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Biden, Obama & Trump Held Saturday Rallies In Pennsylvania; Trump To Supporters: 2024 Announcement Coming "Very, Very" Soon; Watching For "Red Mirages" And "Blue Waves" On Election Night; Some GOP Candidates Question Results Before Ballots Are Counted; Oprah Endorses Fetterman Over Oz In PA Senate Race. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired November 06, 2022 - 08:00   ET





ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST (voice-over): Three presidents hit the campaign trail with two days left until the midterms.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a choice. A choice between two vastly different visions of America.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Vote for a country that is more fair and more equal and more free.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: The time to stand up to this growing left wing tyranny is right now.

PHILLIP: So now it's all up to the voters. And most of them say inflation is issue number one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like to drive everywhere, but these gas prices are crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six and a half dollars for a pound of hamburger, that's a lot of money.

PHILLIP: And taking aim. President Trump fires the first shots across the 2024 GOP bow.

TRUMP: Ron Desanctimonious at 10 percent, Mike Pence at 7. Mike's doing better than I thought.

PHILLIP: INSIDE POLITICS, the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now.



We are now T minus two days until one of the most hotly contested midterms of our lifetimes, and turnout could exceed the midterm records set in 2018, and by one estimate, nearly $17 billion have already been spent.

Republicans, they may be favored to win the House, but who controls the Senate could hinge on voters in Pennsylvania. So that is why President Biden, former Presidents Obama and Trump were all barnstorming the state yesterday.

CNN's Jessica Dean is on the ground for us in Pittsburgh.

So, Jessica, what are Obama and Biden looking to accomplish with their joint mega appearance last night in the state?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, so they were in Pittsburgh where I am. Obama was here with John Fetterman, the Senate candidate, and then Obama and Biden in Philadelphia, closing out the day yesterday.

And, Abby, this is all about turning out that Democratic base. This is about making sure that base voters get to the polls on Tuesday. Democrats really like to run up the score in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Those are the Democratic strongholds within the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and in order to win, you've got to run up the score there. Oftentimes, it's the Republicans, especially former President Trump that could run up the score in the more rural parts of the county.

So, that's why we saw Obama and Biden in those two distinct areas. I'll let you listen to a little bit of their message from yesterday.


BIDEN: Today, we face an inflection point. One of those moments comes along every several generations. One of those moments that you're going to look back on years from now, and know whether or not we met the moment based on the state of affairs 10, 15 years from now.

OBAMA: Truth and facts and logic and reason and basic decency are on the ballot. Democracy itself is on the ballot.


DEAN: And again, Abby, especially that Philadelphia rally was big, it was rowdy, it was really kind of a party scene in Philadelphia. Again, this was all about enthusiasm for the base. That was the target for Obama and Biden yesterday.

PHILLIP: And so, Jess, also we were talking about former President Trump was also in the state as well.

What was his goal with that rally last night?

DEAN: Right. So again, very much about rallying the Republican base, right, he was in a more rural part of the state. This was kind of the traditional Trump rally where it featured him for a long time.

But Mehmet Oz did talk and he's walking a very fine line. He needs the Republican base to turn out for him. We have noticed him really pitching himself as a moderate in these final days. That's been in his TV ads and also on the trail. He walked this fine line about appearing with Trump but also not turning off those really key independent moderate voters especially on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Abby.

PHILLIP: All right. Jessica Dean in Pittsburgh for us. Thank you so much.

Now, let's discuss all of this and more with a team of CNN's best political reporters, Nia-Malika Henderson, Manu Raju, Kasie Hunt, and David Chalian, excited to have you at the table, the dream team.


PHILLIP: So, once again, here we are, and everybody is in Pennsylvania, so David Chalian, not that I'm going to tell you to foresee the future, I know you don't like to do that, but what is -- things are otherwise, frankly, for the Democrats looking kind of gloomy going into this week. What is the best case scenario you're hearing they're looking for out there?

CHALIAN: Well, the Democrats are looking for out in Pennsylvania --


CHALIAN: Specifically in Pennsylvania, they're looking for quite literally a cushion. That is what they're looking for.

PHILLIP: This is their saving grace if they were to flip the seat.

CHALIAN: This is the one Republican-held seat where they are really in the hunt. Wisconsin, the other one potentially to have a -- flip a Republican seat because they've got several vulnerable incumbents of their own. Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, Raphael Warnock in Georgia, Mark Kelly in Arizona, and even Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire. So, they are looking for a place to pad their majority a bit and try to offset potential losses elsewhere.

This is why the Senate right now is the thing Democrats are looking at as a potential saving grace on Tuesday night. It is bleak looking for the House because of what you said, this is an economy election and voters are overwhelming, preferring Republicans over Democrats when it comes to the issue. Democrats have so much turf to defend in the House. The battleground is on these Democratic districts, leaning districts that is just going to be very tough for them in this environment.

So, the Senate is the place where Democrats, perhaps that can be saving grace.

PHILLIP: Just to back you up, look at what the landscape is for Democrats, why this is so difficult for president Biden and his party because of these districts, the 42 most competitive districts in this midterms, 31 of them are in places that Biden won by at least five points. So they are defending wide swaths of turf, and yet, just listen. This is President Biden earlier this week talking about the Democrats' chances in the midterms. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: We're going to win this time around. I feel really good about our chances. I think we're going to keep the Senate, pick up a seat. I think we have a chance to win in the House. I'm optimistic. I really am.


KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: So, Abby, I have to say, no one that I'm talking to privately on the Democratic side would say anything close to what the president said.

PHILLIP: That's exactly right.

HUNT: Publicly right there, at least about the House of Representatives. I do think to David's earlier point, they do see a potential path to hanging on to 50 seats in the Senate. We just don't know because of some of -- you know, frankly, the candidates and narratives in the Senate races have become kind of remarkable in a way that makes them less applicable to what we're seeing in a generic national environment.

I would say Nevada and North Carolina on the Senate side, I think Republicans are probably in a stronger position now than they were a couple of weeks ago because those races seem to be more aligned with what you're seeing across the board in the house in terms of being pushed by the economic narratives. Pennsylvania, Georgia, the characters in the races could potentially have an impact there. But across the House, things are just, they're just very, very bleak right now for Democrats.

PHILLIP: Go ahead.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The best case scenario you're asking David about, for the Democrats in the House, it really is to prevent Kevin McCarthy and Republicans from having a significant massive majority at this point.

HUNT: Super majority. Nearly!

RAJU: So, they really are trying to stem the losses that they could have, which is why you showed that graphic with all of those battleground states, those blue districts that they are defending right now. They're spending money in all sorts of places they did not anticipate doing so. People like Sean Patrick Maloney, just outside of New York, trying to prevent them from losing a seat that they almost certainly could hold on to.

That's not just happening there. That's happening all across the country, and if he has a smaller majority, that would be much more difficult for him to govern, could be much easier for the Democrats to have some victories in the house, which is why what they're talking about right now is preventing a landslide come Tuesday.

PHILLIP: Yeah, in the Senate, though, the picture is a little bit less clear, but I do think that there has been a sense, especially in the last couple of weeks, that things are shifting. Some of these candidates, especially the Trump endorsed ones, who as we like to say, candidate quality in quotation marks have had some problems as candidates, Herschel walker, Dr. Oz, J.D. Vance, Republicans privately now are starting to feel a little bit more comfortable about their chances.


NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Partly, it's because of the DNA of the states. You think about Ohio, that is a red state. Georgia is a red state. Sure, they elected two Senate Dems last go around in 2020. That state historically has been a red state. If you're looking at this, you essentially think a lot of these states essentially revert back to what their DNA is.

That's why you see races, really competitive, walker hanging on. Also they've got strong top of the ticket candidates, gubernatorial candidates, both in Ohio and in Georgia as well. And those candidates could, you know, essentially drag the weaker Senate candidates across the line.


PHILLIP: And the opposite might end up being true in Pennsylvania, but we'll find out.

HENDERSON: I think that's exactly right. Listen, I do think, you talk to Democrats privately, it's been gone for a while, right? I mean, part of that is there has been retirements, districting, and then in the Senate, I think the best they can hope for a lot of Democrats I talked to, it's basically what it is now, a 50/50 splint.

PHILLIP: I want to bring this up because we don't talk about it often, but there are bright spots in the gubernatorial races. You have potentially history making in Maryland where it could be a first black governor in Wes Moore. You've got Gretchen Whitmer potentially doing well there. Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania, way ahead of his Republican opponent. So a couple of bright spots, and maybe even a little bit of the a picture of the future of the Democratic Party if they are in a couple of years of wilderness.

RAJU: Yeah, no doubt about it. And as you were mentioning, this could have an impact down ticket, Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania, how does that affect John Fetterman's chances in that state, and the question will be whether or not they will see a significant amount of split ticket voters who could change the dynamic there.

You're right, these gubernatorial candidates, as soon as they are elected or reelected, we'll be talking about their potential run in the future.

PHILLIP: Especially if Democrats have, you know, ended up losing power in Washington, everybody will be looking at the states to see what's going on there.

But coming up next for us, Trump's new nickname for a once ally and now potential 2024 rival.



PHILLIP: All right. So the midterms are two days away, and that means, forgive us, the Iowa caucuses are about 14 months away, 14 months. But that is a fact that Donald Trump is making sure that we don't lose sight of.


TRUMP: We're winning big, big, big, in the Republican Party for the nomination, like nobody's ever seen before. Let's see, there it is, Trump at 71. Ron Desanctimonious at 10 percent, Mike Pence at 7. Oh, Mike's doing better than I thought.


PHILLIP: In case you missed it, that was a not so subtle jab at two potential presidential rivals, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and his former Vice President Mike Pence at a rally last night in Pennsylvania.

CNN is reporting that Trump could announce a campaign as soon as November 14th. That is a week from tomorrow, which he all but confirmed last night.


TRUMP: Everybody, I promise you, in the very next, very, very, very, very short period of time, you're going to be so happy. Okay.


PHILLIP: If you're announcing your presidential bid in November two years before the next presidential election, is that a sign of strength or a sign of weakness that maybe he's trying to put a stake in the ground right now.

HUNT: Well, honestly, it's not that far off the norm because we have seen it, you know, it's typically been, I guess, the New Year, January.

PHILLIP: At least I think.

HUNT: Years ago, it was a lot farther out, but I mean, honestly, these Republicans have started running for president already. Mike Pompeo has a team in Iowa. There are rumblings that DeSantis could be planning trips to early states. He was very careful in how he handled his endorsements in early primary states.

He stayed out of critical New Hampshire primaries that I know, from my reporting, some of the candidates would have liked him to weigh in, he didn't, he didn't want to make anybody mad in a state he might want to win come just over a year from now, right, when we're looking at the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.

But the reality is for Trump, I mean, if he -- look, you saw, I mean, that was giving me flashbacks, I don't know about you guys, to those debate stages that we saw in 2015, where it's Donald Trump in the center kind of knocking out Republican candidate after Republican candidate, one at a time, we were laughing about Ron Desanctimonious because the thing that Trump can do better than anyone in the context of a pure political campaign, sense weakness, identify it, and convince people that it's true. He's starting to do that with DeSantis.

HENDERSON: Yeah, I mean, he certainly has that ability. I mean, the sort of pettiness around this nickname. It's sort of real housewives level petty, I mean that as a compliment in so many ways.

Listen, I think --

PHILLIP: You get points for bringing up the real housewives.

HENDERSON: Listen, I think, to your question, it's a sign of strength and weakness, right. He is strong in the sense that Republican voters emotionally are very, very attached to Donald Trump. He convinced 70 percent of Republican voters that Joe Biden's election was illegitimate, that he's not a legitimate president.

I do think he is slightly worried about the field of people who could enter this race. It could be Ron DeSantis.

CHALIAN: And I think that worry is impacting the timing. Here's what's about to happen. He picked up on DeSantis and Pence. DeSantis is poised to have an enormous victory on Tuesday night, getting reelected as governor of Florida. That is likely to be the outcome there. Mike Pence is about to go on a book tour and roll out his new book and be the center of attention.

PHILLIP: And catch the timing on the book release, November 15th, exactly one day after this possible announcement.

CHALIAN: Right, this floated date of November 14th as they're floating as a potential announcement. He clearly, I agree with you, I think that shows clear concern or at least he's getting to work. You know, for the last two years, it's been Donald Trump on a sort of greatest hits road show. Now we're getting the new material. The new album is out.

PHILLIP: The new material is very much like the old material.

CHALIAN: It is like the old material.


It worked for him in 2015 as Kasie was just pointing out.

And so, what this signals to me is, A, we all assume he's going to get into the race. He wants to get in early, because he defines the playing field. That's a part of his political success better than most candidates.

RAJU: I don't think we should forget he is under significant investigations that could lead him to significant legal liability, and this has to be driving some decision making, and announcing earlier, remember, we were talking about him potentially announcing during the midterm season, because he wants to use the investigations as a way to say -- as a witch hunt against me, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, he held off here, though, because he got urged by Republican leaders not to come forward during the midterms, it could turn this race about him, the midterm environment about him.

But if he announces next week, there could be a Georgia runoff in December where Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock could be facing off in a runoff, how does that impact the race? That'll be a question, too.

PHILLIP: Yeah, I mean, to your point about the investigation, the January 6th Committee has subpoenaed Trump, they asked him to produce documents and testimony by, take a guess, November 14th, so the stars are aligning and if you're Donald Trump who often uses these kind of investigations and the specter of criminal prosecution as a political tool.

HUNT: Right.

PHILLIP: That is useful for him. If you are Herschel Walker in Georgia, I'm not sure that's it for you.

HUNT: No. I mean, the establishment in Republicans in Washington, particularly Mitch McConnell are just going to be apoplectic about this, especially for a Georgia runoff situation.

But if you're Donald Trump, I mean, he's not talking about going into a general election. And from a political perspective, those investigations play right into his hands in the context of a Republican primary, and the other thing is I have spent a lot of time lately talking to people around Ron DeSantis, as well as Republican strategists who are looking at and trying to figure out honestly many of them which train to jump on, who do they want to work for in a Republican primary.

A lot of them point to the fact that if Trump gets in before Ron DeSantis, who is the other elephant in the room at the moment, then every single thing that Ron DeSantis does is not about Ron DeSantis, it's about Donald Trump.

He's willing to take on Donald Trump. It becomes, and accomplishes what Trump was able to do so well that led him to the White House, which is make it all about him.

PHILLIP: Injecting him into the conversation, for sure.

HUNT: Yeah.

PHILLIP: Well, stand by for us. If you're not sure how to digest election night results, we have you covered. We'll till you how to spot the early clues that could tell us who could win control of Congress. That's next.



PHILLIP: Seven p.m. Eastern, set your reminders, that is when the first statewide polls close on Tuesday night. And in the hours that follow, there will be some ups and downs, some so-called red and blue mirages, and some early clues about how the night might end up.

So joining me at the wall to show you how to watch the results like a pro, the pro, David Chalian.

So, David, look, we are going to be saying this ad nauseam on Tuesday night. Please, please, please be patient.

CHALIAN: That is right, because we know how votes get counted and it's different by state. We know, for instance, in Pennsylvania, that the way votes get counted in Pennsylvania, this is a reminder from 2020, but still true. They can't even open and process absentee ballots until polls open on Tuesday morning.

It's going to take a while. There's going to be a substantial absentee vote. That favors Democrats.

So, just a reminder, two years ago, this is going to be very similar. You see Joe Biden initially jumped out to a huge lead when polls closed in Pennsylvania.

But then take a look, by noon on Wednesday, it was Donald Trump with a 500,000 vote lead. Keep watching that time line, okay? And then on Thursday, November 5th, Donald Trump's lead gets down to 121,000 votes. 50.3 to 48.4. Biden takes the lead on Friday, November 6th at 10:00 a.m., a 5,000 vote lead.

PHILLIP: Some of us remember this distinctly.

CHALIAN: And we called it on Saturday at 11:24 a.m., and by the way, when all the votes were counted, it was 80,000 votes. I want to just remind you the opposite happens in Arizona. It shifts the other way. So again, we'll use the 2020 example here.

First, votes come in, Joe Biden had a huge lead, 54-44. But take a look, Wednesday, at noon, 93,000 lead for Joe Biden. I'm now on Thursday, November 5th at noon. His lead is down to 68,000.

Skip ahead to one week after the election. Tuesday, November 10th, Joe Biden's lead is down to 14,000. We did not call Arizona until ten days after and his lead went down to 11,000. All of that late arriving mail, all that election day mail that got dropped off was in Trump's favor, and he was closing the gap.

PHILLIP: Look, it's going to be close probably in both of these states but several other states as well. If you're looking at the picture in the House of Representatives, early in the night, we could have some good clues as to where this is all headed, what kind of situation we're looking at. A red trickle, a red wave, a blue wave, what have you.

CHALIAN: This is blank, this will all start filling in on Tuesday night. I want to take a look over here first in Rhode Island. Okay?

This second congressional district in Rhode Island. Allan Fung, Republican candidate, Democrats are so worried about this.


This is a seat Joe Biden won by more than 13 points two years ago, and Democrats were worried enough that the first lady went into this district to campaign.

I want to go next door to Connecticut. Another East Coast state I'll be looking at in the fifth district there. Jahana Hayes, the Democratic incumbent against George Logan. Joe Biden won this seat by more than 10 points, Abby -- 10 points.

And yet Vice President Harris was in there campaigning because Democrats are concerned about this seat.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: Yes. As we've been discussing, some of the blue seats on the Eastern Seaboard are going to be some of the most watched seats that night.


PHILLIP: So tell us the scope.

CHALIAN: Yes. And I would just note Virginia, Abigail Spanberger, if you take a look at her northern Virginia district, this is when polls close at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, watch this carefully. Joe Biden won by it 6.5 percentage points. If this is going red and those other big Democratic seats are going red, it's going to be a really tough night for Democrats.

PHILLIP: So let's go back to Pennsylvania for a second. What are you looking at there when we are scrutinizing as we will be for perhaps a couple of days what's going on in that state.

CHALIAN: Yes. So in the Senate race, one critical sort of area and demographic I'm looking at, these collar counties around Philadelphia, right -- these four collar counties, female suburban voters in the Philly area.

I want you to take a look at the exit polls from 2020 -- oops, sorry I lost my telestrator, Abby. I want you to take a look -- Joe Biden won female voters in the Philly suburbs, 62-38. Do we see Republicans, Mehmet Oz, making inroads and over performing Donald Trump with female voters in the Philly suburbs, they make up 11 percent of the overall state. That is one key I'm watching.

PHILLIP: All right. We'll be watching very carefully.

Now, the preelection day vote is on pace already to exceed 2018 numbers. That's more than 38 million ballots that have already been cast in 47 states. But take a listen to what some of the voters are saying are on their minds.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot have a secretary of state who says I'll decide who wins an election.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I needed to make sure that my rights as a woman, as an African-American woman were going to be protected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to clean the slate across the board and get people in there that are going to listen to the constituents and not worry about their future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dealing with the gun violence, people killing people for no apparent reason. It's senseless.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Inflation and gas prices, I like to drive everywhere. But these gas prices are crazy.


PHILLIP: So the early voting numbers are pretty blockbuster right now. At least it seems that way, looking at Georgia specifically where a lot of people care about the outcome there.

The numbers in Georgia are -- have exceeded 2018 for early voting. Not quite at 2020 levels, but we are getting close. Democrats will tell you very loudly, that is a sign of huge enthusiasm, but could it also be a sign that people have just changed their voting behavior?

HENDERSON: Possibly. I mean, we saw Republicans sort of denounce early voting. We saw sort of the Democratic base take to early voting, and we saw those dynamics most clearly in 2020.

We don't know who those early voters are. We don't know the demographics. We don't know what election day voting is going to look like either.

All of us have been on the phone with strategists on election day making all sorts of predictions based on early vote totals only to later have their tail between their legs because something different happened as the day and night went on.

So we just got to wait and see. You know, Democrats obviously looking at what young voters do, what African-American voters do, what suburban college educated white women do as well, and hoping that they can stitch together some sort of winning coalition in these different states.

PHILLIP: The big question I think for a lot of both Democrats and Republicans is where the enthusiasm is. The polls say this: that 60 percent of Republicans are extremely enthusiastic to vote compared to 46 percent of Democrats. The early voting numbers, I think Democrats are happy about it, especially in Georgia, but that is going to be the question. RAJU: Yes, and they have been fighting this enthusiasm gap for pretty

much this entire election cycle, Democrats have, seeing Republicans enthusiasm much greater.

Democrats thought abortion could help close that gap. There were some signs of that during the summer months. But there's also some signs that the issue of abortion right may -- is yes an issue that's on the minds of a lot of voters, but just not even close to the top tier issues of the economy and inflation, which is why when we look back in this election, and if it does not go the Democrats' way, the question will be did they lean too heavily on that issue, not talk enough about the economy, not do other ways to define and to frame this race going forward because they still are facing that enthusiasm gap.

PHILLIP: All right. Well, coming up next for us, election deniers are poised to win key races in battleground states. So is democracy itself actually on the ballot? We'll tell you.



PHILLIP: Democrats are sounding the alarm and warning that democracy itself is on the ballot on Tuesday.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mark my words, they're going after your right to vote and who's going to count the vote.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: They're going after democracy, and even counting votes that they think will help them and not others that won't.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I understand that democracy might not seem like a top priority right now, especially when you're worried about paying the bills. When true democracy goes away, people get hurt, it has real consequences.


PHILLIP: And here's why. Dozens of Republicans who are running for office have rejected or questioned the legitimacy of President Biden's 2020 win. And not only that, some are already making it clear that they may not accept the final results of their elections this week.



SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I want full transparency, full access, and if that happens, and that's what needs to happen, then I'll accept the results. But we need that full transparency, and I'm not sure we're going to get it.

KARI LAKE (R), ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I will accept the results of this election if we have a fair, honest and transparent election. Absolutely 100 percent.

We have a lot of corruption in this system.

KRISTINA KARAMO (R), MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE CANDIDATE: We have evidence and I personally witnessed myself, ballot duplication occurring outside of the law (ph).


PHILLIP: This has become no question an article of faith among Republicans. They just have to be in that lane otherwise the base doesn't really accept them.

But it's a real concern -- it's a legitimate concern for voters that some of these people might win their elections and will be in power with that kind of thinking behind them.

RAJU: Yes, and perhaps not surprisingly, when you look at the polls that voters who are concerned about this overwhelmingly are Democratic voters about democracy and the issues about democracy potentially going away. Republican voters not nearly as much. That also aligns with the fact that a lot of Republican voters don't see the 2020 election as legitimate or Biden as a legitimately elected president. Democratic voters overwhelmingly believe it does.

Now what is interesting is I have been on the campaign trail a lot in the last couple of months. It's really not a major issue that the Democrat candidates have been focusing on, not pushing this in their campaign ads nearly as much as the issues of abortion, not talking about it as much on the stump. They're trying to deal with issues of the economy and inflation.

You did show clips of Barack Obama raising this issue as well, but really it is not the main message and ultimately perhaps the calculation is that voters are not maybe concerned about it, but the voters they need are not driven to the polls by it.

PHILLIP: It does raise the question, though, why for Obama and Biden it has been kind of part of the closing message.

HENDERSON: Yes, you saw Biden give that speech last week on democracy. He gave a similar one -- I think it was in October as well and Obama talking about it as well.

I think the polls show that something like 9 percent of voters think this is like a top issue, election integrity.

It's interesting because in talking to democratic pollsters who are doing focus groups, they have wanted Democratic candidates to talk about it more. It certainly energizes people. It certainly gets to sort of the core of why you vote the core of American identity as well, but it doesn't, you know, at least a lot of the Democratic candidates don't think it drives the base in a way that some of these other issues do.

HUNT: Well, I think for the president, for President Biden, it really is about history, too. I think that's part of why he gave that speech that he did earlier in the week, talking about kind of the historical nature of what's going on here and that kind of need to get on the record. I mean it's been such a motivating force for him throughout this. It's a big part of why he ran against Trump. And you know, they do think that it's incredibly important.

But you know, the other thing, we haven't talked too much today about the fact, the reasons for why history is not on Democrats' side going into this midterm, right. It's never on the side of the party that's in power. And part of that is just because it is very hard to convince people. It's a lot easier to motivate Republicans who are angry about what is happening and what they're seeing than it is to convince Democratic voters that hey, like you really should be energized about this thing that's, you know --it's not super urgent right now because we're running things but if they get in there, it is going to be a real urgent problem. It's just a harder argument.

PHILLIP: It is a harder argument to make, and we are talking about the politics of it but there's a practicality of it I think that voters should really understand.

This is a map of the people running for governor and secretary of state. These are the folks who are going to largely determine how elections are carried out in this country, and the people that we're showing you here, they are all election deniers. Ok.

That from just a practical perspective, for folks to understand whether you believe democracy is more important than the economy or not, folks who don't believe the election was legitimate in 2020 might very well be running elections in the next several election cycles.

RAJU: And we got such insight into -- and everything you said, Abby is a frightening thought, right. I mean whether or not voters answer the call that Barack Obama is putting out there that democracy is on the ballot, it's not wrong to say that democracy is sort of fragile in many places and if you're going to put people who do not commit to observing and accepting legitimate election results in charge of elections, that obviously is a problem for democracy.

But we got such insight into the politics of it in that clip of that documentary that Tucker Carlson's documentary he did with Blake Masters, where Donald Trump told Blake Masters, you're going soft on the election thing, don't do that, you know. You've got to be like --


PHILLIP: And he was like -- no, no, no, sir, I'm not going soft on it.

RAJU: Exactly.

PHILLIP: I mean that is an amazing -- you know, I totally agree, it's an amazing clip. I think it also raises another thing, when you look at the United States Senate, the composition of the United States Senate, you've got a bunch of retiring Republican senators who might be replaced by a bunch of GOP nominees who are, you guessed it, election deniers. And they join another large list of people who objected to the

election results in the states of Arizona and in Pennsylvania, so the Senate, Manu, is going to look very different. Almost a matter of who controls the Senate on the Republican side it will look different.

RAJU: We've actually seen this trend happen over the last several election cycles where Mitch McConnell's conference used to be a conservative conference, right of center, more establishment minded, more typical business-friendly Republicans, turning into a more of a Trump-aligned conference.

There's still a minority of the Republican conference that is like that, but we have seen this shift happen from cycle to cycle and we can certainly see it come the beginning of January if the Republicans do as well as they hope, even in some cases if they are in the minority, it will still be that way, which could present some challenges in him governing this conference.

But I should say, though, when senators become senators, a lot of them moderate their more fiery views on the campaign trail. Perhaps we'll see --

PHILLIP: We'll see. We will see if that happens.

Coming up next for us, Oprah, she helped to create TV's Dr. Oz. But could she tank his chances of becoming Senator Oz? That's next.



PHILLIP: She may not be handing out cars, but Oprah Winfrey has dropped a dramatic surprise into the Pennsylvania Senate race. After remaining mostly silent about her television protegee's candidacy, the media mogul is finally speaking out and endorsing his opponent.


OPRAH WINFREY, TV PERSONALITY: I said it was up to the citizens of Pennsylvania and, of course, it still is. But I will tell you all this, if I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman for many reasons.


PHILLIP: The Fetterman campaign obviously wasted no time seizing on that snub, unveiling a new profile pic and tweeting it. "It turns out Dr. Oz was not one of Oprah's favorite things." Get it? You get a car.

PHILLIP: No, we are not handing out cars today, but I did note the timing of this. I mean Oprah could not let it go without saying that Oz was not her endorsed candidate favorite. Let me show you why.

It's because this is the Oz-Oprah relationship over the years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. MEHMET OZ (R), PA SENATE CANDIDATE: The woman who sent these photos, want to make sure their stubborn stomach fat instantly disappears. How sleek. This is what (INAUDIBLE) does to your belly fat. Whoa.

This little bead has scientists saying they found the magic weight loss cure for every body type it's green coffee beans. The other part of this diet is pretty extreme. You eat only 500 calories a day.




PHILLIP: She had to clarify what was going on.

HENDERSON: Yes. I mean she essentially created Dr. Oz. He shot to fame because he was on her show for years and years and years. He's a multimillionaire because of her.

The Fetterman campaign very much wanted this endorsement. They reached out to her campaign. She wanted to stay on the sidelines. Dr. Oz obviously wanted her to stay on the sidelines, too.

I think he said something like, well, she's a friend and I don't know want my friends to get involved in this. I don't know that they're friends anymore. Clearly they're not. She's endorsing his opponent. But yes, I mean you'd rather have Oprah's endorsement than not have it.

CHALIAN: Pretty much any day of the week, right. It sort of begs the question though. What is the endorsement though, right? She said for many reasons. She didn't specify a single reason why she is supporting Fetterman over Oz. She's not out there campaigning with him. She's not cutting ads that we know of yet. Perhaps one will drop before the campaign is up.

So yes, it's sort of like, ok, I'll say this. And then it's up to the Fetterman campaign as they're doing to sort of pump it out and tout it as much as possible. It's not like Oprah is sort of getting in there and trying to bring him across the finish line.

But I thought it was really notable at the beginning of the race, and she referenced this in her comments when she said, I'm going to let the Pennsylvania voters decide. And it was really interesting to me, this well-known Democrat Oprah Winfrey is deciding to stay out of this race but at the end of the day felt she couldn't stay out of the race.

PHILLIP: But do you think that it's actually going to -- I mean really the constituencies here -- I mean and given what Fetterman needs to do in Pennsylvania, will it help?

RAJU: I mean anything can help. But celebrity endorsements typically have very little impact in the ultimate outcome of the race. Perhaps what it does do is it shifts some of the discussion, shift some of the -- gets some of the buzz and some of the attention around this. We're not talking about John Fetterman's stroke or about the other problems that he has had with his campaign.

So certainly, having the discussion about this could be helpful. But does it change votes? Probably not.

PHILLIP: And I just want to say real quick before you come in, Oz did put out a statement, but it was not, you know, it was pretty even- keeled. "Dr. Oz loves Oprah and respects the fact that they have political differences. He believes we need more balance and less extremism in Washington."

HUNT: Yes. Well and he's using this as an opportunity to try to underscore his particular closing message, which is one of trying to show that he's more moderate which is very, very telling, by the way, in terms of how he feels like he needs to position himself after accepting the endorsement from Donald Trump, running in a primary in a very different way, now trying to get Pennsylvania swing voters back on board.

But I think Manu is right. I mean the Oprah endorsement changes the subject her for John Fetterman. It also underscores a longtime Fetterman campaign message which has been to try to question the credibility of Dr. Oz right, which I think was on display in that little montage that you just showed, right.

They've tried to cast him as someone who, you know doesn't -- you shouldn't take seriously, right. and to have Oprah, who is the person that made him and took him seriously for a very long time say nope, is potentially contributing to that.


PHILLIP: All right. Before we go, I'm going to hand the mic off to Manu for a quick special announcement.

RAJU: Yes. Special birthday shout-out to the best 7-year-olds that I know Sonia and Sanjay. They also happen to be my kids.

PHILLIP: Happy birthday Sonia and Sanjay. We love you.

That is it for us on INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY.

Coming up next for us on CNN, "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. Dana talks to RNC chair Ronna McDaniel and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar.

And join CNN for a special coverage of "ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA" this Tuesday, November 8th, starting at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. I will be there. I hope you will too.

Thank you again for sharing your Sunday morning with us. Have a great rest of your day.