, and I really appreciate your time, Wes. So, you know, we've been talking about President Biden and his approval ratings and obviously a midterm election year not good for the incumbent president usually but you are appearing with President Biden tomorrow night and a lot of your candidates in your party have been reluctant to do so. How come you see him as such an asset?
WES MOORE (D), MARYLAND GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I see the president and him coming to Maryland as a very big deal for Maryland for two reasons. The first is it's going to be really important that we have a really strong relationship with Washington. We have a lot we've got to get done as a state. We're going to move fast and we're excited to be in partnership with the White House and with the Biden administration in order to do it.
But I think the other big thing is this. I think that the president sees what we in Maryland see, is that this is an exciting time for Maryland and this is going to be Maryland's decade. You know, we know that it's a state we are prepared and ready to move fast. That when we say we're going to have a 21st century education system for all of our students we mean that, and Maryland is going to lead.
When we say we're going to address the issue of public safety in our communities, in our schools, and making sure that our children never have a right -- should never feel unsafe in their own communities, we mean that and Maryland will lead. And so the fact that the president is coming down the day before election day to campaign with us is exciting for us because I think it is a real recognition of the level of energy and excitement that we keep on seeing on the ground in Maryland.
BURNETT: And look, obviously you're going to be, if you win, succeeding a Republican governor term-limited Larry Hogan. He was a moderate. He took on Trump in many cases. Maryland has obviously, you know, tended to vote Democratic. But there's often been splits within the state. And Democrats in other statewide races in Maryland now are still showing the strong leads over their opponents that you are.
Anthony Brown running strong in the race for attorney general. Democrats control the legislature. Why do you think Democrats in your state have been largely spared the head winds that let's just be honest many other Democrats across this country are facing this year?
MOORE: Because I think as a party we've stayed focused on what Marylanders are telling us to stay focused on. You know, we understand. And that's why, you know, I've been, you know, unabashed and unafraid when we talk about the fact that Maryland will be a safe haven for abortion rights and abortion access. I believe deeply that abortion is health care. And when we're going out on the campaign trail talking about that, it resonates with people.
When I say as a state we both have to be more competitive and also more equitable and that's not a choice. We can and we will do both. I think that's exactly where Marylanders are and what Marylanders are looking for from the next governor. But also I think that patriotism is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot.
And so when I say that, you know, my definition of patriotism was leading my family and serving this country as a member of the armed forces and leading paratroopers in Afghanistan, and my opponent's definition of patriotism was putting on a baseball cap, and asking people to join him on January 6th, I think Marylanders understand what is on the ballot and that is why I believe deeply and we are pushing hard to make sure that Democrats all up and down the ballot and all across the state are going to be successful in Maryland on Tuesday night.
BURNETT: All right. Wes, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
And you know, when you talk about Maryland, let's bring in our CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large, Chris Cillizza, because what we're looking at, Chris, is Democrats looking strong in several key governors' races, Bakari raised this point, where the Democrat is up against a Republican who has been an election denier. That is the case in Wes' race in Maryland, right.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes.
BURNETT: He's running against Dan Cox, who has attended QAnon events and has been a total election denier. But you also see Democrats leading in Pennsylvania and Michigan as well. So is there anything that ties these together? Why are Democrats doing well in those races, do you think?
CILLIZZA: Well, first of all, I think because Donald Trump endorsed candidates in all three of those races and all three of those candidates won including Dan Cox in Maryland. The problem is that he endorsed them because they were election deniers. Tudor Dixon in Michigan is another example. Doug Mastriano is a major example in Pennsylvania. He didn't endorse them because they were going to be the best candidate to win a general election.
Donald Trump thinks primarily about Donald Trump, and Donald Trump's issues. Donald Trump's big issue, as, you know, you just played his speech from Miami, his big issue is election denialism. He puts it at the center of everything. These were not candidates -- Dan Cox is a great example. This is a candidate who had no demonstrated wider appeal. So when you nominate a candidate like that against someone like Wes Moore who is I think a rising star and someone we're going to hear more from, if as I expect he does win, we're going to hear more from him on the national stage, it's just a mismatch.
BURNETT: So here's the thing about Wes Moore's race, though, as well as some of the others. In that case the Democratic Governors Association ran an ad in the primary. OK. That ad was to support the election denier Dan Cox because they thought that would be a better person to run against. Right? So, you know, let's just put that out there. It wasn't the only place that happened. The Democrats actually did put money into the campaigns of some of these extreme GOP candidates in the primary because they thought they'd rather run against them.
BURNETT: So therefore they'd rather lose against them than run against someone on substance and policy, right? They wanted to make it about election denialism as well. Do you think that strategy will pay off? I'm just going to put the morality and the rightness about that completely aside for one moment.
CILLIZZA: Yes. So I was just going to say, I think we can have a legitimate debate over whether a party that says election denialism sits as a threat to democracy, whether they should be running ads that are supportive of candidates who support election denialism.
CILLIZZA: I think that's a worthy debate. Politically speaking it was very smart. And one of the states that you just showed is Pennsylvania. And I just want to talk about that because I think that's probably the most important state governorship in the country. The governor of Pennsylvania appoints the election officials in that state. We know Pennsylvania was a swing state in 2016. It was a swing state in 2020. We expect it to be a swing state in 2024.
I think they got Doug Mastriano, who they wanted, and Josh Shapiro is likely to win that race by a significant margin in a swing state. If another candidate had been nominated for the Republican nomination I'm not sure it would have been as easy a race. So politically, Erin, like you said, put away the morality, politically Pennsylvania, Illinois is another example, Maryland, it is going to work.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Chris.
CILLIZZA: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, Democrats trying to get it together on messaging as the hours tick by until in-person, live voting on Tuesday. And we're going live to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. John King is going to join us at the magic wall to go through those specific and crucial states, coming up.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the special edition of OUTFRONT, the final sprint to election day and two prominent Democrats tonight divided over their party's chances in the midterms. Here they are.
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NEWSOM: We're getting crushed on narrative. We're going to have to do better in terms of getting on the offense and stop being on the damn defense.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): He's out there in California right now and I am out here and been all over Ohio and -- with Tim Ryan, and Pennsylvania with John Fetterman, with Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin and Sherry Beasley in North Carolina. I think either we are ahead in these races or we are in striking distance.
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BURNETT: Bakari, who is right? Those were some interesting names thrown in there. Tim Ryan?
SELLERS: No, no, no. Don't get on the bad side of Senator Klobuchar. That's for sure. She was absolutely right. I mean, the audacity of Gavin Newsom to come out and try to make this about him at this particular time is just -- is terrible. He won't even choose a horse in his own race in Los Angeles. He doesn't even have the fortitude to endorse Karen Bass or Caruso. Just choose something. If you're so concerned have the fortitude to stand up in your own state and make a choice. He won't even do that so we don't really want to hear what he has to say.
CORNISH: But it's also not about this state, right. He's running advertisements in red states so he's trying to position himself as a leader in the party.
BURNETT: Right. In Florida.
CORNISH: And also, we heard Hillary Clinton on CNN this morning talking about messaging. We heard also Barack Obama saying hey, I really wish people would have messaged X, Y and Z. This is not going to be some unusual criticism come Wednesday morning about whether the message was stride enough, charismatic enough, and there is another conversation about candidate quality coming on the Democratic side, I think, after this election.
BURNETT: Which is an interesting point. But, you know, it's also, John, you know, you heard -- Chuck Schumer was overheard on the tarmac, right, saying it's not looking so good. Well, then when he was speaking publicly a few days later, he's like, oh, we're going to take up, we're going to get more seats in the House. We're going to hold the Senate. I mean, it was a complete 180 when it went public.
CORNISH: Well, I mean, he has one job, which is to say we're going to win. I mean, I think that's (INAUDIBLE).
BURNETT: Right. So, you know, obviously on the hot mike saying the opposite and then -- but this is the real question. Newsom or Klobuchar, who is right?
AVLON: Look, whenever people in the party say the problem is our messaging, not our candidates or our policies, they're basically self- owning. Look, this is clearly a preview of coming attractions but I think Klobuchar is right to stay focused on the races that are active, winning back the Upper Midwest, winning some of these seats that have not gotten adequate support from the national Democratic Party, and that's where the future of the party is going to come. It's not going to come by doubling down on California.
URBAN: Well, in this very quick segment I want to agree with Gavin Newsom, the only time in my life this probably happened. Listen, I think wrong message, no messenger? Who's the messenger of the party, Joe Biden. That's because he's running around. The guy is hovering around 40 percent? That's your messenger? And what's the message? It was abortion. Now democracy on the ballot. They keep changing it.
Here's what the message should have been. Hilary Rosen hit it this morning as you alluded to. Kitchen tables, crime and inflation. When America tells you those are the issues, listen to America.
SELLERS: Give us your post-mortem on Wednesday.
URBAN: Listen. Listen, tape everybody and play back Wednesday morning.
BURNETT: Hold on. Let me say I don't know that there's going to be Wednesday post-mortem. Maybe you're looking at like Thursday or Friday.
BURNETT: All right. All staying with me. And next, more of our special edition of midterm special election coverage coming up. We're going to look in detail at the hotly contested Senate race in Pennsylvania between Fetterman and Oz. John King will be back.