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Erin Burnett Outfront

Candidates Make Final Campaign Push Hours Before Polls Open; Sources: Trump Weighs Announcing His 2024 Run At Rally Tonight; Fetterman Campaign Sues To Have Mail Ballots Without Valid Dates Counted; Pelosi Talks To CNN In First Interview Since Husband's Attack; Georgia Senate Candidates Hold Final Events Before Polls Open. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 07, 2022 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the final countdown. The first polls opening just hours from now. Control of Congress and President Biden's agenda is on the line right now.

And the numbers are pretty incredible. Already 41 million people have cast their ballots in early voting. That is a remarkable number.

And by this time tomorrow, we will be standing by for the first results.

Now, both parties are calling it like it is. This is one of the most consequential midterm contests ever. Candidates across the country are at this late hour making their final pitch to voters in these hours before Election Day polls themselves open.

In Pennsylvania, a state where three presidents have descended over the past two days, Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz and Democrat John Fetterman are about to hold dueling rallies. Meantime in Ohio, former President Trump is about to take the stage for his Senate pick, JD Vance. And those are just two of the 35 Senate races up for grabs. Of them, seven are either toss-ups or slightly tilt Republican or Democrat, as you can see.

And flip it over, we'll show you the House. Twenty races in 14 states are toss ups there, across the country, coast to coast.

And we have correspondents across the map tonight, from Georgia to Arizona to Pennsylvania.

So, let's start in Georgia. Jeff Zeleny is there live in Kennesaw tonight. Republican senator -- Herschel Walker holding a final rally there, and this one is incredibly close, Jeff.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is, Erin. And Herschel Walker will be arriving here momentarily on his trademark red bus. And really one thing that he has on the eve of this election, he has unified this Republican Party behind me. It was very much an open question weeks and certainly months ago but he's going to be joined on stage by Senator Lindsey Graham and some other Republicans, clearly making the question that Washington are with him.

The question, are all Georgia Republicans and independent swing voters with him? Just moments ago, in Columbus, Georgia, Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock who's in the fight of his life still is trying to disqualify Herschel Walker and he told Georgians it's now up to them.


SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Everybody is asking me what's going to happen tomorrow? Listen, I am making the case, it's really in your hands. If the people show up, I win. If the people of Georgia show up, I win. If the people of Georgia show up, we win. Are you ready to win this election!


ZELENY: So, of course, a quarter of a billion dollars has been spent on television ads here in Georgia along, Erin. It is just really extraordinary, 2.5 million have already voted. But the question, who does show up tomorrow?

Are Democrats able to sort of match that Republican enthusiasm we're hearing and seeing on the ground? There's no doubt the path to the control of the Senate runs right here through Georgia -- Erin.

BURNETT: Incredible. As you say, extraordinary amount of money.

All right. Let's go to Arizona, another crucial raise with Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT in Phoenix.

And, Kyung, there are a lot of key races in Arizona. The governor's race is one of the most highly visible, Kari Lake versus Katie Hobbs.

What is the latest on that in these final hours?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it has all come down to the suburbs for Democrat Katie Hobbs. I want to show you where we are. Well, this is a House in the Phoenix suburbs and we are waiting for is Katie Hobbs. She's going to be here in just a few minutes.

And this is a living room. This is as grassroots as it gets. You can see the press assembled, people will be sitting around a couch as he makes her comments, and that will emphasize, electing Republican Kari Lake would be devastating for suburban communities trying to engage suburban women.

As far as Republican Kari Lake, she is on a bus tour, a multi-stop, multi-day bus tour, really leaning in to those MAGA roots at a church today. She was out energizing her base.


KARI LAKE (R), ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE: This is a movement. It's not a campaign. It's a movement of patriotic Arizonans who are sick of the crap, right? Can I say that in a church? I'm sorry, God.


LAH: A bit of levity there by Kari Lake, really just trying to get Republicans across the border by boosting that energy but also reminding them that what the Republican line is and the finish line is focusing on border issues as well as the all-important economy, Erin.


BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you very much. Amazing just to watch, every single second matters. You got to run the clock all the way out.

John Avlon is OUTFRONT, our senior political analyst, along with Margaret Hoover, host of "Firing Line" on PBS and former George W. Bush White House staffer, veteran of two of GOP presidential campaigns.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh my gosh! That's a lot of words in that intro.


BURNETT: Ashley Allison also here, served as national coalitions director for the Biden-Harris 2020 campaign, and Scott Jennings, former senior adviser to Senator Mitch McConnell.

OK. So, Scott, we'll start with Georgia where Jeff was just reporting from the Walker event. So, I know you've been speaking to people in the Walker campaign. We keep hearing this could go either way, and then you've got, you know, a libertarian running who could sneak one person of the vote and send this whole thing to a runoff because you have to have 50 percent to -- someone has to have that to prevent a runoff.

How confident is the Walker campaign?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Pretty confident. I had a good long shot with their pollster last week, and they did their final tracking last Thursday, and they had Walker at 49 and Warnock at 44.

I'm really watching this libertarian candidate here because the Walker campaign over the summer, they were concerned this person might go 5, 6, 7 percent of the vote. They picked out a universe of voters and focused on driving that libertarian down and it looks like they've been pretty successful. That's really the key to getting over to 50 percent there.

BURNETT: Right, but 49 and 44 obviously would still be a runoff. I mean, that's amazing that could happen.

So, Ashley, when you hear Scott, he's saying 49-44. That's a week ago Thursday, internal polling from the Walker campaign, such that he hears it. Are you confident in Warnock's chances? I mean, do you think he gets to 50? ASHLEY ALLISON, FORMER NATIONAL COALITIONS DIRECTOR FOR BIDEN-HARRIS

2020: I don't know if he gets to 50 but I'm confident in his chances. We are seeing record turnout in Georgia. That is really meeting the math of like 2016 presidential race. That's kind of unheard of in our country around midterms.


ALLISON: And the one thing about the clip you played around Raphael Warnock when he said, if the people show up, I will win, I believe that. I think if turnout is high in Georgia, a lot of people didn't think it was possible in 2020 and the people showed up and showed what was possible and I think that could happen again.

BURNETT: And I should say, we're going to talk more about Georgia later with somebody who runs the elections there but in-person early voting was a record on the last day on Friday.

So, Nikki Haley, former U.N. ambassador, former governor of South Carolina may possibly be a GOP VP candidate or more said this a the a GOP rally in Wisconsin. Let's hear her.


NIKKI HALEY, FORMER U.N. AMBASSADOR: Here, the Democrats are talking about democracy being in danger. They're talking about all these other issues, but they don't realize all we're saying is when we look at our wallets and we look at our families, we're trying to figure out what to pay and how to pay it.


BURNETT: John, did Democrats miss what's important, the most important to voters this election? We heard a lot about abortion and Dobbs. We heard a lot about democracy. We didn't hear so much about those issues.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I think it's a lost opportunity for Democrats to say we've got a different economic vision and we think we can actually help middle class folks more, and that's been part of the strategy. I think crime as well. I think Democrats should have been playing offense to the issue to begin with.

But I don't think it's at the expense of talking about Dobbs or especially democracy, right? You've got to be able to do both. This is thinking fast and slow. They're urgent issues that are going to drive people's decision in a democracy, that's true. But if democracy is overtaken by election denialists who threaten the stability of the republic, that is a larger responsibility. It's kind of like dealing like something with climate change.

So, don't take your eye off both balls at the same time. Both things are important. One has longer reaching implications, democracy.

BURNETT: So, what does tomorrow come down to? I mean, obviously, you know, Democrats vote early. Democrats vote absentee. We'll see how much that's the case as --

HOOVER: There's been a lot of Republican early voting this year, too, though.


HOOVER: I mean, if you look at Georgia, Georgia has a lot of Republican early voting. It does all come out to turnout. I mean, all of these races that we're watching, the control of the Senate is coming down to the margin of error in every single close state.

BURNETT: I mean, it's amazing.

HOOVER: It's turnout, baby. And this is going to go for a couple days and you're going to count. We'll be counting Arizona. We're going to be counting Pennsylvania.

So, we're not going to know immediately either. But this is a turnout game. We're looking for good weather in states where Republicans want good turnout, Democrats, too.

But really, I mean, I do think in the final stretch, there is enthusiasm on the Republican side and I think -- I think the wins are slightly in favor of the Republicans here, and I think it's hard not to admit that in the last stretch here.

BURNETT: So, to that point, Scott, when we look at President Biden, tonight, he is campaigning in Maryland for Wes Moore. Now, Wes Moore is the Democrat candidate for government there. He is favored by 2-1 to win in the state of Maryland, my former home state. Well, not my former -- it's my home state.

So, what does it say about Biden's political standing, that that's where he is tonight? That's who wanted him there tonight?

JENNINGS: Yeah, he's been in the bluest of blue places campaigning because that's where he's accepted, you know?


I mean, most of these states Democrats wouldn't want him around because his approval ratings are pretty low like Georgia, which we talk about a moment ago.


JENNINGS: He's really low in Georgia and I think has been a real plague on Warnock's campaign. Maggie Hassan up in New Hampshire was attacking Joe Biden the other day.

So, look, I've live through -- Margaret and I lived through one of these cycles back in 2006. George W. Bush was also unpopular and was not able to campaign except in a few red areas. This is a faith of a president in a midterm.

BURNETT: So you're saying it's not you, Joe. It's you're just an incumbent.

JENNINGS: No, it's him. No, it's definitely him.

BURNETT: Ashley? Ashley?

ALLISON: I mean, he was just in Pennsylvania --

JENNINGS: With his baby-sitter.


JENNINGS: Barack Obama was there.


ALLISON: Come on! He was the president of the United States. Let's -- so when you saw the image of Shapiro, Fetterman, Obama and Biden, it was like what America can be and I think it was a powerful image and it's in one of the most contested states around a governor's race as well as the Senate race.

I also think, every state, we can no longer pretend like one state is more important than the other. Every state matters. We saw that in 2021 around a governor's race in New Jersey and everyone was like I can't believe Dems took their foot off the gas. Well, we aren't. We are everywhere. We're playing a 50-state strategy this election cycle.

BURNETT: Well, and, you know it's amazing when you look at Pennsylvania. The real split even on the Republican -- you see the governor's race and how that is polled to go. I emphasize polled to go Democratic, and that the Senate race completely up for grabs.


BURNETT: There's split ticket voting.

HOOVER: And you could also get that in Arizona. I mean, it is not inconceivable when you have Mark Kelly win the Senate race, Blake Masters lose, but Kelly -- I mean, Kari Lake -- Kelly Lake?

AVLON: Kari Lake.

HOOVER: Kari Lake, Kari Lake, we're all going to know her name come Wednesday unfortunately, may very well run away from the governor's race. So, you'll split-ticket voting in Arizona as well.

BURNETT: But to your point, that is a split ticket that a lot of people can't imagine.


BURNETT: And yet people are doing it. A lot of people say that can't be real. That's where conspiracy theories enter in. Yes it is. Voters are willing to accept two things could not both be true on the same ballot. AVLON: Look, that gives me hope because it shows an independent-

minded calculation that people are not putting the party above the person or their conception of the country. That's one of the things I think we should be looking for tomorrow. Republicans outperforming expectations in many blue states. Democrats maybe outperforming in a couple of red states. And in purple states, look for ticket splitting, that will be fascinating to see.

BURNETT: And what do you think the most important race will be? What Senate race are you most focused on, Ashley?

ALLISON: Well, I'm partial because I'm from Ohio. But I do think that could be one of those races --

BURNETT: Do you think that Tim Ryan can pull it off?

ALLISON: -- where a DeWine and a Tim Ryan could pull it off. I think in Arizona potentially as well. But I mean, I'm partial to Ohio.

BURNETT: And Ohio is fascinating to watch, where Democrats did not put a lot of money.

All right. We shall see. All stay with me because next, we are live in Ohio where President Trump is about to take the stage there for J.D. Vance. The former president teasing a possible presidential announcements as early as tonight.

Plus, we are live in Pennsylvania where the candidate John Fetterman is now suing to have what could be tens of thousands of undated and misdated ballots counted. We'll have the details there.

And a CNN exclusive, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the first time revealing to Anderson Cooper how she learned about the violent attack on her husband.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I hear the doorbell ring and think it's 5:00 something. I look up and I see it must be the wrong apartment.


BURNETT: Anderson will be OUTFRONT to talk about that interview.



BURNETT: All right. This is a live picture of Ohio. That is where the former President Donald Trump is about to hold his final rally about Election Day. There is speculation that he could use that stage on your screen to announce his 2024 presidential campaign.

Sources telling CNN Trump has been gathering advice from close friend and advisers all day, which he loves to do, after saying this last night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: In order to make our country successful, safe and glorious, I will probably have to do it again but stay tuned. Stay tuned to tomorrow night in the great state of Ohio. Stay tuned. We have a big -- we have a big rally there.


BURNETT: Well, Kristen Holmes is there, OUTFRONT from that rally.

And, Kristen, what is the latest you're hearing?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, obviously, we know Donald Trump likes a good tease and he certainly gave that last night in Miami. But here on the ground in Ohio, his advisers and allies, some of whom are incredibly close to him seem uncertain of what he is going to do when he takes the scene, in terms of whether or not he will announce.

We have learned in the last couple of days, Trump started floating this idea of announcing tonight in part because he wanted to make sure that he got the credit he believed he deserved if there was a red wave. Now, I talked to a number of Trump advisers who say they're urging the president not to use tonight to announce it.

I will note that we have reported for weeks that Trump wants to announce as soon as possible. He was eyeing those days between the midterms and Thanksgiving to get out that announcement for his third presidential bid. But one thing is clear, whether or not he announces tonight, Trump has managed to do what he literally always does, which is turn the entire focus of the Republican Party on him, even on a night before an election in which he is not on the ballot -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kristen, thank you very much.

As I said, Trump will be speaking there tonight.

All right. Panel is back with me.

So, Scott, do you really believe -- we all know he loves to do this, he wants everything to watch, he wants to tees it up and dangle it out. But he's running up against the clock here in terms of possible indictments, post midterms, DOJ's got a lot of stuff he is navigating. Do you believe he will do tonight?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know, it is always been sort of folly to predict what he's going to do and when he's going to do it. He's obviously running. He wants to run, I'm little surprised he's not already in the race.

BURNETT: Well, he wants to want to run, whichever. You think he really wants it?


JENNINGS: I think he wants to be in this race for a variety of reason.


And, by the way, Trump, he has the money, he's got the institutional backing, he's got a team. You know, he's got roughly half the party that says they want him back. I mean, there's a lot of tactical reasons to go in and do it now and try to force everyone if they're not ready to run and he gets in, he can soak up a lot of the oxygen.

From the tactical perspective, I can see why he would do tonight. And by the way, in Ohio, one of his best states.

BURNETT: Look, he just went to Florida, OK, where he had nothing to do with Ron DeSantis who is now his nemesis. He went there with Ron DeSantis, Trump was campaigning for Rubio.

And he slams DeSantis. This is yesterday. Here he is.


TRUMP: There it is, Trump at 71. Ron Desanctimonious at 10 percent.


BURNETT: Okay, a lot of Republicans, they don't like that. I have personally been waiting to see what the coined Trump insult to Ron DeSantis would be. So, there it is, rolled out, as his name is on the ballot, he is hitting the incumbent governor of the state while campaigning for incumbent senator, it's unbelievable.

He's making the conversation about him. There's also been this undercurrent of real Republican donor an operative support for Ron DeSantis at the Trump stopper. There has been a chosen amnesia amongst the Republican donor class at how destructive Trump can be to anyone who challenges him.

So, this is actually quite a nice reminder I think that -- is Ron DeSantis -- is he really going to want to try to be the Trump stopper and be destroyed by Trump? If Trump gets in and regardless of whether it's tonight or in six days, or 14 days, he freezes the field in a way that no other Republican can do. And make somebody like Ron DeSantis think, do I really want to do this? Do I really want to go up against him?

BURNETT: And then maybe he does, and, John, maybe he waits. He can lie in wait for a little while and see what happens, because a lot is going to happen. Ryan Goodman comes on the show every day, our legal analyst, and he said that Trump's announcement, if you are due tonight, would cause the Department Justice to make sure that it reaches a decision on indictment sooner rather than later. It could speed up the clock here.

The minute he runs, you've heard the RNC say they're going to stop paying his legal fees, they've already paid a couple million dollars. He doesn't want to pay his own legal fees. But that would start. I mean, what do you make of his timing? JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, it's consistent with

the narcissism that he has. He wants to make it all but himself. Notice, he did not say yes, I hope he declares tonight. No Republicans want him to actually declare tonight, he is news tomorrow morning. That is a further motivator for Democrats getting up.

But with regard to his incentives, his alleged a sentence with the legal jeopardy that he is in.

BURNETT: That's right.

AVLON: Right?

This is the brush back pitch that Donald Trump does, I'm going to run and then I'm going to say that you are politically persecuting me for just pursuing justice. Persecution's prosecution.

Here's the thing, I hope DOJ and everyone right now sees this. All you need to do is enforce the law without fear or favor. Whether it comes with the special counsel or not, that kind of attempt to intimidate people from pursuing basic equal justice under law cannot succeed.

Trump is on the ballot anyway because if the election deniers win, it is going to be seen as vindication --

BURNETT: Absolutely, absolutely.

So, this also puts President Biden made an immediate situation. If Trump announces today or tomorrow, or the next few days, Biden can't sit around waiting for a few months. He's got to come out and say, is he running?

ASHLEY ALLISON, FORMER NATIONAL COALITIONS DIRECTOR FOR BIDEN-HARRIS 2020: Yeah, I don't think he has to make a decision this week but I do think if Trump announces tonight, if I was Biden and every Democratic candidate, I would be doing aggressive things, doing whatever he could to say, do you see who the people are in the ballot? They want don Trump to come and campaign for them.

And we already voted him out and it is more of the same if you vote for these Republicans.

I think Biden will have to decide something sooner than later. Maybe wait in for a couple -- because we know election results won't be finalized, though, tomorrow night, so maybe wait and see.

BURNETT: Do you really think he cannot run if Trump does psychologically?


ALLISON: No, I think Joe Biden -- I think Donald Trump has no self control. I think President Biden does.

JENNINGS: Yes. ALLISON: I think Donald Trump may get on that stage and lose his mind like he's done so many times, and announce. I think Joe Biden will say, is time for the people to decide what they want and let folks vote tomorrow. Let the votes be counted and let these races be called, and then we will decide. If Trump wins, I do think Biden will run.

BURNETT: And then you freeze both fields? They freeze both fields.

JENNINGS: Who here is excited about this? This is like -- this rematch is like another "Alien versus Predator" movie, I don't know which is going to win, but I know humans lose.


JENNINGS: Nobody wants this. Nobody wants this.



AVLON: No, this is not -- this is not the matchup that America wants, OK? And I think there will be some Republicans who've got the stones to stand up to Donald Trump, even if it's Mike Pence and Chris Christie, and then we will see on the Democratic side.

I would hope that the president of the United States, Joe Biden, does not feel that he is honor bound to run if Donald Trump does, because that's not necessarily in the interest of the country. Democrats have a problem with the depth of the bench. Let's be real about that. That kind of matchup does not serve the United States in the long run it seems to me.

BURNETT: Well, you know, when you say democracy is on the ballot, it is incredible though that on the eve of this, the former President Trump turns the conversation to himself, that is what he tried to do.

All right. All, thank you so much.

And next, Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman is now suing to have undated and misstated ballots counted. Will it make a difference in this tight race? We are live in Pennsylvania tonight.

Plus, another CNN exclusive, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, revealing how she learned her husband Paul had been attacked.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Then bang, bang, bang on the door. So, I ran to the door and I was very scared, Capitol police, they said we have to come in.


BURNETT: Anderson will be OUTFRONT with more of his interview.


BURNETT: A developing story out of the battleground state of Pennsylvania. Democrat John Fetterman's Senate campaign filing a lawsuit just hours ahead of Election Day. Here's what it asks for: it asks for mail-in ballot that have no date or incorrect dates to be counted.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week granted a Republican request to block those ballots, and you can see of the more than 1 million ballots already cast, the majority of those were sent in by Democrats.

"The Philadelphia Inquirer" reporting that will likely mean thousands if not tens of thousands net votes for Fetterman could be rejected. It comes as Republican Mehmet Oz is just moments away from his final pitch to Pennsylvania voters.

The state is incredibly important tonight. Control of the Senate could hinge on this very volatile race. Oz and Fetterman right now are neck and neck.

So, let's go straight to Kate Bolduan. She is live at Oz's event.

And, Kate, I mean, this is an amazing story. You were able to confirm this lawsuit with Fetterman's campaign tonight. Thousands, if not tens of thousands of ballots could be impacted. What more do you know?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, "AT THIS HOUR": So, this is an issue in at least three counties that we know so far. 3,400 ballots in Philadelphia County, more than a thousand mail-in ballots in Allegheny County, and a couple hundred ballots at least in Monroe County. What the issue is is the state rule that requires that for mail-in ballots people have handwritten dates on these ballots when they ran them in. The state Supreme Court ruled if they are wrongly dated or missing a day, those ballots cannot count and will not count and will be thrown out.

This has had election officials truly scrambling, even putting the names of affected voters out publicly to try to alert them, number one, and get them to come in time to fix their ballots and that's why Fetterman campaign has joined other Democrats in filing this lawsuit, to try to make the case that these ballots be counted in time to not have them thrown out, because as you know, mail-in ballot and early voting disproportionately used by Democrats over Republicans and so, it's very clear that Democrats and the Fetterman campaign are very concerned of what even just a few thousand ballots being thrown out, especially in Philadelphia county, what it could mean likely, if you're a betting man, that it would hurt Fetterman more than the oz campaign. As you can see behind me, we're moments away, as you mentioned, Erin, from Mehmet Oz taking the stage to make his final case to supporters here in his final rally before votes start being counted tomorrow.

BURNETT: All right. Kate, thank you very much.

So, Kate breaking that the details on this lawsuit -- I want to bring in David Axelrod, our senior political commentator, former senior adviser to President Obama.

Look, these are the wrinkles that in this case and in other states may not be wrinkles, right? The entire thing could hinge upon something like dates, these things that seem to be tiny or mistakes seem to be quite amplified in a situation like this. One top Republican was telling CNN that if Oz beats Fetterman, but that's it. That's the ultimate indicator Republicans get control of the Senate. Do you agree?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, this is an insurance policy for Democrats. There are several incumbent Democrats in jeopardy here. They need to pick up a Republican seat somewhere and Pennsylvania seems like the most likely opportunity for them to do that. That's why, Erin, $160 million of advertising has gone into that state. This is I think in the eyes of both parties the essential race.

BURNETT: I mean, it is stunning, when you think about the amount of money. Truly, Jeff Zeleny used the word extraordinary. It is extraordinary. So, obviously --

AXELROD: Some would say obscene.

BURNETT: I actually agree with both.

AXELROD: I used to make those ads and I'll say that.

BURNETT: Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, believes that Republicans are likely to take back the House. Here's his rationale.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I see more competitive races than I've seen at any given time. I see Democrats spending money on seats that Biden won by 20 points. New York. Why is it competitive? Cost of living, crime, inflation, the lost learning through COVID.


BURNETT: Look, he just went through a bunch of issues that matter to tens of millions, many -- hundreds of millions of Americans. Was it a mistake for Democrats to cede so many of those issues?

AXELROD: Yes. He went through the issues they're emphasizing and he thinks favors Republicans but they're important issues and Democrats I think should have engaged more vigorously on those. I think there was this attitude that we've got better issues that work for us, abortion rights being one of them and so we'll emphasize those.

But you can't decide for people what's important to them.


And so, I think when the economy is so central to people's lives that the Democrat Party had an argument to make and make it as vigorously or in as timely a way as perhaps they should have. BURNETT: Right. And in a sense -- and maybe I'm using the wrong word choice, here on the fly, there's an arrogance, sort of, well, that shouldn't be an issue. Maybe it's COVID learning or teaching --

AXELROD: Or maybe an assumption that abortion rights, which is important, and stir the country after the Dobbs decision was enough to tip the scales. I think that that -- there was an overreliance on that issue.

BURNETT: Yup. So, today, Biden and Obama appeared together in a short video basically saying go out and votes. Democrats in close races have been relying on Obama. He in his final days has been in a lot of crucial neck-and-neck races. Biden has not been.

He's in Maryland. It's a very safe race for Democrats. How telling is it that Obama is the one that Democrats want when their seat is really at risk?

AXELROD: Well, I heard my friend Scott Jennings address this a little bit earlier and I agree with him. It's not unusual. Back in 2010, Barack Obama wasn't getting as many invitations when he was the incumbent president and people were unhappy with the state of the economy.

So, that's the nature of politics. Bill Clinton was the guy people were calling to come then. So it's not unusual but it is a measure of the fact that Joe Biden is not popular right now and that has been a millstone for a lot of Democrats.

BURNETT: All right. David Axelrod, thank you. It's going to be crucial for the next few days.

And, next, Anderson will join with more of his exclusive interview with the House speaker and how the attack will affect her future in Congress.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Will your decision be impacted by the attack in any way?


COOPER: It will?


BURNETT: So you'll hear more of that.

Plus, we just talked about that lawsuit over ballots in Pennsylvania. Well, in Georgia, a key county, just extending the deadline for some absentee ballots. How much will that delay, the call for who wins the race for senator there? Top voting official in Georgia, Gabe Sterling, will be OUTFRONT tonight.


BURNETT: And, tonight, quote, I never thought it would be Paul. In a CNN exclusive, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat down with Anderson Cooper for her first interview since her husband was brutally attacked with a hammer in their San Francisco home.

So, he asked her about the moment it happened and she described when she first heard about the attack.


PELOSI: I was sleeping. It's Washington, D.C., I had just gotten in the night before from San Francisco. And the -- I hear the doorbell ring and think it's 5 something. I looked up, I see it's 5, It must be the wrong apartment.

It rings again and then bang, bang, bang, bang on the door. So I run to the door. I see the Capitol police and they say we have to come in to talk to you. I'm thinking my children, my grandchildren.

I never thought it would be Paul because I knew he wouldn't be out and about, shall we say. And so they came in at that time. We didn't even know where he was.


BURNETT: And Anderson is OUTFRONT.

Anderson, look, I mean, she's very emotional there.


BURNETT: I mean, you can really see --

COOPER: Yeah, a number of times during the interview, she got emotional and had to pause. Obviously, this is an incredibly difficult time for her, her family, her kids, her grandchildren. She had just been in San Francisco yesterday on Sunday, she flew back to Washington last night. She felt she has to be in D.C. but her heart is still in San Francisco and wants to get back there as quickly as possible.

The interview goes on for some 20 minutes. She talks about returning to the house for the first time and Paul Pelosi also returning to the house for the first time since the attack and that was difficult.

And she also talked about her future. I asked her about her future plans. Obviously, there's a lot of questions. There's been a lot of speculation about will she -- if the Republicans take over the House, will she resign? You know, she's running again this year, obviously tomorrow, but will she resign?

I didn't even ask her that because she's not going to answer that question obviously. But I did want to see what might be influencing her decision and tell me whether or not she has made a decision.

BURNETT: So, let's listen to a little bit of what she said in that exchange. Here it is.


COOPER: There's obviously been a lot of discussion about whether you'd retire if Democrats lose the House. I know you're not going to answer that question so I'm not even going to ask that question.

PELOSI: I'm glad.

COOPER: But I will ask, can you confirm that you've made a decision about what you would do?

PELOSI: That's like asking the question, isn't it?

COOPER: I'm not is asking what the decision is. I'm just asking have you looked ahead and made a decision in your mind, whatever that decision might be?

PELOSI: Well, I have to say my decision would be affected by what happened in the last week or two.

COOPER: Will your decision be impacted by the attack in any way?


COOPER: It will?

PELOSI: Uh-huh, yes.


BURNETT: That's interesting, Anderson, in that exchange with you. I know joking is too strong of a word. But then when she did answer it, she was still a little emotional there, I felt like watching her face.

COOPER: It's also a question of, you know, the way she answered it, it does leave it open. She's saying the attack will have an impact on her decision, whether she's going to resign or not. Does that mean she is going to resign, she doesn't want to be part of this anymore, she wants to be with her family? Or does it mean it has steeled her resolve to stay in Congress. I don't know the answer to that.

BURNETT: Yeah, at first, I thought the former when I first heard it and then I thought maybe it's sort of stealing her --

COOPER: Yeah, we shall see.

BURNETT: We shall see.

But I want everyone to know, you know, as Anderson said, it's a 20- minute conversation, and really never seen her like this before.


BURNETT: I've never seen her like this before. So, you know, please tune in. Stay with us. Don't miss the full

Anderson conversation with Nancy Pelosi starting in just a few minutes starting at 8:00.

In the meantime, that mad dash for votes in Georgia, Heschel Walker and Raphael Warnock are in that tight. And there is a crucial wrinkle here happening in a crucial county that could delay this entire race. Well, the state's top election official, Gabe Sterling, will be with me to talk about it, next.

Plus, the other top story we're following, the war in Ukraine where tonight, we have word that an American has s been killed fighting the Russians.


BURNETT: All right, these are live pictures, Georgia, as you can see, a Herschel Walker rally where the control of the Senate could be decided. The Republican Senate hopeful, Herschel Walker, is about to speak at that rally in Kennesaw, the hours -- these final hours before the polls open on election day.

Ben Carson is speaking at the moment.

And just hours after Warnock's Democratic rival, Senator Raphael Warnock rallied in Columbus.


And Warnock just released this last minute ad.


SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Georgia is one of the only states in America where if you don't get 50 percent of the vote, the election heads into overtime and none of us want that to happen. To prevent this campaign from going another four weeks, there's one thing to do -- vote.


BURNETT: All right. OUTFRONT now, Gabe Sterling, the chief operating officer of Georgia Secretary of State Office. Of course, you know Gabe because he was one of the Republican officials who stood up to then- President Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election and so poignantly and accurately warned of violence.

Gabe, so the race in Georgia -- here we go again, neck in neck, in control of the Senate and the state. You just heard the senator explain runoff. You got to have 50 percent. So, someone gets 49, 44, that is no good. Do you think signs on the ground are pointing to a winner tomorrow or does this go to a runoff?

GABRIEL STERLING (R), CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE: Lord, Erin. Don't put me on the spot that way. I mean, we've got 2.5 million Georgians voting in record turn-outs, showing up in the early voting and absentee voting, we expect maybe 2 million more tomorrow and it's completely up to them. I'm not going to lie, I'm hoping kind of like you that we have it done one way or the other but it may not be the case. As we've got the rules and laws in Georgia, if you don't get a 50 percent, we go four more weeks.

BURNETT: Four more weeks. I hope everybody just heard that. That's what we could be waiting on if this comes down to Georgia. Now complicating this and coming into a commercial break, I teased this to voters, the viewers, some of whom may be voters in Georgia hope.

Cobb County, crucial county in Georgia, just extended the deadline for about a thousand absentee ballots. The reason they did that, gave us, you know, of course is that the balance is due to procedural errors. Right, so if they're mailed out yesterday, they can't return them tomorrow night by 7:00 p.m. the deadline. So those have until November 14th.

So I know anything's possible, but do you think it's reasonable to think that your race literally could come down to this 50 percent margin to these thousand votes in Cobb County?

STERLING: It could, but the good news is it's about 1,000 votes, because about 300 of those people already voted in person early so we're down to about 700 and 400 were Friday. Only today an additional 276 were added to the mix, and they're going to be here at the same time that we have the other three items that can be extended out, absentees getting cured, professionals being -- provisionals being verified and militaries overseas, if they're postmarked by Tuesday, tomorrow, they can be accepted.

So it's not really a change in time you'll see the certifications done because normally it would be Friday, but because of Veterans Day being on Friday, it'll be Monday the 14th. So we're not really losing anytime, thankfully.

BURNETT: All right. Well, that is crucial, and I think everyone is glad to hear that. So I want to talk about turn-out. You're safe, and I know you were just saying as we were getting ready for this interview. The weather looks great tomorrow. No rain, 80 degrees, hopefully everybody can go out who hasn't already voted and have their voice heard.

You've already seen record-setting early voting though this year in Georgia. I mean, the early voting numbers were amazing. Almost map the turn-out in the 2020 presidential election. And this is, of course, only a midterm, so that is a hugely significant thing to say.

And on Friday, which was the last Dave early voting, I know turn-out was 6 percent higher than the 2020 presidential election year. That is stunning. What do you think is driving this?

STERLING: Well, I think for the last couple of cycles, we saw Governor Kemp win by 55,000 votes in 2018, and President Biden win, for some reason, 11,779 votes in 2020, I think Georgians more than most people in the country understand the weight and heft of their vote. If you're voting in Vermont, or California, or Colorado or Florida,

you're going to be in a wash of partisanship one way or the other. In Georgia, your vote actually really matters. I think most Georgians, Republican, Democratic, independent, all understand that.

BURNETT: So, you know, you mentioned, 11,779 votes, the infamous phone call where the former president said just give me 11,000 votes, right, one more than I need. He and Rudy Giuliani who tried to overturn the elections 2020 are already raising doubts about tomorrow. Here they are.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: 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.

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: They had the results in France in eight hours. If we can't count the vote in eight hours, start wondering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, thank you, everybody.




BURNETT: Of course, that's an absurd thing to say not how this is going to go because it's not how it should go, it's not how you count, Gabe. But you were right, you warned that Trump in 2020, that those efforts could lead to someone being hurt or killed. People were hurt and killed, right? January 6th happened.

Do you feel a sense of deja vu or foreboding now?

STERLING: It's unfortunate to hear, that especially with Rudy saying if it goes more than eight hours. Like I just said, there are three days for ballots coming in our state legally and according to the National Registration Act, that's true across the country for those with military and overseas ballots. So frankly I just wish we had people who were grown-ups and said, look, if I lose, I lose. I come back in two or four or six years and fight again.

That's the way it worked for 200 years in this country. And I think we've seen that for the most part, so I'm hopeful that we'll have one of the things we say in elections is, high turn-outs and wide margins. Hopefully we see that tomorrow but it's up to the voters.

BURNETT: And if we don't have wide margins let's hope we have some gracious people, right. David McCormick when he seated the primary in Pennsylvania, setting the tone, let's see some graciousness. Thank you so much. Appreciate it, Gabe.

STERLING: Thank you, Erin. BURNETT: And next, the developing story out of Ukraine, where we're learning an American has died on the battlefield.


BURNETT: Tonight, an American citizen killed in Ukraine. Timothy Griffith is fighting with Ukraine's international legion, which is a volunteer force of foreigners helping to defend Ukraine. The legion says he was taking place in counter-offensives.

Thanks so much for joining us.

It's time for Anderson.