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Erin Burnett Outfront
Candidates On The Ground Scrambling For Votes Two Days To Election; Wisconsin Senate Race Get Heated In Final Stretch; Trump, DeSantis Hold Dueling Rallies As Rivalry Grows; GOP's Johnson Accuses Rival Barnes Of Having Contempt For America; Cheney Endorses Third Democrat Just Days To Election; CNN Follows Ukrainian Body Collectors In Search Of Fallen Comrades. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 06, 2022 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And welcome back to our Special Weekend Edition of OUTFRONT. I'm Erin Burnett and tonight it is the mad dash for votes. We are just two days from election day already. This is shaping up to be a midterm unlike any other.
As of tonight, more than 40 million Americans have voted. And both sides are still trying to get their base to the polls on election day. All day, we have seen rallies in some of the most crucial states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, all of them and the biggest names for each party also on the trail tonight, Trump and Biden for example, both headlining events this morning -- this evening. Well, they know what's at stake because control of Congress is on the line, House and Senate.
In the Senate, the race is in Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania all considered toss ups at this hour. And Republicans only need to pick up one net seat to win the majority, just one. We have a team of reporters standing by tonight. I want to start with Jessica Dean, though, she's OUTFRONT in Pittsburgh. And, Jessica, obviously in these final hours, the race where you are could be the most important in the country between Dr. Oz and John Fetterman?
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly could be. And Erin, you just laid it out, so perfectly there. What's the other key thing to remember is this is an open seat. So, Democrats certainly want to flip it. And Republicans definitely want to hang on to it. So there have been millions and millions of dollars spent here in advertising and whatnot. This is the most expensive Senate race in the country. You've got Republican Mehmet Oz and Democrat John Fetterman.
Just yesterday, we had three presidents, no less than three presidents here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden, in Philadelphia. Obama here in Pittsburgh, and then former President Donald Trump about an hour outside of where we are right now in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
And all of that was about firing up the party's base, making sure that key Republicans and key Democrats turn out that they can get the numbers that they will get for Republicans in the rural parts of the state and for Democrats in Philadelphia and in Pittsburgh, Democratic strongholds.
We saw Oz continue to pitch himself as an independent voice, even appearing on stage with former President Trump last night. He didn't name Trump by name when he was doing his stump speech and continue to talk about unity. And then we heard Fetterman later today talking about how he really believes that that is phony, that he is really the only person that has lived here in Pennsylvania and can stand up for Pennsylvanians. Again, both of them making these final pitches to voters.
And one more thing worth noting, Erin, they both went back. They'd been here in the western part of the state. They both went back to the Philly suburbs this afternoon. Oz there with Senator Susan Collins, moderate Republican in the Senate, of course. And Fetterman also rallying with people there. That's where a lot of those independent voters are in an erase this tight, both of them looking to capture those independent voters. Erin.
BURNETT: Really come down to that. All right, thank you so much, Jessica.
And let's go to Wisconsin now, that's where the incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson has been locked in a heated fight with the Democrat, Mandela Barnes, both sides hammering each other today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON, (R) WISCONSIN SENATE NOMINEE: I'll tell you what, I don't think we ever really thought we'd have a political party here. That first of all, has no problem lying, and who elects leaders that don't particularly like this country, and don't particularly love or like, like half of us. OK. Let's face it, that is what we have.
MANDELA BARNES, (D) WISCONSIN SENATE NOMINEE: It's terrifying what's going on to be quite honest with you, especially given the fact that he still has not committed to accepting the results of this election. As I said the results of the election two years ago, as the person who's living completely in the past.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Omar Jimenez is OUTFRONT in Milwaukee. And Omar, this issue of Johnson refusing to commit to accepting the results of this election has been one of the central questions in this race. What is the latest on that?
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's really doubling down on that point. I should say the sort of attacks back and forth between the two have really defined the last few weeks in particular but on the statement by Johnson that he would accept the results of this election.
[19:05:03] It came from earlier this week at a campaign stop. He was asked outright if you would accept the results of Tuesday's election. He said he sure hopes he can. And we pushed him on that. And he said that really, it's because he doesn't feel the election process is secure. And that if he gets that assurance, he will accept those results. And he pointed in part to a case out of Milwaukee this week of a now former election official who has been criminally charged after allegedly obtaining military ballots for fake voters.
Now, the Wisconsin Election Commission says that in no way affected any votes in that the system worked as it should have because this person was caught. And while election integrity is among the top issues polled for Wisconsin voters, it's really been inflation, the economy and abortion that have led to concerns throughout this campaign season. It's part of why Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes was seen campaigning with the president of Planned Parenthood today along with the Chair of the DNC.
And he really told us their strategy in this final less than 48 hours is to try and meet as many people as they can, where they are and try not to take any votes for granted on the tail end of what's been a 100 plus RV toward (ph) this point. No daylight between the two. We're going to try and find an edge in this final structure.
BURNETT: And Omar, thank you very much. I want to go to John King at the Magic Wall now. So, John, let's talk about these races. Let's start where Omar with Wisconsin first. So, what are you looking for on election night there?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, first think about the chessboard, Erin, in the sense of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, where you just were, and Ohio and North Carolina. Four Republican held seats on the board. Democrats want to take one. They want to take two as insurance policy.
If Democrats hold everything they have, it'll still be 50/50. But they can't count on that. So, they want one of those states, including Wisconsin as a potential insurance policy. So, let's come to the National Map. And you look out, you lay out the Senate right now and you bring up the state of Wisconsin.
Here's your lineup. Obviously, we fill this in with votes Tuesday night. What are you looking for? Let's use 2016 and 2020 in the presidential race as your marker here as we do this. Joe Biden wins Wisconsin in 2020 by 20,000 votes. How did he do it? Big turnout in Milwaukee. And a better performance than Hillary Clinton out here in the close in suburbs, especially in Walkinshaw County when you bring this in.
I just want to show you quickly. You see Joe Biden a 38 percent here.
KING: Let's go back to 2016, Hillary Clinton at 34 percent, Gary Johnson heard her some there, but she didn't do as much. And then come over to Milwaukee. The Democrats simply didn't turn out. Mandela Barnes has to turn out the Democrats in Milwaukee city in the suburbs around it. You see Hillary Clinton at 66 percent.
You say, wow, that's great, right? 66 percent is great. Let's come forward to 2020. Joe Biden gets 69 percent. Joe Biden gets 20,000 votes and change more votes than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. Joe Biden wins the state by 20,000 votes, turnout, math matters.
BURNETT: Turnout and math and 20,000. I mean, when you talk about an entire state, right, it didn't talk about every single vote mattering so much. All right now, what about Pennsylvania? Jessica, talking about what she's seeing there tonight. This this Senate race, obviously, as she's saying, you know, it's an open seat.
So, what are you going to be watching for? Obviously, you've had an early vote, people could vote, you know, absentee or vote by mail in Pennsylvania. They can't start counting that until the polls close on election night. So, what are you going to be looking at to see how that Senate race is going to go?
KING: You got the smartest guy in the Commonwealth behind me, I think so. I can't blow this --
BURNETT: He's coming on a minute. Yes.
KING: -- as we go though. Look, it's the same issue. All of these big statewide races are going to be decided in the suburbs. And this one is fascinating to me, in the sense that I was out this part of the state, the Pittsburgh suburbs just to the west of Pittsburgh just a couple of weeks ago.
You have some upscale college educated well off, former Republicans in the suburbs out there. A lot of them voted for Donald Trump the first time, then they couldn't the second time because of all the chaos. They just didn't like him. They're having a big conversation with themselves.
Fetterman is probably a little too liberal for them. But they're not sure. Is Dr. Oz really a Trumpy? If they believe he is, they won't vote for him. Or is he just using Trump to get to the thing, that maybe they can go back. You see it out there in the Pittsburgh -- suburbs west of Pittsburgh and you also see it where Michael knows, as well as anybody right in here.
The collar counties around Philadelphia, the places that make George H.W. Bush President, George W. Bush President, Arlen Specter, a Senator. Tom Ridge, the Pennsylvania Republican governor. If these -- see them all blue here for Joe Biden, if they stay blue Fetterman has got a chance. If Bucks County goes red, watch Dr. Oz.
BURNETT: Now, it'd be interesting. And, of course, as Jessica was saying, right, Dr. Oz appearing with Susan Collins, moderate Senator, right, trying to make that moderate case here in these final hours. And, you know, seeing exactly what you see.
All right, John, stay with me. Let's bring in the smartest man in the Commonwealth. I'm not going to say anything about the guy next to me, sorry, David Urban's next to me, Michael Smerconish. But right now, you get the --
KING: He's the smartest neutral guy in the Commonwealth.
BURNETT: Right, there we go. Let's go with that. All right, Michael, so this is obviously your home state. And you're looking at a Senate race that is neck and neck by any definition. But the governor's race is a totally different story. So can we just start first since everyone, you know, talks about split tickets and how these things work? Why is that the case?
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: So, among the marquee races, Senate and gubernatorial race, Josh Shapiro is clearly the most superior of all four of them. And Mastriano is the weakest. I mean, I could be kind and I could say unconventional. And I happen to think that both Senate candidates have their share of deficiencies.
Also, by definition, the focus of the races is different, right? The gubernatorial race is more local in focus. Republicans control the legislature. I think it's important to many Pennsylvanians that Josh Shapiro be elected as a check on the potential of abortion restrictions that could otherwise be put into law and signed by a Republican governor.
There's also the factor of the governor appointing a secretary of state. So that has enormous consequences for 2024. When you get to the Senate race, I think individuals are looking beyond those two candidates and looking more at the big picture issue of which party do they want to control the United States Senate. And one other consideration, no longer in Pennsylvania can you pull a party lever. You've got to vote issue by issue, election by election. So, a big win by Josh Shapiro doesn't necessarily provide coattails for John Fetterman.
BURNETT: All right, so John Fetterman and that debate, right, finally there was a debate, just one, he used the closed captioning. And then there's been a lot of discussion sense as to whether that moved the needle, whether it mattered, whether it hurt him, whether it helped him because he was transparent. Is this a factor for voters in the final days here? Is it a factor on election day?
SMERCONISH: I don't think so. I think much like abortion and Herschel Walker and all of those accusations in Georgia. From the sideline, you think the bottom is about to fall out from the campaign, but it didn't. The race in Pennsylvania has narrowed. I've always thought and I'm sure David Urban would say the same thing.
I've always thought in the 11th hour, just by the way this state is comprised it would get much closer. I think the reason it's gotten closer as that Fetterman got a free ride in the primary, despite having opposition, nobody really took him on. And his record now has been subject to scrutiny. And crime is a big issue. So, Oz has his own problems. I'm not carrying water for us. But I think this was always the way it was going to go. BURNETT: So, John, when are we going to know who wins in Pennsylvania? I mean, let's just be honest, last time, it just -- it took a while. It was messy. You had all kinds of recounts and checks. Is it going to be the same thing here that we're waiting and waiting and waiting on Pennsylvania?
KING: Look, I think in Pennsylvania and other things, we should soberly tell the American people in some of these states, it could take days and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
KING: Just like there was absolutely nothing wrong in 2020 that the Pennsylvania count took until Saturday, right? Before we were able to project the Joe Biden carry the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would be the next president united states. It could take time. We will learn clues to Michael's point. I was just talking only about the suburbs. I just want to pop up another place, Northampton County. This is a swing county in the state. Michael knows it well. Mr. Urban does as well. I just want to go back to 2020 and come to the presidential race. And you look, Joe Biden just barely carries this swing county, right?
This is where people go back and forth. You find independence. It's very Trumpy up here. It's more liberal down here. You get closer to Allentown, Joe Biden, wins it narrowly in 2020. He wins the Commonwealth and he wins the presidency. 2016 Donald Trump wins it by a little bit more, wins the Commonwealth and wins the presidency. There are battlegrounds within battlegrounds we will watch.
And again, I was up there about two months ago now and people were wrestling with this one. People were wrestling with this one, even up in the Trumpier parts of that, way up north Mount Bethel. Bangor, places like that. That was their question, is Donald -- is Mehmet Oz really a Trumpy? Is he one of us or is he a fake? And they hadn't figured it out by then. We'll see on Tuesday.
BURNETT: Battlegrounds within battlegrounds. All right. Thank you both so much.
And next, the dueling rallies in Florida. Not though Republican versus Democrat. Oh no, it is Trump and DeSantis. And Trump firing a shot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: There it is Trump at 71, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, the Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin leaning in on the issue of race in the final days of his campaign. And Republican Liz Cheney crossing party lines again, endorsing a third Democrat in a key race. This is a special edition as we count down to Election Day. Our team of experts is next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:18:52]
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT. We are just two days out to election day. Former President Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis holding dueling rallies in Florida tonight. Dueling being the operative word. Trump campaigning in Miami for Marco Rubio, but obviously taking the opportunity to tease his own presidential run.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And now, in order to make our country successful, safe and glorious, I will probably have to do it again but stay tuned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right, we're all back here. Glorious.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BURNETT: A rarely used word in campaign rallies but not from him. So, look, a lot of tonight hour and a half as Kristen Holmes was right to point out because I thought oh, an hour and a half, she's like, hey, lately they've been running to plus. So, it wasn't as long as they've been going but it did start to pour rain at the end, talking about his own administration, talking about false claims of voter fraud, saying it was rigged, going on as usual litany of complaints. Does this help Republicans at all in these final? You've got literally one day left before polls open.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Trump doesn't care. It's all about Trump. It's a litany of lies. It's not complaints. And it's all about him. Now, the difference is he's campaigning in Florida, right? Where DeSantis looks pretty strong position, is going to try to run up the Hispanic vote, which could have real national implications.
That's not going to be because of Donald Trump, right? I mean, some of that shifted the Hispanic vote towards Republicans is in spite of Trump, not because of Trump. But look, this is the sign of coming attractions feud to come. And as usual, Donald Trump only cares about himself. And he wants to impose a litmus test of lies on the rest of the party, and a lot of them buying it.
BURNETT: So, can I say there's -- so just take a step back here, I know we all know we're talking about Trump is threatened by DeSantis. But DeSantis is running for reelection. They're voting on Tuesday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
BURNETT: And the guy who is the masthead still of the National Republican party comes out in Florida, 24 hours out of that, David, and says this, just listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There it is, Trump at 71, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Gambling in Casablanca?
BURNETT: I mean --
URBAN: I mean, like, you know, what -- Donald Trump is not focused on November 8, 2022. He focused on November 8, 2024. That's preview of things to come, right. I mean, say no more, John's correct.
BURNETT: Right, I mean, he -- but the point is --
URBAN: Mike drop, I mean --
BURNETT: DeSantis is likely to win. He's running ahead.
URBAN: Yeah, sure. Listen --
BURNETT: But he would rather he lose, he'd rather lose a Republican seat because he wants --
URBAN: Well, you know, I think that there's this, you know, this tension, obviously, it's been played out where, both things are true, Donald Trump -- Ron DeSantis wouldn't be governor if it weren't for Donald Trump's endorsement. Let's just be -- he wouldn't be, there was running incredibly close race. He only won that race by 33,000 votes. So that, in fact is true. And Ron DeSantis, has never really acknowledged that, I don't think. And I think that's always irked the president, the former president.
Now, the second part is true. Ron has had has been a very good governor, without Donald Trump's help. And that is true. Those two things could exist in the same universe. And Trump thinks, you know, but for him, Florida would just be a wreck, right? And that's not necessarily correct.
BURNETT: Bakari, at the rally, though, what Kristin was saying was interesting. She was saying that the real cheers were when they started saying, four more years, you know, they were -- now obviously I'm talking about Trump there, but they were fired up. They stayed for 90 minutes. They stayed in the pouring rain at the end. Is there the possibility that Trump is firing up some of the base in a way that actually does help Republicans elsewhere?
BAKARI SELLERS, (D) FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I think so. I mean, and you saw -- I believe there were a litany of statewide candidates and local candidates who were there with Donald Trump because they knew that the base would be.
SELLERS: Frankly, speaking, I don't really care about Republican or Republican violence. However, when you look at this, one of the things that many people have highlighted when they've watched Ron DeSantis from afar, is the thought that he's going to wilt under the constant pressure from Donald Trump, and he's going to wilt under the spotlight.
And so, this is just the beginning. I mean, you saw what happened when he went after Marco Rubio, the first time Marco Rubio popped up, and then he called them, I think he was little, one was lying. This one's little, he was little --
BURNETT: Little Marco.
SELLERS: Little Marco, you begin to see him well. And I think that Ron DeSantis has every single analogy with Scott Walker. We're going to talk about Scott Walker anymore. But Scott Walker was apparently a great governor, when all of these races was the future star and then he wilted away. We've seen Ron DeSantis on the stage against Andrew Gillum. We've seen him on a stage with Charlie Crist, and he faded away in both of those. I'm not sure he can take a plan from Donald --
BURNETT: Whether he's charismatically challenge.
URBAN: From someone who's been in the room with both of them. I'll tell you that Ron DeSantis, no shrinking violent, is not very willful.
BURNETT: All right. So, Audie, Trump, though, did also go to North Carolina?
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Although uncoded that, I think we remember Ted Cruz, taking the beating from Donald Trump over time.
CORNISH: But no, no, just but to bring it back. That doesn't mean that you can't be brought into the fold, right? Like, it's not as though Republicans go, oh, no, Trump gave me a nickname. I will never work in this town again. Plenty of them continue to and work for him.
BURNETT: Right, right.
CORNISH: It's the ecosystem of the party right now. And I think that, you know, correct me if I'm wrong, like, does Trump have a VP for 2024? Like, seems like that relationship is a little shaky with Mike Pence. So, I sort of assume like, everyone --
BURNETT: Well, there's Kari Lake.
CORNISH: -- claims that they're interest in 2024 --
URBAN: I'm sure there's a lot.
CORNISH: Right? It's like in potentially number two.
BURNETT: All right, stay with us because we're going to continue this conversation in just a moment.
Next, the Ohio Democratic candidate Tim Ryan has been keeping his party at arm's length in a major way. It has helped him to stay competitive in a key Senate race, can he win? And Liz Cheney, endorsing yet another Democrat for Congress. We'll she be a kingmaker for Dems? Chris Wallace is here.
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT. Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin attacking his Democratic opponent, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, saying he has, "disdain and contempt for America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: Just about every day, a new tweet, a new video or audio clip really serves is just to show his disdain, his contempt for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, this comes as the Washington Post is reporting that during a recent campaign event, Johnson told a story of witnessing a small-town community in Wisconsin, help a truck driver, his truck driver had been stuck in a local road. So, he's telling this story.
And then in the middle of it, he mentioned the drivers race in this way. Let me just quote for you what Johnson said, "You know, one little point really, really doesn't factor in the story at all. But the driver was an African American gentleman. So why would I add that little detail? I happen to be running against Mandela Barnes."
Everyone is back with me. Bakari, OK, I'm not trying to, have you get inside the mind of Ron Johnson and what the heck was going on with that? I mean, even he says it has nothing to do with the story, but he throws it in there. He's also said Barnes is disdain and contempt for America. What's your reaction to how he's handled this?
SELLERS: I mean, Ron Johnson is playing the race card to just use a very -- a colloquialism that we always used.
BURNETT: Sure, seems like it.
SELLERS: And he's using it in a way to test the boundaries of the electorate and seeing quite plainly, if they will send a Black man named Mandela to the United States Senate. And what he is trying to do at every single point along the way, is highlight those tropes or those negative prejudices to reinforce them in people's minds as they go to the polls.
I don't know if Ron Johnson is racist or not. That's not what I'm talking about. But the fact is he, like many other Republicans use racism as political currency, and that is what you're seeing in this particular race here.
And it's actually -- I mean, look, he is using every single card he has to see whether or not he can drive up turnout and drive out the base. And we saw it with Trump, it worked. We see it with other politicians, it works. And they just use racism as currency and we'll see what happens.
BURNETT: I mean, David, I mean, it is, you know, a little -- one little point really. It really doesn't factor in the story at all, but the driver was an African-American gentleman.
So now why would I add that little detail? I happen to be running against Mandela Barnes.
URBAN: So unfortunately, I don't know the whole clip or the whole story. You know, all I would say is, you know, if -- and I don't know this race particularly well. I don't know the candidate, Mandela Jones at all.
URBAN: Barnes, I'm sorry, excuse me. If he were running, you know, a tough race, maybe because -- I can't really comment. I have nothing to say. I've nothing to add its intelligence.
BURNETT: It's a bizarre non sequitur.
URBAN: It is a bizarre -- listen, it is a bizarre --
SELLERS: Let me fill in the lie real quick as well.
URBAN: It is bizarre. Bakari, it is a bizarre comment in a race that's like -- what else are you going to say there?
SELLERS: And I know, John wants to chime in, too. But I mean, like we have when you say that, like Black folk don't love America, and I'm not going to speak for Mandela, because he's running a hell of a race and he's a qualified lieutenant governor.
But most of us view this country that like, there's nothing -- it is irredeemable about the country, you just want to reimagine what she looks like, and so when you throw out these, "We are anti-American," we're this, we're that, simply because he's a Black man who has tattoos named Mandela, it just reinforces using racism as a political tool.
CORNISH: But can we talk about the ecosystem in which this resonates? Because the same thing was used against Barack Obama, which is that you are the elites; something, something, arugula; something, something you look down on us?
BURNETT: Something arugula, yes.
CORNISH: Right. The comments about clinging to guns and that sort of thing being used against him, and I think that you -- it is very easy in an era of tribal politics to look at people and say, someone is looking down on you, and it is them.
URBAN: Well, you say in Pennsylvania and Barack Obama comes to Pennsylvania and say, "They cling to guns, God, and religion" talking about me and my family, it is offensive.
URBAN: It is very offensive.
CORNISH: So, the entire picture of a nation that you bring to that conversation --
URBAN: But it is.
CORNISH: Is what he is playing on, right? Is to be able to repeatedly use that same attack line on other candidates, because now, it has become the talking point for the party.
URBAN: But is it transferrable?
CORNISH: It certainly will, and I think we'll see it against other Black Democratic candidates.
BURNETT: All right, so I want to talk about Independent voters because I know a lot of people, the majority of people define themselves as Independent, but only some truly are, but they are important in these races, John.
So in Ohio, we talk about JD Vance and Tim Ryan. Tim Ryan has been running in what is now essentially becoming a more and more red State, right? He has been running very much as a moderate, moderate, moderate to the right. How is Ohio going to play?
AVLON: Look, I think Tim Ryan is the Democrats' best communicator and campaigner right now when it comes to connecting with voters outside the tribal politics.
He is saying, look, Washington doesn't work because we're fighting all the time. We don't agree all the time. He is running pro-worker, anti- China, connected moderates, middle class, and working class voters. So he is creating a seminar there in a very tough environment, where Mike DeWine looks set to win at the top of the ticket for Governor, pretty handily.
I think Democrats have committed malpractice by not investing more dollars into this race. I think Tim Ryan still could surprise folks, but he still has a lot to teach.
Now, the larger environment of Independent voters. There is a larger conversation to be had, because we should be focusing on where Independent voters are going to go because that is the way the election will go right now.
And in the most recent CNN poll, Republicans have an edge 48 to 45. That's within the margin of error. That's tight, especially considering some of the swings we've seen in Midterm Elections, where Independent voters will go against the party in power to try to break that up, that pendulum swing. We saw it in 2016, saw it in 2010, saw it in 2018. So it'll be interesting to see if it's more muted than it's been in the past. BURNETT: So, Bakari, to this point about Ohio. You know, you've been saying like North Carolina, you know, we were talking off camera, you said, good thing no one is paying attention to that. You think it'll be close. But how come national Democrats have not put anything into Tim Ryan in Ohio?
SELLERS: Yes, because we mess up politics a lot. I don't really know. Listen, I mean, I will be completely honest. When you look at the map, there are things that you look at on the map that are just more politically palatable than Ohio.
Tim Ryan has run a hell of a race to make it to a point where you can now ask the question. He has earned the right to legitimately ask that question.
Now, there are some races where we will take your money, but we don't necessarily want you there and that's North Carolina.
North Carolina, Cheri Beasley has been running an amazing campaign. She has been running an amazing campaign. She is getting all the big dollars, they are doing the ads. They are doing everything. She is staying on message for a State that has both rural and urban and suburban, a large population of Black voters.
SELLERS: And so when you -- if you're looking at North Carolina versus Ohio, you know, North Carolina is actually probably the second most valuable State for Democrats on Tuesday night behind Pennsylvania.
URBAN: It could have been different in Ohio, if the DS would have invested.
CORNISH: I don't think so. The State is 12 points redder than it used to be out of 2020.
URBAN: About the candidate. I am talking about the candidate. I am with Avlon on this.
CORNISH: But narrows once you gerrymander the districts, right, that are considered illegal right now that they're still running on. It's a very different environment that has nothing to do with anybody's messaging.
BURNETT: All right, all, thank you.
And next, a dyed-in-the-wool Republican backing more Democratic candidates. Is Liz Cheney's bold stance having an impact or not? Chris Wallace joins me.
And in Ukraine, inhumanity, bodies and bones being recovered and revealing the true horror of the war.
[19:40:24] BURNETT: Welcome back to this Special Edition of OUTFRONT.
Tonight, Republican Liz Cheney crossing party lines again, this time endorsing a third Democrat in a battleground district days before the election. In this case, Cheney throwing her support behind Democrat, Abigail Spanberger over the Republican, in that case, Yesli Vega in Virginia, one of the State's most consequential races this year.
Cheney also appearing on the campaign trail alongside a handful of other Democrats endorsing Democrats, Elissa Slotkin in Michigan and Tim Ryan of Ohio over there, Trump-backed opponents.
Now, Cheney has made it very clear, anyone who denies the election, not someone she will support, and her attack on her own party over this issue is unlike anything seen on Capitol Hill in modern history.
OUTFRONT now, CNN anchor, Chris Wallace.
And Chris, you know, she has said, this is what she is going to stand on because she believes this matters. She believes this is how to protect the future of this country.
How much impact do you think Cheney will have in these specific races?
CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: You know, I'd say, Erin, that first of all, we generally, in the media, we overplay the power of these endorsements. More often than not, voters are going to decide. They've seen these candidates for a long time, and they are going to decide on their own and what somebody comes in from out of State and says doesn't make that much difference.
And particularly in this case, when you talk about Tim Ryan in Ohio or Abigail Spanberger in the suburbs of Virginia, these are people that have been incumbents, in one case, for four years, and in another case for 20 years, I think voters in Virginia and Ohio think they know these candidates a lot better than some Congresswoman from Wyoming does.
You know, I suppose on the margins, it increases the sense and they are running these candidates as not dyed-in-the-wool Democrats, as bipartisan reaching across the aisle. So it might help on the margins. But it may actually do more for Liz Cheney and her credentials and her brand than it does for the candidate.
BURNETT: So to that point, where does she go from here? Obviously, I'm not saying she doesn't believe in what she's doing, but it is also part of her evolution and her ambition. So, where is she going from here?
WALLACE: Well, there's a lot of talk that you might potentially run in 2024 against Donald Trump, and she has got no chance whatsoever of winning the Republican nomination in this current Republican Party. There is also talk that she might go back to Virginia, which is where she spent a lot of time while growing up while her father was in Washington, and might run in a district or in the State there. You know, it's an interesting thing, though. The January 6 Committee, Erin, did a lot of good. I mean, they did a lot of serious investigation, brought out a lot of new facts. But as a voting issue, last time, I checked a couple of weeks ago that House Democrats had spent a total of two percent of their advertising on January 6th, so there are a lot of other issues that they think are a lot more important to voters.
BURNETT: All right, so let's talk about the race in Florida, Ron DeSantis, so running for reelection on Tuesday for Governor. His campaign released a new ad about how God picked a fighter to become Florida's Governor. It is odd. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, I need a protector, so God made a fighter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The ad invokes God's name 10 times in 96 seconds. DeSantis is never mentioned although, you know, as the word God is said, you know, you keep seeing these images of DeSantis.
What do you make of this? It is, like I said, odd. I mean, it's uncomfortable.
WALLACE: Well, you know, I think if you're going to coin a phrase, you might say the ad is DeSanctimonious. I mean, it is quite remarkable.
It is one thing to be endorsed by Liz Cheney. It is another thing to be endorsed by God, and I love the voice for those people who are old enough to remember, it sounds just like Paul Harvey, the great radio announcer.
You know, I'm sure it'll play to a certain audience. I think a lot of the Christian evangelicals but to say that God created a fighter over and over and to continue to show pictures of the Governor, Ron DeSantis is, as you say, curious.
BURNETT: It is amazing. I can't believe anybody would actually be comfortable about such a thing appearing about them on television, but I suppose that is what it takes to have national ambitions.
Thank you so much. Chris Wallace, I appreciate it.
WALLACE: You bet.
BURNETT: All right, and next, another big story we're following. The war in Ukraine -- shredded shoes, clothing, and bones the search in Ukraine to honor the dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEONID BONDA$, UKRAINIAN RECOVERY TEAM (through translator): It's important for their families, for us, for the country that we bring them home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Welcome back to a Special Edition of OUTFRONT.
"The Wall Street Journal" reporting tonight that President Biden's top National Security adviser Jake Sullivan has had confidential conversations with two of Vladimir Putin's topic aides. The talks aimed at reducing the risk of broader conflict coming from Ukraine and about whether Moscow could use nuclear weapons.
BURNETT: This, as CNN follows Ukrainian investigators on the ground as they are searching for the remains of those killed on the frontlines.
We want to warn you that some of the images you will see in this report are graphic.
Nic Robertson is OUTFRONT.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): Somewhere in this forlorn corner of a not so forgotten battlefield, six Ukrainian soldiers are missing, believed dead.
Leonid Bondar and his two-man military recovery team have come to look for them.
BONDAR (through translator): It's important for their families, for us, for the country, that we bring them home.
ROBERTSON (voice over): They are the first to search since Ukraine retook this area from Russian troops six weeks ago.
Dangers abound; mines, a deadly menace, he explains. Russians shelled then overran the position late spring. What happened in the soldiers' final moments and to their mortal remains is the mystery Bondar and his team have come to solve.
Lives ended in an instant. Now, perhaps their stories not over.
BONDAR (through translator): We worked out the possibility of the bodies flying after the explosion and thus, found the remains of two more fighters.
ROBERTSON (voice over): By the end of the first day, Bondar is finding clues and something else, too, something he feared, Russian inhumanity. ROBERTSON (on camera): There's bits of metal from ammunition cases here and bone fragments, perhaps from a leg, a piece of skull over here. The investigators think that perhaps the Russians tried to burn the bodies.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Over the following day, the team back, digging in the bunker where they think the soldiers hid during the shelling.
Meanwhile, Bondar collects the bones of a soldier thrown from the blast. Every fragment recovered, a possible DNA lead and potential solace for loved ones.
And then he discovers a ring, helpful for identification he says, but the bones also confirmation of what he feared. Russians callously burned this fallen soldier's body.
BONDAR (through translator): This is not the first time we have encountered a situation where the norms of humanity are neglected and soldiers are not properly buried.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Back in the bunker, important finds, bone fragments. Their hunch, the soldiers huddled here getting traction.
Then the unexpected, other Ukrainian soldiers take the team to a dead Russian soldier they've just discovered nearby. His remains recorded, recovered, given the same respect as their own fallen.
In the bunker, more progress, several bodies located beneath the rubble.
"Come on home, brother," Leonid whispers as the fallen soldier's broken body gently is free.
Then the next soldier, gun in hand is pried out. His documents.
(LEONID BONDAR speaking in foreign language.)
ROBERTSON (voice over): "Thank you for helping us identify you," Bondar tells the body.
BONDAR (through translator): We've seen five of our fellow servicemen. Questions remain about one more body. When we raise these, we will see if he is there, too.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Those found, soon to be reunited with their grieving families. Their final moments, better understood.
Bondar and his team vow to keep searching for the sixth.
ROBERTSON (on camera): They know they may not be able to find out all the details of how these soldiers died. The only certainty here is that as long as the war goes on, their job is far from over.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Now, we've been in touch with Bondar and his team again. They are still searching for that sixth missing member, they think he might just have been flung a long way from the bunker. But they are also under pressure now to expand their searches to other areas.
President Zelenskyy said at times, the death toll has been 50 Ukrainian soldiers a day. There is hundreds of square miles that this recovery team have left to cover, many more soldiers, many more fallen heroes to bring home.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Nic for those -- sorrow, such sorrow there, but the profound images you shared. Thank you.
And we'll be back with our Special Edition after this.
BURNETT: Our election coverage is going to be continual over the next several days. We have a Special Election Eve edition tomorrow night at seven on OUTFRONT.
On Election Day, I'll be here with Wolf Blitzer from 12 noon to four Eastern as Americans are voting and we have reporters across the country, plus John King at the Magic Wall.
CNN will have live coverage throughout the night as the votes get counted. And on Wednesday, I will be back with Wolf from noon to four. We are still going to be waiting on results from key races to determine the balance of power.
We all need to be patient.
Thanks for joining us. The Special Sunday Edition of "AC360" starts now.